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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Black Light Bulbs Reviewed In 2018Last Updated January 1, 2019
№1 – SleekLighting 13 Watt Spiral CFL Black Bug Light Bulb, 120Volt, E26 Medium Base. (Pack of 2)
№2 – Sunsgne 25Ft Globe string lights with G40 Bulbs (Plus 2 Extra Bulbs) UL Listed Backyard Patio Lights Garden Party Natural Warm Bulbs Cafe Hanging Umbrella Lights on Light String Indoor Outdoor-Black
№3 – Sunlite SL20/BLB/3PK 20W Spiral Energy Saving CFL Light Bulb Medium Base (3 Pack), Blacklight Blue
A basic rundown on these uv black light torches
You may have seen black lights torches on some of your favorite TV shows and movies. Black light torches come in all different sizes and wave lengths some are for universal use and some are made for a specific applications. Ultraviolet light is cannot be seen humans
A UV Torch showing normally hidden stains in a Laundry Sink
How to select a good quality uv black light torch
Here at Glow Paint Industries we have a large range of black light torches from basic plastic body black light torches to more professional black lights that have a metal body. Most of our black light torches are powered by AA or AAA batteries. Image on the left is Budgies exposed to a UV Black Light At a Show Hosted By Don Burke. Note the Head and other feathers light up.
Our range of black light torches And Other UV Black Lights
Handheld uv black light 365nm
This is the up close and personal black light and has a wide range of uses. Can be used for checking invisible markings or writing on property. Is also use for checking bank notes, stamps and ID cards. Small, compact and light weight design. Easy to use and runs off x AA batteries. A great little multipurpose black light torch for business or personal use.
Black light bulb 1volt DC 365nm 13W or 25W
This is not a black light torch but dose deserve a mention. This uv black light bulb is used in places where there is not power points available. This black light bulb is portable and can be powered by a 12V battery or a power pack. Comes with fitting for the bulb and hanging hook. Bulb can be replaced. Warning do not plug into 240 volt AC mains power.
Incandescent bulbs: These inexpensive bulbs are probably what you’ve been buying for years, but they’re about to undergo some changes. Forget buying a 100-watt incandescent bulb—they’re being phased out for environmental reasons. While consumers can still purchase incandescent bulbs, federal law requires that they be produced using 30 percent less energy. They’ll emit the same warm light, but even with the federally required changes, these bulbs will still use more energy than some of their greener counterparts.
Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs): These bulbs are good for the environment and your wallet: They often last to times longer than incandescent bulbs, and experts say they use 7percent less energy. These bulbs generally cost more up front, but you can break even quickly, thanks to the energy savings. The major downsides: You can’t use them with dimmers, and they take a few seconds to power on. And while they contain a very small amount of mercury, it’s sealed in glass tubing so it’s not released if the bulb is broken. Manufacturers are working to improve these bulbs; for example, they no longer emit an annoying buzzing sound and they’re available in different colors, like cool, neutral, or warm. These bulbs are particularly effective when used in places where the lights are left on often, like a hallway, porch, or kitchen.
Things to Consider
Make sure that you don’t choose a lightbulb with a higher wattage than your lamp allows. It can be tricky with the lower wattages to know what is the right wattage in CFLs or halogens. Energy Star has very helpful charts to help you figure out what bulb is best for you.
If you’re choosing a lightbulb for outdoors, make sure that it’s in a fixture that protects it from getting wet. Many CFLs and LEDs can be used outside, but they can’t get wet.
Why you should trust me
I’ve reviewed consumer electronics for more than 1years and have held top editorial positions at magazines including Electronic House, E-Gear, Dealerscope, and others. I’ve also reviewed products for Sound & Vision, Big Picture Big Sound, and Consumer Digest. I’ve been an invited speaker at both the CEDIA and CES expos on the subject of smart home systems. In addition to turning my house into a laboratory for DIY home automation products, I’m also a certified Controlprogrammer.
Who should get this
Smart light bulbs are the easiest way to upgrade your home or apartment lighting to wireless control. Smart bulbs can reduce your energy consumption, especially if you’re just getting around to replacing incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs with the significantly more energy-efficient LED bulbs. An LED bulb can last more than 1years under normal usage. If you’re smart about using the smart bulb’s scheduling and remote-operation features, you can save money by not using them when no one is in the room. However, smart bulbs cost more up front—sometimes a lot more—than non-smart LED bulbs, so the cost savings over time may be more symbolic than actual.
The main reason to try smart bulbs is that they’re fun. It’s okay to admit there’s a little thrill in tapping your smartphone to turn off a light across the room or across the house. Maybe that thrill decreases over time, but it’s still there. Getting up to physically hit a light switch—that’s never fun (unless you’re stopping at the fridge along the way to grab a beer). And smart bulbs do add convenience to your life. It’s easy to shut off downstairs lights when you’re upstairs tucked in bed. If you hear a bump in the night, you can turn on multiple lights at once. Want to turn down the lights for watching TV in the evening? All smart bulbs are easily dimmable from their apps. Most apps allow for scheduling, so you can have groups of lights turn on and off based on your daily activities or to simulate occupation when you’re away from home.
Smart bulbs that change colors are even more fun. Like a softer, warmer light to ease your way into morning? A color-adjustable or tunable white bulb can do that. Want to set a relaxing mood for music after dinner? Turn the lights blue, or green, or whatever palette you like. Set in strategic locations, color-adjusting smart bulbs can be an integral part of your home decor, rather than just something to chase the shadows away.
Many smart bulbs, including our top picks, can be integrated with a variety of other smart-home products, including smart-home hubs, switches, cameras, and thermostats, making a light bulb an easy way to start your smart-home system.
If you already have a couple of smart bulbs or a smart-home system installed, however, you may be stuck with a specific brand or technology. Some bulb brands can be mixed and matched in a system, others can’t; we explain that further below.
The Hue does everything its competitors do, but a wider product and app ecosystem allows for more flexibility and creativity than any other smart bulb.
