In the United States, Sylvania is a big name in lighting, and we carry plenty of their products, including Sylvania light bulbs and Sylvania lighting ballasts. But today, these products are manufactured by LEDVANCE, which announced earlier this month that it won an award. The award was not in lighting.
Coming from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the SmartWay Excellence Award actually recognizes companies that are leading the way in finding more efficient ways to transport their goods and reduce their impact on the environment. LEDVANCE was one of only 62 companies to receive this recognition in 2017. You can read their press release here.
Meanwhile at Lighting Supply, we've recently expanded the number of Sylvania products in our catalog even as they move with the rest of the industry into a focus on LED lighting. By now, it's no secret that LEDs have become affordable and incredibly energy efficient, and they can be used in nearly any lighting application.
Lighting Supply has been in business since 1983 and we've seen plenty of changes in lighting along the way. Lights (and their ballasts) have gotten more efficient; fluorescent bulbs are using less mercury; CFLs began replacing incandescent and halogen bulbs; and now LEDs are replacing them all.
Along the way, we've continued reading about the promise that LEDs would lower a household's energy use, but we kept seeing people use the same statistics -- that lighting makes up 10 to 15% of a home's energy bill. While we've seen the question whether lower wattage lights would encourage more lighting use (for instance in landscape lighting), we just felt energy use should be falling as LED usage ramps up.
Now we've seen the data as Philips announced it was the first company to delivery one billion LED lamps and luminaires to the market. Their goal has been to deliver two billion by 2020, and they are ahead of schedule. We found some statistics from their announcement interesting:
In December 2006 ... lighting accounted for 19% of global electricity consumption. This level was down to 15% in 2015 ... and is on track to further decline to 8% by 2030.
Of course this isn't limited to household electricity consumption, but it definitely shows the shift taking place!
We also can't assume that LEDs are solely responsible for this shift. Maybe parents everywhere have finally gotten their kids to turn off the lights when they leave a room. And maybe other areas of energy demand have been on the rise relative to lighting. But there's no question that moving toward LED lighting has played a big role in this change.
While Lighting Supply still carries older lighting technology and remains your source for replacing older lights when they go out, our LED options are growing by the day. So when you're ready to upgrade to LED lighting to drive down your own energy costs, we're here with a wide selection on hand.
-- Links to mercury vapor bulbs by wattage at the end of this post.
Sure, it's the age of LED lighting. Making the switch to LED makes a lot of sense both financially and in terms of maintenance long term. And it usually means an upgrade to the quality of lighting.
But that doesn't mean everyone's ready to make that switch when it comes to upgrading from HID bulbs like mercury vapor bulbs. That's because the older technology often runs on ballasts that need to be bypassed and direct wired if an LED has a driver built in, or connected to a driver if the LED doesn't have one built in.
Plus an LED bulb like a corn cob LED (the kind that would replace a mercury vapor bulb) is generally quite a lot more expensive up front. Sometimes a business is investing in other areas and needs to keep immediate lighting costs low for a time. Or they don't have someone available to make the new wiring connections. And that's where older technology like mercury vapor lighting still plays a role.
(In some cases, mercury vapor bulbs have ballasts built in, much like LEDs that have drivers built in. In this case, the socket is already direct wired and you can simply swap the self-ballasted mercury vapor for a corn cob LED without having to bypass a ballast.)
No one's going to give an award to mercury vapor bulbs for their quality of light. While they're able to render colors far better than low pressure sodium bulbs, they still tend to produce light with a greenish tint and render colors more poorly than most lighting technologies. The benefit they offer is efficiency -- they do produce many lumens per watt, offering a good value when combined with the low cost of a new bulb. (However, this should be coupled with the fact that you also need to pay for and replace ballasts from time to time if the bulb is not self-ballasted.)
So you'll still see mercury vapor bulbs in settings that want to produce a lot of light at a relatively low cost where color rendering isn't critical -- parking lots and warehouses for example. And if you're looking for replacements for those lights, we carry plenty at the time of this writing. Of course the technology is waning as the world moves toward LED. But while we have them, you can find them by wattage through the links below, making your search an easy one:
50W Mercury Vapor Bulbs
75W Mercury Vapor Bulbs
100W Mercury Vapor Bulbs
175W Mercury Vapor Bulbs
250W Mercury Vapor Bulbs
400W Mercury Vapor Bulbs
1000W Mercury Vapor Bulbs