Saturday, December 13, 2008

What does Philips Alto mean?

Compact Fluorescent Philips Alto light bulbs are better for the environment because of its reduced mercury content. All Philips Alto light bulbs give you options which can simplify and reduce your disposal costs depending on your state and local regulations.

Holly Eddins

Monday, December 1, 2008

My light bulbs keep burning out quickly. Can you tell me why?

Light Bulbs are rated for average hours of operation and depending on the light bulb you are using that time period will be different. Now, what that means really is that some bulbs are going to burn out quickly and some will burn out long after that time period has lapsed. The Rated Average Life is the time in which at least 50% of these bulbs are still in working condition.

Now, to answer your question. If you have multiple bulbs that are burning out too quickly, you may be using an incorrect voltage of light bulb. Your home will get anywhere in the neighborhood of 117 to 124 volts of power at any given time. If you are using a light bulb that is 120 volts and you get a surge, the life of that bulb will be shortened and will blow too soon. We recommend using 130 volt light bulbs whenever possible as you will see a dramatic lengthening of life.

Holly Eddins

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In what temperatures do Metal Halide light bulbs operate?

Metal Halide light bulbs are made to go outside. Thus the technology is engineered to operate in a wide range of temperatures. There are no specifics outlined for such but a reasonable range would be from -10 or -20 F up to 120 or 130 F. If you live in an area where the conditions exceed these limits, we recommend you contact the manufacturer to insure your metal halide will perform properly.

Holly Eddins

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What light bulbs are most efficient?

The most efficient light bulbs are LED, Metal Halide and Compact Fluorescent. Between those, you'd need to compare apples to apples. After these, your energy saving or long life halogen light bulbs, then regular halogens and long life incandescents. All in that order. The least efficient light bulbs are incandescent light bulbs. The take the most energy but for most, they produce the quality of light that they are use to and love.

Holly Eddins

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What does Integrated light bulbs mean?

Light Bulbs like compact fluorescent and HID light bulbs contain a gas that needs to be ignited for the bulb to work which is called a starter. They also need a ballast which regulates the voltage of power. Ingegrated bulbs are ones that have that starter and ballast built in the base of the bulb. Non-integrated bulbs have to be used in a ballast that performs those functions for the bulb.
This PAR38 is one of the few metal halide bulbs that is integrated and can be used in a regular socket and doesn't need a special ballast to be used. Philips Integrated PAR38 light bulbs consume up to 3 times less energy than incandescents with the same light and provide the perfect light bulb a retail business or other business wanting to have very clear crisp light.

Holly Eddins

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How do I measure my light bulb?

When measuring a light bulb, manufacturers measure the furthest outside points. The width of the bulb is from the outer edge of the side of the bulb to the other side. Then the length or maximum overall length (mol) is from the very top of your bulb to the very bottom of the base that screws or plugs in.

Holly Eddins

Monday, November 3, 2008

Can I use a 130 volt light bulb in the place of a 120 volt?

Absolutely. Using 130 volt bulbs is actually a better thing that 120 volt. Voltage is the amount of voltage the bulb can handle when the electricity comes into your home. At one time there were only 120 volt bulbs. Now, 130 volt bulbs are taking over. 130 volt bulbs can take the power surges better than the lower voltage and will last longer as a result.

Now, it's important to know that if you already are using 120 volt bulbs in recessed lighting in a room and you start replacing them with 130 volt bulbs, the 130 volt bulbs might burn slightly dimmer than the 120 volt. Simply because it's on the same circuit as the 120 volt and that will mess with the circutry. It shouldn't shorten the life of the bulb but it's something to consider.

Holly Eddins

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What indoor flood lights fit in my 6" recessed can?

A 6" in diameter recessed can is a common size of can in overall room lighting. You can either use an incandescent BR40 in this size can or a PAR38. A BR40 light bulb is 5" in diameter and the PAR38 light bulb is 4 3/4" in diameter. You want to choose a light bulb that is roughly an inch smaller than the size of your can. Much tighter and it may be difficult for you to screw in and unscrew the bulb.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What light bulb do I use in my shower?

What lighting you should use in your shower is more about the fixture than the light bulb. But let's backup. If you are a DIY and you are installing the fixture in your shower, it's important that you purchase a fixture rated for shower/moisture use.

