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Becoming energy efficient

Posted March 27, 2013 in Advice Column

In today’s wonderful world of options when it comes to selection of light bulbs and light fixtures, many may have noticed that it is becoming complicated when replacing lamps or purchasing new fixtures. Depending on the building, home or facility, it is actually becoming easier to determine which avenue to take — efficiency.

Many factors go into selecting lamps or light fixtures. Most likely it is initial cost. Many seem to forget about operation cost and maintenance cost. As the government phases out the typical incandescent light bulb and T-12 lamp, the customer’s selection is geared towards L.E.D, fluorescent or halogen. This is the second year of the “phasing out” of incandescent and T-12 lamps. Speaking with customers, I get feedback that these lamps are still available, and they are. The plan was started in 2012 and will go through 2014.The first incandescent lamp getting the ax will be the Typical A-19 100 watt bulb.

There are many advantages to upgrading, including a reduction in energy cost, longevity of the fixture or lamp which reduces maintenance, and in some cases more light, which may help in production facilities to influence positive attitude towards work.

The residential market is full of compact fluorescents and l.e.d.s to take the place of the incandescent lamps. On the other hand the commercial/business sector has some decisions to make over the next year and a half. Nearly 30 percent of linear fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. are T-12.  Not only will the lamp production stop, ballast production will as well. Many options are available for the customer including upgrading the fixture to efficient T-8 or T-5 fixtures, replacing the ballast and lamp in an existing fixture with a retrofit kit which utilizes the existing fixture housing and replacing the components or implementing more daylight systems. All three methods are ways of becoming efficient with lighting.

With all these numbers floating around — A-19, T-12, T-8, T-5 — it is easy for the customer to be confused. To determine which lamp you may have here is a simple guide for the basics. “A” stands for arbitrary and “T” stands for tube type. The number following the letter designates the width of the lamp at the widest point,  measured in eighth of a inch increments. For Example a T-12 lamp is tubular and is 12 1/8.” This makes the fixture 1-1/2” at the widest point. A T-8 measures 8 1/8” which is 1” in width. Get your tape measures out and measure the typical A-19 lamp in your home or do the math and let me know what it is for a free T-shirt or four pack of compact fluorescent lamps. Email Happy efficiency.

Information provided by Jonathan Hart, Cornerhart Electric, CEnergy Solar Solutions, 20502 490th St., Centerville, (641)895-2283.

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