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Some Great Tips For Hanging Christmas Lights September 22, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Definitions about product., How to about lighting, LED Lights, light bulb.
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This could happen to you

This could happen to you

Gadzooks! Its already the time to start thinking about putting up christmas lights! So I figure it would be good to post a few tips on how to go about creating your own little winter wonderland.  Ann Belvins from Better Homes and Gardens gives 13 tips for setting up a dazzling christmas display!

Dr. Z



1. Start out small. If you’re a Christmas lights novice, light just two or three items, such as trees or bushes, to serve as focal points. Add new displays each year.

2. Stay safe. Only use lights with the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) label and be sure you’re using lights designed specifically for outdoor use.

3.Know your lights. When it comes to holiday lights, there’s a type available for every nook and cranny of your house and yard. Whether you want blinking rope lights outlining windows or net lights blanketing bushes, wising up on your holiday light knowledge will help you get the most bang for your buck.

4.Check for burned-out lights. Test light strings and replace any burned-out lights before decking the halls. Burned-out lights drain power from the entire light string, and the other bulbs will grow dimmer.

5. Out with the old, in with the new. Avoid old-fashioned nails, staples, screws, or hooks when mounting your display. Electrical tape is a quick and easy alternative — it won’t destroy your roof, and it’s a good tool for protecting electrical connections. Clips, such as shingle tab or parapet clips, hold lights to surfaces by applying simple, safe pressure.

6.Use a sturdy ladder. Enlist a helper to keep you steady as you hang lights on very tall tree — you’ll stay safe and you’ll be able to reach the branches easily. Attach lights to branches with tree clips or twist ties.

 7. Work your way up. To string trunks of deciduous trees, start at the base and wrap the lights around in a spiral. If you want to illuminate an evergreen, however, start at the top and zigzag lights through the center of the tree, getting wider with the tree’s shape

8. Consider the location. If your evergreen can only be seen by passersby from the front, save lights and work by decorating the tree front only.

9. Add some dimension. Consider ground and stake lighting for extra holiday oomph. Multicolored lights work well for outlining walks, paths, and driveways.

10.Avoid bright light overload. Holiday lights can be dazzling and fun, but be careful not to overload your circuits. Include no more than 1,400 watts on a circuit. If other lights in the house dim when you turn on the holiday lights, your circuit is overloaded.

11.Look around for added sparkle. Find illuminating inspiration in unexpected places. Perhaps a birdbath or decorative porch columns would look pretty with a little extra light. For hard-to-reach spots, or any place you don’t want to use electricity, try battery-operated mini lights.

12.Call in the pros. If you don’t have roofing experience, limit your lights to eaves, gables, and the edge of the roof. Keep lights and cords away from metal. Beware of overheated wires, aluminum gutters, and ironwork decor. If you want more lights on the roof itself, call a professional lighting company.

13.Hit the switch. Turn off outdoor lights before going to bed, and don’t leave them on when you’re away from home, unless they’re attached to a timer with a photocell.


Light Bulbs and Dieting May 19, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in How to about lighting, light bulb, List Article, Uncategorized.
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Zoinks! Its me Dr Z! The Pharoah of Fluorescent loony for light bulbs. Did you know that using the right light bulb can help you if you are on a diet? Well I didn’t! Mr Y found this article when reading his favorite blog “chick chat” ( don’t ask)Check out the article below for how using the correct color of light can assist you in staying on your diet.

Get Lit Stay Lit

Dr Z


While interviewing color psychologist Steven Bleicher for today’s article on purple, Bleicher gave me an interesting diet tip. To help curb those frequent, mindless trips to the refrigerator, change the bulb in the fridge, he suggested.

“If you’re on a diet and you replace a white bulb with a blue bulb, the bulb changes the color of the foods and makes them look unappetizing,” said Bleicher.

“We relate the idea of blue and blue-green to mold and spoiled food,” he explained.

Because of this unconscious association, early humans avoided foods with blue pigments, so those foods slowly became extinct. That’s why today there are only a handful of blue foods founds in nature.

Bleicher, author of “Contemporary Color: Theory and Use” and a professor at Coastal Carolina University near Myrtle Beach, S.C., said that there are colors that make diners eat more.

