If you are currently purchasing halogen type PAR lamps, you may be made aware of the new regulations that were put into place on July 14, 2012. In effect, you will no longer be able to purchase PAR, R, ER, BPAR type incandescent/halogen type lamps. This rule will heavily impact the availability of many common lamp types in the hospitality and retail industries. The current standards that have the lowest efficiency and costs make the initial replacement costs higher, but over the long term, will end up reducing high energy consumption and monthly electric expense. However, there are a few options that can be utilized for an easy swap-out of high efficiency light bulbs. Priority Lighting recommends the following choices to retrofit existing track and recessed lighting systems and fixtures.

• HALOGEN LIGHT: While there is a limited supply of this type lamp left in distributor circulation, we expect a total phase out of this lamp by year’s end. You can expect rising costs of this light bulb as the demand grows.

• ECO-HALOGEN: This style highly resembles (in shape, color output, and lumen output) the reflector halogen light bulb with an added 30% energy reduction. The downside you may experience is a significant decrease in longevity of this light bulb. Most manufacturers spec this lamp out with a rated 1000-1500 hour life. (Most halogen light bulbs currently last between 2000 and 6000 hours depending on wattage and voltage).

• IR HALOGEN: Infrared halogens produce more light with fewer watts than conventional halogens. However, the IR technology has a disadvantage in the retail markets, as the light output does seem to cast a green hue rather than warm white like traditional halogens.

• CFL: The outer “shell” of PAR CFL types look similar to the halogen and come with a slightly frosted lens with a spiral type (curly cue/pig tail) in the center. The reflector wrapped around the spiral enhances the performance putting out decent lumens. However, the CRI (coloring rendering index) is poor and is not dimmable.

• SELF-BALLASTED CERAMIC METAL HALIDE LAMPS: This technology is considered by architects and designers to be, not only one of the best looking light sources on the market, but also provides the highest LPW (lumen per watt). The negatives to this bulb are the high upfront cost, color shifts after a few months of use, and its lack of capability to be dimmed.

• LED: One of the most sought-after and popular options is the light emitting diode (L.E.D.). Its most noticeable features are its superior efficiency, long life, high CRI, and hassle-free maintenance. Due to the fact that there is so much “hype” about this somewhat new technology, there are thousands of overseas manufacturers exporting this lamp into the US market with little-to-no oversight into the quality of its features which include: driver, heat sink, packaging, diodes and the possible inferiority of metals used.

Priority Lighting was recently nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Led Lighting Facts program as a public educator of lighting issues, as well as a premier supplier of quality tested LED products. A buyer should always look for these “telltales”: LED lighting facts label which puts manufacturers’ claims to the test by properly describing the actual contents of what you are buying. There are also DLC, Energy Star, and LM reports to adhere to. Priority Lighting has many great LED products available with warranties up to five years to ensure customer satisfaction. shop.prioritylighting or call one of our knowledgeable staff at 800-709-1119.