Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to Decode a Light Bulb

Ever wonder what a bulb code means? Let us help you break it down.

Make decoding a light bulb easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

10 Lighting Tips & Facts to Improve Your Photography

 1. The broader the light source, the softer the light.
What does this mean? Well, any source of broad light will minimize shadows, reducing the contrast and suppressing texture. A narrow light source does the opposite. This is because, with a broad source, light rays hit your subject from more directions, which tends to fill in shadows and give more even illumination to the scene.

Tip: Position a portrait subject near a large, bright window that does not receive direct sunlight.

2. The closer the light source, the softer the light.
And well, the farther the source, the harder the light. If you move the light farther away, you make it relatively smaller, and therefore more narrow.

Tip: When photographing people indoors by available light, move lamps closer to them or vice versa for more flattering light.

3. Diffusion scatters light, essentially making the light source broader and therefore softer.
When clouds drift in front of the sun, shadows get less distinct. Add fog, and the shadows disappear. Clouds, overcast skies, and fog act as diffusion—something that scatters the light in many directions. On overcast or foggy days, the entire sky, in effect, becomes a single very broad light source—nature’s softbox. 

Tip: Materials such as translucent plastic or white fabric can be used to diffuse a harsh light source. You can place a diffuser in front of an artificial light, such as a strobe. Or, if you're in bright sun, use a light tent or white scrim to soften the light falling on your subject.

4. Bouncing light acts as diffusion.
Try aiming a narrow light source at a broad, matte surface—such as a wall or ceiling. It not only reflects the light but also diffuses it by scattering it over a wider area.

Now use a shiny reflector. What happens?
The light will stay fairly narrow on the bounce. The most extreme type of shiny reflector—a mirror, will keep the light focused pretty much as narrowly in the reflection.

Tip: Crumple a big piece of aluminum foil, spread in out again, and wrap it around a piece of cardboard, shiny side out. It makes a good reflector that’s not quite as soft in effect as a matte white surface—great for adding sparkly highlights.

5. The farther the light source, the more it falls off— gets dimmer on your subject.
The rule says that light falls off as the square of the distance. That sounds complicated, but isn’t really. If you move a light twice as far from your subject, you end up with only one-quarter of the light on the subject.

In other words, light gets dim fast when you move it away— something to keep in mind if you’re moving your lights or your subject to change the quality of the light.

Also remember that bouncing light—even into a shiny reflector that keeps light directional— adds to the distance it travels.

Tip: Set your camera’s flash (pop-up or hot-shoe) to fill flash for outdoor portraits on harshly lit days. This will lighten shadows on your subject’s face but won’t affect the background exposure—it will fall off by then.

6. Light falloff can be used to vary the relationship between the light on your subject and your background.
If you place a light close to your subject, the falloff from the subject to the background will be more pronounced. Move the light farther from your subject, and the background will be relatively brighter.

The same holds true for sidelighting: With a light close to the side of your subject, the falloff of light across the frame will be more pronounced than if the light is farther away. 

Tip: If your subject is frontlit by windowlight, keep the person close to the window to make the room’s back wall fall off in darkness. If you want some illumination on the wall, though, move the person back closer to it and away from the window.

7. Frontlighting de-emphasizes texture; lighting from the side, above, or below emphasizes it.
 A portraitist may want to keep the light source close to the axis of the lens to suppress skin wrinkles, while a landscapist may want side lighting to emphasize the texture of rocks, sand, and foliage. Generally, the greater the angle at which the light is positioned to the subject, the more texture is revealed. 

Tip: To retain detail in your fluffy pet’s fur, position the light source somewhat to the side rather than straight on. 

8. Shadows create volume.
That’s how photographers describe three-dimensionality, the sense of seeing an image as an object in space, not projected on a flat surface.

Again, lighting from the side, above, or below, by casting deeper and longer shadows, creates the sense of volume. Still-life, product, and landscape photographers use angular lighting for this reason. 