Bottom line, it's all about the fixture. Having said that, there are options or things you should know when purchasing the light bulb for your shower light. If your fixture is open, meaning that it isn't enclosed and moisture could get to it from steam or upward splash, you should be using a PAR light bulb. Whether it be incandescent or halogen doesn't matter as long as it's a PAR. If your fixture is enclosed, you have a great deal more flexibility. Your recessed can should give you some suggestions if you can't pull out a bulb to figure out what you are already using.

Holly Eddins

Friday, October 17, 2008

What makes a light bulb appropriate for outdoor spot and flood lights?

If you are looking for an outdoor spot or flood light that is enclosed or falls under the cover of a roof line, you have more options than if you need a bulb that can take direct rain.

Having said that, there are light bulbs made that will certainly take direct rain. These are designated by "PAR." Any bulbs with this as part if it's coding is made with a heavier glass lense that will withstand rain and other elements to come in direct contact with it. These can either be incandescent, halogen, some compact fluorescent, and LED light bulbs.

Holly Eddins

Monday, October 13, 2008

How do you dispose of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs?

How you dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs is important. Why? Because they contain mercury which can be harmful to the environment. If your bulb is not broken, it's much easier. Most major cities have a recycling center that will take cfl bulbs. They then send the bulbs to a center that will take off the base to recycle, they will recycle the glass and will also salvage the mercury and reuse it as well.

If you don't have a recycling center in your area, according to the EPA you can double bag your bulbs and place in your trash. If you are a commercial operation, very different rules apply. You must get your fluorescent bulbs to a recycling center and often pay a fee to do so. You can find online service to do this if you don't know anyone locally. A big one is EPSI.

To view a more detailed account of what to do with these bulbs or how to take care of them when one breaks, please read our entire article on the subject.Holly Eddins

Friday, October 10, 2008

Can Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs be Used Outdoors?

Yes. Compact Fluorescent light bulbs can be used outdoors. Or that is some of them can. Not all compact fluorescent light bulbs are made with the right technology that will allow them to function properly in cold weather. Philips makes their outdoor compact fluorescent light bulbs with Amalgam Technology which provides a stable light output down to -4 degrees F or sometimes -10 degrees F.

Why is this important? For the same reason that it sometimes takes a compact fluorescent to warm up and function in your home.....when you throw the cold temperatures in the mix they may never warm up enough to actually light up. So, when purchasing compact fluorescent light bulbs to use outdoors, it is very important to insure that they are made to take the cold temperatures.
Holly Eddins

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Can I use the same flood light for indoor and outdoor lighting?

Yes, in many cases you can use the same flood light bulbs for indoor and outdoor applications. Any flood light that is incandescent can be used outside as long as it doesn't get direct contact with rain or other elements. PAR incandescent light bulbs and PAR halogen light buls are made with heavy duty glass lense that can take the elements and are perfect for uplights and spot lights out in your yard. When you are looking at compact fluorescent light bulbs, you'll need to choose one that was manufacturered for being outside. Other CFL light bulbs will not hold up in lower temperatures.
Holly Eddins

Monday, October 6, 2008

Can you use a dimmer switch with a regular light bulb?

Yes. A regular light bulb will work with a dimmer switch. Now, what is a regular light bulb? Any incandescent light bulb and any halogen light bulb will work with a dimmer switch. When it comes to compact fluorescent light bulbs, you need to have one specially made to dim and they should indicate as such in the product descriptions.Holly Eddins

Friday, October 3, 2008

Do Halogen Light Bulbs contain Mercury?

No, Halogen light bulbs do not contain mercury. The atmosphere is halogen light bulbs is gas. And you do not have to take extra precautions when disposing these light bulbs.
Holly Eddins

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Can I use a lower wattage Lamp with my current Metal Halide Ballast?

Yes. If the ANSI code or Ballast Reference number is the same, you may substitue one metal halide lamp for another one that is a different wattage.

For example, with Philips Lighting there is a 400 watt ED37 Mogul Based light bulb with an ANSI code of M59/S. The 360 watt ED37 Mogul Based light bulb has the same ANSI code therefore this item could be swapped out for the other without any problems occuring. There aren't very many of these but it does exist.
Holly EddinsHolly Eddins

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How do I know what Compact Fluorescent to use when replacing my Incandescent light Bulbs?

It is not a clear cut thing to state when determining what cfl or compact fluorescent light bulb to use when replacing your incandescent light bulbs. Yes, the manufacturers put on their packaging that this replaces that but it's a little more of a gray area than that. Why? Because the manufacturers are assuming that you are replacing one of their bulbs and one that they are using for comparison. And it makes a difference whether you are using frosted or clear and which one you are using in comparison.