“Yellows and oranges and bright reds stimulate the appetite. They stimulate the adrenal gland, so you order more and eat it faster and that’s what they want,” said Bleicher, referring to fast-food restaurants and their countless red and yellow signs that dot the streets.

“Sixty percent of your decision to buy an object is based on a certain color. And you usually make that decision very fast in 90 seconds,” he added.

So if you want to lose weight, train your mind to ignore the goodies hidden behind the red and gold signs and instead opt for a blue plate special.


Home LED Light Applications April 10, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Definitions about product., How to about lighting, LED Lights.
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led pumkin: even pumkins go well with LEDs!

led pumkin: even pumkins go well with LEDs!

Gadzooks! Its me Dr. Z here to put forth some more great info on LED and what  application best suits them. Check out the article below for some useful tips!

Dr. Z



Can You Use LED Lights In Your Home?

LED Lights – Current Home Applications

LED lights appeared in the 60s but just recently have been used for home lighting applications for space lighting. Basically a LED is a semiconductor device which converts electricity into light. Obviously there’s more to it than that though.

For a not-too technical look at LED workings check out How Stuff Works.

Currently, LED lights, or Light Emitting Diodes are not appropriate for house wide lighting use. By design, LED lights are directional, meaning their light doesn’t spread all that well. That said, there are still pros to replacing some home lighting with LED lights.

  • LED bulbs burn cooler; a point that can help prevent fires.
  • LED burns more efficiently than incandescent, which saves energy and money. The monetary savings may be cut though, depending on where you get your lights. You can find them for the same cost as incandescents, but not always.
  • LED lighting is durable. Consumer Reports recently compared one of the more well known LED applications, , to regular incandescent bulbs. The LED bulbs far out-performed the incandescent. Research on small home LED light applications show the same.
  • LED lighting is healthier for the environment.

So, where can you use LED bulbs in your home. Most current research suggests that LED lights work best for small spaces, or places where you may need close-in direct light. Keep in mind that this is because LED lights burn in a more muted fashion, you’re not going to get bright light like you will with other choices.

Places LED works well include

  • Reading lights.
  • In stairways or closets.
    Recessed lighting.
  • Linear strip lighting.
  • As a night light.
  • To showcase something – an art piece for example.
  • Lights you see inside a glass door cupboard.
  • Outdoor and porch lighting.

Outdoor lighting is iffy. Some people like how LED looks outside while others think the light is too dim. I’ve heard both sides. Personally, I like the more muted look of LED, but if you need extra bright light outside, LED is not what you want. The best you can do is try. You can always replace a light.

Use a 2-Liter Bottle as a 50 Watt Light Bulb lightbulb hack! April 6, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Controversial information, How to about lighting, light bulb, Light bulbs in pop culture.
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Zoinks! People can lightbulbs out of just about anything! Check out the above video

Dr. Z


Tips for Aquarium Lighting April 3, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent, Definitions about product., How to about lighting, LED Lights, light bulb, List Article.
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Hey guys! Fish need better light!

Hey guys! Fish need better light!

ZOinks! Its me Dr Z! I have said before and I’ll say it again… Everybody needs better light and that everyone includes our finny fishy friends that reside in aquariums! Below are some great tips on good lighting for fish! Enjoy!

Dr Z



Aquarium Lighting – Fish Tank Lighting

One important aspect of keeping tropical fish is aquarium lighting. This is an often overlooked area that can sometimes be confusing for a beginner to aquariums. The confusion may come from the many available types of fish tank lighting that you can use to light your tank. The main types of light are:

  • regular fluorescent lights,
  • compact flourescent,
  • high output (ho) flourescent,
  • very high output (vho) flourescent
  • metal halide
  • LED – Light Emitting Diodes

The type of light you need for your tank really depends on what you plan on keeping in your tank. This article is a very general introduction into aquarium lighting and below we discuss the various types of lighting needs based on aquarium type. These are general recommendations and we encourage you to research your livestock’s lighting requirements for best results.