Tip: Try “Hollywood lighting” for a dramatic portrait. Position a light high above and slightly to the side of your subject, angled down, but not so much that the shadow of the nose falls more than midway down the upper lip. 

9. Backlight can be used as highly diffused lighting.
Very few subjects are totally backlit, that is, in pure silhouette, with no light at all falling from the front. A person with his back to a bright window will have light reflected from an opposite wall falling on him. Someone standing outside with her back to bright sunlight will have light falling on her from the open sky in front of her. In either case, you’ll need to increase exposure to record the light falling on the subject—and this light will deemphasize facial texture and dimensionality.

Tip: For spark in a backlit portrait or silhouette, try compositions that include the light source. This can drive your meter crazy, though, so bracket your exposures.

10. Light has color, even when it looks “white.”
This is called color temperature, and our eye/brain computer is very adept at adjusting our perception so that we hardly notice it. Digital sensors and film, though, may record color casts where our eyes didn’t see them.

The color of early morning and late afternoon sunlight is warm in tone, while open shade at midday can be quite bluish. Tungsten light bulbs cast very yellow light. And any surface that light bounces off can add its color.

With digital cameras, you can use the white-balance control to neutralize color casts or to emphasize them—for example, to add a warmer tone to a landscape or portrait. With slide film, you had to choose the right film for the light you’d be shooting in, or compensate with filters.

Tip: Landscapes shot on clear days can be very blue, especially in the shadows. Set your camera’s color balance to Cloudy, which acts as a warming filter for a more golden glow.

The three main types of studio lights are Florescent, LED and Tungsten.
Florescent: These lights are energy efficient but give off a relatively low output of light, usually around 60-100 watts. The bulbs are readily available, cheap and easy to replace.

LED: LED lights are very energy efficient and produce very little heat. They are composed of lots of small “light emitting diodes” (LEDs) and generally last a long time.

Tungsten: Tungsten (or “tungsten halogen”) lights offer the highest output levels but also generate a lot of heat. The bulbs are fairly inexpensive to replace but can change color temperature if brightness levels are adjusted.

For Florescent Lights, We Recommend: 95-FO17/950/24-OS
- T8
- Color temp: 5000k
- CRI > 90
- 17W
- Medium Bipin Base

Click here for the Sylvania Florescent Lamp

For LED Lights, We Recommend: LED7WBR20
- 7W
- 120V
- Color temp: 4000K
- 550 Lumens
- Dimmable

Click here for the EiKO LED Lamp

For Tungsten Lights, We Recommend: EPN-US
- 35W
- 12V
- GZ6.35 base
- MR16 shape

Click here for the Ushio Tungsten Halogen Lamp

Make finding Photography Lighting easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at

Thursday, March 16, 2017

We Can Now Ship 48" or Larger Tubes

Behind the scenes here at Bulb Direct, our team has been beavering away on trying to provide the best for our customers. We've been listening to you and now have the capacity to ship select 48" or larger tubes. Whether switching from older options or replacing current LED lights, we've got your back!

While the T8 model of lights were originally introduced as fluorescent lighting, we are seeing the benefits of using newer LED T8 lamps instead of the more traditional option. There are many ways businesses can reap the benefits of choosing LED lamps outside of the "saving money and time" and that is through Green Productivity. For businesses concerned with their carbon footprint, LEDs have a major advantage thanks to their incredible energy-efficiency capabilities. Unlike incandescent bulbs that contain mercury, LEDs can also be recycled.

Consumer demand for quality LED replacement products has encouraged the lighting industry and companies like ours to change. Much of this development was due to building and facility managers looking for ways to replace problematic fluorescent tubes with energy-saving, long life solutions. LED fluorescent replacement tubes allow for replacing linear fluorescent tubes, commonly referred to as T8/T10/T12.

These larger tubes are ideal for replacing overhead lighting, upgrading existing retail fixtures, signage, and for custom lighting accents.