If this is the case, how do you a non-technical person make the comparison? It's very easy. What you need to do is to compare lumens. Lumens are the brightness that the light bulbs put out and will translate from one type of light bulb to the other. For example, a 20 Watt Philips EL/A PAR38 Reflector Flood Light Bulb has 940 initial lumens. When looking at incandescent, an 85 watt BR40 Reflector Flood Light Bulb has 925 initial lumens. That's pretty darn close and you'll never tell the difference.

This is important for many reasons but the biggest is because you don't want each recessed light bulb in your ceiling to be a different brightness. Needless to say......
Holly Eddins

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What does rated average life mean?

Rated average life is looked at for each different type and make of light bulb. It is basically the number of hours when 50% of the light bulbs are still working. Does that mean that if you buy a particular light bulb will last at least that long? No, it means that it might burn out quickly or it might last way longer than the rated average life.

To figure out in days rather than hours, you should figure that you'll use a particular light bulb an average of 4 hours a day. So, if you used a bulb 4 hours a day by the end of the year that bulb will have been used almost 1500 hours. Now, if you have little kids like I do and you have to leave certain lights on all night long, you'll obviously need to use different dailing averages for those high use one.

If this case, you'll want to use a longer life light bulb that uses low watts like a Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb.Holly Eddins

Monday, September 29, 2008

What are Light Bulb Base Types

The base of a light bulb is what actually screws or plugs into your socket or fixture. Bases are mostly made of aluminum or brass.

There are lots of base types. I want to review some of the more common bases you'll have. A large majority of light bulbs that have screw in bases will have medium size bases. This is what you see on most of your standard bulbs as well as flood lights. Another common screw in base is a candelabra base which you see most often on bulbs that go in smaller table lamps, chandeliers and sconces. A much larger base type that screws in is a mogul base and is most often found on metal halide or high pressure solium light bulbs.

Now if you have a light bulb with a base that sticks in and twists to connect to the power current, these are called double contact bayonet and single contact bayonet bases.

Another base that is becoming common is a plug in base. Codes for these are PL-L, PL-C, PL-S and PL-T. Plug in bases are on compact fluorescent light bulbs and are becoming more and more popular. They simply plug in to the socket.

Lots of specialty light bulbs have different kind of bases and we plan to address them one at a time through out our blog.
Holly Eddins

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Plug In Compact Fluorescents in California

If you are in California in a home that has been built in the last few years, don't be alarmed when you go to replace recessed light bulbs and you see something very foreign.

The state has mandated that all new construction be fitted with fixtures that only fit Plug In Compact Fluorescent light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs and halogens aren't made with this type of plug in base so there is no risk of you buying one of those. This is in an effort to keep the energy consumption in check.

Many other areas of the country are using these types of fixtures as well but it's not a mandate. The light bulbs generally looks like the one below and will have either two or four plug in prongs at the bottom of the bulb. And the bulb will be either tubes that are straight and there will be multiple tubes or they will curve up and over and will generally have 2 or 3 bulbs that curve over.

Holly Eddins

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Silicone Coated Light Bulbs

What are Silicone Coated light bulbs and what are they used for?

Just as it sounds. These light bulbs are made with a protective coating that allows them to be more durable. The coating allows the light bulbs to resist breakage and absorb an impact whether it's been dropped or accidently hit. Good for food prep areas, they resist moisture. And they repel machine spatter without breakage caused by thermal shock.

Silicone Coated light bulbs are ideally used in food prep areas, refrigerators, elevators, factory buildings, garden fountains and work lights.Holly Eddins

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shower Lighting Design

Showers are a space that you no doubt need a form of recessed lighting. It’s very important to use a recessed fixture that is made for the shower and rated to work under conditions of humidity and possible contact with water. In addition you’ll want to use a light bulb rated to use in the shower. Most products will be clearly marked as such.

Personally, we have a dimmer on our shower light. It allows for a slow wake up by anyone getting into the shower before the light of day. But it’s important to provide enough light to allow you to shave and see what you are doing.

To view this entire article, click here.Holly Eddins

Bathtub Lighting Design

Depending on the height of your bathtub and if it is separate from your shower, your lighting solutions here will be different. Let’s assume you have a separate bathtub here. If not, you won’t do anything different than what I’ve outlined above. Typically, you will be using recessed lighting above your bathtub area. It is not necessary to have water rated fixtures and light bulbs in this spot. One or maybe two recessed fixtures aimed at the outside of the tub will provide what you need. Aiming to the outside of the tub will provide light to see what you are doing yet will cut down on any glare. To view this entire article, click here.Holly Eddins

Mirror and Vanity Lighting Design

This area might be the most crucial spot to get it “right.” Improper lighting when you are trying to apply make-up or shaving can be the pits. Lighting companies have come up with a number of functional and decorative choices for vanity/mirror lighting.

