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”

Ordinary Copper Wire Doing Extraordinary Things!

Recent research published in Advanced Materials and Nature magazines shows a breakthrough in the usage of copper wire and how it can store energy. The research could mean even smaller electronics and clothes that act as batteries!

A nanotech scientist believes by using a thin sheath that surrounds lightweight electrical copper wire, he can store energy. We already know that all metals, including copper, form crystals that have free floating electrons that can move between associated atoms. That’s why electrical charges can come from one end of a wire to the other – basically electrons are shoving each other out of the way for the charge to move. Copper does this extremely well. But, now, the same wire that transmits electricity can also store extra energy.

Copper-Energy-Batteries Continue reading “Ordinary Copper Wire Doing Extraordinary Things!”

The Power of the Backup Generator

Be Prepared for Severe Weather with a Backup Generator!

We are in bad weather season – from tornadoes and severe storms tearing across the Mid-West to hurricanes and tropical storms on the East Coast. The amount of times the power has gone out in areas in northern Illinois, Indiana and Southern Wisconsin is already too high to count. But, there’s an easy way to keep you and your family out of the dark in a storm.

Backup Generators from SteinerWhy Do I Need a Backup Generator?

Since 2012, one in every four homeowners has experienced a power outage lasting 12 hours or more, according to a recent Harris Interactive survey. Property damage averaged more than $1,900. Most homeowners don’t consider the need for a backup generator until they actually need one because the electricity has gone out. During the humid summer or frigid winter, we only recognize the weather issues when the A/C or Heater is down and we have no lights! But, at this point, it’s too late.

Portable Generators Vs. Standby Generators

Backup Generators from Steiner Keep Electricity on in Severe StormsThere are an increasing number of homeowners as well as businesses that are considering or have already bought a backup generator. Most homeowners think a portable generator will do them good…and, in some situations, they do work just fine. This is an immediate solution to an emergency power outage that can run home essentials. Plus, you can bring it with you camping or to a tailgater! Standby generators, though, offer a more powerful solution when the electricity goes out…especially if it goes out for longer than a few hours. Standby generators automatically turn on when a power outage occurs. They are piece of mind for homes as well as business.

We offer residential and commercial backup generators with clean power, quiet operation and a 5-year limited warranty. Isn’t it time to see how Steiner can keep your home or business powered when your neighbors aren’t?

Kohler Generators from Steiner

“Choose Chicago” to illuminate some of Chicago’s most famous landmarks

-By Ron Styne

An initiative created to increase tourism for the city, called “Choose Chicago” was announced this month by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office. A request for proposal has been put out to create a city-wide framework to illuminate some of Chicago’s most famous landmarks.

The city is looking for a company to light up the Willis Tower, 180 bridges throughout the city over the Chicago River, CTA platforms, the modern wing addition at the Art Institute and the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park.

The proposal notes that at the present time the city has seven disconnected areas such as Navy Pier, the John Hancock building, Michigan Avenue, the Chicago River, Millennium Park, Willis Tower, Buckingham Fountain and the museum campus along Lake Shore Drive. The lighting plan work create an illuminated connection that would encourage tourists to explore the neighborhoods within the city.

Emanuel is looking to boost the city’s standing as a worldwide destination for tourists and the bid documents feels the light plan could help make that happen. The bidding process is meant to generate ideas and at this time there is no estimate as to how much the lighting network would cost or how much electricity it would take. In addition light pollution within the city has long been a topic of debate and this may be an issue as well.

The Future Business of Lighting

One of the bigger takeaways from LIGHTFAIR 2014 in Las Vegas earlier this month was how quickly the world of lighting changes – not in terms of years, but in terms of months. We already know LED lighting has permeated our daily lives starting in offices, moving into homes and in our cars. As the industry changes, the demand to make our lights more efficient while maintaining optimal light output is key.OLED-The-Organic-light-Emitting-Diode Continue reading “The Future Business of Lighting”

Keeping the Lights From Blocking the Stars

Every year, especially if you live in a city, you can see less and less stars. Light pollution from homes, businesses, cars makes it harder and harder to enjoy the night sky. This is what started the “Dark Sky” movement and has prompted some towns and cities to implement Dark Sky ordinances. If you are preparing to change the outdoor lighting at your home or business, you might want to consider not only the efficiency of your lights but their ability to light the ground rather than the sky.Dark-Sky-initiative-Steiner-Electric

Everything that makes light reduces our ability to see the heavens.

We all know this when we head out of town.  Not properly shielding lights allows that light to travel upwards, blocking what is coming down from the heavens. Skyglow in cities, that’s the orange haze you see over major metro areas is mostly manmade by our over-illumination. But there are ways you can, even just a little, help curb that skyglow.

Steiner offers options when it comes to installing complete cut off for commercial buildings.

In fact this is mandatory for earning ComEd incentives. We can then work with you to determine the best ways to light the area around your building and not the area above it. We know how important it is to keep paths lit, but we also want to be sure the light stays on the path and isn’t reflected. These fixtures are also more efficient since you aren’t wasting electricity into space. The International Dark-Sky Association has offered some simple guidelines when it comes outdoor lighting and some communities in the U.S. have adopted them –

  • Use the lowest wattage of lamp that is feasible. The maximum wattage for most commercial applications should be 250 watts of high intensity discharge lighting, but less is usually sufficient.

  • Incorporate curfews (i.e. turn lights off automatically after a certain hour when businesses close or traffic is minimal).

  • In regards to safety, one needs only the right amount of light, in the right place, at the right time. More light often means wasted light and energy.

While some of these aren’t feasible in the larger cities, considering Dark Sky options is a great way to save money on your electrical bills while also keeping the stars shining bright for the next generation, and also earn LEED points – www.usgbc.org/leed/certification

Copper price hits two month high

-By Ron Styne

Copper prices hit a two month high for the week ending May 16th, impacted by a combination of falling warehouse inventories of raw copper and technical tightness in the markets.

Despite the recent recovery in the LME-(London Metals Exchange), market analysts remain bearish on copper’s long term pricing for the rest of this year. That attitude is being arrived at based on factors such as the Chinese construction market and a surge in supplies. New housing starts in China remain weak.

China still accounts for 35-40% of global copper consumption. In addition there is a large amount of copper accumulated in bonded warehouses used for profitable lending. However demand for copper seems to be improving outside of China.

Safety First in the Electrical World

We all take electricity for granted; we turn the power on, lights come up, computers turn on, etc. When our electrical gadgets don’t work, we try to troubleshoot the issues ourselves. This troubleshooting is why we have a yearly safety reminder – May is National Electrical Safety Month.

National Electrical Safety Month Steiner Electric Continue reading “Safety First in the Electrical World”

The Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is one of the most important safety devices in your home, but most people don’t give them much thought until their lights go off or they can’t watch TV because the breaker has tripped.  When the electrical wiring in a building has too much current flowing through it, the breaker cuts the power.

But do you know how old the circuit breaker is?

Circuit Breaker Steiner Electric Continue reading “The Circuit Breaker”