We Recommend: HN - Helen Lamp T5HO
Socket Type: T5 - Fixture with Bi-Pin G5 T5 sockets
Power Supply: D - Supports electronic T5 fluorescent ballast
Dimension: 48" Tube
Lamp Wattage: 25W - Replaces 54W, 4ft T5HO Fluorescent Lamp

Features & Benefits
- Directly replaces 54W 4ft T5HO fluorescent lamps
- Supports plug-and-play ballast-driven installation                                 
- Delivers over 3,000 lumens of usable light

- Excellent light quality - CRI>80
- 50,000 hours life
- 5-Year Warranty

We Recommend: Linear T8 Direct
Base: G13

Dimension: 48" Tube
Lamp Wattage: 17W 

Equivalent Wattage: 32WInput Line Voltage: Ballast Dependent     

Features & Benefits
- Dimmable                     
- Energy Saving 46%

- Excellent light quality - CRI>82
- 50,000 hours life                       
- 5-Year Warranty

We Recommend: LED T8 Ballast Bypass
Dimension: 48" Tube
Lumens: 1,800
Lamp Wattage: 15W
Equivalent Wattage: 32W
CCT: 4,000K

Features & Benefits
- O
perates on direct voltage 120-277v, by disconnecting and bypassing the ballast using non-shunted sockets only
- Ultra-high performance LEDs deliver 120 lpw
- Up to 50% instant energy savings
- Excellent light quality - CRI>80
- 50,000 hours life
- 5-Year Warranty 

Make finding tubes easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Manufacturer Spotlight: Satco

Bulb Direct is proud to announce that they've added Satco, a high quality brand name lighting source to their growing list of suppliers.

Aware of the competitive marketplace that exists, Bulb Direct recognized the need for more quality lighting brands and believes Satco lives up to its description in every way; Satco - Lighting Innovation and Technology.

Since its commencement in 1966, Satco has established itself as a premier source for lighting and electrical related products. The Satco brand of light bulbs, electrical accessories, lighting hardware, and glassware are primarily sold through its 8,000 retail lighting showrooms and electrical distributors. And just like the other high quality brands we sell, Eiko, GE, Ushio, and Philips, Satco’s inventories and distribution networks are legendary in the industry.

The company over the years have continuously been innovative through its designs, features and quality and has attained the following awards:

- 2008 Hygrade Brand
- 2008 Housekeeping Research Institute
- 2009 “Energy Star Partner of the Year” in the lighting manufacturing category
- 2015 LED Filament Style Lamps in Lighting for Tomorrow

If you're looking for high quality Satco brand light bulbs, look no further. At Bulb Direct we select the best suppliers for our customers.

For information about the company’s product line visit our website or call us at 800-772-5267 or email us at We will help you find the right bulb to meet your needs.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Spread the Word to End the Word!

Bulb Direct is a proud supporter of the Golisano Foundation & the Special Olympics and that we are taking the pledge to end the R-word.

"Spread the Word to End the Word" is a national campaign to encourage people to pledge to stop using the word retard.

End the "R" word advocates believe the use of the word “retard(ed)” in colloquial and everyday speech is hurtful and dehumanizing to individuals with intellectual disabilities. They advocate for the use of language that respects the dignity of people with mental disabilities. Advocates believe individuals with cognitive disabilities and other developmental disabilities are capable of enjoying life’s experiences and that causal references to the words retard or retarded makes a person with intellectual disabilities feel "less than human."

The Spread the Word to End the Word movement was created by youth with and without intellectual disabilities. And according to the Special Olympics:

“The motivation for the campaign was driven by a united passion to promote the positive contributions people with intellectual disabilities make to communities around the world combined with a simple call to action that also symbolizes positive attitude change and a commitment to make the world a more accepting place for all people.”

Why Pledge
The R-word is the word 'retard(ed)'. Why does it hurt? The R-word hurts because it is exclusive, offensive and derogatory.

This campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. We here at Bulb Direct pledge to never use the R-word that degrades people all across the world.

To learn more about this national campaign and how you can help, visit
To take the pledge,

Pledge today!