With the increased interest in LED lighting, as people look to replace home and office lighting with LED bulbs, there's also increased interest in a good buy. Plenty of people want to know where they can find a good, cheap LED bulb.
Unfortunately, "good" and "cheap" rarely go together, and LED buyers need to be careful about saving a little money for a low-quality lighting experience that they'll have to deal with for several years. Especially when today's quality LED bulbs don't cost much more.
That's why we encourage a "value" buy rather than a "cheap" buy. Because value means you're getting a good deal on a quality bulb. Let's review the reasons to show some caution around cheap LED bulbs:
Even with incandescent bulbs, you could buy a brand name bulb and still have some bulbs die early. In fact, rated life is the point at which half of all light bulbs in a batch will have already died; so when incandescent bulbs are rated for 1000 hours, this means half will die within the first 1000 hours, and some could die quite early; the other half will die at some point after 1000 hours.
The same is the case with LED bulbs. Even within name brands, some will not perform as well as they're expected to. But overall, companies you know have extremely valuable brands that they need to protect, and hitting the market with bulbs that fail often is a bad idea for business. Meanwhile, unknown companies have no brand to protect -- for them, selling may be much more about today's dollar.
This is why we encourage "value" buys rather than "cheap" buys, and why we primarily carry name brand LEDs. With LED pricing today, buying "cheap" somewhere else doesn't save you much compared to buying "value" from Lighting Supply. And we think you'll often enjoy a much better lighting experience when you make this kind of buy!
Light already guides us through stores simply by letting us see. But pretty soon it may be guiding us in other ways as well. That is, through our smartphones.
Visible Light Communication, developed by Philips Lighting, allows specially equipped lights to locate and speak with smartphones. Philips is now letting LED manufacturers incorporate this technology, which should help to spread the technology more quickly.
What that means for you is that, if you download the app for a retailer using the technology, it can guide you through the store to items on your list (within 1 foot of the item!) and draw your attention to items on promotion.
As this article shows, Carrefour (the world's 3rd largest grocery chain) has already launched this in France. You can see it in action in the video below.
But as Philips opens this to other lighting manufacturers, there's no telling what else we may be able to do. As another example of its use (thanks to LuxReview for covering many angles of this technology), Fujitsu has built lights that can project data onto an object. So when you point your smartphone at the object, you can get information about it and no doubt get videos on it (great for museums), perhaps read reviews (great for reteail), and potentially buy it with the tap of a button.
Light has always controlled much of our lives, and we were largely limited by what the sun provided. Our lives were transformed with the first practical light bulbs (of which we carry replicas). And now we're entering the next great era of what light means in our lives as a transmitter of data.
Advance ballasts are some of the most popular lighting ballasts available today. These include their Optanium ballasts, some of which have gotten a recent upgrade to a small form, or smaller "can" size. Other than size, the ballast specifications remain the same. Yet because of the upgrade, we are offering closeout prices on the remainder of our stock on the IOPA-3P32-SC ballast.
This is an instant start electronic ballast for up to (3) F17, F25, F32, or F40 T8 fluorescent lamps run at 120V-277V.
At the time of this writing, we are closing it out at $9.95 per ballast, but click the link above to see the latest pricing.
The upgraded, smaller ballast is the IOPA-3P32-N ballast, which we will carry as the old model sells out. So if you're not working in a confined space and the larger ballast suits your needs, grab it now while this closeout pricing is available!
Legislation has long worked on pushing lighting standards forward, and among the lamps phased out were 700 series F32T8 fluorescent tubes. The lamps in this series provided light whose CRI (Color Rendering Index) was in the 70s on a scale of 0-100. Replacement lamps have CRIs of 80 or more.
Now that stock of 700 series lamps is disappearing, consumers sticking with fluorescent tubes (rather than upgrading to T8 LED lamps) need to choose the higher quality lights when it's time to replace old lamps. And while they can simply move up to 800 series option, they have another option in Sylvania's new Vivid series lamps.
These lamps (designated with part numbers that begin with FO32/V) are useful if color quality is critical. Compared to Sylvania's 800 series, these lamps are about 16% less bright (both using 32 watts), and they only have about 75% of the rated life. (18,000 hours instead of 24,000 hours.) So they're not the best value in terms of longevity and efficacy (or lumens per watt).
But the Vivid series lamps also boast an impressive 90 CRI and, at the time of this writing, we provide them at a lower cost. In fact, they're priced almost as well as the 700 lamps in their final days.
Both options (the 800 series lamps and the Vivid series lamps) make good upgrades, and the better choice depends on the needs of your business. Either way, we have them ready to ship same day when you order your in-stock lamps by 5 pm EST, Monday through Friday.
Because we focus on commercial lighting, we're often talking about things like ballasts, fluorescent tubes, or warehouse lighting. Very practical lighting solutions. But it's nice to remember just how beautiful lights can be, and beauty is what you get from one of the most popular decorative lights for cafes, bars, and restaurants: Edison bulbs.
We've talked about them in more detail before, and even posted the picture of a local restaurant's use of these bulbs. We've reposted that image here. (We couldn't help but wonder about their electric bill, since Edison bulbs are far from efficient.) In short, they give an incredible sense of warmth and a bit of nostalgia when compared to the increasingly digital world of LED bulbs.
Today we thought we should point out the pricing of our Edison bulbs, since we have some of the best prices you can find online. Often listed at $5 to $10 elsewhere, our Edison bulbs start at just $3.25, and almost all are under $5.
If you visit our Edison bulb page, you'll find one anomaly: a bulb priced at $19.99. Why so expensive? Modern bulbs are made with tungsten filaments, which are more robust, even though early lamps were made with carbon filaments. That's why most of today's Edison bulbs are just replicas of these vintage bulbs. But our more expensive lamp has a true carbon filament. This doesn't necessarily make it a better bulb -- just more true to the original ones that were developed.
In spite of all the news surrounding LED lights, CFL bulbs are still widely used. With a low cost and still a good deal of efficiency, they work well in many settings. And among the most popular are 60W incandescent replacements (usually 13 watt CFLs), either with a screw-in or a push-in base.
Lighting Supply carries nearly 100 CFLs in the 12 to 14 watt range with both types of bases.
We thought it worth calling out because our selection includes a 4100K 13 watt CFL with a medium (Edison) base that we sell for just 49 cents at the time of this writing. But only while supplies last.
This is even less than the "per bulb" price of our 8-pack of CFLs -also 13 watt CFLs, but those run at 2700K (a more traditional replacement for incandescent bulbs).
Whether you're looking for a CFL at 13 watts or much more, like 100 watts and more, Lighting Supply has an expansive selection (hundreds of CFLs) to meet your needs. Stop by, search online, and let us know if you need a hand with anything. We're always glad to help!