LED’s for the Future

philips farmingThe future of lighting is Solid State Lighting (SSL). While other artificial light sources aren’t quite obsolete, SSL technologies such as LEDs are at the forefront of innovations in quality, efficiency, and application. For example, last month Philips Lighting opened its GrowWise Center research farm in the Netherlands. Its goal is to investigate the expansion of artificial lighting for indoor gardening, with applications that extend to industrial-level city gardening to raising crops on other worlds.

Studies in SSL for farming are welcomed news for horticultural scientists at Purdue University. Researchers there have published work on using LED lighting to grow fresh food under conditions likely to be experienced during space travel. For a crew to make it to Mars and back, they will require more food and water than they can carry. Growing their own food will be essential, and such technology could make extended stays on Mars and the moon a reality.LED Growing

With this kind of interest from industry and academia, the possibilities for SSL are endless.

And even though we don’t have a colony on the moon yet, today’s technology shows us that the future is already here. We have entered the era of the “internet of things,” which refers to all the interconnected devices that share space with us online. From HVAC systems to kitchen appliances, devices in virtually every environment are connecting to the internet. SSL is a natural fit for centralized connectivity.

led lightsPhilips has already helped Los Angeles move towards a more efficient lighting system. The second largest city in the country became the first use Philips CityTouch system which lets the city control everything through mobile and cloud-based tech. The city’s Bureau of Street lighting says the LED solution will save energy, reduce maintenance and make for safer streets.

SSL technologies are changing the way we light up the dark.

Talk to the lighting experts from Steiner Electric’s Energy Solutions team to bring your lighting future into the present. Whether it’s a municipality, industrial complex, or your own home, our consultants will help you save time and money on all of your lighting needs.

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Taking the Light With You

My wife laughs when she sees me wearing a headlamp. It’s usually when I’ve just gotten done working in the crawlspace, or changing oil in the driveway, or unclogging a pipe somewhere around the house. But when the power goes out at home or when I’ve got to throw the rain-fly on the tent because of a sudden storm in the middle of the night, she’s the first one asking for the spare headlamp so she doesn’t have to fumble around in the dark.

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It’s those times that she learns what field crews everywhere have always known: there’s nothing like a portable light when you’ve got to get a job done where it’s dark.

There are portable work lights for every need these days. From lights on motors for indoor gardeners to filtered lights to help photographers recreate the golden hour, there’s a portable lighting solution for virtually any purpose. Of course, having access to an outlet box opens up those options considerably, but power-packed battery technology coupled with energy-sipping bulbs have combined to give us work lights that can shine for days on a single charge. Take a look at this simple Cooper Lighting 60 LED Plug-in Work light.LED-Work-Light

Milwaukee Tools has a M18 LED Flood Light that shines 30% brighter than a corded 250w halogen and offers an 8 hour run-time. It also comes with a limited lifetime LED warranty. It’s impact resistant and will be there in the toughest conditions when you are relying on that light to get the work done.

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There’s also the Banner LED Work Light that is best for area lighting and offers several mounting options so you can place it and shine it where needed. It will illuminate a huge area without shadows and it consumes less than 2 watts.

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Remember us the next time you have any portable lighting needs. Because no matter how goofy someone looks wearing a headlamp in the light of day, no one wants to be left fumbling around in the dark.

The Joy of Dimming Lights

A great way to save energy and provide a bit of ambience to any space is to install dimmable lighting. Residential installations of a dimmer switch is something an experienced homeowner can do, although a qualified electrician is still advised – particularly in an older home, where the conditions may not marry well with today’s technology.

Dimmers-lightsThere are several factors to consider when adding or replacing dimmable lighting in the home.

The primary consideration is in the choice of quality components, which is true for any electrical supplies purchase. When it comes to dimmable lighting, inferior products always provide poor performance. Common experiences with subpar products include buzzing, flickering, and intermittent performance. One of the reasons problems occur is that low quality dimmers simulate dimming by flashing power rapidly – up to 120 times a second. The result is electromagnetic resistance, which results in vibration and buzzing.

High quality switches actually raise and lower the voltage to the fixture, allowing for a smooth transition between light levels.

Steiner Electric carries several high quality solutions for your dimming needs. For example, take a look at what we carry from Leviton’s line of dimmer switches for both residential and commercial applications. Leviton’s universal dimmers will future-proof your fixtures. They are designed to work with dimmable incandescent, LEDs, and CFL bulbs.

When it comes to residential remodeling plans or a commercial build, sometimes the lighting is left till the end. Calling Steiner Electric early in the planning of any changes to your home or business will help dim any headaches!

