Made in Vermont is the sister show of the Vermont Home and Garden Show. In addition to some great foody exhibits, I found this manufacturer of LED lights EverLED. What I liked about this product was the ease of transition from fluorescent to LED. Basically, you pop out your old fluorescent tube and pop in the LED replacement.
This light uses about 40% less energy than a T8, which is the most common tube fluorescent in use today. Like all LEDs it contains no mercury and has no annoying flicker or stroboscopic effect that can happen to fluorescents over time. It also extends the life of the ballast because it doesn’t over heat it. The light output is the same as the T8.
Unlike fluorescents, it is not affected by how many times it is turned on or off during its use, nor does it have a warm-up period.
I spoke with Bob Sparadeo, Sales Directory, who told me that they have been in use for ten years so far, so they are rating them now with a ten-year lifespan, but they really don’t know because they haven’t had one burn out yet.
Colour temperature: The lights are available in three colour temperatures: 3500K, 4000K and 5000K.
They are recyclable at end-of-life.
Suggested applications for this LED light are:
Food preparation and service
Hard to reach, high maintenance cost areas
Clean rooms, laboratories and research environments
I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile as the lighting industry is changing over to lumens from Watts to measure light intensity. So, the next time you have to go buy an (LED) light bulb, you will be able to use your newfound knowledge to buy with confidence!
My friends over at Green Builder Media have just published such an article, and they have kindly allowed me to publish it here.
Though an LED bulb may look like an old-fashioned Edison bulb, they are quite different animals.
ONE OF THE MORE EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS in the lighting industry over the past decade has been the emergence of LEDs. The principles of LED lighting have been around for some time, but the real commercial breakthrough of the technology, in terms of both affordable cost and creative applications, has only occurred recently. Though these bulbs may look like an old-fashioned Edison bulb, they are quite different animals, and this new type of illumination works differently than the lighting you are accustomed to.
I’ve written a lot about LED lighting in the past, mostly because I find that LED lighting is not all that straightforward. Unlike super simple incandescent bulbs, LEDs are really high maintenance….I mean really high maintenance.
I told my electrician I was using LED lighting for the overhead lights and undermount fixtures (not the puck type, but the strip). The task then became what type of LEDs was I going to use? I thought it was simple, but the deeper I dug, the more confusing it all became.
Originally, I had wanted to use Halo 4″ LED potlights at 2700K because I’d seen how they worked in the Nexterra house. I commented that I was surprised they’d used halogen in an “eco-friendly” house and they told me they were LEDs. The light intensity and colour were an exact match for 50W halogen which was what I was looking for. But for some reason I can’t just settle for the first thing that comes along, I have to research and dig and ask a million and three questions and get myself completely confused before I make a decision.
So I called three different LED lighting vendors and got three completely different answers. Yeesh. The first fellow I spoke with said “Whatever you do, make sure you buy an LED lighting kit. That’s when the bulb and the housing are attached. They are made to work together and will last the longest.”
Then I spoke with another guy who said, “I would never buy an LED kit – what happens if you want to change your lighting? You have to change out the entire kit, not just the bulb.”
Then I spoke to a third guy but he didn’t sell 2700K lights so he couldn’t help me out, although he did try to tell me that 2700K and 3000K colour temperatures are “pretty close.” Believe me, they’re not. I have 3000K LEDs in my living room and they’re a little too ‘daylighty’ for me.
After some hemming and hawing and head spinning I chose the 4″ Halo 2700K pot lights. They are the “kit” kind, which the first fellow recommended (note that I bought them through my electrician, the fellow I spoke with specializes in exterior LED lighting). One reason I decided on them was because I’d seen them in action and liked them. Another reason was because they were reasonably priced — not the cheapest and not the most expensive. I’m just waiting for them now because they have to be shipped from the US. Let’s hope they are as good as I think they are….
As I browse through my “Home at Home” Home Hardware Catalogue, I noticed that on page 58 there’s an article entitled, “Change is coming January 2012!” It’s about the impending phase-out of the 100 Watt incandescent bulb. As of January 1, 2012 you will no longer be able to buy 100 Watt incandescent bulbs anywhere in North America. And, by December, 2012, 60 Watt bulbs will also be phased out. (Note, this program began January 1, 2011 in British Columbia — ahead of the curve, as usual.)
While I remember reading about the incandescent phase out, I admit that I haven’t taken much notice of it. We haven’t used 100W or 60 W incandescent bulbs in our home for a long time. Each time a 60 W goes we replace it with a 13 Watt CFL (as much as I intensely dislike CFLs, I dislike wasting energy and money more), and I don’t think we’ve ever had 100 Watt bulbs around. In case you’re wondering, 23W CFLs replace 100W incandescents.
