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Archive for the ‘Lighting Codes and Compliance’ Category

LED: Your How-To Guide

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

There’s a lot to know about the ever-evolving LED lighting situation.  

We used to think in terms of lamp wattage, or soft white vs. clear bulb choices.  The conversation has shifted now to lumen output and color temperature.  It can be confusing to say the least, which is why we have put together a few tips on how to best choose the right LED lamp type for your illumination needs.

Lets Talk Lumens-

Lumen- the unit of measure of visible light.  The lighting game has changed.  A 60 watt incandescent lamp is the compared lighting equivalent of a 42 watt eco-halogen lamp, which is of similar equivalence to a 13 watt compact fluorescent lamp, or an 11 watt LED lamp.  Scratching your head?  You are not alone.  Depending upon which type of light source you choose, the rated wattage- or the amount of energy consumed- will be different.  This is why we now have to look at each lamp type’s lumen rating, or the measure of visible light produced from a specific source.   Tami explains this in further detail in the video below-

It is important to know how many lumens your bulb choice is providing you with in order to properly illuminate your space.  As a general rule of thumb, we recommend the following:

 

GENERAL FLOOR SPACE= 20 LUMENS PER SQUARE FOOT

DINING AREAS= 30 LUMENS PER SQUARE FOOT

HIGH TASK AND WORK AREAS= 50 LUMENS PER SQUARE FOOT

 

What is Degrees Kelvin?-

The Kelvin is the Standard International unit of thermodynamic temperature.  What does this mean?  In regards to LED lighting, color temperature is a characteristic of visible light and is stated in units of absolute temperature, known as Kelvin.  We typically separate this into categories known as “warm white” or “cool white”.  Incandescent light has a lower color temperature- around 2700 degrees Kelvin.  This is considered “warm white”, and will possess reddish-yellow tones.  Warm white has a temperature range of 2000-2800 degrees Kelvin.  Lamps rated between 3000-4000 degrees Kelvin fall within the “neutral white” category, while lamps rated at 4100 degrees kelvin or higher are labeled as “cool white”, and will have blue-violet color tones.  We recommend matching your bulb temperature to the color of other light sources in your home for consistency and evenly matched illumination.  Watch Tami explain more in this short video about color temperature-

 

Integrated LED vs. LED Replacement Lamping: Pros and Cons-

We often get asked about the differences between lighting fixtures with integrated LED lamping systems, and lighting fixtures with standard socket systems where we simply use an LED replacement light bulb in lieu of a standard incandescent light bulb.  What’s the big difference?  Well, some of it simply involves the timing of product development and the ability to have efficiency with your own current lighting fixtures.  Have some table lamps that you absolutely love, but desire a more efficient version?  Simply replace the existing bulb with an LED one!  But, many have posed the question: are there benefits to purchasing fixtures where the LED lamp source is integrated and there are no actual “bulbs”?  There are layers to this answer, but we have provided a simple breakdown to help you weigh out each option and give you a list of Pros and Cons within each category.

 

INTEGRATED LED FIXTURE PROS:

  • Stronger efficiency and longer life ratings than LED replacement bulbs alone.

  • Better dimming and lighting control capabilities.

  • Lower rated fixture wattages- which allows greater advantage if meeting Title 24 standards, or strict new construction building codes.

INTEGRATED LED FIXTURE CONS:

  • Higher up-front product cost.

  • Often difficult, if not impossible, to upgrade product with newer LED technologies as they emerge.

  • More timely and/or costly installation.

REPLACEMENT LED LAMP PROS:

  • Allows you to keep current fixtures while upgrading to more efficient technology.

  • Quick and easy installation.

  • Easy to upgrade with continuing LED technological advancements- just switch out the bulb!

REPLACEMENT LED LAMP CONS:

  • Inconsistent dimming and control compatibility.

  • Shorter life expectancy than integrated LED systems.

  • Less efficient illumination than that of integrated LED systems.

 

Need some more information?  Head into the showroom and speak with one of our trained lighting specialists.  We can show you examples of all of the above categories, and help you decide what LED option will best suit your illumination situation!  

 

 

 

 

 

The New Energy Code- what you need to know…

Thursday, May 12th, 2016
Generic-LED-light-bulb
As of February 2015, a new energy code started being enforced in the Minnesota building industry.  It has now become mandatory that at least 75% of all lighting fixtures installed in a new construction or remodeling project shall be equipped with “high-efficiency” lamping.  Though that large percentage can seem intimidating at first, it is more achievable than you may think.  To help you get started, we have broken this definition down for you.
The new code defines a “high-efficiency” lamp as fitting within three categories:
1. A compact flourescent lamp, or CFL.
2. A T-8 (or smaller) linear flourescent lamp.
3. Any lamp meeting the following requirements-
     -A rating of 60 lumens per watt for lamps over a 40 watt rating.
     -A rating of 50 lumens per watt for lamps over a 15 watt rating- equaling no more than 40 watts.
     -A rating of 40 lumens per watt for lamps rating 15 watts or less.

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As lighting experts, we have added to our normal lamp selection to provide our customers with the appropriate options in order to be in compliance with this new energy code.  To make this transition as easy as possible, we are stocking a variety of CFL and LED lamps with standard medium based sockets, as well as wholly integrated LED recessed lighting fixtures, and LED BR bulbs– which can be used in any standard recessed lighting fixture.ARCST19__69854.1447734673.500.750
What about those early-electric, vintage, or steam-punk designer fixtures that are so popular right now, you ask?  Not to fear, we have an option available for that look, too!  Check out these LED Nostalgic lamps from DVI Lighting.  You can still create that warm low-light glow, and be energy efficient at the same time!
Visit our showroom today to check out our display, or give us a call at 651.647.0111 and let us help you get started and get energy efficient.
For more details and information about the 2015 Energy Code, click here.