The past few evenings, as I’ve been out running errands after dark, I’ve been taking in the ever-increasing number of holiday light displays, and realizing how many people have ditched regular incandescent-bulb Christmas lights in favor of LEDs. When you think about it, aside from things like mini flashlights and those stick-on puck lights for closets and cabinets, Christmas lights have probably been the most significant class of LED technology to sweep through our energy-efficient culture. As a matter of fact, with many manufacturers retiring from the incandescent Christmas light biz in order to embrace holiday LEDs, it’s getting tough to find anything else on the market, at least where exterior decorating is concerned.
But as it turns out, LEDs are no longer relegated to the specialty realm. Most of us have gotten accustomed to CFLs (or compact fluorescent lamps) being the dominant force in the energy-efficient lightbulb world, but move over, fluorescents: the Infinity™ Ultra LED lightbulb has come to town.
Ultra LED bulbs by Infinity LED™ are shaped like traditional incandescent bulbs, but instead of housing a light-producing filament, they glow by way of 88 tiny, evenly-distributed LEDs. Just screw them into any lamp base or light fixture, and you’ll get light output that’s equivalent to a 60-watt bulb.
Now, if you’re wondering why I’m telling you about a bulb that looks and performs like the same old kind you have at home, just take a look at the stats. LEDs have a lifespan of up to 35,000 hours (if you do the math, that’s just shy of 4 years), and they consume up to 93% less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs! Is it me, or did your eyebrows just raise in interest? I know that mine did.
Because different people like different types of light, these LED bulbs come in two temperatures (which are essentially light tones) to fit your taste. There’s Cool White, which is very bright and good for environments in which you want to stay awake and alert (think offices and other work areas), and Warm White (my personal favorite), which is perfect for home use, in living rooms, bedrooms, and other spaces where warm glows and coziness should rule.
So, what’s your stance on light bulbs? Have you gone green with compact fluorescents and LEDs, or are you hanging on to your precious incandescent bulbs for dear life? Up until a couple of years ago, I was an incandescent hold-out. Sure, I was all for being a friend of the environment by recycling and doing my best to conserve power and water, but when it came to household illumination, I couldn’t quite bear to make the jump to compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs.
Sure, they last several times as long as incandescent bulbs, and put out just as much light with a fraction of the power use, but no way. Something about not being able to shake the mindset that all fluorescent light was flickery and had a cool, vaguely creepy cast to it. After all, when you’re relaxing at home, you want to bask in a soft, warm glow, right? Not feel like you’re in a stark institutional setting.
Then I moved into an apartment where the previous tenants had left behind a box of brand-new CFLs. I let them sit in the back of a cabinet until one fateful day when the light bulb in one of our floor lamps blew out on us, and we had no incandescents on hand to change it with. Not feeling like running to the store but wanting the light back, I dug out the box of CFLs and screwed one in with bated breath. And…
No gross eye-irritating light. No flickering, no cool tones to ruin the cozy vibe. Just nice, bright, warm illumination – the kind I’d thought wasn’t available outside the realm of incandescent bulbs. And that thing lasted forever! I learned my lesson, and have never looked back. As a matter of fact, I’ve since pinch-hit for burnt out CFLs with left-behind incandescent lightbulbs, and now I can’t believe how short their lifespans are. Go figure.
I’ve been enjoying seeing how far CFLs have progressed since the days of strictly spiral-shaped bulbs. Now there are mini-spirals for smaller fixtures, CFLs with more of a classic “bulb” shape, and even little candelabra-style ones for chandeliers and other hanging light fixtures. The variety is incredible, and the quality is better than ever. So if you’re still riding the incandescent train, I highly suggest, from personal experience, that you give compact fluorescent bulbs a chance, even if you start out with just one lamp, like I did. You’ll love the savings.
Filed under: Lighting, Security and Surveillance, Traffic Control and Safety, Workplace Safety
Under normal circumstances, the dark doesn’t bother me, but put a big chunk of darkness between all-by-my-lonesome me and my car in a semi-sketchy neighborhood, and then you’ve got something else altogether. A few years back, I spent 4th of July on the beach with friends in a city that has an incredibly swank little downtown district, which happens to back right up to the Atlantic. Unfortunately, said swank entertainment district had been carved out of some surrounding unsavory neighborhoods, which still had a reputation to be home to some… ummm… “interesting characters” during the after-hours time slot.
When I had arrived, parking was almost non-existent, and as a last resort, many visitors were leaving their cars on the street in the very outer reaches of safety. Everything looked okay in the bright sun, but that night, when the fireworks had ended and the crowds thinned, it was a long, dark and somewhat nerve-wracking walk back, alone, through some extremely dark, shadowy, and slightly-too-quiet side streets.
I’d have given anything to have a few more of these babies around.
Morris Small Wall Pack Lighting Units are designed to provide an extra measure of weatherproof, tamper-resistant safety lighting in both outdoor and semi-outdoor settings like parking garages, walkways, entry ways, loading docks, building perimeters, and anywhere else that danger can potentially strike in the dark. They not only help make the bad guys a little more visible, but also make it easier for pedestrians to see, and avoid, hazards or obstacles that may be in their paths.
Small Wall Pack Lights are available with High Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide lamps, and are UL 924 listed, so they’re safe for use even in damp or wet environments. They include knockouts that allow for optional installation over conduit, and can even be customized with photo sensors, so that they automatically turn on when it gets dark enough for you to need the extra light.