Hang Out With TCP

 

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Interested in learning more about smart home lighting? Mark your calendars to “hang out” with some of our Connected by TCP® experts! Join Connected by TCP Product Manager, Dave Geraci and Lesley Matt for a Google Hangout on September 12th at 3:00 PM ET. All registered attendees will be entered to win one of ten Connected Starter Kits and be able to have their lighting automation questions answered during the hangout.

Register for this event with your Gmail account here.

About Connected by TCP:

Connected by TCP smart home lighting utilizes LED technology that operates on a Wi-Fi network and is controlled by any iOS or Android- enabled device, allowing for instant wireless control of your lighting from anywhere. Connected by TCP offers custom timer settings and features the smoothest dimming LEDs on the market today. To learn more about Connected by TCP, visit: http://go.tcpi.com/GetConnected

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What are Lumens?

I’m not sure about you, but when engaging in everyday conversation the word ‘lumens’ doesn’t seem to come up too often that is, unless you’re a lighting engineer or product specialist. So when faced with the question posted by one of our Facebook friends, “What are lumens?” we couldn’t wait to help!

As a consumer, coming face to face with the lighting aisle can be intimidating with all of the important information listed on the package.

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Both LEDs shown above feature a number in the bottom right corner under lumens, 1100 and 1600.  These numbers refer to the direct measure of light output. While the definition of lumens is one candela multiplied by one steradian, it can be described in a simpler manner. Check out the video below to see what I mean.

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So when asked “what are lumens?” one way to think of it is that one lumen is the equivalent to the light produced by one birthday candle from one foot away.  For example, when you read one of the packages above and it states 1100 lumens imagine standing one foot away from 1100 birthday candles –larger lumen count means a brighter bulb. Easily put, lumens are the measure of light output.

Do you have a lighting question? Comment below and maybe we’ll feature your question in our next post.

For more information on TCP and LED products, follow TCP Lighting on Facebook and Twitter.

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Did You Know?

Did you know that if every American replaced just one light bulb in their home with an Energy Star bulb, enough energy would be saved to light over 3 million homes for a year? That is over $680 million in annual energy costs. Also, greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 800,000 cars would be prevented. Not to mention changing just one bulb saves each household $40 or more on their energy bill over the lifetime of the bulb.

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So, what does it mean for a product to be Energy Star certified? Products earn the Energy Star label once they have been tested by a third-party certified EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) laboratory to meet strict EPA energy efficiency guidelines and each product category has its own efficiency requirements. Products are tested to see if they contribute significant energy savings and deliver features and performance that satisfy the consumer’s demand. The EPA will typically raise the specifications when 50% or more of a product category consists of Energy Star products. If the product costs more than a conventional less-efficient product, purchasers need the ability to recover their investment from the increased energy efficiency through their utility bills in a reasonable amount of time. “Off-the-shelf” verification testing is performed each year to a percentage of Energy Star products to ensure the product maintains Energy Star requirements. Today, an Energy Star washing machine uses about 70% less energy and 75% less water when compared to a standard washer 20 years ago. While an Energy Star light bulb uses about 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb, lasts 10 to 25 times longer, and produces 75% less heat.

To learn more about energy efficient lighting, follow TCP Lighting on Facebook and Twitter.

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Getting Connected with Smart Home Lighting

Bringing your home into the 21st century can seem like an intimidating task. For many years, smart home lighting was an expensive and timely investment for the average do-it-yourselfer. Luckily, those days are behind us, as a variety of smart lighting starter kits have become available on the market that are not only budget friendly, but are simple to install.

Why Smart Lighting?

Smart Home lighting has revolutionized the way we are able to control our lighting. You can now easily control your lights from anywhere with just an app on your smart phone or tablet. Taking the technology even further, Connected by TCP® allows you to completely personalize the lighting for your entire home with timers, schedules and multiple dimming capabilities – all from your smart phone. No smart phone? No problem. TCP is the only smart lighting system on the market that has a remote control option as well.

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The Value of Smart Lighting:

Energy Efficient Lighting: Not only is Connected by TCP smart lighting – it also utilizes the most energy efficient LED light bulbs. Connected by TCP’s LED lights deliver an 80 percent energy savings versus standard incandescent lights. TCP LED bulbs have a life expectancy of 23 years.

Complete Lighting Control: TCP Connected lets you control your lights from anywhere – set timed lighting for security while you are away, or even turn off the lights without having to get out of your cozy bed.