Light Spectrum
Spectrum of visible light expressed in nanometers (nm).Aquarium Light Types

Regular Flourescent Light
These are the type of lights that come with most starter tanks and are very affordable. They typically range from 15 to 40 watts and have Kelvin ratings from 3,000° to 10,000°. Kelvin is the scale used to measure the color temperature. They are very cheap to run and replace.Compact Flourescent Light Bulb
These are a step up from the regular flourescent lights. They typically range from 10 to 100 watts and have Kelvin ratings from 5,000° to 10,000°. They offer really bright and intense light but they do put off some heat that may raise the tank water temperature. Running power compact lights will require special hoods and because of the heat produced, they often come with installed fans in the hood.

High Output (HO) Flourescent Light
HO flourescent lights typically range from 20-60 watts and have Kelvin ratings from 6,000° to 11,000°. They are more expensive than regular flourescents and usually last longer. These lights require a T5 light fixture.

Very High Output (VHO) Flourescent Light
VHO flourescent lights typically range from 75-160 watts and have Kelvin ratings from 10,000° to 20,000°. These lights are very expensive and produce a lot of heat. They require a ballast and/or special fixture especially for VHO lights. They have fans incorporated into the lighting unit to help keep the lights and aquarium cool. Even though they come with fans you may need to equip your tank with an aquarium chiller to prevent your tank water from overheating.

Metal Halide Light Bulb
Metal Halide lamps typically range from 175-1000 watts and have Kelvin ratings from 5,000° to 20,000°. This type of light is closest to the sun in terms of luminousity but they are very expensive to buy, operate and replace. They produce a lot of heat and usually must be fan cooled. Ballasts with fan units included are widely available. This is often the preferred method of lighting a reef tank setup with anemones and corals that need higher intensity lighting.

LED Aquarium Lights
Is this what we have in store for the future of aquarium lighting systems? Prices as of 2007 are still very high and they will need to drop significantly in price before more hobbyists will transition to them. They offer many advantages over previously mentioned lights. Some of the advantages of LED lights over convential flourescents and metal halides include:

  • LED lights run much cooler than standard flourescents and metal halides
  • LED lights consume less energy than the other lights
  • They have a much longer life span
  • There is no filament to break, so they could be considered more durable
  • They can be configured in many ways due to their small size.

Many of the light fixtures being sold now include moon lights which are LEDs. So we’re starting to see them more often, but even though these LED’s are very promising we are probably still a few years away from using them as the primary light source on most home aquariums. 

Freshwater Aquarium Light – Fish Only
For a freshwater tank with no live plants you can get by with the low watt flourescent lights. These lights are typically between 18 and 40 watts and should last for a year or longer before they burn out.

Freshwater Aquarium Plant Lighting
Live plant keepers will need to upgrade their lighting system. The light type you need depends on several factors:

  • Depth of the tank
  • Plant species you plan on keeping
  • Growth rate desired

Typically, plant keepers try to provide anywhere from 2-5 watts per aquarium gallon. Research the plants you want to keep beforehand to determine if you can provide the light needed.

Saltwater Aquarium Light – Fish Only
Fish only saltwater tanks will work fine with regular flourescent bulbs. Try to get a “full spectrum” light for your tank.

While tanks with live rock can get by with regular flourescent full spectrum lights they will do better with flourescents and actinic lights (blue light). It really depends on how well you want the coralline algae to grow. Certain types of coralline algae seems to grow better with higher amounts of actinic lighting.

Saltwater Reef Aquarium Light
Saltwater reef tanks with corals, clams and other light needing organisms will need the high output, very high output flourescent or metal halide lamps. Certain corals, anemones and clams require very intense lighting levels that can only be provided with VHO and metal halide light sources. A general rule of thumb for reef tanks is between 4 and 10 watts per aquarium gallon. Many reefers have lighting systems incorporating metal halides and VHO flourescent tubes. Research the species you want to keep because light requirements can vary. Because of the amount of heat these light units can produce, you may need to get an aquarium chiller to keep your tank water temperature in an acceptable range. The expense of lighting a reef tank may be just as high or higher than the cost of the live rock.

Photo Period – How long do you leave the lights on?
How long should the fish tank lights stay on for? We get this question frequently. A good range to aim for would be anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. Remember that fish like and need to rest just like other animals. Fish only setups could range from 6 to 12 hours, reef tank setups and freshwater planted aquariums could range from 10 to 12 hour photo periods. Leaving the lights on for longer time periods could contribute to nuisance algae growth (just one of the factors with algae growth), higher tank temperatures and quicker tank water evaporation. Be consistent and if you can afford it, invest in a light timer.