Since Philips introduced the original A1color-changing bulb in 2012, the company has added several more products to the family, including battery-powered lights, strip lights, light globes, wireless remotes, motion sensors, and plain-white-light smart bulbs. The recent addition of HomeKit compatibility makes Hue lights work with additional products and allows Siri voice control over the lights. This requires the Hue gateway, which comes in the current starter kit.
No need to paint the walls to change the look of your room. Just change the color scene of your Hue bulbs. With 1million colors, you won’t quickly get bored.
Setting up Hue lights requires a few simple steps, much like any other smart-home device. The gateway connects to your home router or network switch via a wired Ethernet port. This connects the system to your network and allows you to control the lights with a smartphone or tablet connected wirelessly to the same network. The gateway connects to the Hue bulbs themselves over a Zigbee wireless mesh network. A mesh network has the ability to repeat signals through all the connected nodes (in this case, the Hue lights are the nodes), which cuts down on errors and improves reliability. The gateway unit is small enough that you can easily tuck it out of sight.
Who else likes them
Pretty much anyone who’s reviewed Philips Hue bulbs loves them. PCMag gave the starter kit an Editor’s Choice award and says “Hue not only adds the convenience of wireless control, but it adds an element of wonder with its ability to easily recreate scenes and moods.” Though CNET wishes the bulbs were a little brighter (newer versions are brighter than the originals), the site agrees with me that smart compatibility makes it a winning choice, declaring “If you have a variety of smart-home gadgets, and you want color-changing bulbs that will work with as many of them as possible, Hue can’t be beat.” The reviewers at Digital Trends called the Philips Hue “just plain fun and addictive.”
Simple Bluetooth control
An inexpensive bulb that’s good for people who want an easily controllable light, not a whole smart home.
GE discontinued its previous Link line of bulbs, which connected using Zigbee, in favor of the new C family. C-Life bulbs connect via Bluetooth, making them easy to connect and control from your smartphone, tablet, or computer, but which also means you can’t control them when you’re away from home or—given Bluetooth’s limited range—even if you’re on a separate floor of the home.
The C-Life bulb is usually sold in a bundle with C-Sleep, a tunable white bulb that you can adjust from a harsh white to warmer tones. The app also allows the tone to automatically track with the time of day, supposedly creating the optimal light for the conditions. Of course, because it doesn’t include a light sensor or any connection to weather information, C-Sleep can’t actually know what the ambient lighting conditions are. Still, it’s an inexpensive tunable white bulb and works well at what it does. Like the C-Life, it also communicated via Bluetooth.
Sylvania Lightify bulbs (which used to be called Osram Lightify) work on a Zigbee network, and as such need a Zigbee hub, either the small wall-plug unit often sold bundled with a bulb or a smart-home hub like SmartThings or Wink. The Lightify RGB color-adjustable bulb is about the same price as the Hue, but it’s shaped more like a traditional incandescent bulb. I measured 500 lux from the top and 250 at the sides, which makes it slightly brighter than the Hue, but the difference is only really noticeable when in a white mode. The colors are not as rich as those of the Hue or LIFX bulbs, but red looks red enough, and green looks green enough to satisfy most people.
The Lightify tunable white bulb measured a little brighter at its peak settings, giving us 600 lux from the top and 320 from the sides.
When setting up your Lightify bulbs, you first need to set up the gateway (unless you’re using another brand’s hub). It didn’t initially want to connect to my network, until I resorted to calling technical support and was walked through a few additional steps that did the trick (turn iPhone to airplane mode, then turn Wi-Fi back on, which disables Apple’s Wi-Fi Assist). Weird, but it worked.
The Lightify app is graphically dull and not as intuitive as the Hue or LIFX apps, but if you’re connecting the bulb to the SmartThings or Wink hub you’ll use that app instead and won’t have to mess with the Lightify one. For a while Lightify bulbs could also be paired with the Hue gateway, but firmware updates seem to have made that more difficult, so it’s no longer a dependable option (feel free to try it, but cross your fingers).
Like Hue and LIFX, Lightify bulbs work with Alexa when connected to an Alexa-compatible hub like SmartThings and Wink, but they won’t work with Alexa independently, and don’t work with Google Home or Apple HomeKit. The lights do work with Nest, so you can create scenes that synchronize with Nest’s Home and Away modes. Those may be factors to consider if your plan is to add a variety of smart-home gadgets to your abode.
Like Hue, these bulbs are part of a family of Lightify products, which also include outdoor string lights and strip lights for indoor use (which we plan to test soon) as well as a wireless remote similar to the one Hue offers. Lightify isn’t a bad way to go if your plans go beyond standard A1bulbs, but the company doesn’t currently integrate with as many other platforms.
The Cree Connected and LinearLinc bulbs.
LinearLinc Bulbz (also sold under the GoControl brand) is a Z-Wave bulb for Z-Wave–based smart-home systems. It works well with both the Wink and SmartThings hubs (and presumably with other Z-Wave smart-home hubs). Putting out 520 lux from the top and 360 from the side, it’s brighter than many of the bulbs we tested, but also more expensive—twice the price of the Cree or GE bulbs. Unlike those bulbs, the LinearLincs responded almost immediately to app commands. If keeping your smart-home devices within a Z-Wave ecosystem is important to you, these bulbs will light the way.
What to look forward to
Sylvania’s Smart+ A1Full Color bulbs, the company’s first line of smart light bulbs, are supposedly the first to allow owners to control them directly via Siri and Apple’s Home app. The Bluetooth-enabled bulbs are expected to ship in September. Once they are available, we’ll see how they stack up to our current picks.
TP-Link’s LB230 smart bulbs are designed to change color and connect to Wi-Fi without a separate hub, and can be controlled remotely through an app. TP-Link says it offers a two-year warranty and lifetime technical support. We’ll test these out as soon as we can and update this guide with our thoughts.
IKEA’s Trådfri smart LED bulbs are now compatible with Apple’s HomeKit (IKEA’s dimmers and other smart-lighting devices are still not compatible, however). According to The Verge, IKEA has also promised Google Home compatibility sometime in the future, but just when that might happen is unclear. They’re certainly cheaper than our current pick and runner-up, but we’ll wait to update this guide until we get a chance to test how they perform with the HomeKit.
