Residential Lighting by the Numbers
The following is a re-print of an ALA Technology Newsletter that was written by Terry McGowan at the ALA. It contains some interesting facts about current lighting usage and future trends.
- In U.S. residences, the average daily use per bulb is 1.6 hours.
- The average bulb uses 47.7 watts. (That’s down substantially from the 67 watt average reported in the 2002 report.)
- There are more than 67 bulbs in the average home considering all home types (single family, multi-family, etc.); but single family homes average more than 85 bulbs/home. (The average reported in the 2002 report was 37 bulbs/home.)
- Household lighting energy use varies substantially by region but averages
- 1,700 kWh/home per year. New York and California use the least averaging
- Less than 1,500 kWh while states including Montana, Wyoming, Arizona and Missouri used the most averaging over 2,100 kWh per home annually.
- The cost of energy used for residential lighting also varies by region, but total home lighting energy costs range from $200-300 per year.
- Bulbs in bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and kitchens consume the most lighting energy in the average home.
- Dimmers control only 4% of the bulbs in the average home and almost 80% of those bulbs are in ceiling fixtures.
- Incandescent bulbs (2010 data) remain the most widely used light source in homes (They are in more than 62% of the sockets); but the use of CFLs and LED bulbs has increased with CFLs at slightly more than 20% of the socketson average (also 2010 data).
- What the 2010-2012 report shows is that the conversion of residential sockets from standard incandescent to halogen incandescent, CFL or LED bulbs has rapidly increased over this last two-year period.
- Some of that increase is due, of course, to the phase-out of standard incandescent bulbs; but lower prices for CFL and LED bulbs, better bulb performance, more product choice and market activities such as rebates and the entry of new manufacturers into the market have all played a role as well.
- Of the “A-line” bulb sockets, 62% of the 3.2 billion in homes contained standard incandescent bulbs in 2010. That number has now dropped to 55%.
- But, LED bulbs, even though some 20 million have been installed over the last two years, still fill less than 1% of the total available sockets.
- The next two years, however, will likely see a dramatic change in those numbers because of the phase-out of the standard 40 watt and 60 watt bulbs beginning on January 1, 2014. Those two bulb types represent almost 60% of the standard bulb market.
Why Is There A Fire Risk If I Use More Than The MAX Watts On My Light Bulb Socket Label?
Most lamps sold today have a label similar to the one pictured here.Why, might you ask, is there a fire risk if you use a higher watt light bulb than the one listed? The reason is because higher watts equates to higher temperatures. A watt is a unit of heat and is the amount of energy a light bulb uses. A watt is not to be confused with a lumen which is the measure of light output.
Lampshades confine a certain amount of heat depending on the diameter of the top opening. The smaller the opening, the smaller wattage light bulb should be used. Metal lampshades get hot themselves, sometimes too hot to touch. Sockets are made in lots of different quality levels and can get really hot also. The components of a light fixture all work together is a certain way. Whatever you do, pay attention to the label and use the proper incandescent light bulb.
All that being said however, CFL’s do not generate much heat at all so you can use a higher wattage equivalent CFL to produce more lumens than a lower wattage incandescent light bulb. For example, a 13 watt CFL produces about the same amount of light as a 75 watt incandescent light bulb so you could use it in a fixture that limits the watts to 40. Just don’t mess around with incandescent light bulbs, they can really be a fire hazard!
Download the UL app, LightSmart, from the app store for all kinds of lighting information and visit FoggLighting.com.
Lighting and Color – Why Color Rendering Index is Important
Now that regular incandescent light bulbs are a thing of the past and LED’s and CFL’s are the new “go to” light bulbs, what can you expect your house to look like? The reason I am asking this question is because the colors in your home are going to appear differently than they do under good, old fashioned incandescent lighting. This is because of something know as CRI or Color Rendering Index, a scale of 0-100 where incandescent light bulbs are at the top of scale, 100.
Sizing Light Fixtures
| I am often asked about the proper size of a lighting fixture so when I saw this article in “Residential Lighting” magazine I decided to share it with you. Randall Whitehead is a regular contributor to the magazine.
Helpful advice for calculating proportional decorative lighting based on a room’s dimensions.
By: Randall Whitehead, IALD
Q: What is the rule of thumb for determining the size of a chandelier or pendant fixture for a given space? I have a 25-by-30-foot area over a stairwell and I don’t want too large or too small a fixture. If you could help me out, it would make me very happy.
A: Just think of me as verbal Prozac. Try this formula: Add the dimensions of the width and length of the foyer area together. This number will be the measurement in inches what the width of your fixture should be. Based on the dimensions that you have given me, I think you should be looking at a chandelier that is 55 inches in diameter. The length will be a little bit harder to determine, as it depends on the ceiling height. Taller ceilings can take longer fixtures. Somebody in your family or your contractor could make a mock-up out of wooden dowels and strings to get a feel for what the fixture would look like in the space.
Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include “Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide.” Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.comand follow his blog www.lightmakesright.comfor more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.