Aquarium Light Timer
You may also want to get an aquarium light timer. A light timer can help make running an aquarium that much more enjoyable because it’s one less thing you have to mess with. Most higher end fish tank hoods and fixtures have multiple power cords that are tied into the multiple light sockets within the hood. This allows you to setup your timer to turn on the various lights at different times.

For instance, a popular hood nowadays is the compact flourescent hood incorporating an actinic bulb, a full spectrum bulb and a moon light. You could set up the timer to turn on the actinic bulb to go on first and stay on for 12 hours, then have the full spectrum bulb come on an hour or so later and stay on for 10 hours. This could simulate dawn and dusk by having the actinic bulbs come on an hour early and stay on an hour later. Finally, you could have the moon lights turn on when the actinics turn off. Who knows, you may even start to see breeding behavior in certain species that may be more in tune with the light of the moon in this type of setup. Another side benefit of using a moon light is the super cool effect it creates in the aquarium when all the other lights in the room are off.

As you can see, the type of light you need really depends on they type of tank your running. Freshwater and Saltwater fish only tanks can usually get by with the regular flourescent lights whereas the freshwater plant keepers and saltwater reef tank keepers will need to invest in better light sources.

Please practice good aquarium electrical safety and be sure to use drip loops and gfci outlets!


Get the LED out:A Beginner’s guide to LED lighting Technology March 31, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in How to about lighting, LED Lights, light bulb, Uncategorized.
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Gadzooks! LEDs aren't just for Spaceships anymore..

Zoinks! Its me Dr Z! LEDs are perhaps the newest and least understood lighting technology out there. Here is a great introduction to these enigmatic lights.

Dr. Z



Energy Efficient Homes: Introduction to LED Lighting1

Barbara Haldeman, Wendell A. Porter, Kathleen C. Ruppert2

Quick Facts

  • LED lights are very small, extremely durable, and can be manufactured in a variety of colors and forms.
  • They have the potential to be more energy efficient and last far longer than most current lighting technologies.
  • They are considered environmentally friendly, since they contain no mercury, and the visible light applications for home or business do not emit infrared (IR) or ultraviolet (UV) light.
  • They produce very little heat; and, their lifetime is not affected by frequent on/off switching.
  • The cost of materials needed to make LED lighting has plummeted in the past several years. Although LEDs remain more expensive that their counterparts, their prices are steadily declining.

Terms to Help You Get Started

  • LED Light Emitting Diode
  • SSL Solid State Lighting, a general term for semiconductors that convert electricity into light
  • Semiconductors Solid materials that possess electrical conductivity
  • Diode A simple semiconductor device
  • CFL Compact Fluorescent Lamp (lamp is the lighting industry’s term for bulb)
  • CRI Color Rendering Index, a measure of how a standard series of colors appear under a light source, compared to a reference light source (daylight or incandescent light); CRI is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being identical to the reference light source
  • CCT Correlated Color Temperature, a measure of the color appearance of a light source; CCT is measured in degrees Kelvin (K), the absolute temperature scale; white light products commonly range from “warm white” (2700K) to “cool white” (5000K)
  • RGB Red-Green-Blue, the three primary colors of light
  • White light Not an actual “color”, but rather a combination of all wavelengths in the visible spectrum of light

What are LEDs?

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are part of a comparatively new class of lighting called Solid State Lighting (SSL). Unlike incandescent or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), LEDs are small electronic components that convert electricity into light.

LEDs are already being used in a variety of applications:

  • Status lights on electronic devices of all kinds
  • Flashlights
  • Decorative lighting strings (both indoor and outdoor)
  • Auto headlamps
  • Traffic lights
  • Outdoor lighting fixtures for parking lots, streets and parks
  • Architectural lighting
  • Retail display lighting
  • Desk and task lights
  • Home lighting applications such as recessed down-lights, and under-cabinet lights

LED applications allow for extraordinary flexibility in lighting design with regard to color, brightness, size, shape, and distribution. There is even a fabric with LEDs incorporated into the weave—imagine t-shirts with designs that change shape and color, or a sofa in an airline terminal with a digital clock displayed across its cushions!

