Monday, February 15, 2016

We’re LED Converts!

As you likely know, we’re big on energy-efficient lighting. To practice what we preach, we’ve made the switch to LEDs in our front office – and have learned a few things in the process.

A local consultant recently showed up at our door. He was working with our electric provider to do energy audits at businesses, and we signed up.

Although our fluorescent lighting in the warehouse was already efficient, the lighting in our office was not. We were using fluorescent tube lighting there, and we discovered that by switching to LEDs, we’d earn back our investment in less than three years.

“We’d be crazy not to do it,” says Connie Taylor, Operations Manager at Bulb Direct. “What really stunned us was that by taking advantage of current LED rebates we’d save 60-70% and it would cost us less than if we bought the bulbs ourselves – even as a reseller.”  

Best of all, installation took less than two hours without any disruption in our work flow. That included redoing all 42 fixtures.

We chose 15-watt OSRAM® Sylvania® SubstiTUBE® IPS LED T8 lamps, which are specifically designed to replace traditional fluorescent T8 lamps. For the common areas and most offices, we selected 4100K bulbs (which matched our fluorescents) and 3500K bulbs for a couple employees who wanted a lower (warmer) color temperature.

These LEDs are mercury-free, provide instant light, offer a 50,000-hour life, and come with a five-year warranty. “We’re a small office, and we expect to save 50% in our lighting costs over the next five years with just 42 LEDs,” says Connie. “Imagine how much more a big operation could save by making the switch!”

Look at our electric savings!
Yearly cost with traditional fluorescents
Estimated yearly cost with LEDs
Estimated yearly savings
Estimated 5-year savings

If we can do it, so can you! Make the switch to LED today. Learn more by calling us at Bulb Direct (800-772-5267).

Monday, February 1, 2016

LED Lighting and Your Health

You may have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can affect people who live in winter climates with limited natural sunlight. But researchers are now learning how light affects our non-visual responses.

Non-visual responses include those that affect our biological systems. These are not task-oriented needs, such as reading, spending time on screens, and doing fine needlework. Non-visual responses have to do with our circadian rhythms, pupil dilation, alertness, and melatonin suppression.

One thing the research tells us is that LEDs offer a distinct advantage over traditional, older technologies. Specifically, their color and intensity can be customized to support both task- and non-task situations. However, because this is relatively new research, it’s important to note that poorly-engineered LED solutions may cause harm.

Much has been written about the negative effects of blue-spectrum light – the higher end of the Kelvin scale - on our health. While it is true that blue light can disrupt our sleep and make us more alert, that’s not always a bad thing. When selecting what works in your environment, be sure to ask:

-       Do you want to minimize the non-visual response to light? This could be the goal when you want to get a good night’s sleep. If this is your goal, choose an LED light at the lower, warmer end of the spectrum.
-       Do you want to activate the non-visual response? This may be desirable to help keep workers awake and alert on overnight shifts. In such situations, you could benefit from LEDs at the higher (blue) end of the spectrum.

Research has also shown that the blue spectrum of LED lights is no more inherently harmful than the blue spectrum of other types of lighting. LED lights may look brighter than other types of lighting, but they do not emit more blue energy as other lights when evaluated at the same color temperature.

The challenge remains in determining how you will be using various forms of light. In shared workplaces and buildings open 24/7, such as hospitals, it is vital to think about the kinds of activity that should be supported – and at what times of day and night. When coming up with a sound LED solution, be sure to consider comfort, aesthetics, and energy consumption as well.

To learn more about what new research is telling us, click here to open a publication by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Ready to brighten the season – and save money - with LEDs? Call us at Bulb Direct (800-772-5267) to speak with one of our experienced customer service reps.