Posts in the lamps category

The MR16 BAB: A Lighting Industry Favorite

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) codes stipulate and coordinate standards for products across manufacturers in both the United States and abroad. ANSI codes are particularly prevalent in the lighting industry. Lamps that have a certain ANSI code will usually have identical specifications and construction. Some of the most popular types of bulbs are ANSI coded bulbs. The MR16 light bulb family has numerous ANSI coded bulbs including the ESX, BAB, EXT , and many others. These ANSI coded MR16s will have a specified wattage and beam angle depending on the ANSI code. The MR16 BAB is a particularly popular MR16. It has a 20w energy and a 36˚ beam angle. MR16s light beam is distinguished by a highly directional, sharp beamed spot, making it ideal for display. MR16 BABs come with different bases, including GU5.3 bi-pin, GU10, and GY8.

The MR16 BAB is produced by many light bulb manufacturers including Osram, GE, Philips, Platinum, Silver, Sunlite, and Ushio. The MR16 BAB is typically glass covered to help keep the light beam cool in addition to protecting people from burning themselves on the bulb which can get extremely hot due to the single-ended halogen filament capsule providing the light to the reflector. Though the MR16 BAB is standardized the type of reflector, meaning how many facets and what shape they are, varies. Ushio’s ‘Reflekto’ reflector, for example, features a number of hexagonal facets while other bulbs use rectangular facets.

The ANSI codes are an assurance for the lighting industry and its customers that products are constant. The MR16 BAB is an example of this system at work. Still interested in the MR16 BAB and other MR16 products? Check us out!
By Victor Lopez | | bulb, cfl, fluorescent, halogen, lamps, led, lights, mr16 | 0 comments | Read more

Sterilization Bulbs Eliminate Bacteria With the Flip of a Switch

Germicidal lamps are an essential lighting tool for environments that are required to be bacteria free. Germicidal, or sterilization, lamps are used in many environments including hospitals, aquariums, water treatment facilities, laboratories, and in food-service areas. Sterilization lamps produce non-visible short-wave ultra-violet (UV) light which breaks up bacteria and disinfects the air, water, or food being treated. Sterilization lamps typically come in either fluorescent or HID bulb types and are typically found in T5, T8, T10, or single-tube bi-pin shapes.

GE and Ushio offer numerous options for sterilization lamps. These two manufacturers offer an exceptional line of low pressure mercury HID germicidal lamps. These lamps are ideal for eradicating bacteria, yeast, and mold. GE and Ushio’s low pressure mercury lamps produce light in the 200 to 300 nanometers (nM) range, typically hovering around 253.7nM. GE and Ushio HID germicidal lamps come in many bases including E17 medium base, Fa8 single pin, G13 medium two-pin, and others to ensure flexibility in your fixture choice. These HID lamps come with energy draws of under 10w to 65w. Sterilization lamps are also commonly found as fluorescent tube lamps. Germicidal fluorescent bulbsare available in versions featuring a clear quartz tube without a phosphor coating or in UV black light versions.

Fluorescent germicidal lamps eliminate bacteria and other agents, like HID lamps, by generating UV-C light that destroys bacteria’s’ ability to form.
You have options when it comes to selecting the sterilization lamp right for you. Luckily, BulbAmerica stocks every type you could need. Check it out now!

By Victor Lopez | | bulb, fluorescent, germicidal, lamps, lights | 0 comments | Read more

Ushio's EmArc Lamps: A Revolution in HID Technology

There are numerous types of high intensity discharge (HID) light sources available, all of which have different strengths and weaknesses. Light bulb manufacturers have long been pursuing a bulb in which these different types of HID sources can be combined to produce a light bulb that has an excellent life hour rating and great color rendering. Ushio has accomplished this feat with their EmArc series of HID lamps. EmArc lamps are used in a diverse range of areas including, dentistry, projection, curing, microscopy, and medical fiber optics for endoscopy and headlamp lighting. All of these applications require high luminosity, long life hours, and excellent white light: EmArc series lamps satisfy all of these criteria. The Ushio SMR 201/D1 200w EmArc lamp, for example, produces 5,500lm at 200w, and thus has an impressive luminous efficacy of 28lm/w. The SMR 200w has a color temperature of 6,500K, placing it in the color temperature range of a xenon HID lamp. With a 2,000hr life hour rating, the SMR 201 200w has the long life span of a metal halide lamp, but has superior light quality.
The EmArc lamp design also gives its performance unprecedented advantages over other HID lamp technologies. EmArc lamps feature extremely small light arc lengths. The SMR 201 200w has an arc length of only 1.6mm, allowing for exceptional light collection and an efficient and powerful light beam. The parabolic reflector design for the EmArc series allows the bulbs to be increasingly durable and more versatile in its range of applications. 