However, in terms of general lighting—that is, general illumination using white light—quality and efficiency can vary greatly from product to product. The U.S. Department of Energy lists several reasons:

  • The technology is new: LED technology is developing fast; new generations of LED devices appear every 4 to 6 months. Last year’s LED light may well be outdated by now, with newer models providing better quality light more efficiently.
  • The technology is different: Because LEDs are completely different from traditional lighting sources, new standards and testing procedures have just been implemented by the ENERGY STAR® program (a collaborative effort of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency) as of June 2008 in the interest of making it easier for consumers to compare products.
  • Everyone’s learning: Because LEDs can be sensitive to some thermal and electrical conditions, manufacturers are racing to develop fixtures or components that are LED compatible in multiple applications.

Ongoing research in LED lighting is happening right now all around the world. Governments and private industry are extremely interested in LEDs both because of their great adaptability in design, and because of the potential energy savings that LED lighting offers. LED lighting will revolutionize home, office, retail, and architectural lighting in the coming years—and that includes general white-light illumination.

How do they work?

LEDs differ from traditional light sources in the way they produce light. In an incandescent lamp, a tungsten filament is heated by electric current until it glows, emitting light. In a fluorescent lamp, an electric current causes the gas inside the tube to emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which strikes the phosphor coating on the inside of the glass, causing it to emit visible light.

An LED, on the other hand, is a semiconductor diode, a device that allows current to flow in only one direction. It’s made of a chip of semiconducting material treated to create a structure called a p-n (positive-negative) junction. The positive side contains excess positive charge (“holes,” indicating the absence of electrons) while the negative side contains excess negative charge (electrons).


Figure 1.  PN junction image from NLPIP Lighting Answers, Vol. 7, Issue 3, May 2003 http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/NLPIP/lightingAnswers/led/whatIsAnLED.asp# 

When current is applied, the negatively-charged electrons move toward the positive side, and the positively-charged “holes” move toward the negative side. At the junction, the electrons and holes combine. As this occurs, energy is released in the form of light that is emitted by the LED.

Depending on the alloy used to make the semiconductor, the light emitted by the LED can range through the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. “White” light is created by combining the light from red, green, and blue (RGB) LEDs, or by coating a blue LED with yellow phosphor.

How does the light produced by LEDs compare to that of incandescents?

White light is a combination of all wavelengths in the visible spectrum. Incandescent lamps inherently produce white light. LEDs do not. They emit light in a very narrow range of the spectrum, producing nearly monochromatic light—the color depending on the materials used to create the LED. “White light LEDs” are created in two different ways: phosphor conversion or RGB. In phosphor conversion, a blue LED is coated with a yellow phosphor, resulting in light which appears white to the eye. This method is lower in cost than the RGB approach. Phosphor converted chips are manufactured in large quantities in forms that are integrated into lighting fixtures.

In the RGB method, white light is produced by mixing the light from multiple red, green, and blue LEDs; sometimes amber is added to enhance the quality of the light. This results in great flexibility in the possible “shades” of white light produced, but is technically more demanding to manufacture, and thus more expensive at this juncture. RGB systems are generally found in custom-designed architectural lighting.

Light quality is indicated by two measurements, correlated color temperature (CCT) and the color rendering index (CRI).

CCT is that aspect of light that people refer to when they talk about “cold” fluorescent lighting; such lighting has a high CCT. CCT is measured in “Kelvins”; cool white light is 5000K while warm white light has a low CCT at about 2700K. Until recently, most white light LEDs had very high CCTs, often above 5000K, but warm white LEDs are now available. They are less efficient than cool white LEDs, but are comparitively efficient as CFLs.

The CRI is a measure of how color appears when illuminated by a light source, compared to reference sources such as incandescent light or daylight. A CRI of 100 is identical to the reference source, so the higher the CRI the better. Everyone has experienced the dull colors and washed-out faces resulting from old-style fluorescent tube lighting, which had a CRI ranging from 50 to 60. Phosphor-converted warm white LEDs are now being produced that are claimed to have a CRI of 80, a value most people find quite acceptable. Others exceeding 90 have also been reported.

The CRI, however, has been found to be inaccurate for white light RGB LEDs and there is controversy in the industry as to the reliability of the rating for other lighting types as well, so a new measurement system is under development.