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Lightfair International Amazes Once Again

Last week, New York City hosted Lightfair International – the world’s largest annual trade show and conference dedicated to architectural and commercial lighting innovations and education. Coming off of a record-breaking 2014 conference in Las Vegas, which also happened to be its 25th anniversary, this year’s Lightfair International event harbored high hopes and plenty of anticipation throughout the industry. As you can glimpse in these reports from LFI News, this year’s trade show met those expectations and more. Continue reading “Lightfair International Amazes Once Again”

Endless Twilight Looms Over City Nights

Imagine a thriving new fast-food restaurant moves next door or across the street from where you live. Along with the scent of grease and the sound of crackling speakers comes an assault on the night’s darkness. Headlights pull in and out of a new parking lot that’s lit up like a stadium. A glut of crisp light crashes through every window in your home, and the curtains close.United-States-Lights-At-Night Continue reading “Endless Twilight Looms Over City Nights”

Entertaining and Inspiring with Light

Encoded within light are the secrets of the universe. Yet, nothing is more intrinsic to our modern way of life than light, as easy to take for granted as the air we breathe. Somewhere between the unfathomable and the practical lies the inspirational. From fireworks that take months to choreograph to psychedelic light shows set to classic rock to a fierce round of Laser Tag at a child’s birthday party, light does more than simply illuminate our entertainments.

Light can actually be our entertainment.Laser-light-showLaser-tag

If nothing can impress like excess, Las Vegas is one of the most impressive cities in the world. That is the home of the Fountains of Bellagio, where light, water, and sound are mingled into one of the most complex fountain choreographies ever conceived. The Dubai Fountain, the largest dancing fountain system in the world, is equally impressive and in a city that is every bit as excessive. Watch for the skillful integration of light with the jetting water streams, which suggest a cadre of dancers flitting across the surface of the lake.

Click here for Fountains of Bellagio

Click here for The Dubai Fountain

Of course, most people will not be using light as whimsically on such a grand scale. However, everyday uses of inspirational lighting is more important in the long run. How people choose to accentuate the environments of homes, businesses, and public places has a significant and enduring effect on day-to-day life – especially compared to the fleeting, albeit amazing, performances of light in a dancing fountain or a fireworks display. That is why, at Steiner Electric, accentuating environments is one of our specialties.

Fountain Chicago-LightingAn energy audit from our proud Lighting Applications Group is capable of evaluating every lighting concern imaginable, whether residential, industrial, or municipal. While our lighting assessment includes security, efficiency, and productivity considerations, our design professionals are also experts in the aesthetics of environmental lighting. In addition to providing you with the many practical benefits of an energy audit from Steiner Electric, we can also advise you how to best coax your space to excite, inspire, or simply impress. And when we have a child’s birthday party as an excuse, some of us will even play a round or two of Laser Tag.

Harvesting Daylight for Your Business

Did you know that you can harvest daylight through your windows at work?

We all know how much the sunlight can affect employee moods as well as sales of products, but it’s affect on the office space works in better ways…for your pocketbook. Plus, using daylight as the primary source for illuminating a space is more sustainable in the long run. Continue reading “Harvesting Daylight for Your Business”

Lighting and Breast Cancer Drugs

Our sleep cycle is affected by melatonin and light. When the sun goes down, the pineal gland secretes melatonin and that helps us sleep. Melatonin has also been shown to help with immune system issues, age related disorders and even the shrinking of tumors. New research has shown though, that when we have artificial lights on, even in dim settings, we are affecting melatonin levels and that is causing issues with the breast cancer drug, Tamoxifen.lights-Rats-tamoxifen Continue reading “Lighting and Breast Cancer Drugs”

Changing Out Your 700 Series T8 Lamps

After a 2 year reprieve from the US Department of Energy, it’s time to replace your 700-series T8 general service fluorescent lamps and Philips is going to help you do that immediately. The phase-out period began a few weeks ago, July 14th, 2014. It involves more than just the 8-foot high-output 700 series T-8s; the 4-foot medium bi-pin, 2-foot U-shaped, 8-foot Slimline are also included.

700 Series T8 LampsIn response to the required change for new energy efficiency and lumens per watt requirements, Philips has changed its 700 Series T8 Lamps and added ALTO II Technology, which offers the lowest mercury content in the lighting industry while providing 8-10% additional lumens per the DOE requirement. The ALTO II technology is TCLP compliant and only has 1.7 mg of mercury. This will reduce the impact on the environment but is not going to change the performance of the GSFL. This is 50% less mercury that the original T8 lamps.

There will be an additional cost to the new 700 Series T8s because there is a higher cost in the manufacturing process. The price increase is 15-25%. Philips will be adding the cost to existing orders – as more and more companies will be making the required switch.

Of course, if you have any questions, your Steiner Representative is here to help you! We are a phone call or a “click” away for online support!

The Power of LED in the Future

To start off July, Detroit announced it had installed its 10,000th LED street light and was on track to add 55,000 more. Lighting Motor City is no easy task but Detroit’s Mayor says this project has helped some neighborhoods be illuminated for the first time in years leading to safer streets at night. On a larger scale, news like this for the lighting industry is even bigger.

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Detroit installed it’s 10,000th LED street light in early July

Continue reading “The Power of LED in the Future”