You can already find several smart bulbs that include non-lighting features such as music or video cameras. Although we’re not huge fans of those, we expect to see more, and if there’s interest, we’ll check them out. Overall, the biggest trend we expect and hope for is declining prices. Though smart LED bulbs may last you 1to 20 years, they’re still expensive. As they grow in popularity, they’ll inevitably become cheaper, and more people will get to enjoy their benefits.
The lights on this page produce relatively high amounts of visible red and invisible near infrared A (NIR) and have low blue and UV output. Blue and UV wavelengths act to oppose some of the biological effects of red and NIR, light sources with peaks in these regions, such as CFL and many fluorescents should be avoided. Below are some good resources on the topic.
Red NIR on EM Spectrum
Red light and the sleep quality and endurance performance of Chinese female basketball players.
Wavelength output curves of light sources on Kelvin scale.
These incandescent and heat bulbs use E2size screw,the clamp lamp fitting is E27, these are almost always interchangeable. Fittings for these bulbs should be suitably designed for high temperatures at this wattage, even when not using specifically designed heat bulbs. Fittings should have reflectors to focus light where it is needed, some bulbs (heat bulbs generally) also have their own internal reflectors. Where possible I would choose to pair 3-Bulbrite Clear 250W Heat Reflector Light (or equivalent) with 250 Watt Clamp Lamp or above. If purchasing from a different country pay attention to the voltages as there are different requirements. The tripod sets will be easier to set up unless you have somewhere suitable to clamp the clamp lamps.
These clamp lamps are likely suitable for the above bulbs, along with other 250W or lower wattage heat and incandescent bulbs. (If choosing 300W bulbs make sure the clamp lamps are 300W suitable)
Designers Edge L14SLED 1000-Watt Twin-Head Adjustable Work Light with Telescoping Tripod Stand, Halogen
1000-Watt Twin-Head Halogen Adjustable Work Light with Telescoping Tripod Stand
2x 500-watt halogen light bulbs (1000-watts total)
LED vs. CFL vs. Halogen
Now that most incandescent lightbulbs are pretty much a thing of the past, consumers now must choose between LED (light-emitting diode), CFL (compact fluorescent), and halogen bulbs to light their homes. But which is the best option? It all depends on your needs. We’ll take you through the various kinds of lighting, and the benefits that each offers.
LEDs vs. Incandescent Bulbs
Traditional incandescent bulbs measured their brightness in watts; if you wanted a brighter bulb, you bought one with a higher wattage. However, with the advent of LEDs and other types of lighting, that yardstick has become meaningless, and as a result, a bulb’s brightness is now listed as lumens, which is a more accurate measurement of how bright it is, rather than how much energy it consumes. Below is a conversion table which shows how much energy, in watts, an incandescent bulb and an LED typically require to produce the same amount of light.
Other Lightbulb Alternatives
EISA will also stop the manufacturing of candle-and globe-shaped 60-watt incandescent bulbs (the types used in chandeliers and bathroom vanity light fixtures). However, the law doesn’t affect 40-watt versions of those bulbs, nor three-way (50 to 100 to 150-watt) incandescent A1bulbs. So, those will continue to be an option for you, as well, in fixtures that will accommodate them.
LED Lightbulb Options
Traditional bulbs for table and floor lamps are known by their lighting industry style name “A19,”while floodlight bulbs made for track lights and in-ceiling fixtures are dubbed “BR30.” Your best long-term alternative to either style is extremely energy-efficient LED technology.
The LED equivalent of a 60-watt A1bulb consumes only between and 1watts, and provides about the same light output, measured in lumens. A 40-watt equivalent LED bulb consumes only to 8.watts. And a 65-watt BR30 (floodlight) replacement LED bulb consumes only to 1watts.
Moreover, an LED bulb’s lifespan is practically infinite. Manufacturers typically estimate a bulb’s lifespan based on three hours of use per day. By that measurement, an LED bulb will be as good as new for at least a decade, manufacturers say. Under the same conditions, an old-fashioned lightbulb may work for only about a year before burning out.
For example, GE’s equivalent LED bulb has a rated lifetime of 15,000 hours or 13.years. Philips’ equivalent LED bulb has a rated lifetime of 10,000 hours or 9.1years.
LED bulbs will continue to light up even after their rated lifetimes expire; however, brightness may drop or the color cast of the light may change.
GE, Philips, Sylvania, Cree and other brands (including IKEA) all offer LED bulbs that output the most popular “soft white” light, at retailers including Home Depot, Target and Walmart. In addition, GE ‘s Reveal lineup of color-enhancing lightbulbs (a coating filters out yellow tones to enhance colors lit by the bulb) with LED replacements equivalent to 40-watt and 60-watt A1bulbs and to a 65-watt BR30 bulb.
When they first came out, LED bulbs emitted a bluish light that many found harsh compared to the “warmer” light cast by traditional bulbs. However, LED makers now offer LED bulbs that emit different color temperatures, measured in Kelvin. Here are a few that you’ll most likely find at a home improvement store:
2700K: These bulbs will be labeled “soft white,” and will cast a gentle warm glow that’s good for the bedroom, as well as table and floor lamps.
3000K: “Bright White” bulbs have a more neutral glow, being neither warm nor cool.
5000K: Lights that are 5000K and higher will typically have a “daylight” label, and edge towards the bluer part of the spectrum. However, they will best approximate actual sunlight.
IKEA Tradfri Gateway Kit
Even IKEA is getting into the smart lighting game. Its Tradfri line includes several bulb types, including an A2(essentially an A19), GU10, as well as a remote control, dimming switch, and a motion sensor. These bulbs also require a gateway hub to connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. While they currently do not work with any other smart home system, Ikea announced that the lights will work with Alexa, Google Home, and HomeKit by the fall. Not all of the Tradfri lights are available online, so you’ll have to go to an IKEA store for some; be sure to stock up on Swedish meatballs while you’re there.
As you’re probably aware, light bulbs come in a fairly wide variety of shapes. Sure, it’s easy enough to tell a hardware store clerk that you want “one of those flamey-looking lights,” or “just a normal ol’ bulby light bulb,” but knowing the actual nomenclature might save you some time.