Ushio’s EmArc lamps, and the SMR 201/D1 200w, are a benchmark in HID lighting technology. They are providing industries as diverse as projection and microscopy with bright white and long lasting light. Check out this great new lamp today!
By Victor Lopez | | bulb, hid, lamps, lights, mr16 | 0 comments | Read more

What is Induction Lighting?

Induction Lighting is a proven lighting technology that has been around for over 100 years. Thanks to technological advances in electronic ballast and generators, induction lighting is now more affordable than ever, making it a great alternative for commercial and municipal uses. Induction lighting has been used extensively for street lighting applications in Asia, Australia and Europe, but is just now emerging as a leading energy-efficient option in North American cities that are looking to "GO GREEN".

An Induction Lamp is surprisingly similar to a fluorescent lamp. It contains mercury in a gas fill inside the bulb, which becomes excited when electricity is applied. The gas then emits UV radiation that in turn is converted into visible white light by the phosphor coating on the bulb. Fluorescent lamps, however, use electrodes inside the bulb to strike the arc and initiate the flow of current - each time the arc is struck, the electrodes degrade a little, eventually causing the lamp to flicker and then fail. Induction Lamps differ from fluorescent lamps in that they do not use internal electrodes, but use a high-frequency generator with a power coupler. The generator produces a radio frequency magnetic field to excite the gas fill.

With no electrodes, induction lamps lasts longer than other types of light bulbs on the market - in fact, induction lamps can last up to 100,000 hours. At 60,000 hours, most induction lamps will still produce roughly 70 percent of its original light output. In other words, their rated life is five to seven times longer than metal halide (7,500 to 20,000 hours at 10 hours/start) lamps and about seven times longer than T12HO fluorescent (at 10 hours/start) lamps.

What is the quality of the light output?

Many people who see induction lights comment on how bright they appear and on the quality of the light. However, when comparing an induction light to a conventional lamp using a light meter, the induction lamp is generally measured as producing less light than the conventional lamp. When looking at this data on paper, rather than seeing the light in action, many people question the installation of induction fixtures even after being told that they use 50 percent less energy. Even though the lights appear to be as bright or even brighter than traditional lighting, induction lamps have met some resistance in new markets because of their performance on light meters.

So how can an induction light appear to work so well, yet perform so poorly when a light meter is used? The issue is not with the induction lights and their ability to produce acceptable light, but rather with the meters. Today's standards for light meters are calibrated using the 1951 CIE Color Space Standards. They have not evolved with advancing technology in the lighting arena. This standard used to set the sensitivity curve for light meters does not take into account the contribution of Scotopic vision (night vision) to the sensitivity of the eye. Scientific studies have shown that the eye is more sensitive to blue wavelengths than the measurement curve of the light meter. Blue light, acting on human night vision (scotopic vision) is largely responsible for "visual acuity" or sharpness of vision. Simply put, light meters and the 1951 standards by which they measure light are wrong. Consumers are therefore paying for products with yesterday's lighting quality while not taking advantage of today's products, such as induction lighting, that offer reduced costs and a better quality of light.

The human retina contains about 125 million rod cells and about 6 million cone cells. Rods and cones respond to different frequencies (colors or wavelengths) of light in different ways. Cone cells are adapted to detect colors and function well in bright light, while rods cell are more sensitive, but do not detect color well as they are adapted to low light.

Photopic vision is the scientific term for human color vision under normal conditions during the day (i.e. human perception of red, green, and blue that the brain integrates to form full color images of the world around us.) Scotopic vision is the scientific term for human visual perception in low light (night vision). Mesopic vision is the scientific term for the combination of photopic and scotopic vision, taking into account the total sensitivity of the rod cells in the eye for the blue range, with the color perception of the cone cells.