Please visit www.fogglighting.com and like us on Face Book. Be sure to download the free UL app, “LightSmart” from the app store for lots of good lighting information.
LED Technology is Becoming Mainstream
The following story appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, September 28. I pass this along to you because it is an example of how LED technology is becoming more popular.
Where LED Leads, Design Will Follow
Smaller, cooler and increasingly programmable, LEDs are making possible some startling tricks of the light—from glowing wallpaper to hackable chandeliers
- MICHAEL HSU
Interesting Lighting Facts
Re-Printed from the September 2013 ALA Technology Newsletter
Residential Lighting By The Numbers
Reliable data about the energy use of lighting products, together with numbers about the types and the quantity of products sold into the residential market, has become an increasingly important part of ALA activities in recent years. I pay particular attention to lighting energy data and the mix of light source products in various lighting applications. Those numbers indicate market trends and information about the technology being used. Demographic numbers are a good predictor of market activity too. An example is the market for elderly-friendly lighting which is growing because every day more than 11,000 people reach 65 years of age in the U.S.
Starting in 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy began publishing detailed lighting inventory and energy consumption data by sector – residential, commercial, industrial and outdoor. An update was published in 2012 based upon 2010 data, but last December, for the first time, residential lighting energy use was examined in detail.
Report Results fromResidential Lighting End-Use Consumption Study: Estimation Framework and Initial Estimates
(Download at no charge, here: http://alturl.com/qg bh2)
Since the 2010 data above didn’t include the rapid growth in the use of LED bulbs during the past couple of years, I looked at another DOE report which uses the same database, but which analyzed the LED adoption rate over the 2010-2012 time period.
Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications.
(You can find that report at http://alturl.com/7z6yd)
The big question is: What will consumers put into those sockets as the conventional bulbs are replaced? The answer to that question will make 2014-15 an unusual and interesting time in the lighting business.
What are you going to put in your sockets? That’s the question that you have to answer for yourself. Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com and like us on Face Book. Be sure to download the UL app, LightSmart, for all kinds of interesting lighting information.
What to Look For in a Ceiling Fan
When buying a ceiling fan there are several factors that should be examined before making a purchase. A ceiling fan is basically a motor with blades suspended from a ceiling. Pretty straightforward yet there are huge quality differences that can impact you and the comfort of your home.
|Die Cast Motor|
Putting aside all style considerations, motor size, AC or DC motor, blade pitch, blade arms and mounting hardware are the factors you should familiarize yourself with before buying a fan because these are the factors that determine the airflow, measured as CFM, the efficiency and the quiet operation of a ceiling fan.
Motor size is measured in millimeters. A small motor might be 144 x 10mn whereas a large motor might be 188 x 22mn. Blade pitch should be at least 14 degrees. Blade arms should be sturdy metal, strong enough to accommodate the blades. A DC motor is more efficient that an AC motor, but it is more expensive to purchase initially. Look carefully at all the specifications before making a purchase. You will have the fan running most of the time so you will want it to be quiet and capable of moving air.
Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com, like us on Face Book and come see us for expert help for all your lighting and ceiling fan requirements.
Three Essential Types of Lighting
Three essential types of lighting are Ambient, Task and Accent, sometimes called the triple crown of interior illumination.
|Good Source of Ambient Light|
Ambient Lighting, also called general or overall lighting, provides the light necessary for safe and effective interior illumination, allowing hazard-free navigation of the interior space with minimal shadows. Usually a ceiling fixture meets the requirements of good ambient lighting. To determine a room’s ambient lighting requirement multiply the room’s square footage by 1.5 to get the minimum number of incandescent watts necessary. You can then translate those watts into fluorescent or LED wattage equivalents if you like. Ambient is only the base layer in a well designed lighting plan which also could include wall sconces, floor lamps, recessed lights or picture lights.
Task lighting focuses light on tasks that are performed in a given room. It is a layer of light that should be used in addition to, not in place of, ambient and accent lighting. In most homes, kitchens, laundries and bathrooms require the most task lighting. But the requirement of these three room require different types of task lighting. Kitchens need recessed lighting in the ceiling aligned with the front edge of the lower cabinets in addition to under cabinet lighting and some kind of ceiling fixture and/or pendants. Bathrooms need wall sconces on either side of vanities for optimal light for makeup application and shaving. And laundries need bright ambient light to facilitate separating colors and to provide light for ironing and folding.
|Example of Accent Lighting|
Accent lighting is used to light art, sculpture or interesting architectural features like stone fireplaces. It is the layer of light that gives a room “texture” and interest and dimension. It lets you focus on the interesting features that are in the room. Some people think that accent light should be up to three times brighter than surrounding ambient light. I do not necessarily agree with this thought. I think accent light should not distract, but rather enhance, the ambiance of the room. Wall sconces, picture lights and directional recessed lights can all be used as accent lighting.
And remember, use dimmers on every light in the house. They cost a little more than switches, but they allow so much greater control over the lighting that they can really make a lighting plan “pop”. Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com, like us on Face Book and call with all your lighting questions and needs. We help people light up their lives!