Once upon a time, there were dozens of scientists around the world, all seeking to make an electrically sourced form of illumination. Some of the earliest were arc lights, of the sort that produce those powerful beams you see sweeping across the sky to attract attention to a car dealership having a sale.
A couple of decades ago they were used to announce the premiere of a new movie so that people could find the theatre. Before that, they were used to illuminate oncoming bombers during wars so they could be shot down before they rained death on our cities…
Such lights were hardly useful in a home or business since they used immense amounts of power while pouring off smoke, tremendous heat, and poisonous ozone. The scientists mentioned above instead tried trapping gases in closed tubes and running electricity through them, so the gases became excited enough to glow, and gas tube lighting (neon lighting, to the masses) was born.
Every scientist knew that metal glowed when it was heated, so they tried to make lighting by heating different metal wires until they gave off light. Most metals would melt well before they reached that point. For those that didn’t melt, when they reached a specific temperature, they would combine with the oxygen in the air, catch fire, and then burn-out.
We developed methods (the “mercury pump,” for one) that could remove the air from a glass vessel, and it became possible to heat these wires to much higher temperatures until they gave off brilliant light because there was practically no oxygen for them to react with. Of course, the problem remained that metals melt, even without oxygen, so there wasn’t much light available.
Thomas Edison went around acquiring all the patents he could find on the subject and put his team of researchers to work to create the best “light bulb” of all. Eventually, they came up with an “ideal” filament, made from carbon left over after burning sewing thread, though he eventually discovered and used bamboo fibers (until the famous “Mazda lamp” came along, introducing tungsten as the best metal) and the first commercially successful lightbulb was ready.
Filament bulbs hit their stride in 1879, and although there have been some minor improvements, those in use today still turn 90% of their electrical draw into HEAT, and only 10% into LIGHT.
Join the 21st Century
How can you honestly still believe using 19th Century technology is a good thing, now, in the 21st Century? It’s not, and the engineers and electricians at Illuminations Lighting Design can show you why.
We’ve struggled through Halogen’s actinic radiation era with its strong ultraviolet light output (now they are shielded to make sure they don’t cause eye cataracts or skin cancer); we’ve seen the CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lighting) fad peak and fade. Fluorescent tube lighting has had its day in the spotlight, so unless you’re tied intimately to the past, it’s time to embrace LED Lighting.
LED Lighting uses about 10% of the electricity of incandescent bulbs to provide the same amount of light. The energy for one 60 or 75-watt bulb would power several LED-style bulbs since equivalents use only 7-11 watts. Imagine the cost savings!
Yes, in the early days, LEDs didn’t have a good Color Rendering Index (CRI), so people didn’t like them. They were too green, or too blue, or too-something, and looked nearly as bad as fluorescent office lighting. That is no longer true.
Modern bulbs can render the full spectrum, or be tuned to precisely match a particular environment, desire, or in the case of art lighting, the exact ambiance at the time the art was created, so it looks as the artist intended it should. Have a look at these fantastic, stunning results.
Most incandescents last about 1,000 hours and cost 50¢-$ one each to replace. A commercial grade professional LED light (not those Garden Center knock-offs) will last between 50,000 and 200,000 hours.
Do the Math… One LED could last a human lifetime or more in ordinary use, where you might require 50-200 incandescents in its place. More importantly, the lifetime cost of an LED is utterly trivial compared to incandescent bulbs.
Would you rather climb a ladder many times per year to replace light bulbs, or do it once, and then leave it for your children or grandchildren to do next time, decades from now? One fall from a ladder could incur enough expense to pay for the lightbulbs for an entire neighborhood for years. Is that a risk you want to take?
Conversion and Updating
Converting your existing system to LED is not an expensive process. The payback time is remarkably short, but the payoff in terms of reliability is unmatchable by any other system.
Our customers would be delighted to recommend us to you, with high praise and compliments, and though that makes us blush every time, you deserve to know why they love us.
Realistically, whether you’re doing it for your convenience, or whether you’re doing it to make your home more saleable, you will benefit from converting to LED lighting. Saving money is a great incentive; eliminating risk is another; but for the buyer, “being modern” is probably best of all. Whichever suits you, give us a call, and we’ll make it happen for you. Big or small, we do it all!
We are experienced, licensed electricians who want to do the job you expect without emptying your bank account! Since there are so many ways do a job incorrectly, we urge you to call us, because…
We’ll do it right!
Call us today at 713-863-1133 and experience peace of mind and excellent service as we help you reach your dreams and keep your family safe. Take a moment to schedule a design consultation or visit us on Facebook to learn more about our lighting and electrical services. We’d love to hear from you!