The ratio of photopic light versus scotopic light in a lamp is called the S/P ratio. This ratio determines the apparent visual brightness of a light source. This is why the 200w lamp will appear as bright or even brighter to the human eye than a sodium vapor or metal halide of twice the wattage.

How does it work?

Light is measured in lumens (lux or foot candles). The S/P ratio of a lamp is important as it provides a number that can be used to multiply the output reading of a lamp using a 1951 standard conventional meter to determine how much light a lamp produces. These are known as visually effective lumens (VEL). Using a conventional light meter or spectrometer, the light is measured to determine the photopic vision sensitivity curve. Using the same light source with a light meter calibrated to the scotopic, the scotopic sensitivity curve is determined. The resulting readings form an S/P ratio that can be expressed as a single number. Generally speaking, the larger the number, the brighter the light.

Scotopic/Photopic Ratios for Various Light Sources

By Victor Lopez | | lamps, lights, lumens, wattage | 0 comments | Read more

LED Headlights Get the Green Light for Electric Cars at the Paris Auto Show

The Paris Auto Show is one the world’s largest venues for major automobile manufacturers to display their latest and most radical car designs. As one might imagine, one of the dominant themes for this year’s auto show was high performance, environmentally friendly automobiles. An integral part of many the energy efficient automobiles on display were their innovative and efficient lighting systems. European manufacturers Renault and SEAT demonstrated the potential of LED headlights with their ZB10 and IBE electric cars. LEDs are the ideal light source for all cars, but especially electric cars because LED headlamps require little electricity to be lit, therefore leaving as much electricity as possible for the prolonged performance of the car. Furthermore, because LEDs are so compact little room needs to be made for them at the front or rear of the car, thus reducing the car’s profile and weight, and thus increasing the distances these cars can travel between charges. As LED optics are further perfected, headlamps are able to render light closer to daylight color temperatures, rather than those icy color temperature that we associate with LED headlights. This means that the light produced will be more effective at illuminating the road and will make the driving experience all the more safe.

LED automobile headlamps have been around for a while and are a familiar sight in higher end makes such as certain models by Audi and Mercedes Benz. The difference is that now LEDs are being integrated into radically efficient electric and hybrid cars by many more manufacturers, thus better balancing the lights with the rest of the cars’ technology and giving consumers more options, and increasingly efficient options for automobiles.

In addition to our wide variety of LED light bulbs and products, we have recently launched our automotive light bulb website so you can find the light bulb for your car at an unbeatable price. We are updating our catalog on our automotive website everyday, so be sure to check it daily for the light bulbs you need for your car. As usual, leave a comment on our blog or Facebook or give us a call at 1-877-622-0897 with any remaining questions you have.

By Victor Lopez | | automotive, bulbs, cars, lamps, led, lights | 0 comments | Read more

McDonalds' Golden Arches Go Green with Low-Voltage Halogen and LED Lighting

Today there are roughly 13,000 McDonalds fast food restaurants in the United States, all of which have signs, lighting, stoves, and other appliances that consume energy. Like many businesses throughout the United States, McDonalds has begun drawing up plans for becoming more environmentally friendly. A large part of these plans has involved developing environmentally friendly lighting solutions to reduce energy consumption and operating costs.McDonalds has already taken steps to reduce energy consumption but maintain excellent lighting by using Philips’ excellent low-voltage dichroic MR16s to ensure that McDonalds’ restaurants have great looking, long lasting lighting.

McDonalds has also been attempting to improve on the efficiency of high performance halogens and has been experimenting with LED lighting systems coupled with natural lighting. In a prototype restaurant in North Carolina, the lighting is nearly totally comprised of LED bulbs and fixtures and is supplemented by skylights and natural light. The restaurant’s LED Lighting and natural lighting is projected to save this McDonalds roughly 78% in energy consumption. Though it may be a long time until all 13,000 McDonalds restaurants are LED lit, it is promising to see that corporations as large as McDonalds are joining in the green revolution.