LED technology is changing quickly; white light LEDs producing high-quality light will be commonplace in the next few years.

Are they energy efficient?

It depends. The best white light LED lamps can meet or exceed the efficiency of compact fluorescent lamps—but many LEDs currently on the market do not. LEDs are sensitive to temperature and electrical conditions, and LED fixtures must be carefully designed to take this into account; many manufacturers are not yet experienced in such design. However, research and development in this area is very active, and new generations of LED devices that are more energy efficient will be appearing on the market within a few years. The U.S. Department of Energy states, “The energy efficiency of LEDs is expected to rival the most efficient white light sources by 2010.”

Are they an economical choice for home lighting?

Currently, good quality LED products are fairly expensive, compared to standard lighting. But costs are coming down—in 2007, they were roughly one-seventh of costs in 2001—and it’s expected that LEDs will be competitive within a few years.

What about ENERGY STAR®?

The ENERGY STAR® Web site states, “Solid-State Lighting (SSL) is the future of lighting, and thanks in part to ENERGY STAR, it’ll be here faster than you think. The ENERGY STAR label on SSL luminaires will provide consumers with the confidence that these products meet efficiency and performance criteria established by DOE in collaboration with industry stakeholders. With test procedures being finalized, the ENERGY STAR SSL program is on schedule to launch September 30, 2008. ENERGY STAR is focusing on lighting applications and products for which the technology has advanced to a point where performance is equal to or better than traditional efficient lighting technologies based on light output, luminaire efficacy and cost. The focus on quality will go a long way to ensure that consumers have a good experience with this new technology.” Visit the ENERGY STAR Web site at http://www.energystar.gov or the Building Technologies Program site at http://www.netl.doe.gov/SSL/energy_star.html for more information.


LEDs for general illumination currently may be considered the “Not Quite Ready for Prime Time” player in the home and office lighting field. But stay tuned—they’re improving quickly. Once industry and ENERGY STAR® standards are fully in place, consumers will be able to comparison shop for LED white lights the way they now do for incandescent and compact fluorescent lights, choosing the lamps and fixtures that give them the combination of light quality and energy efficiency they’re looking for. LEDs are already available for multiple applications in and around the home—from landscape and walkway lighting to holiday lighting, and even ambient lighting in hard to reach places where the long life of LEDs is a real asset—and the future is looking brighter every day.

This document is FCS3280, one of an Energy Efficient Homes series of the Family, Youth and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. This material was prepared with the support of the Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Energy Office. However, any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Original publication date: June 2008. Visit the EDIS Web Site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.



Barbara Haldeman, editorial assistant, Program for Resource Efficient Communities; Wendell A. Porter, lecturer and P.E., Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; and Kathleen C. Ruppert, associate extension scientist, Program for Resource Efficient Communities; University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


Zoinks some more Energy Saving Light Bulb facts! March 23, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent, How to about lighting, light bulb.
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GadZooks! It’s me Dr Z! back from twisting the tungsten and spiralling the bulbs. Light is my life. Below is a great article that lists some more Energy saving light facts! Enjoy!

Dr. Z



Energy saving light bulb facts

As a rule of thumb, a 20-watt energy saving bulb should produce about as much light output as a 100-watt standard bulb – good models produce more.

That means if you replace an ordinary bulb with a quality energy saving bulb, you’ll only use about one-fifth as much electricity – and still have at least as much light as before.

For each ordinary bulb you replace with an energy saving bulb, at current electricity prices it has been estimated you’ll save around $120 over the life of the bulb (8000 hours).

How long do energy saving bulbs last?
An energy saving bulb should last about 5000 to 10,000 hours, whereas an ordinary bulb will generally burn out at around 1000 hours. Used for 3 hours a day, an energy saving bulb should last about 10 years.

Don’t energy saving bulbs produce harsh light?
Not necessarily. Unlike ordinary bulbs, energy saving bulbs come in a range of whites.

If you want lighting that’s similar to an ordinary bulb, say for places where people relax – like lounges – look for “warm white” on the packaging.

In kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and work areas, some people like a ‘cooler bluish-white’ light. If you want this colour, look for “cool white” or “cool daylight” on the packaging.