Are pricey candelabra LEDs a smart upgrade for your chandelier?
Let’s start with the base of the bulb, the part that screws in. In the US, the most common shape by far is E26, with the “E” standing for Edison and the “26” referring to the diameter of the base in millimeters. You might also see E2bulbs from time to time, which is the European standard. Those should still fit into common American fixtures, but keep in mind that voltage ratings are different in the two regions, with American bulbs rated for 120 volts compared to 220-240 volts in Europe. For smaller sockets, like you might find with a candelabra, you’ll want to look for an E1base.
As for the bulb itself, the typical shape that you’re probably used to is an A1bulb. Increase that number to A2or A23, and you’ve got the same shape, but bigger. Bulbs made to resemble flames are F-shaped, which is easy enough to remember, as are globes, which go by the letter G. If it’s a floodlight you want, you’ll want to look for “BR” (bulging reflector) or “PAR” (parabolic aluminized reflector). Those bulbs are designed to throw all their light in one direction only, which makes them useful for spot lighting, overhead lighting and the headlights in your car.
Your automated-lighting options
It used to be that if you wanted your lights to turn on and off automatically, then you had to rely on a cheap wall socket timer, the kind you might use to control a Christmas tree. These days, with a modest boom in smart lighting currently under way, it’s easier than ever to dive into the sort of advanced automation controls that can make any home feel modern and futuristic. Use the right devices, and you’ll be able to control your lights in all sorts of creative ways, and make your life a little bit easier in the process.
The most obvious way to get started with smart lighting is with the bulbs themselves. You’ve got plenty of intelligent options from brands both big and small, and to find the one that’s best for you, you’re going to need to understand what sets them apart.
Connect with these 3IFTTT-friendly smart devices (pictures)
The first thing to look at is how the bulbs communicate with you. Some offer direct connections with your smart phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which makes setup as simple as screwing the thing in and following in-app pairing instructions.
Others transmit using a distinct frequency like ZigBee or Z-Wave. Bulbs like those might be a better fit for bigger smart home setups, as it’s typically a little easier to sync them up with things like motion detectors and smart locks. Setup can be slightly more advanced, as you’ll need a separate hub or gateway device capable of translating that distinct frequency into a Wi-Fi signal your router can comprehend.
Some smart bulbs come with their own gateway. Others, like the Cree Connected LED, require a third-party control device, like the Wink Hub.
If you’re looking for a little more color in your life, then be sure and take a look at a product like the Philips Hue Starter Kit. Aside from being fully automatable via a mobile app and control hub, the Hue LED bulbs are capable of on-demand color changes. Just pull out your phone, select one of millions of possible shades, and the light will match it. And if you’re into voice control, Hue bulbs hit the compatibility trifecta — they’ll work with Siri, Alexa, and the Google Assistant.
Because Philips opened its lighting controls to third-party developers, you’ll also find lots of fun novelty uses for Hue bulbs, like changing the color of your lights in rhythm with whatever music you’re playing. There’s even an app that’ll sync your Hue lights up with certain TV programming.
Hue lights are also directly compatible with the popular web service IFTTT, with recipes already available that will change the color of your lights to match the weather, or to signal a touchdown from your favorite football team, or even to indicate when your stocks are doing well.
Incandescent lights work by using electricity to heat up a filament inside a container with inert gas, which produces light after a certain degree. The major drawback to this is its efficiency. Only 2.2% of all energy used produces light or lumens, with the best being still a measly 5%. The rest is converted into heat, which eventually heats up its surroundings.
Halogens work almost the same, only with the addition of a halogen gas inside. The halogen gas redeposits the tungsten evaporated from heat back into the filament, extending its lifespan. This has two downsides, however. First, the tungsten generates UV light which will slowly damage any color pigments it comes in contact with. Furthermore, they are extremely hot. So hot that they are at times used in ceramic cook top stoves! As such, not only do they not increase efficiency, the added heat and UV light make these horrible home lights.
Fluorescent bulbs work by passing electric current and energizing the mercury vapor inside the tubes. The vapor then produces short-wave UV light that causes the phosphor coating to glow. They are much more efficient than Incandescent and Halogens, having a 15% efficiency at best. However, they still generate high amounts of heat (not as much as the Halogen though) and UV light.
To start if off, this LED bulb has a CRI of 80+. Sadly, however, there is no mention of Rrating. It is UL listed as well, so it has some backing.
The TIWIN A1come in only varieties, but it makes up for it on lumens. Both the 2700K and 5000K output 1100lm, and both use 1watts at max power. The high lumens make these a perfect 80w Incandescent replacement for those looking.
According to the manufacturer, these LED bulbs are not suited for full enclosures as the voltage regulator heats up a little too much. They will, however, do fine in semi-closed enclosures.
SGL Inch Downlight
Onwards we go, with this bulb having a CRI of 80+. This bulb is ENERGY STAR and UL Listed, using up to 1watts at max, making this an efficient LED.
These LED bulbs come in versions, 3000/4000/5000K, with lumens being as follows: 3000K: 1050lm, 4000K: 1080lm and 5000K: 1150lm. With their high lumens, this downlight is perfect for an 80w Incandescent replacement.
On another note, this LED bulb boasts an amazing dimmability of 100% to 1%, making it the best dimming LED bulb on this list.
This bulb is rated for enclosed fixtures as well, due to its requirement of a recessed can. While these LED bulbs are dimmable, sadly no percentage is given and as such, should be assumed to be 100-50%. Lastly, this LED light bulb is also rated for outdoor use, making this appealing to those wanting a recessed patio bulb.
Coming with a choice of glows, the 2700K outputs: 630lm, 3000K outputs 650 and the 4000K outputs 670. Every glow also consumes the same wattage, 14w.
As such, they are on the dimmer side in terms of lumens, mostly due to the smaller size and increased attention to CRI. Overall, however, these are an amazing replacement for 60 watt Incandescent bulbs, but will fall behind as 80 and 100-watt bulb replacements.
