If you have recessed lighting cans in your home, you may still be using light bulbs inside them. This is the only option we had prior to LED lighting, and many LED upgrades have simply used LED replacement bulbs like LED BR30 or LED BR40 bulbs.
But we've talked before about another option, and that is an LED downlight (sometimes called a downlight kit) like the one pictured here. These are nearly as easy as a standard light bulb to install, and they create a more flush appearance on your ceiling by eliminating the spaces around a bulb.
Because these effectively combine a bulb and its trim, these are more expensive than standard LED bulbs, but the appearance can be worth it to some buyers. However, there's more to consider here than just the flush appearance. With the right LED downlight, you can control everything from color temperature to colors (we'll explain the difference) to dimming, programming, and more. Let's take a look:
NORA LED Prism Series
The LED downlight shown above is part of the NORA Prism series, and it gives you incredible control over your lighting via remote control or smartphone app (and can still be turned on and off, of course, by your trusty light switch.)
Before we get into the details, let us point out something important: there is NO hub needed and these lights do NOT connect to your home network. Why is this important?
First, many smart lights require a central hub that they all connect through. This is one extra cost to consider. But more important, most connect through your home's WiFi signal, which means they're connected to your home network. This is one of the big security concerns regarding IoT (Internet of Things, or "Smart") products. If these items are not properly secured, they create a gateway into the rest of your network for hackers. This means your lights or other IoT objects could allow for a digital security breach in your home.
The NORA Prism series doesn't connect to your home network. Instead, the lights communicate with your smart phone and with each other through a Bluetooth mesh. This means you can't connect to the lights and control them from another city (like you can with most IoT objects), but neither can anyone else.
Beyond this security benefit, the lights come with loads of features:
While all these benefits come at a premium, the extra cost can transform the way you using lighting in your home, and of course these lights are available here at Lighting Supply.
Light bulbs come with a lot of letters and numbers to describe them. The term A19 refers to one of the most common light bulb sizes and shapes. Here's our video that breaks down what an A19 light bulb is and where it's used.
It's January 1st and you know what that means:
You may recall that common 40 to 100 watt incandescent light bulbs were phased out of use from 2012 to 2014 as new energy efficiency standards went into place.
To be clear, this isn’t because the light bulbs were explicitly banned, but they couldn’t produce enough lumens (light output) per watt of energy used to meet the new standards, so they could no longer be produced in the US or imported. Anyone with stock of these bulbs could continue to sell them and people could continue to use them, but this would lead to a general phasing out of those light bulbs.
On January 1, 2020, the next level of lighting efficiency standards will hit, effectively eliminating both incandescent and halogen bulbs (a form of incandescent) in the same way. But this will impact more than just the standard light bulb shape. It will impact almost every type of general use light bulb, including reflector bulbs, MR16 bulbs, decorative / chandelier bulbs, and globe shaped bulbs.
It will also impact several specialty lamps that were previously excluded from the law. These include rough service bulbs, vibration-service bulbs, shatter resistant bulbs, and three-way bulbs. Click here if you want all the details in lengthy legalese.
But efficiency has arrived early in California – these federal mandates could optionally be implemented up to two years early for those states that wanted them. So as of today, January 1, 2018, California has these standards in place.
As before, you won’t be locked out from buying lower efficiency bulbs while they’re still on store shelves or online in stores like Lighting Supply. But eventually they will become harder and harder to find, leaving you to choose alternatives. And with manufacturers like GE no longer making CFL bulbs, this really leaves the option of LED bulbs for the time being.
But technology marches on, and perhaps there will be new options like OLED lighting available (and affordable) within a few years.
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