BulbAmerica has a wide selection of low voltage halogen lighting products and LED products to save you energy and money while giving you great quality lighting. Retrofit your incandescent bulbs with energy efficient halogen, CFLs, and LEDs and join the green revolution today! As usual leave questions or comments on our blog or Facebook or call us at (888)505-2111 with any further questions you have.
By Victor Lopez | | bulbs, incandescent, lamps, led, lights | 0 comments | Read more

The People vs. LEDs: A Technology on Trial

On September 8, the New York Times ran an article on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) lawsuit against the California LED bulb manufacturer, Lights of America. The FTC filed suit against Lights of America over the manufacturer’s alleged overstatement of their LED products’ performance. This article signaled to me that it was time to write my own piece on LEDs and where I think they stand as of now. Consumers are probably used to hearing pretty mixed messages regarding LEDs: some people sing the praises of LED technology while others complain the market is being inundated by poor quality products that are not actually efficient and are sullying the LED’s good name. Before I attack this issue, however, I would like to briefly explain how an LED works and why it is supposed to be so efficient and such a good technology.

What makes LEDs so efficient and so novel is that they convert electrical current directly into light as the current passes through a semi-conducting material. For this reason there are no external materials like mercury or metals needed to produce light. Furthermore, most of the light created by LEDs lies along the visible spectrum unlike incandescent bulbs which create infrared light (heat) and fluorescent lights which create UV rays. LEDs are even more efficient if the bulb or fixtures have adequate heat sinks or ventilation and effectively dissipate the little heat generated. It is for this reason that LEDs are, and can be, so efficient. Among the major and most respected manufacturers in the lighting business, LEDs usually have a life hour rating of between 25,000hrs and 100,000hrs depending on their application and the type of LED. Obviously LED bulbs and fixtures with poor construction and poor quality will have shorter lives. CFL and incandescent life hour ratings usually fall somewhere in the 6,000hrs to 15,000hrs range and 1,000hrs to 2,000hrs range respectively. The luminous efficacy (lm/w) follows suit, LEDs have better luminous efficacy than CFLs and incandescent bulbs and produce more light per watt.

So what are these dissenters talking about? Well, they make an important point. No matter how promising LEDtechnology is, if the LED product is of poor quality, all of the benefits of the technology disappear. In the NY Times article referenced, the FTC found in an independent study of Lights of America’s LED products that their alleged 30,000hr recessed LED bulbs lost 80% of their output after only 1,000hrs—making them as efficient as a low-end incandescent bulb! People rightfully complain that top of the line LED bulbs are too expensive. Indeed, many LED bulbs from the major manufacturers are on the more expensive side and there may be cheaper ones out there from lesser known manufacturers which may not be terrible. But, the bottom line is this: if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Consumers should be aware that top quality products often cost more than lower quality products and this even more exaggerated when we are speaking of newer technologies like LEDs.

At BulbAmerica we do our best to sell the highest quality LED bulbs and stage lighting products at the lowest prices possible. Check out our high quality LED bulbs and other products and start saving on energy today! If you have questions or comments on this article, leave them on our blog or our Facebook. Also, don’t forget to give us a call at 1-877-622-0897 for an answer on further questions you may have.
By Victor Lopez | | bulbs, lamps, led, lights | 0 comments | Read more

LED Technology Provides Lighting Solutions on the Street and in the Home

It is widely known in the lighting world that the LED revolution is taking place and incandescent bulbs in the home, office, and theater are quickly falling by the wayside. LEDs are also beginning to emerge as potential replacements for high intensity discharge lamps (HID) as well in industrial, commercial, and outdoor applications. According to, the city of Naperville, IL, a western suburb of Chicago, has initiated a pilot LED streetlight program. The Naperville program has replaced one of the town’s blocks with LED street lights that feature a 50,000hr life hour rating compared to the 20,000hr life hour rating of traditional high pressure sodium streetlights. The project’s leaders believe LEDs to be ideal for streetlights because they offer a bright and sharp white light that will give drivers and pedestrians alike good visibility. The street lights are 120w and they replaced 310w HPS streetlights. After initial tests, it was shown that the LED street lights used only 57.6% of the energy the HPS streetlights did. Naperville has almost 11,000 streetlights, if this pilot program proves successful; All of the streetlights may be eventually replaced, thus providing the city with potentially huge energy savings.
This is the second article I have written on LEDs replacing HIDs and other light sources in outdoor and commercial applications. There is a fair amount of nay saying and skepticism, albeit much of it healthy skepticism, surround LEDs. Hopefully the pushes for large scale LED retrofits will encourage individual and homeowners as well to invest in LED bulbs and display products. BulbAmerica offers numerous LED retrofits from LED A-shape bulbs, to PAR38s, and many others. Admittedly the price point of many LED retrofit bulbs are high, but one should factor in the long term energy savings that come with LED lighting’s efficient performance. Furthermore, LED technology remains still in its infancy, so expect to prices to come further and further down in the future.