LOHAS Torpedo LED
As one of the smallest LED bulb around, the LOHAS Torpedo LEDs fall shorter on the spec side. However, these still manage a CRI>80, making them on par with others here on this list. And due to their size, take the least around of watts, maxing out at watts on 100% brightness. Sadly, however, these are not UL-listed, so keep this in mind.
In terms of lumens, the LOHAS fall under with the 2700/4000/5000K all outputting 550lm. As such, these LED bulbs are best used to replace a 40-watt Incandescent, not a 60 watt as advertised. However, due to its design, this LED is marketed as a 360° bulb. As such, when placed in certain fixtures, they may seem brighter than one might expect.
Something that must be noted, is some of the design issues. People have reported issues with the base not fitting all the way and thus making these LED bulbs worthless to them. This is because the base is on the shorter side, making the bulb not fit in every socket.
LEDMO LED Candelabra
Like the LOHAS, these bulbs fall shorter than others. But they are on level fields, with a CRI>80 just like the others. They do, however, take an extra watt on the way, maxing out at watts. These LED bulbs are not UL-listed nor Energy Star
On the lumens side, these are brighter than the LOHAS, with the 3000K and 6000K both outputting 630lm. Unlike the LOHAS however these only have a 270° beam angle, and as such, cover less area compared to the other.
Tube LED Bulbs
A quick note: *most these require ballast bypass as per instructions given by HYPERIKON.
To start it off, these tube LEDs boast a CRI of 84, making them better than most other tubes. Though they are one of the most power intensive, drawing in 1watts. This LED bulb is not ENERGY STAR qualified, but it is DLC qualified. As such, it still is an efficient bulb and has some credibility.
Something to note though: all of these LED tubes are clear, so they
There is some similarity spec wise between this set of LED tubes, and the ones above. And as such, this tube draws 1watts. The lumens are the same all across the glows, with 3000/4000/5000/6000K all outputting 2200lm, just like the double ended. Lastly, this bulb also comes in at a CRI of 84, so this choice is mostly out of which works on your fixture.
Best of all, the TP-Link bulbs don’t require any sort of smart hub to function, so there’s no need to buy a starter kit or pay extra for a hub – once you buy a bulb, that’s it, making these an especially good choice for anyone who only wants one or two smart lights, and not a whole house worth.
All of the bulbs other than the cheapest LB100 model also come with energy monitoring, so you can see how much energy you’ve used and plan your usage accordingly.
Connectivity is reliable, with only one brief network drop in our testing time, and our biggest complaint is that at just 800 lumens these aren’t the brightest bulbs around – but they should be enough to suit most uses.
Lightwave is a smart lighting solution that’s a bit different to the others in this round-up, since it requires you to replace your light switches rather than the light bulbs themselves. It is ideal for homes with multiple spotlights that would otherwise be incredibly expensive to individually replace, and also means that when one bulb blows you can just buy a regular replacement.
To set up Lightwave you need to purchase the £89.9Web Link hub, which manages your various Lightwave kit, and you can then add on as many or as few Lightwave devices as you like. Each light switch costs from around £3(see the full range at Maplin, but shop around for best prices).
The Web Link will also manage other smart home devices from the company – you can set up devices that control your hot water and individual room heating, motion detection, and the opening and closing of blinds or curtains. You can also install smart switches on your plug sockets that allow you to turn on and off power when required.
Lightwave has a companion app through which you can turn on and off the switches from your phone or tablet, and through which you can set up schedules or timers that are ideal if you are going on holiday.
It also integrates with IFTTT, which allowed us to control the system through both an Android Wear watch and Google Home.
Hive Active Light
Rating: then you can also pick up individual bulbs.
The Hive Active Light Colour changing bulb is an easy and smart way to introduce lighting into your smart home environment.
The coloured bulb is arguably more of a gimmick and something you might not use day to day, but the Cool to Warm White bulb is easy to recommend, as being able to change the colour temperature of the light is a very handy feature.
The Elgato Avea might look fairly ordinary, but the Avea is a smart LED bulb you can control with your iPad or iPhone. Plus Android support was added in early 201You can control up to of them from your phone, creating different mood lighting for every room in the house.
This 7W LED screw-fit bulb has a class A energy rating. You can set a static colour or choose from one of seven themes, which slowly flow through preset colours.
The Avea also functions as an alarm, turning on at a scheduled time. Rather than blinding you with light and forcing you to hide under the covers it’ll gradually brighten just like a natural sunrise.
The Elgato Avea is a good and affordable buy if you want a single Smart LED bulb. You can add to the system too, but the app is a little basic for our liking.
Belkin Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set
Unlike other smart lightbulbs the Belkin Wemo doesn’t change colour to suit your mood; it’s meant simply as a direct replacement for existing 60W incandescent bulbs, or the energy saving fluorescent equivalent.
The kit includes two bulbs: you can choose between bayonet or screw varieties. Each is rated at 800 lumens, which may not be as bright as your old-school incandescent, but it’s still impressive compared to many competing LED bulbs. You also get a Wemo Link in the pack, which acts as a bridge between the bulbs and your Wi-Fi router.
You create ‘rules’ for the lamps to work and these can be for them to turn on and off at sunset and sunrise, or at times you choose. They can be individually named and controlled, and you can even set a dimming period so the lamp fades in to your set brightness over a few minutes (or even up to 30 minutes). You can also define a sleep period, so the bulb will turn off after a set time, just like a TV or radio.
The Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set is a good introduction to smart lighting. The app is easy to use and lacks only geo-fencing, and the Link plug has Wi-Fi so doesn’t need to be connected directly to your router unlike Philips’ hub. We’d like to see the price drop, but if you know you’ll benefit from the smart aspects or have other Wemo sensors or gadgets, this is a good choice.
Smart bulbs offer a degree of control and interactivity you just can’t get with traditional bulbs, like scheduled timers and remote control options. They’re also more convenient; it’s easier to tap on a smartphone screen than to get up and trudge over to a wall switch.
Aside from keeping you out of the dark, most of the bulbs listed here can be scheduled or controlled remotely, which is great if you want to save on energy costs or you often forget to turn off the lights before leaving the house. Some bulbs use geofencing, which means they work with the GPS in your smartphone to pinpoint your exact location, and can automatically turn the lights on or off when you reach a certain point. Color-changing bulbs are great for mood lighting, and some can even sync up with certain movies and TV shows.