On Demand Dimming: Enjoy the smoothest dimming LED on the market today with TCP Connected.  Set the mood for any room with just the quick press of a button.

Whether you are looking to improve your home’s security, impress your friends at your next dinner party or save some money on your energy bills – Connected by TCP is here to affordably solve your smart home lighting needs.

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Visit the Connected by TCP website.

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How to Recycle CFLs

Whenever I think of Recycling, I immediately start singing the recycling song from Rocko’s Modern Life, “r-e-c-y-c-l-e, recycle, c-o-n-s-e-r-v-e, conserve…,” anyone with me? Well, besides the comical quality of Nickelodeon’s cartoon the message of the episode was clear…Recycle! Today, recycling is a vital part in conserving our natural resources and protecting our environment for the future. One way we can take advantage of reducing our waste is by recycling CFL light bulbs. So where can you recycle your burned out CFL? Check out the video below to learn more.

How to recycle CFLs

Read more about recycling and the disposal of CFLs at www.EPA.gov.

For more information on TCP LED products, follow TCP Lighting on Facebook and Twitter.

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TCP Employees Giving Back

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I love to hear about companies giving back and helping out the community. When I started at TCP I was excited to learn that they contribute to many organizations and local communities. This past week TCP wrapped up their School Supply Tree. TCP teamed up with the Salvation Army to help fill the supply lists of fifty-seven local children in need.   TCP employees were encouraged to participate in donating supplies through a company-wide competition, that required an employee to take a tag with a child’s name and coordinating school supply list and provide the supplies for the child in need.

TCP also invited the Red Cross to come to it’s Aurora, Ohio facility for a company blood drive this week, and again employees were encouraged to participate through a company-wide competition. A total of 35 time slots were available and 39 employees participated donating a total of 31 pints of blood. Outside of the office, employees were also able to participate by going to a local blood drive and submitting documentation.

TCP would like to thank all who participated in the purchase of school supplies and the blood drive!

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Learn more about joining the TCP team by checking out our careers page.

 

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See the Savings for Yourself!

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. And in the case of your lighting, it may be worth a thousand bucks!

Hearing about the energy savings from the manufacturers requires sorting through the propaganda, and listening to the dense scientific reasons behind it can make your head spin. But we’ve found a tool for you from National Geographic that’s easy to use and cuts right to the chase—exactly how much will you save switching to an all-LED home?

With the website’s user friendly tool, select how many light bulbs you have installed in your home (the average household uses 40 light bulbs, which we’ll use in our example).

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Next, select the number of incandescent, CFLs or LEDs you have in your home. Let’s say you’re totally new to the LED game and have an all-incandescent house. Slide your cursors to the right and click “Calculate,” and you’ll get a sample energy report for your home.

You’ll see how much more or less you’re spending that the average household and how many more or fewer light bulbs you have installed. You’ll also get a glimpse at the larger effects of your energy consumption, including its impact on harmful emission and national energy costs.

According to the tool, a person illuminating 40 incandescent bulbs in his or her home spends $22.49 more a year on lighting energy than the average household. Compare that against an all-LED household!

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When you take the all-LED path, this tool shows you can see savings of more than $120 a year. Imagine all the Starbucks and Netflix subscriptions you can afford with that extra cash!

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And even if your apprehensive about making the complete transition to LED lighting, even installing just one more LED in your house can save you $3.75.

Treat yourself with those extra bucks to a Caramel Macchiato, and remember how sweet it is to save with LED lighting!

Click here to try National Geographic’s Light Bulb Savings Calculator for yourself.

For more information on LED products, follow TCP Lighting on Facebook and Twitter.

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LED Lighting in Schools

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As LED lighting grows in popularity, more and more institutions are switching over to the energy-efficient light source from traditional lighting. Among the many businesses and warehouses making the switch, schools are also able to find many benefits from switching to LEDs.

Back at the beginning of the LED lighting revolution, an elementary school in Minnesota switched to all-LED lighting in their gymnasium. As one of the largest rooms in any school, the gym required over 100 new LED bulbs.

The result—the lighting within the school’s gymnasium improved drastically in both color quality and light output. The lights were noticeably whiter and brighter, providing a more aesthetically pleasing light quality that faculty and administrators alike appreciated.

