October 2011

Light Bulbs Unlimited

Issue No. 23, Oct. 2011

Bulb Choices

Learn more about:
Get Ready for New Regulations
Learn Which Bulbs to Buy 
Get Answers to Your Questions

Bulb Basics
Beginning in 2012, new light bulb efficiency standards will affect which bulbs are available in stores. Here’s what you need to know.

Send us your design questions
For more great lighting ideas view our Lighting Videos
CHANGE A BULB: Which bulbs are being affected by new legislation? 

Contrary to what many people think, standard incandescent bulbs are not being banned, they are simply going to be more efficient. The bulbs most commonly used by consumers today will not meet the new requirements.

Over the next two years, the new requirements will affect 100-watt, 75-watt, 60-watt and 40-watt medium screw-base incandescent light bulbs. These bulbs will be replaced with more efficient halogen bulbs, which are a type of incandescent.

Timeline for implementing new standards for incandescent bulbs in the United States:

  • Jan. 1, 2012     100 Watt
  • Jan. 1, 2013     75 Watt
  • Jan. 1, 2014     60 Watt & 40 Watt

To read more about U.S. light bulb requirements, click here.
For information about Canadian light bulb standards,
click here.
Additional resources: www.LumenNow.org and www.epa.gov/cfl.

For more information about all your light bulb options, contact an ALA-member showroom.


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Incandescent Bulb
Standard Incandescent Bulb

Halogen Bulb
Halogen Incandescent Bulb

TIPS ON TYPES: How will I know which light bulbs to buy? 

By January 2012, all new medium screw-base bulbs will have more comprehensive labeling to help consumers understand and compare each type of light bulb. Information on new bulb labels includes: lumens (brightness), estimated yearly cost, life expectancy, light appearance and energy used. For more detailed information, go to www.LumenNow.org.

New Bulb Labeling


Visit an ALA-member showroom for professional help selecting the right bulbs and fixtures for your home.


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LED Lighting Video
Click here to learn more about new lighting options.
Labeling on Bulb
New labeling requires that the lumen output be printed directly on each bulb.

EXPERT ADVICE: Still confused? Ask a lighting professional. 

Are CFLs safe to use, considering they contain mercury?
                                                                         – Ann W.

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) in the U.S. contain an average of 4 miligrams or less of mercury. For comparison, an old fashioned mercury thermometer contains 125 times more mercury than one CFL. For that matter, there is more mercury in one bite of albacore tuna than in one CFL. While there is no evidence that exposure to the mercury in a broken bulb presents a health risk, information for safely cleaning up when a CFL breaks is available from the EPA at www.epa.gov/cfl.

Do you have questions about new light bulb requirements or the best way to light your home?
Click here to submit your questions for an ALA-trained lighting professional.

Visit ALA on Facebook.

To obtain a first-hand look at all your lighting options, click here to find your closest ALA showrooms.


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Compact Fluorescent Light

Send us your design questions >

For more great lighting ideas view our Lighting Videos >

Newsletter July 2010

Light Bulbs Unlimited

Issue No. 9, July 2010

This "green" kitchen remodel features energy-efficient recessed down lights from Nora Lighting.

Learn more about:
Ready, Set, Go Green
Win a $5,000 Lighting Makeover
2010 Lighting Magazine is Now Online

Transform Old Into New
"Green" renovations, like the one shown above, repurpose original materials and incorporate new eco-friendly materials.

Send us your design questions
For more great lighting ideas view our Lighting Videos
NEW LOOK: Get Ready, Get Set, Go "Green" 

Make your guests green with envy by going "green" the right way. Imaginative makeovers salvage and repurpose as much of the original materials as possible and effectively blend those existing materials with new eco-friendly products.

In addition to utilizing energy-efficient appliances and lights, many remodeling projects now incorporate innovative materials, such as cabinetry made with FSC-certified* wood; low- or no-VOC* paints and wood stains; sustainable copper metal accents; water-saving faucets; and concrete counter tops.

By striping and cleaning existing pantry cabinets, tile flooring and hardware, many original components are often salvageable. Restoring and repurposing materials can save energy, money and resources, and in many cases, help retain the original ambiance of older structures.
*FSC = Forest Stewardship Council; VOC = volatile organic compounds

For expert advice on choosing the most eco-friendly light fixtures for your home, click here to find your local ALA-member showroom.

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The Vortis pendant from Hubbardton Forge is energy efficient and made in the U.S.A.



Photo courtesy of Lithonia Lighting

BRIGHT TIPS: 2010 Lighting Magazine is Now Online 

Just click here to see the 2010 issue of Lighting magazine from the American Lighting Association and Better Homes & Gardens . This is the same magazine currently on newsstands for $6.99. Now, with the click of a button, you can see the newest home lighting products and get great ideas for putting your home in the best light. It’s quick, easy and compliments of the ALA.

Do you have lighting questions? Click here to submit your questions for a professional lighting designer.


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Copy of LightingMag2010

Send us your design questions >

For more great lighting ideas view our Lighting Videos >

Newsletter Oct-2011

Light Bulbs Unlimited
Issue No. 15, January 2011
Kichler Photo courtesy of Kichler Lighting
Learn more about:
RIGHT LIGHT Turn Down and Warm Up
WINNING LOOK Homeowners Win Lighting Makeovers
EXPERT ADVICE Get Answers to Your Questions

Baby, It’s Cold Outside Use portable light fixtures with dimmers to create a warmer feel.

RIGHT LIGHT: Turn Down the Light and Warm Up the Room 


  All it takes is a few small upgrades and improvements in lighting to make a huge impact on the warmth and inviting feel of your home. During the cold, dark days of winter, the right lighting is especially important. Using a dimmer will help create the perfect ambience for indoor activities. In a room where a central lighting fixture dominates the space, dimming allows that fixture to provide a more subtle and comfortable light, and lets other fixtures provide appropriate contrast. The addition of one or two portable light fixtures will help set the perfect stage, especially if they are connected to a table-top dimmer, which can be found at most ALA-member showrooms.  

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MurrayFeiss Photo courtesy of Murray Feiss
WINNING LOOK: Four Homeowners Win Lighting Makeovers from ALA 

Four lucky homeowners are winners of the American Lighting Association’s 2010 Home Lighting Makeover Sweepstakes. The winners’ names were randomly selected from among nearly 28,000 entries received from across the U.S. and Canada. The fortunate four are in the process of receiving a total of $10,000 worth of lighting products from their local ALA-member lighting showrooms.

Congratulations to winners: » Elisa M. of Wildwood, N.J. (grand prize = $5,000) » Cyndy K. of Woodbury, Minn. (2nd place = $2,500) » Derrick H. of Missoula, Mont. (3rd place = $1,500) » Amy W. of Pittsburgh, Pa. (4th place = $1,000)

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EXPERT ADVICE: Get Answers to Your Questions
    All of the seating in my 20′ x 20′ family room is removed from the walls, but there are no outlets in the center of the room. How can I use a portable lamp on my coffee table without creating a hazard with the cord running from the nearest wall? To add a plug in the middle of a room, there are two options:
  1. One is to use an extension cord with a very low, essentially flat profile. Also available are rubber covers that can be placed over extension cords to minimize the danger of tripping.
  2. The better option is to add a floor receptacle in a location below a table or a piece of furniture near the area where you want to place your table lamp. If you have a basement or a crawl space this can be accomplished by an experienced electrician, though it would require cutting and then repairing the area after installing the plug.
  Do you have questions about lighting your home? Click here to submit your questions for an ALA-trained lighting professional.

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HubbardtonForge Photo courtesy of Hubbardton Forge
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