Right now we don’t recommend bulbs that do double-duty as a speaker (like the Sony LED Bulb Speaker), as we haven’t found any particularly good ones in testing.
Install LEDs where you’ll use them most
LED bulbs are still expensive and so, unless you have the budget to replace all the bulbs in your home at once, you’ll have to replace bulbs as they burn out. In the long run, your investment will pay you back in energy savings.
But, as Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has learned, it matters where you use your LED bulbs if you hope your investment will repay you soon. Put an LED in your closet, for example, or another place where the bulb is seldom used, and it may be years and years before the bulb’s cost is repaid in energy savings. It’s best to use your LEDs where the payoff will be fastest, in the light fixtures that get most use in the high-traffic parts of your home.
Get the light color you want
If you were turned off by the harsh white quality of light from older LEDs you’ll be glad to know there are more options now. LED bulbs offer a range of colors, from a warmer yellow-white, akin to the color of incandescent bulbs, to a whiter white or blueish white.
Match the bulb shape to your fixture
LED bulbs come in a number of unfamiliar shapes. You’ll find spiral bulbs, different types of globes, spotlights, floodlights and some shaped like candle flames. One useful shape is the MR16, a smallish, cone-shaped bulb.
Which bulb will work in your can lights? Which is best for the ceiling-fan light? For a table lamp? This brief, illustrated Energy Star guide and EarthEnergy’s bulb guide show which shapes work best in various types of fixtures.
Choose the right bulb for dimmers
Another problem with LEDs used to be finding bulbs that were compatible with the dimmer switches in your home. Some buzz, flicker or just fail to respond to a dimmer switch.
Those still can be problems, but CNET tested bulbs and has a recommendation. The Philips 60-watt LED performed best. It’s easily found in stores, but don’t confuse it with the less-expensive Philips SlimStyle LED, which buzzed badly in a dimmer (although it may be good for other uses). The Philips bulb isn’t the only solution. Read bulbs’ packaging to find the ones recommended for use with dimmer switches.
Or take another route: Replace your dimmer switches. Popular Mechanics says:
The solution is to buy a dimmer switch rated for both CFL and LED bulbs. Two reputable manufacturers of CFL/LED dimmers are Leviton and Lutron; both provide lists of bulbs they’ve verified will work with their dimmers.
White Light and Blue Light products in the UK
Although the light emitted by the sun appears to be white it is actually made up of the full spectrum of colours. This becomes apparent when sunlight shines through rain and it is split into the full spectrum of colours creating a rainbow.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Blue Light Therapy
The theory behind conventional Full Spectrum (White Light) light boxes is that they effectively replicate sunshine. As a result they give the user a positive response when they are lacking sunshine.
Historically only Full spectrum light boxes were used to treat light deficiency disorders. However, advancements in research and technology have shown that a particular bandwidth of blue light is also effective in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder.
SAD.org.uk recommend both White Light and Blue Light products in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
There are many studies in to the effectiveness of White Light and Blue light therapy and it is a clinically proven technology for the treatment of SAD. SAD.org.uk recommends the use of traditional White Light therapy devices as well as the newer Blue Light Therapy devices.
LED SAD Lights Vs Traditional SAD Lights
In the last few years LED light boxes for the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder have been proven to be just as effective as traditional tube bulb SAD Light devices. SAD.org.uk recommends the use of LED Lightboxes as well as traditional tube bulb light therapy devices.
CFLs Vs. LEDs
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and LEDs use different technologies. A CFL contains argon and mercury vapors inside a glass tube. Running an electrical current through these vapors creates visible light.
The technology in LED alternates currents with a positive and negative charge quickly to generate energy in the form of light.
An LED creates instantaneous light that also is dimmable, while a CFL must warm up for a few seconds before reaching its brightest level. Most people prefer the performance and light quality of an LED bulb to a CFL.
While we wait for the next big thing in lighting, you can be certain that LED light bulbs will continue to undergo improvements in design and efficiency. Think about how LED bulbs have changed in just the past few years (and how much the price has dropped). More is certainly on the way, and we as consumers receive the benefit! light bulbs saving money splendiferous
Flood light bulbs
Halogen Flood Lights. Due to their high-quality performance halogen bulbs have become one of the top choices once it comes to flood lights. Halogen bulbs are bright and suitable for pretty much any outdoor purpose. Halogen gas and tungsten filament within bulb is being activated by electricity creating steady, strong and very intense beam of white light. Moreover, the intensity of halogen flood lights is notably higher than for other types of bulbs with the same wattage. However, halogen bulbs are very inefficient and have short life span, making other type of flood lights such as LED flood lights a better option for areas, where light needs to illuminate for long hours.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) Flood Lights. As with every type of bulb, HID lights have some great advantages and disadvantages, too. HID bulbs can last for quite a long time (their lifespan is around times longer than for halogen lamps) plus they are comparatively energy efficient. The light of HID lamps is quite intense yet the bulb requires relatively few replacements during its haul. However there is one drawback worthy of attention if opting for HID lamps. Most HID lamps produce UV radiation, and that is why UV-blocking filters are necessary in order to block UV-induced degradation of all the fixture parts. Also exposure to broken or HID lamps with defective UV-blocking filters can cause health-risks to humans and animals, because of the toxic mercury used in these lamps. Different types and combinations of chemicals are used in HID lamps and hence there are numerous types of HID lamps you can chose from:
Fluorescent Flood Lights. The main advantages of fluorescent flood lights are the fact that they are energy efficient and their lifespan is comparatively long. Fluorescent lamps are quite expensive but they are still cheaper than LED and HID bulbs and that pretty much is the main advantage. The disadvantages however are quite notable and the main downside of using CFL in your flood light lies in a fact that fluorescent bulbs contain mercury which if not disposed and recycled properly can do harm both to your health and environment. Plus fluorescent bulbs have quite long warm-up period and their lifespan is very dependent on their usage and maintenance. If you will regularly turn the lamp on and off (which for instance is the case for motion sensor flood lights), the lifespan of the bulb will notably decrease.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) Flood Lights. If analyzed in such aspects as energy-efficiency, lifespan, physical qualities and features, LED happens to be the best of all the options for outdoor flood lights. First of all, LEDs consume around the same amount or less energy than fluorescent bulbs and they can last very long (up to 50, 000 hours) if properly used and maintained. This will have a very positive impact on your monthly electricity bill. Another great advantage is that it takes very little time for LED bulbs to reach maximum brightness. Moreover, compared to all the options listed above they are very environment-friendly and cannot cause any significant damage neither to environment nor your health. Although it does seem like the best of all the options, it has to be pointed out that LED bulbs are also the most expensive ones. However, if you need the best type of bulb and are ready to invest in your outdoor flood lights, LED bulbs surely is an option to go for.