BulbAmerica has an amazing range of LED products to choose from at the best prices around. If you have any questions do not hesitate to leave a it or a comment on our blog or Facebook. Also, don’t be afraid to call (888)505-2111.
By Victor Lopez | | hid, lamps, led, lights | 0 comments | Read more

LEDs Proves a Viable Lighting Option for Industrial Applications

LED lighting technology is revolutionizing nearly all facets of lighting. There are some who believe LED technology to be overblown and not useful in some applications. One of these applications is in the industrial lighting arena where HIDs and halogens have long reigned. Some people do not believe LEDs can produce substantial diffuse light to adequately illuminate huge spaces like warehouses and that coverage in those areas would likely be spotty. Kompak, a Dutch industrial firm, has recently proved these naysayers wrong by outfitting their entire industrial plant, warehouse, and offices with LED fixtures exclusively. Kompak's warehouse alone spanned approximately 11,500ft and featured nearly 46ft tall ceilings. Their entire warehosue was thoroughly lit by 
LEDs in large fixtures and cleverly along the pre-existing sprinkler pipes in the ceiling.
Kompak’s energy savings were truly remarkable. Their LED lighting, coupled with motion detectors, allowed the company to save 20,000KWh in electricity. Admittedly Kompak’s LED lighting system was very advanced and featured many custom LED installations not available to the casual consumer. Kompak’s adoption of LEDs however should signal to everyone, however, that lighting virtually any space is possible with LEDs, and that LEDs save astounding amounts of electricity in the short run, and even more astounding amounts of energy and money in the long run. Today LEDs are available in nearly every style that an incandescent bulb is. From candelabra, to globe, to A-shape, and many others, LEDs are becoming an increasingly viable option for light bulbs retrofits for not only incandescent bulbs and halogens, and potentially even CFLs. It is true that LEDs must be made less expensive and technologically refined before they can be widely embraced, however one can clearly see the beginnings of the LED revolution.

Stay on the cutting edge with BulbAmerica’s wide selection of LED bulbs. LEDs are an inexhaustibly bright idea, so check out the LEDs we have to offer for nearly every light application conceivable, you won’t be disappointed!
By Victor Lopez | | bulbs, lamps, led, lights | 0 comments | Read more

New Labeling for Light Bulb Packaging in 2011

By mid-year 2011, the Federal Trade Commission will institute new packaging for light bulbs. The new packaging is modeled after the nutritional information tables found today on the back of food packaging. Light bulb packaging information will be divided among two panels. The front panel will feature information regarding energy cost and brightness while the back panel features the same information plus more technical information on color and toxic elements. The new light bulb packaging will clearly indicate light bulb brightness, energy cost, life hours, color temperature, wattage, and whether the bulb contains mercury or not. The Federal Trade commission is putting the new packaging in place to make light bulb purchasing a less confusing process, and to make the industry overall more consumer friendly. Traditional light bulb packaging has emphasized wattage. Wattage does not, however tell you anything about the color of the bulb, whether it contains toxic elements, or how many life hours the bulb has.
More importantly, the FTC’s revision of light bulb packaging will highlight the information most relevant to energy expenditure and factors concerning environmentally friendly light sources. The new packaging has producers of energy efficient light bulbs particularly excited because the new packaging will openly display the benefits of energy efficient bulbs. The long life and small energy draw of LEDs, for example, will be made clear to all consumers. The lighting costs feature will allow consumers to calculate how much money they will spend illuminating their homes. In general, the push to include more information on light bulb packaging is advantageous because it encourages consumers to further educate themselves about how light bulbs work, how they can work better, and what their options are.

Keep your eyes peeled for the new labels in the coming year and we’ll keep you posted!
By Victor Lopez | | bulbs, fluorescent, halogen, incandescent, lamps, led, lights, outdoor | 0 comments | Read more
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