Keeping Pests at Bay During the Summer Months

Nothing can crash your summer gatherings faster than a swarm of pesky bugs. Need help keeping the bugs at bay? Here are some tips to help keep your patio bug free all summer long.

Keep Clean: Get rid of any standing water near your entertainment spaces. This includes emptying out unused kiddie pools, cleaning out gutters that may be clogged and tossing out any rainwater that has collected in flowerpots or containers. Designate a space for your garbage and recycling cans away from your patio to keep pests from getting too close. Also, make sure to quickly clean up spills from sugary drinks that will attract ants.

Go Green: Adding herbs, spices or flowers can help keep the bugs away. Some great plants to add to your gardens that will repel bugs are: lavender, peppermint, basil, geraniums, marigolds and catnip.


Marigold Flowers


Lavender Plants

Add Light: Citronella candles or tiki torches are not only a great way to add a welcoming ambiance to your outdoor spaces, they also serve as a great natural bug repellant. Replacing your outdoor lighting with yellow bug lights that are less likely to attract swarms of insects are a great option to keep your space insect free. Choose LED bug lights for an energy efficient option.

RLAS155WY angled with bulb copy

How are you keeping the pests away during the summer months? Share your tips in the comments below!

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Do Yellow Bug Light Bulbs Work?

Insect bites are not fun. There are hundreds of these pests out there, and many solutions to prevent them from entering your space. But what actually works? We recommend yellow bug light bulbs. These bulbs have yellow glass to prevent insect attraction. It makes it difficult for these little creatures to see your light source.

Yellow bug light bulbs can keep bugs away longer than any standard incandescent, CFL or LED bulb. While insects will be able to see the light’s multiple wavelengths to some degree, the yellow light makes it more difficult. The yellow colored light bulb shifts the light’s color temperature further left on the spectrum, so it’s almost invisible to insects.

Yellow Bug Light Bulbs and Visible Color

By using a LED yellow bug light bulb, you’ll decrease your chances of getting a lot of bugs, and you’ll even save money on the electric bill. Important features of LED light bulbs are less heat production and no UV color. So are bugs attracted to heat and UV? Not necessarily.

If you look at a bug zapper, you’ll notice the primary attraction is the light. Insects are actually attracted to the moon’s light. Therefore, by having a closer and brighter light, it distracts them from the moon and guides them to the bug zapper. That’s why you’ll see a lot of insects by ponds or other bodies of water at night. The moon’s light is brighter in the water’s reflection.

You’ll also notice that the color of the bug zapper’s light is in the UV, blue color spectrum. LED bug lights are yellow in color, and they don’t produce light in the UV spectrum. So the warmer the color temperature, the less likely bugs will notice your porch light and keep their attention to the moonlight.

Get more information about LED lamps, by reading our post on the benefits of LED light bulbs.

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Facebook Giveaway- Two Wet Location PAR38 LEDs

wet location

Are you wondering how outdoor lighting can transform your home? Want a chance to demo two Wet Location PAR38 LEDs for free?  How would you use them, to highlight an exotic tree in the back yard? Showcase a feature wall or design on your back patio? Or simply, just add a little extra light to the garage area?


55492 Social media wet location giveaway PAR38

However you decide to use them, we want to hear about it. Check us out on Facebook and tell us where you would use your two Wet Location PAR38 LEDs and be entered for a chance to win.

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PAR38 Education

Parabolic Aluminized Reflector or as we know it PAR, these bulb types are best known for their maximum output of reflecting light. The formal definition is a type of electric lamp widely used in commercial, residential and transportation lighting. So, what does this mean to consumers? Well, if you are in need of bulbs that reflect 20-40 degrees of light to a space, these are the bulbs to ask your local retailer to locate. Let’s take that concept a step further to see how it relates to the PAR38. PAR38s are categorized under the floodlight category. This is because as all floodlights, they have a relatively wider beam angle of light than the average light bulb.

PAR38 Beam Angles

PAR38s are typically known for their wider beam angle, but, you can select from any bulb in the PAR series to gain the degree angle that best fits your space. The PAR38 is an indoor and outdoor bulb, though residentially they are most commonly used outdoors for over the garage lighting. In the commercial industry these bulbs are typically found next to a company’s exits and entrances. Naturally, these spaces require wider light output for safety.  PARs are best utilized when used with the following application fixtures: track lights, recessed downlights, display lights, outdoor fixtures and security lights.

TCP is one of the leaders in high quality, energy efficient PAR38s. Our product line of PARs are sold with dimming and non-dimming technologies. If you tuned into our blog last week, Nancy was shopping for the perfect bulb for her beach house. She needed lighting that was wet location rated and able to withstand the moisture from outdoors. On average, the PAR38 would be the best choice for this type of home since it is UL approved for wet locations. Interested in viewing some additional features for PAR38 light bulbs, check out these great features offered from our TCP LED PAR38 product line.

Want to see our PAR38 bulb’s true potential in action? Join us Wednesday for our PAR38 wet location Facebook giveaway, see you there!

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ENERGY STAR: Did You Know?

While all light bulbs use innovative technology to produce light, those that are ENERGY STAR® qualified are at least three times more efficient than regular bulbs. With the average U.S. household playing host to more than 40 sockets for light bulbs it’s no surprise that lighting accounts for nearly 20% of household electricity bills.  Therefore, by replacing those old incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs one can see significant benefits such as:

  • Saving time and effort – Typical incandescent bulbs last about 11 months whereas ENERGY STAR certified bulbs can last more than seven years, sometimes longer!