On top of that, switching the gym alone over to LEDs saved the school $9,000 a year on energy costs. And with a five-year warranty on the bulbs, little maintenance was required.

Not only do reduced costs benefit those in charge of running a school, but they also benefit the students attending the school and their families. The more money a school can save on things like energy consumption, the more money that can be invested into programs and tools that will benefit the students’ education.

LED lighting has also proved beneficial in special education classrooms within schools. An elementary school in Arizona recently replaced lighting in special education classrooms with LED lighting.

Faculty in the special education classrooms noticed an increase in their students’ attention spans after the installation of the LED lamps. The fluorescent lighting would often flicker and produce a buzzing noise that made it difficult for the students to concentrate. Once the LED lights were in place, the flickering and buzzing stopped, and the students were able to focus more on their daily tasks .  

While the energy savings the school inherited was a major bonus in the switch to LED as well, the removal of the distracting elements in the special education classrooms were very well-received. Not only are LEDs a proven component of an energy-efficient, money-saving lifestyle, but they can also have major benefits on people’s quality of life.

For more information on LED lighting, follow TCP on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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LED Lighting in the Grocery Store

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Among the many locations where LED lighting is a superior lighting option, recent reports have revealed that LED lighting can have unprecedented benefits for produce, meat, and other food products found at your local grocery store.

According to a study by Kansas State University, LED lighting offers significant benefits to raw meat on display at the supermarket. Customers often look to a meat’s color as a sign of how fresh it is. Due to the energy-efficient benefits of LED, including the lack of heat produced by lamps, LEDs are actually beneficial for fresh meat color stability.

The results of this study, which compared the effects of LED and incandescent lighting on meat, concluded that LED prolongs the color life of meat. Not only will LEDs save store owners operational costs on energy, but it will also keep their product looking its best and their customers happy.

LED lighting also offers benefits for fruit shelf life. A group of researchers from Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi) conducted a study on how light quality and intensity affected the rate at which fruit decomposed.

The study showed that fruit exposed to lighting with lower temperatures and less UV radiation, such as LED lighting, decomposed more slowly. By keeping fruit under LED lighting, store owners can expect a longer shelf life for fruit as well as lower energy costs and less money spent replacing spoiled fruit.

Not only can store owners benefit from these discoveries, but everyday consumers can learn from these examples as well. When leaving fruit out in their home, homeowners now know how beneficial it is to keep it under a light source like an LED. By replacing their traditional incandescent in their homes to LEDs, they can see the energy-saving benefits at home and keep their fruit fresher longer, saving money of energy costs and food.

When it comes to keep food fresher longer, choosing LED lighting is a no brainer!

For more information on LED lighting, follow TCP on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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The Benefits of the DOE’s New LED Lighting Facts Program

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In response to the ever-growing market for LED lighting, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has established a new LED Lighting Facts Program as a resource for consumers of LED lighting. The program is designed to help make sense out of the wide variety of LED products offered on the market today. This program can help you distinguish between the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world of LEDs. Read on to find out how this new program will help you sift through LED products.

What You See Is What You Get—Guaranteed

The DOE launched this program as a way to confirm all the information lighting companies publish about their LED products is accurate. Manufacturers who sign up with the program put their products through a series of tests and report their findings in the DOE-approved LED Lighting Facts box. The box is designed to make the lamp’s lighting facts easy to read and understand and includes information about lumen output, watts and color accuracy.

Before any data is published, it is approved by the DOE for accuracy. That way, you can be sure that companies who have partnered with the DOE on this project (like TCP) are advertising verified facts about their product.

Research Your LED from Anywhere

The program also has a corresponding website, www.lightingfacts.com , which contains a database of all the partnering companies within the program and information about their products. Data provided includes general lighting facts box information as well as metrics from LM-79 testing (such as power factor, beam angle and CBCP) and any special verifications the product may have, like if its Energy Star® certified.

The website also offers convenient tools that allow you to conduct more detailed research of your LEDs. The Commercial and Residential Product Performance Scales allow you to compare an LED between a more traditional light source to see the disparity between LED and other forms of lighting technology.

There’s also a comprehensive breakdown of federal lighting documents, like the Energy Independence and Security Act and the Federal Trade Commission consumer lighting label. This provides you with enough knowledge on the LED lighting industry to allow you to make an educated decision when going out to purchase an LED.

For more information on LED lighting, follow TCP on Facebook and Twitter.  

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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