Don’t energy saving bulbs cost more than ordinary bulbs?
Energy saving bulbs cost more to buy than ordinary bulbs. But a $6 high quality energy saving bulb should last longer than six $1 ordinary bulbs – and you won’t have the hassle of changing bulbs as often.

Buying energy saving bulbs will work out cheaper in the long run. And, energy saving bulbs use 80 percent less power over their life so you’ll save money on electricity use.

From time to time the Electricity Commission subsidises high quality energy saving bulbs. During those times, the subsidised bulbs can be purchased for substantially less than their normal price.

Do they flicker like fluorescent tubes do?
No. Good-quality energy saving bulbs don’t flicker.

Are there any other advantages of energy saving bulbs?
They run cooler than ordinary bulbs, so light fittings don’t get as hot. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.


Compact Fluorescents and Enclosed Fixtures! Be careful! February 23, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent, How to about lighting.
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Dr.Z point to his favorite CFL

Dr.Z point to his favorite CFL

ZOinks! Its me, Dr. Z the fluorescent fanatic and terror of the tungsten! Compact Fluorescent are all the rage in the lighting world right now. But GadZooks! So many people still have questions on their application. Can you lick them? NO!! Can you use them in Lava Lamps? NO!  Can you use them in an enclosed light fixture??? Well yes.. but it depends. CFL’s can be used in enclosed fixtures as long the fixture is not recessed. If the enclosed fixture is recessed it will (ie a can light with a cover over the bulb) it will most likely create temperatures too high for the CFL to operate! Keep them cool but not to cool (more on that later)


Dr. Z


Stop Flicking Those Switches! Your CFL’s life may depend on it. February 9, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in How to about lighting.
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Dr Z , your friendly neighborhood lightbringer! Gad-Zooks!

Dr Z , your friendly neighborhood lightbringer! Gad-Zooks!

Zoinks! Its Dr. Z, the lama of luminescence here to help you find a better way of lighting. Do you remember when you were a little kid how much fun it was to flick the lights off and on really fast? (in Mr Y’s case this has continued on to his adult life) Well I certainly remember the childhood joys of such activity (until I found a much better way of producing that effect.. strobe lights! ) But more to the point.. This age old pastime is putting the life of your compact fluorescents in jeopardy.

Compact fluorescents are best when they are on for a long time. These lamps can take up to 3 mins to warm up before the achieve full brightness. Now this probably will not be noticed by most users but the lamp does need some time to warm up for efficient operation.  Compact fluorescents are best suited to place where you need the lights on for long periods (10 mins and up). Switching them on and off frequently will greatly effect their life and will not allow you to reap the energy saving benefits that these bulbs allow for.  If you have an area where you are turning the light on and off alot you may want to stick with good old fashioned incandescents. If you are like Mr. Y and like flicking those lights on and off really fast just for the fun of it.. I suggest the strobe light it is much more useful for stimulating the alpha waves..



Dr Z



p.s. Strobes and strobe like effects (like flicking the switches)  can trigger seizures in photosensitive epilepsy. Thus, most strobe lights on sale to the public are factory-limited to about 10-12 flashes per second in their internal oscillators, although externally triggered strobe lights will often flash as frequently as possible. At a frequency of 10 Hz, 65% of affected people are still at risk. The British Health and Safety Executive recommend that a net flash rate for a bank of strobe lights does not exceed 5 flashes per second, at which only 5% of photosensitive epileptics are at risk. It also recommends that no strobing effect continue for more than 30 seconds due to the potential for discomfort and disorientation. (Wikipedia)

Recycle those Compact Fluorescents! January 30, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in How to about lighting, Uncategorized.
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Zoinks! Its Dr Z, the philospher of fluorescent, the grand poobah of bulb, and seeker of the light of truth…Gaspp*Compact Fluorescents! Did you know they contain mercury? You don’t want just throw these guys in the dumpster when their life has ended. Mercury is a hazardous waste so you want to make sure and recycle them! So what do you do to recycle them? Well, thankfully our heroes at the EPA (the Environmetal Protection Agency) have put up a website detailing where and how you can recycle these little guys! You don’t want throw out the environmental benefit of the bulbs out the window! Check out the link below for more info!



Zoinks! Mercury is Hazardous waste! Recycle those CFL's gang!

Zoinks! Mercury is Hazardous waste! Recycle those CFL's gang!

Dr. Z