  • Saving energy and money – We already know that by changing just ONE incandescent bulb it eliminates the need for eight inefficient incandescent…so think of the energy and money savings of changing say, five?!
















  •  Staying cool – The incandescent light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison in 1879 and unfortunately hasn’t changed much since. Extremely inefficient, these bulbs convert only 10% of the electricity consumed into visible light resulting in the remaining 90% of the electricity released as heat. Because ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs run cooler, they make your home more comfortable.


  • Saving the environment – ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program that helps consumers identify the most energy-efficient products. By choosing and ENERGY STAR qualified light bulb, consumers can make a different for the environment by reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.


Are you ready to make the switch to ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs? Let us know what differences switching to ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs have made for you on Facebook and Twitter.

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What is UL Approved?

UL listing mark

Example of an UL listing mark

When looking for a lighting fixture, many people have asked, “What is UL approved?” A UL listing means that the Underwriters Laboratories (an independent product safety certification organization) has tested the product and determined it meets their nationally recognized Standards for Safety. All UL approved products must include the UL listing mark. In order to really understand what UL approved means, you need to understand the difference between listing, recognition and classification.

A UL listing service determines if a manufacturer demonstrates the ability to comply with UL requirements. As part of the listing service, the manufacturer has to use the UL listing mark on all products that comply with UL requirements. The manufacturer also must have check-ins with UL to make sure they are staying compliant. A UL recognition service determines if a manufacturer complies by taking into account the performance and constructional, product characteristics. UL’s classification service determines if a manufacturer complies by evaluating risks, performance, regulatory codes, international standards and any other conditions UL wants to look at.

The numbers on the UL label are assigned by UL to reference. It allows the organization to control who the labels have been assigned to and for what products. The manufacturer and UL are the only ones who have access to this information.

If you need to find a fixture for a particular location, check the UL rating. Look to see if it’s rated for dry, damp or wet locations. TCP lighting carries fixtures rated by UL.

Before purchasing a fixture, it’s important to look at the rating type for safety reasons. For example, you wouldn’t want to use a fixture with a UL dry rating on your patio. See how Nancy decides what fixtures to choose for her beach house in this video.

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Education on LED A Lamp Types

The most widely used light bulb (or lamp) is the LED A lamp. With its pear-like shape and Edison screw base, the LED A lamp produces excellent, organic lighting. It can be used for a variety of applications, such as general lighting, chandeliers, ceiling fans and even wall sconces.

Although these everyday A lamps have used incandescent lighting technology in the past, many people like the LED option because of the durability and flexibility. Most importantly, LED lighting helps with saving money on the electric bill.

A Lamp Types and Sizes

In the A lamp series, the number indicates the width of the bulb. Lamp sizes are given by a number, which represents eighth of an inch. Basically, 1/8 inch represents 3.2 millimeters. The most commonly used LED a lamps are the A-19 bulbs. It is 2-3/8 inches wide and an estimate of 4-3/8 inches long, while the Edison screw is one inch wide.

Other types of LED A lamps include the Elite General Purpose A Lamps and the Elite Omni-Directional A Lamps. The Elite Series provides 20 percent more energy efficiency than other LED products, and it enables an 85 percent energy savings over other incandescent lamps.

There is also the A-21 lamp size, which is about 5 inches taller than the standard LED A-19 bulb. The larger size decreases heat production and still produces a large amount of light. The Elite Series offers A-21 lamps, as well.

The Elite Series Versus Other Brands

TCP A Lamp LED bulbs are designed to last up to 22.8 years. The below chart for 60 watt replacement LEDs explains the difference a little more.

TCP 60W Equivalent LED Phillips 60 W Equivalent LED GE 60W LED Allne Cree 4Flow LED Phillips SlimStyle LED Osram 60W LED
Lumens 800 800 800 835 800 800
Watts 9.5 8.5 11 11 10.5 8.5
Efficiency (lumens per watt) 84 94 73 76 76 94
Yearly Energy Cost (3 hrs/day at .11 kWh) $1.14 $1.02 $1.26 $1.32 $1.26 $1.02
Color Temperature 2,700K 2,700K 2,700K 2,700K 2,700K 2,700K
Dimmable? Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lifespan Hours 25,000 11,000 15,000 25,000 25,000 25,000
Years of Life 23 10 13 23 23 23
ENERGY STAR Rated Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Suitable for Enclosed Fixtures? Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Warranty 3 3 3 3 3 5

Keep in mind that the Elite Series lamps’ competitors are ENERGY STAR® too, meaning there are standard specifications TCP bulbs, GE bulbs, Sylvania bulbs and Phillips bulbs carry. However, with new technology, there can be unique designs. TCP’s A lamps look like the old incandescents. Why is this important? Because consumers don’t want to change their fixtures; they would like to merely change the lamps.

Besides the product specifications, TCP lighting controls all aspects of the design. Therefore, TCP has control and is able to ensure strength, quality and safety of their product lines. Consumers can feel more comfortable buying the Elite Series by TCP because everything the company does is lighting focused. There are more options available for voltage and color, along with providing damp and wet location A lamps.

Click here to see more on the Elite Series A lamp product line. Don’t forget to keep checking back to learn more about lighting.

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