Topping and flanking your mirror with vanity strips is one way to provide light. Insure that you purchase vanity light bulbs that have a lower wattage or frosted glass so you don’t blind yourself. The mistake I’ve seen many make is that their light bulbs are too powerful and then they unscrew several of them to take the light level down. This totally defeats the purpose of having a vanity strip as it is suppose to distribute light evenly.

What we decided to use is our home is wall sconces. And now that I think about it, we used it in all three bathrooms. The master has 3 as we have a long vanity and there are holes cut in the glass where the sconces sit. The other two bathrooms have the sconces flanking the mirror. When you choose to have more than two, it’s important that the spacing be such that the light is coming from either side of each sink. Spacing here is not as critical; just insure that they are evenly spaced. Most folks tent to stand in front of the sink and you wouldn’t want to have the sconce right in front of your face! Their height should be about eye height. This will need to be adjusted slightly according to the type of sconce that you choose. Bottom line is that you don’t want to be able to see the light bulb itself when standing and looking at the sconce.

To view this entire article, click here.
Holly Eddins

Bathroom Ceiling Fixtures

If you are lucky enough to high ceilings in your bathroom, go for a small decorative fixture like a small chandelier. The rule of thumb on the size of chandelier is calculated by taking the width of the room added to the length of the room. (Or if you are installing multiple lighting fixtures, use the dimensions of the area that this fixture is meant to light.) That number should equal the diameter of the fixture. Ie. A master bath that is 15’ X 13’ would need a chandelier about 28” in diameter.

To view this entire article, click here.Holly Eddins

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bathroom Recessed Lighting Design

I’m all for recessed fixtures in your overall bathroom lighting design. What I don’t care for are ceilings that look like swiss cheese. After you’ve planned for all other lighting, it would be prudent to fill other lighting needs with recessed lighting. If using recessed in the toilet area, locate the can in front of the toilet and not right over. No reason to be in the spot light!

Use recessed to light dead areas or to light sitting/reading areas. Yes, some bathrooms are big enough for reading or lounging areas. Above a bench or reading area is a perfect place to insert a recessed fixture. Now, I’m going to throw this in now. My neighbor wants to put a sconce above the toilet for reading purposes. Use the same rule of thumb as mirror sconces and place the fixture at about eye level.

To view this entire article, click here.

How To Choose Light Bulbs for your Recessed Lighting


We've written articles on this subject but now it's available of you to sit back and watch! Need light bulbs for your recessed lighting. Check out these from Philips.Holly Eddins

Bathroom Night Lights

Some sort of lighting that can be left on all night is not only a safety solution but will allow you to make the middle of the night trip to the bathroom without totally waking yourself up. Lots of folks use night lights and if you don’t have much space in your bathroom, this is a great solution. I love to use an accent lamp when there is room. A small lamp with a long life light bulb or compact fluorescent light bulb in it provides a wonderful accent light day and night. Either place on your vanity or on a small accent table.

To see the rest of this article or related ones, visit my website at
Holly Eddins

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How do I recycle CFL light bulbs?

Today we are all more aware of our impact on the earth and atmosphere. Light Bulbs containing mercury are certainly an element of that. Without getting too technical or detailed, I hope to provide you with the information you need to properly recycle or dispose of these types of light bulbs. This is not meant to be a comprehensive outline of all requirements and regulations. What I do want to do is to give you some general guidance as to what to do with mercury light bulbs and provide resources that give all the nitty gritty details. To read more about this topic, see the full article on our website Light Bulb Market.Holly Eddins

Calculating your Energy Savings

When looking at purchasing light bulbs for your home you have lots of choices. So, which one do you choose? There are a lot of factors to talk about but on this post I want to share with you how to calculate your bottom line savings. What do I mean by savings? When you use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of halogen or incandescent, you will have a pretty significant energy savings. Use our simple energy savings calculator to determine what savings you could have.Holly Eddins

Are Halogen Light Bulbs Dimmable?

Yes. All halogen light bulbs are dimmable. Even Halogena’ light bulbs by Philips Lighting are dimmable. Halogena’ light bulbs provide a bright white light and have a longer life than regular halogens.

