Are LEDs worth the investment?

Here’s some info to help you make your decision:

Benefits of LEDs:

Long Life: LEDs are designed to last about 50 times longer than a typical incandescent, 20-25 times longer than a typical halogen bulb and 8-10 times longer than a typical CFL bulb.  A typical LED that is on for three hours a day can last up to 22 years.

Energy Saving: LEDs use much less energy than other bulbs in the market today. LEDs are up to 85% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and up to 10% more efficient than CFL bulbs.

Low Maintenance and Durable: LED light bulbs are resistant to shock and vibration as they have no filament or moving parts. LEDs are an ideal choice for areas that are hard to reach.

Produces Very Little Heat: LEDs produce little to no heat – keep your home’s fabrics and furnishings from fading, and have the potential to lower your air-conditioning costs.

Saving with LEDs:

When deciding whether to make the change to LED lighting, it is important to look at the cost to operate a bulb, and not solely make the decision based on the up-front cost.

Below is a great light bulb calculator from ENERGY STAR to help you calculate how much you can save by switching the light bulbs in your home to LED. Here’s an example that we computed with ENERGY STAR calculator to show the amount of savings LEDs provide:

If you had 10 ENERGY STAR rated CFL bulbs and 10 ENERGY STAR rated LED bulbs in your home, assuming that they are both the same wattage and are being used for the for the average amount of time daily (3 hours per day).

  • Electricity Cost Savings (Based on the bulbs life cycle):
  • CFL: $462
  • LED: $1,096
  • Assumed Equipment Lifetime (Years):
  • CFL: 7.3 years
  • LED: 22.8 years
  • Amount of Time Until You Start Seeing a Return on Investment:
  • CFL: .4 year
  • LED: 3.8 Years

Energy Star Light Bulb CalculatorDownload the ENERGY STAR Light Bulb Calculator Here

Although LED lighting may require a higher initial investment, their incredibly long life and energy saving potential will pay for itself over time.

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

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Donating for a Difference

m28341104_Cleveland_Red_Diamond_Ball_763xx260As a supporter of the American Red Cross, our mission is to continue to stand behind and assist where we can with vital services such as, “home fires in the local neighborhoods to teaching First Aid and CPR to community groups” reaching 22 counties and 4.5 million residents across Northeast Ohio.  On Saturday, September 6th at The Renaissance Hotel, The Red Diamond Ball gala celebration was held to benefit the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio which included cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction. This sophisticated black tie event, “with a splash of red,” is one of great importance to TCP’s mission to make an impact on the community and supporting the American Red Cross.  With approximately 500 philanthropic and corporate leaders, many of which recognized for their outstanding service and commitment to the organization raised more than $500,000 to support the vital work of the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio. As a non-profit organization, the generosity and support of local volunteers and donors allows the continued assistance to the local families in Greater Cleveland.  For TCP, our involvement included participating in the silent auction as well as supporting The American Red Cross as a Ruby Sponsor. Our “basket” encompassed a TCP duffle bag filled to the brim with Connected by TCP® products including 1 Connected by TCP  2 A-lamp starter kit, 3 Connected A-lamps and BR30 additional lamps, 4 TCP LED deco lamps and two 6 packs of TCP LED A-lamps and the best for last, a certificate to re-lamp your home with TCP LEDs! Below is an image of the ballroom from the wonderful event.

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Are you looking to get involved?  Check out the American Red Cross to volunteer or donate – your assistance today can make the difference in someone’s life tomorrow.

Already a volunteer for the Red Cross? Tell us about it below!

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

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Connected by TCP Review

Connected Giveaway

This past June and July, TCP offered two free Connected Starter Kits to five people each week on our Facebook page. I recently spoke with one of our winners, Tammie, to follow up with her and see how using her Connected System was going. Tammie informed me that they put one lamp on the back porch and the second in the family room. I asked about the system and its ease of use as well as whether or not she had tried out any of the special features such as timers, alarms, or wifi connectivity while away from home. Tammie told me that everything was going well with the system and it was very easy to install. For the bulb her family uses on the back porch, her family utilizes the unique timer feature because “we want it on and off at a certain time.” While the bulb in the family room, Tammie told me they use “the scenes and enjoy being able to have different lighting moods.” She mentioned that she really enjoyed the wifi connectivity when “we went out of town for a week and I was able to use it while we were gone.” Since using the Connected kit, Tammie is interested in purchasing additional lamps because, “the system has been a really big help to the family.” Even more, Tammie is excited to see a difference in her electric bill since switching to Connected by TCP® LED bulbs because of the ability to control when certain lights come on and off.  Along with her winning a Connected kit for herself, she also won a second kit which she gave to her 22 year old daughter who has just moved into her first apartment.  Not only does her daughter love the Connected system, she also loves that she is able to turn the lights on before she gets home which makes her feel safer. Tammie is a great example of the ease of use and functionality of the Connected by TCP® System.

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Try Connected by TCP® in your home, available at Home Depot and Amazon.