OSRAM Sylvania, North America’s largest lighting manufacturer conducted its fourth annual “socket survey” this past year to find out if consumers are aware of the upcoming phase out.
A few of Sylvania’s findings (poll was conducted in the US):
55% of respondents were aware of the upcoming changes to lighting legislation,
87% of respondents still use incandescent bulbs in their home,
53% intend to switch to new technology (CFLs or LEDs) in the future,
56% of respondents are “eager” to switch to new technologies for efficiency reasons however,
13% still plan on hoarding 100Watt bulbs after the phase-out,
90% indicated that brightness, longevity and price were the three most important factors in choosing new bulbs,
73% of respondents also noted that being made in America was important.
Sylvania makes a 72 Watt halogen that is designed to replace the 100 Watt incandescent for a 28% reduction in energy use. However, the company is also launching an award winning 18 W Ultra LED A line bulb in June 2012, also designed to replace the 100 W incandescent. It lasts 25 times longer than the incandescent and uses 82% less energy overall.
Nancy Wahl-Scheurich with the HerronLED and components
Nancy Wahl-Scheurich is the Co-Founder of Little Footprint Lighting, a lighting company that will launch its first product: the HeronLED Personal Task Light in the next few weeks. I caught up with Nancy at Greenbuild a few weeks ago to talk about this well-designed, low energy lamp.
The Design: As I’ve always said, it doesn’t matter how eco-friendly, green, low-impact, whatever you want to call it, a product is, if it’s not well-designed and appealing to the eye, it’s a wasted product. The HeronLED is in the shape of, you guessed it, the Great Blue Heron. It has a sleek design, and the nice little vents that contribute to its herron-like appearance aren’t just a design feature, they also provide the necessary heat venting for any well-functioning LED lighting system. The individual LED bulb uses 4 Watts of electricity but provides the same amount of light as a 30Watt incandesent bulb.
HerronLED task lamp
Perhaps one of the unique features of this lamp is that in the event that the bulb stops working before the end of its estimated 15 year life span, it is replaceable. One of the issues that Nancy found while working for an architectural LED lighting company, was that in many of the LED task lamps made today, the bulb is integrated into the entire design. If something ever went wrong with the bulb, you have to throw the entire light out, yes, including the lamp! How green is that? So Nancy and her business partner, Cecilia Lobdill, set about making a lamp with replaceable bulbs. It may seem obvious to us, but apparently it isn’t in the LED task lighting industry.
Material Use: Another goal that Nancy and Cecelia had was not just to make a lamp that used a small amount of electricity, but also to ensure that the manufacturing of the product was as low-impact as possible. To this end, the body of the lamp is made from 89% post consumer recycled plastic — and not just any post consumer plastic, but e-waste plastic. Nancy found a company northern California, that recycles e-waste to an extensive degree. Not only does it separate the metal from the plastic, but the company also separates all the different types of plastics that make up electronics into their individual plastics. In the Herron’s case it uses recycled ABS plastic (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, the same plastic that is used for Lego building blocks). The plastics recycling company processes the separated ABS plastic into a pellet that consisting of 89% recycled ABS plastic and 11% additives such as colourants. The plastic pellets are shipped down the road to the manufacturing plant in San Leandro, CA. It is uses the pellets in an injection moulding process, assembles the lamp with a steel base, made from 70% recycled steel from an American manufacturer, an LED bulb which contains a CREE chip — a high quality US LED chip manufacturer. Nancy told me that the LED bulb is made in Vermont at a company called LEDdynamics. I confess, I didn’t know there were any LED lighting manfacturers in Vermont.
ABS Plastic pre-shredded (left), medium shred, (right)
ABS Plastic. Left, medium stage. Right in pellet form, ready for injection mould
The point of explaining how these desk lamps are made is to show you how much thought and effort has gone into this product. Little Footprint was out to make a well-designed, affordable, energy efficient, low-impact desk light. They even considered its end-of-life disposal. They’ve accomplished it all the while maintaining manufacturing of it within the US. To top it all off, the company offers a five year warranty on its product. Oh, and when the lamp has reached its end of life? It can be completely recycled again. Now that’s a perfect example of a “cradle to cradle” product.
Purchase: The lamp will be on the market as of the end of the end of November — early December, 2011. Currently they are taking advance orders and are selling it through their website for the early adopters price of US$145.99. It will regularly sell for US$195.99. The company ships to Canada and the product will carry the ETL/cETL listing mark showing compliance with Canadian and US electrical safety standards.
For the most part we rely on third party organizations to determine what is and isn't a "green building material." The only time we might not is when products are locally produced or no third party green designation is available for the product.