Because halogens are dimmable they can save you money on your energy bill.Holly Eddins

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What is a lumen?

Lumen is a function of the science of measuring light. It is the luminous flux emitted within a unit solid angle by a point source having a uniform luminous intensidy of 1. In Englsh? A lumen is the amount of brightness a light bulb puts out. The higher the lumen, the brighter the light bulb. Lumens do follow wattages. The higher the wattage, the higher the lumens and the brighter the light bulb.Holly Eddins

Do I have to install Philips Halogena’ Light Bulbs with Base down?

All Philips Halogena’ Light Bulbs can be installed with the base in any direction. If you look at our Halogena’ product descriptions, you’ll see that we indicate the recommended Operating Position. Halogena’ light bulbs all have a “universal” operating position which indicates that it can be base down or up or in any direction.Holly Eddins

What Light Bulbs Contain Mercury?

Incandescent and Halogen ligh bulbs do NOT contain mercury. Compact Fluorescent and some HID light bulbs do contain mercury. If this a concern for you, choose a light bulb that is made with “ALTO” technology. These light bulbs contain the mercury content that the government suggests or less. On each of our product description pages of our website, Light Bulb Market, you we show you the mercury content of each light bulb if it contains any. And it will also tell you if an item is made with “ALTO” technology.Holly Eddins

What is the best way to change a halogen bulb?

There is no special way to change most halogen light bulbs. Quartz bulbs are a different story. There are very few halogen bulbs that contain quartz though. The majority of halogen bulbs don’t need to be handled with gloved hands. Ones with quartz, you’d simply change with gloved hands. It’s the oils from your skin that are not good for the bulb.Holly Eddins

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb would I use to replace my current regular 40/60/75/100 Watt Incandescent Light Bulb?

CFL Deco Twister Light Bulb In general, customers choose Mini-Deco Twister compact fluorescent light bulbs to replace regular A type incandescent light bulbs. What you want to compare is the initial lumens So, say if you normally put a 75 watt incandescent light bulb (1150 initial lumens) in your lamps around your home, you should look at the 18 Watt Mini Deco Twister compact Fluorescent (1250 initial lumens). Forget about wattage and realize it’s all about the lumens. You will be able to see the initial lumens on each individual product page Incandescent A19 Light BulbHolly Eddins

What is a Lux?

Lux is a term commonly used in photometrics. It’s a measure of intensity of light. 1 Unit of lux is equal to 1 lumen per square meter. So, when a photographer is measureing the illumination of a room before taking a photo, that is measured as a LUX.Holly Eddins

What do all the numbers mean in regards to Flood Light Bulbs?

You are looking at purchasing a flood or spot light bulb for your recessed or track lighting. But when you get to the time to make a decision, you are looking at light bulbs that are named: PAR16, PAR20, PAR30, R30, R40, etc. What does all this mean?

Basically, you take the number and divide it by 8. Once you get that number that represents the diameter of the light bulb. That is a crutial number to know. You should purchase a light bulb that is about 1″ less in diameter than the can you are putting it in. Or however small it needs to be for you to screw it in and take it out. So, a R40 is 5″ in diameter and a PAR16 is 2″ in diameter.Holly Eddins

Can I use CFL light bulbs with a dimmer switch?

It is very important to determine if the compact fluorescent light bulbs you are using are made to be dimmable or not! If you use a regular compact fluorescent light bulb in a system with a dimmer switch you will burn your bulbs out prematurely. There are a couple of ways you can go. Either purchase a dimmable compact fluorescent or switch out your switch from a dimmer switch to a regular on/off switch.

All Halogen light bulbs are dimmable and provide a better alternative to incandescent light bulbs in recessed lighting. The biggest problem is that they still put out a fair amount of heat and sometimes that’s not what you want, especially in a kitchen where there is already a great amount of heat.
Holly Eddins

What is a Standard Light Bulb?

A Standard Light Bulb is an incandescent A19 Light Bulb. A19 indicates the bulb shape. You’ll also hear folks call these an edison style light bulb.
Holly Eddins

What is the difference between a 120 Volt Light Bulb and a 130 Volt Light Bulb?

The volts of a light bulb indicate how many volts of electricity your light bulb operates at optimum. So for instance, if you are using a 120 volt light bulb in a table lamp and you get a surge of electricity in your house and the voltage raises above a 120, that light bulb will more than likely blow out. 130 Volt bulbs are the newer of the two types to come on the market. It's been our experience that you get a longer life out of a 130 Volt light bulb and when possible, we recommend this type.Holly Eddins