The amount of daylight varies across the country. In some regions, the length of daylight changes quickly. Here in Oregon, the day will be three minutes shorter tomorrow than it was today. That means supplemental lighting requirements will change fairly rapidly from month to month. One of the best ways to manage those changes is with an automatic light timer. A timer will help you easily adjust to changing daylight lengths as well as save energy and bulb life.
If you chose to use any type of florescent lighting, you will need to account for plant growth. Florescent lights perform best when positioned very close to plants. As plants grow into the light, it is important to raise the fixture. Generally only the plants touching the lights will burn, but be prepared because they grow quickly. Adjustable hangers are a good solution. These hangers move easily allowing you to make quick adjustments.
Whether you just want to give a special plant a boost, or you plan to grow right through the winter, grow lights are a great option in a greenhouse. For supplemental light, grow lights operate for only a few hours a day. Once you have the fixtures and the bulbs there is little cost, but it is an investment to get started. When purchasing a system it’s a good idea to think about your goals and how you may want to change in the future. Do you want to start seeds and get a jump on the season, or do you want to create a year-round oasis? Keep in mind as you’re planning; as plants grow, so do your ambitions. Nothing feeds the soul in the dead of winter quite like walking into your greenhouse and being greeted with beautiful, healthy, thriving plants!
Michelle Moore is a member of Garden Writers Association. Michelle studied business and communications at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. After graduation, she completed a Fulbright Scholarship then earned an International MBA from Thunderbird, The Gavin School of International Management. With nearly 20 years of experience working with greenhouses,
Assessing Your Lighting System Needs
In putting together your lighting system, it’s useful to consider what you want to achieve. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Regarding the last question, if you’ll be handling your own lighting during performances, features such as remote control, foot pedal control, and programmability will be important considerations.
LED vs. Conventional Lighting Fixtures
Inexpensive LED fixtures typically have smaller, low-power LEDs while larger, high-end fixtures are equipped with one-watt or three-watt diodes for much more impact. Smaller LEDs are often designated by their sizes—typically 5mm or 10mm. A 10mm diode is proportionately much brighter than a 5MM LED.
Light-emitting diodes or LEDs have revolutionized all kinds of lighting fixtures from those used in autos and homes to even the humble flashlight. For many good reasons, the LED’s impact on stage lighting and effects has been huge. Major acts such as Radiohead have recently toured using LED lighting exclusively. Let’s look at LED lighting’s advantages and disadvantages in comparison with traditional lighting:
Strobe and Laser Effects
Strobe effects use a pulsing white light beam to create a visual stuttering effect similar to viewing old-time films. They’re very popular in dance clubs and are available with both traditional filament bulbs as well as LEDs in a range of power levels to match various venues. You can choose from standalone models or DMX-controlled strobes that can be programmed with custom patterns. Sound-activated models can create a particularly exciting ambience on the dancefloor. Note that many LED PAR cans and effects lighting fixtures include strobing functions that may be adequate for your needs.
Laser effects produce very intense single-color beams and often include built-in display programs as well as sound-activated functions using a built-in mic. Motorized units allow scanning and burst effects, and the inclusion of gobos can create patterned laser beams. More advanced laser effect fixtures can produce 3-D effects and detailed backdrops, skyscapes, and much more. Lasers are especially effective when used in conjunction with fog machines.
Black Lights and UV Lights
These fixtures are a simple, low-cost way to add a special ambience to performance spaces and other venues. They enhance the appearance of white and fluorescent colors in darkened spaces creating a ghostly glow. Black lights are available in standard fluorescent tube and incandescent bulb formats that use standard lighting fixtures as well as newly developed LED fixtures.
PAR Can Lighting Fixtures
These lights are a staple of stage and live-sound lighting. These basic fixtures have a metal housing, mounting bracket, reflector, and socket that can accept a variety of different lamp types. They’re often used in large numbers to illuminate certain performers or stage areas and are usually mounted on overhead trusses. They do not offer a true hard-edge beam; the width of the beam is determined by the shape and positioning of the PAR can’s reflector.
PAR cans come in a wide range of sizes and are identified by their diameters in eighths of an inch. A PAR64, for example, has an 8″ diameter (because 6eighths of an inch equals 8″). Most include a holder allowing colored gels to be mounted in front of the lens.
Note that PAR3lamps are sometimes designated as simply SP (Spot) or FL (Flood).
The power requirements of PAR cans with incandescent lamps can add up fast. Those for smaller stages are typically in the 75-150 watt range. PAR3cans typically run between 50-150 watts. PAR46s usually have 200-watt lamps, PAR56s usually range from 300-500 watts, and PAR 64s range from 500-1000 watts. This is where the LED technology really shines (pun intended). They not only use a fraction of the power required by incandescent fixtures, but also reduce the number of fixtures needed in order to create a wide range of color options.
A common lighting setup for bands involves the use of a pair of light trees on either side of the stage, each holding enough PAR3cans with spot lamps and amber or light pink gels to light each frontline band member. Drummers are usually lit from the back and sides. Mounting the light trees to the tops of your main speakers is a space-saving strategy.
PAR cans and other lighting fixtures that have a double-yoke support system are something to look for if you want maximum placement flexibility. Double yokes allow mounting the fixture from a truss or placing it on a floor, speaker, or stage without a separate mount.