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TCP Event Round-Up

PrintAs fall slowly approaches, TCP brand ambassadors are preparing for various conferences and events throughout the world. Join TCP on the road this fall and learn about our latest LED products in person at these upcoming events:

North American Managers Meeting - City Electric Supply (CES) & Torbram Electric Supply (TES) – September 12th – 15th – The Omni – Dallas, TX – Booth# 35

Ace Fall 2014 Convention & Exhibits - September 17th – 19th, Orange County Convention Center – Orlando, FL – Booth# 2238

2014 Electrical Supply Divisions’ North American Meeting - October 6th – 8th, Hyatt Regency Chicago – Chicago, IL

Hilton Worldwide 2014 Americas Engineering Operations Conference - October 6th – 9th, Hilton New Orleans Riverside – New Orleans, LA

Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association Canadian Conference - October 23rd, Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport – Mississauga, ON

Energy Star Products Partner Meeting for Lighting, Appliances and Electronics  - October 27th – 29th, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown – Phoenix, AZ

Hong Kong International Lighting Fair - October 27th – 30th, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre – Wanchai, Hong Kong – Booth# 1C-A09

NAED Eastern Region 2014 Conference - November 10th, Marriott March Island – Marco Island, FL

Keep up with all upcoming TCP events by visiting: http://www.tcpi.com/events/

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Debunking the Myths of CFLs

Myths can arrive from a variety of places and sources but one thing we like to do is bust those myths especially about light bulbs. Like the show MythBusters, I’m here to shatter the accusations that some have about CFL’s.

Before we go any further let’s begin with what a CFL means. CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Lamp , it’s an energy-saving light and compact fluorescent tube designed to replace an incandescent lamp. Since their inception, myths have developed concerning these Compact Fluorescent Lamps and while some are based on fact, technology advancements or personal preference some of the most prevalent myths are described in this video.

CFL myths

Don’t have your headphones with you? Scroll downward for the same information.

Myth 1 – CFLs produce bad coloring.

  • Like fluorescent lamps, CFLs are sold in various colors, meaning that some will render skin colors very poorly.

Solution: Look for mention of color temperatures on packaging or labels– soft white or daylight, in order to make you and the areas around depicted in the best coloring.

Myth 2 – CFLs do not work on dimmers.

  • When CFLs were first created they were not compatible with dimmers. Today however, technology has advanced to allow compatibility with dimmers.

Solution: Look for CFLs labeled “dimmable” or marked with similar language on the lamp and/or packaging.

Myth 3 – CFLs are made with mercury which is bad for people and the environment.

  • All CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury; typically about 5 mg. Typical mercury-based fever thermometers contain 0.5 to 3 grams of mercury, which is 100 to 600 times as much mercury as a CFL.
  • Even when broken, it would take weeks for the amount of mercury vapor in the room to reach hazardous levels. Also, if there were a crack in the glass of a CFL, it would cease to work.

Solution: Researchers have found that even if left unattended for 24 hours, a broken bulb will release from 0.4 to 0.7 milligrams of mercury. The researchers found that it would take weeks for the amount of mercury vapor in the room to reach levels that would be hazardous to a child. CFLs also require special disposal, check out our earlier post on How to Recycle CFLs and browse www.epa.gov to find a recycling location near you to properly dispose of your CFL bulbs.

Myth 4 – CFLs are expensive.

  • By sticking with old incandescent bulbs consumers may waste far more money over the long run in either replacements and/or energy bill costs.

Solution: CFLs use far less electricity and last longer; someone who switches will save $30 to $50 on their electric bill over the bulbs six-to-ten year lifespan…sometimes more.

Myth 5 – CFLs make the room colder.

  • Removing incandescent bulbs will make the room “cooler” because the traditional bulbs create and use heat, which helps provide warmth.  Incandescent bulbs generate so much heat that only 10% of their energy is used to produce light.

Solution: You may need to invest in a blanket or turn up the heat, but the lifespan and energy savings outweigh the inefficiency of incandescent bulbs.

Myth 6 – Like potato peels, you can toss old CFLs in the garbage.

  • CFL bulbs require special recycling, to remove and reuse the mercury, and can’t simply be tossed in with the garbage or glass recyclables.

Solution: Check out www.epa.gov to find out how and where to recycle old bulbs.

Myth 7 – CFLs tend to burnout quickly.

  • Energy Star bulbs typically come with a guaranteed life span.  A bulb can sometimes burn out early for several reasons.

                   1. The bulb was used in the wrong fixture.

                   2. The wattage was too high.

                   3. Bad luck. Like many things, millions are made and few might be faulty.

Solution: Switch to TCP CFLs which come with a 9 year warranty* based on an average use of three hours per day.

Myth 8 – 3-way CFLs are not available.

  • At first, 3-way CFLs were not engineered. Today, 3-way CFLs are available and provide equivalent performance so the traditional 3-way incandescent lamps.

Solution: Check the label or packaging which should state language similar to “3-way”.

Now that you have gained the knowledge about CFLs, we recommend you try switching from your incandescent bulbs to TCP products. You can find TCP CFLs at local retailers or purchase online from Amazon and Home Depot.

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

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What is Omni-Directional?

Have you ever seen the packaging of a light bulb that states the bulb is omni-directional? Did you know what that meant? Do you know where omni-directional bulbs should go in your home or office? Watch the video below comparing two LED A-lamp bulbs, one omni-directional and the other, general purpose, to have these, and more questions answered.

What is Omni-Directional?

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), by themselves illuminate in one direction. More recently, lighting manufacturers have come up with different ways to make LED omni-directional A-lamps more closely illuminate 360° of light, like an incandescent bulb. This allows LED omni-directional A-lamps to better replace the traditional incandescent bulb.

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

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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

Posted in Connected, Corporate, Smart Lighting | 1 Comment

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.

TCP LED

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.

What are Lumens

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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