On Thursday November 8th, I attended a presentation by Philips Lighting Solutions at DeMillos in Portland. We started out with an awesome meal which included an excellent Lobster Stew and Baked Stuffed Haddock. Delicious! There were three presenters from Philips who spoke to the group covering residential and commercial lighting applications. If you’re not already aware, the everyday incandescent light bulb is being phased out of production as I speak. The 100 watt bulb is no longer being produced. The 60 & 75 watt bulbs are still in production but the 75 watt bulb will stop being made sometime early next year and the 60 watt bulb will no longer be available late next year. LED (Light-Emitting Diode) bulbs and compact florescent bulbs are the energy efficient replacement for incandescent light bulbs.
Let’s start with LED lighting. LED bulbs are a more energy efficient bulb than an incandescent bulb and have much less power consumption with increased wattage output. LED’s can be used in both residential and commercial applications. The new LED bulb looks similar to a conventional light bulb but is a little wider through the neck and has a larger base. The environmental impact when disposing LED bulbs is minimal due to the fact that they do not have any mercury in them. LED bulbs come in all shapes and sizes including flood bulbs for recessed lighting. Another plus of LED bulbs in outdoor residential lighting is that bugs can only see ultraviolet energy and cannot see LED lighting!
In commercial applications, the LED bulb is far more versatile than incandescent, mercury vapor, and HPS (high pressure sodium) bulbs. LED bulbs can be factory set to emit the right color of light and the right amount of light for the right place at the right time. For instance, grocery store vegetable produce can be much better illuminated with LED lighting versus incandescent or florescent lighting. Who would be interested in buying carrots that look brownish in color because the wrong color (hue) of lighting was used? I wouldn’t! High output LED lamps are also fully programmable allowing the user to be able to control the settings of parking lot lighting, roadways, hallways, etc. CRI (color rendering index) is the amount of true light emitted from bulbs. Remember light cannot be seen, we can only see what light bounces off. Perfect lighting is 100 on a scale of 1 – 100. For example, High Pressure Sodium rates 26 on the scale. Incandescent light bulbs rated close to 100% but the LED bulb is the same using less energy and producing more light at less wattage.
Compact florescent light bulbs, CFL’s (the twisty ones) are also a replacement for incandescent light bulbs. They are energy efficient, produce more light at less wattage, and last longer than incandescent bulbs. CFL’s are currently the common bulb being used in many residential households to replace the inefficient incandescent light bulb. The only downside of CFL’s is that they have mercury in them to make them work. The mercury is needed to help the phosphorus inside the lamp fire off and put out light. CFL’s are required to be disposed of properly at a recycling facility so that they will not get buried in a landfill and seep mercury into the earth. There is a lot of concern that many consumers are not disposing of these lamps properly and are polluting the environment. In my estimation, LED’s are the new wave light bulbs of the future.
Florescent light tubes are being replaced by T8 lamps that are slim, energy efficient, use less power, and put out more light at less wattage. The conventional T12 4ft and 8ft florescent lamps are no longer being produced. T8 lamps have replaced the T12 inefficient lamps. T8 lamps do have mercury in them like the CFL’s do. The only other chemical that would work like mercury does is Cadmium. Cadmium is not such a dangerous chemical to the environment like mercury is but it’s much more expensive to mine and refine therefore it isn’t financially feasible to use. Phillips lighting has invented a T8 lamp that will operate efficiently with only 1.7mg of mercury in it. Sylvania T8 lamps have 3.5mg of mercury in them, and GE T8 lamps have 6.0mg of mercury in them! Philips T8 lamps are the only lamps that have green ends on them to differentiate them from the competition. You make the decision!
All in all, I enjoyed all three presenters and all the topics they covered. Philips Lighting Solutions is a very innovative company and definitely a cut above the rest.