Today, many PAR fixtures are equipped with LEDs instead of traditional incandescent bulbs, giving them multi-color and color-mixing options. As noted above, PAR cans with LEDs generate much less heat, require far less power, and don’t require the use of dimmer packs.
The Thinpar6from Venue uses 100 bright LEDS to generate intense static or pulsing colors plus sound-activated and automated programs with master/slave or DMX-controlled operation.
Dimmer and Switch Packs
PAR cans with incandescent lamps require dimmer packs to control them. They operate in the same way household dimmer switches function, allowing you to set the relative brightness of connected lights. Most small bands and DJs use satellite dimmer packs with several channels that are typically mounted to the T-Bar or truss holding the PAR cans. The cans are plugged into the dimmer and they’re connected to a DMX controller. Dimmer packs are available with various numbers of channels, and some include built-in programs or chases.
Some units offer both dimmer and switch capabilities. Switches only provide on/off functions, and should be be used on LED and non-DMX effects fixtures to avoid shortening their life.
Lighting and Effects Packages
On the Musician’s Friend website you’ll find affordable lighting and effects packages that range from economical multi-PAR can packs to full systems that include a complete set of stage lighting and effects fixtures plus a controller, stands, and cables—everything needed to light your show. Aside from the savings these packs offer, you can be sure each fixture is compatible and designed to maximize the overall visual impact of your performance.
Non-DMX lighting fixtures have their own on-board controllers. Many such fixtures are designed to react to sound picked up through an internal microphone. Sound-activated fixtures usually include settings allowing the unit to create effects when insufficient or no sound is present.
Selectable, built-in programs allow you to automate non-DMX fixture operation—an advantage for bands and DJs who handle their own lighting. Fixtures in this category with incandescent lamps are often manufactured to operate for a specified period of time before they must be turned off, which may make it necessary to use multiple fixtures to create a continuous show. Look for the duty-cycle specification to determine if a specific model makes sense for your needs. This is another advantage of LED fixtures—they have no duty-cycle limitations. Examples of common non-DMX lighting include beam effects, flower effects, and gobo projectors.
DMX Lighting Fixtures
Also called intelligent lighting, these fixtures can be controlled via DMX-51controllers or interfaces. A DMX controller allows you to program stage lighting and effects remotely, ideal when you want complete control of the look and timing of lighting effects. DMX fixtures offer more control attributes or “traits” than non-DMX fixtures.
DMX-51is the communication/cabling protocol that most entertainment lights and controllers use to communicate with each other. DMX acts like a post office. For control, you assign an address between and 51However, unlike your house, which only has one address, your fixture needs a number assigned to each of its channels. A 6-channel DMX fixture uses addresses, or channels on a controller. Each channel on the fixture handles a specific control attribute such as pan, tilt, color, etc.
Controllers run the gamut from simple non-DMX switchboxes and relay packs that allow you to power multiple lighting and sound channels to highly sophisticated DMX units that provide control over every aspect of multiple lighting systems composed of hundreds of DMX-compatible fixtures. Some simpler controllers have a dedicated purpose such as controlling specific effects such as strobes or fog machines. Some controller models allow foot control—a great feature for solo acts and small bands who control their lights in realtime during performance.
The basics of DMX controller operation are generally quite simple. Each slider on the controller corresponds to a channel on the fixture being controlled. DMX fixtures have specific values that correspond to their various control settings such as color, gobo, pan, tilt, strobe speed, etc. By moving a slider on the controller to a specific value, the fixture follows suit. The various control values of each button or slider used to create an overall effect can be saved into a “scene”, which triggers the specific action or state you set. The scene is then saved into a memory bank. Numerous scenes can be combined into an entire program, which, for example, can be synchronized with cues for a show. This is called a “chase.” Chases can be adjusted via a myriad of input functions, depending on the controller being used. Examples of control triggers include MIDI and clock/calendar events.
Software-Based DMX Control
As with software-based audio recording and performance functions, there is a revolution in progress involving a shift in lighting control from hardware-based controllers to PC software and mobile device apps. That said, also as with audio functions, there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.
Dedicated hardware lighting controllers with physical sliders, buttons, switches, and legible displays offer intuitive and tactile control and workflow without delving deeply into menus and mastering steep software learning curves. On the other hand, software-based lighting control offers enormous control potential with nearly unlimited creativity in designing elaborate lighting programs. Software may also be more affordable route.
The compact Chauvet Xpress 51Controller and USB Interface works with Windows or Mac computers and gives you powerful software-based control over an unlimited number of shows.
Many hardware lighting controllers come bundled with their own proprietary software and/or are compatible with other lighting software. Deciding which approach to lighting is right for your needs comes down to the complexity of your lighting and your willingness to master sophisticated lighting programming.
The Elation Show Designer 2CF DMX Controller offers 102channels of controls and has a huge fixture library for simplified effects programming.
DMX Controller Features and Specs
Here are some features and specs to look at when shopping for a DMX Controller:
Number of channels: Much like calculating the connections needed on an audio mixer, count the number of devices and each device’s number of channels in coming up with an adequate channel count. You’ll of course want to allow some additional capacity for future needs too.
Number of channels per fixture: Some fixtures have many control attributes or parameters. If you plan to include such fixtures in your lighting system, a controller that can handle up to 3channels per fixture will make sense. However, if your system will be largely comprised of simpler effect fixtures and PAR cans, a smaller, DJ-type controller is likely to be adequate.
Number of programmable scenes: As noted above, a scene is a set of control values or slider positions that can be saved for instant recall. Some controllers allow scenes to be saved on external memory devices while software-compatible controllers offer scene storage and editing on external computers or tablets.
Number of programmable shows: A complete sequence of chases and other settings that comprise a complete performance that can be saved and recalled.
Number of universes: Each DMX network is called a “universe” and has up to 51channels. Smaller controllers usually have a single OUT connector allowing control of a single universe. More complex lighting systems may be composed of several networks or universes thus requiring multiple controllers, or a single controller with multiple OUT connectors.
Fixture libraries: These collections of fixture profiles streamline the process of setting attributes and functions.
Tap/sync: This function allows the operator to sync lighting effects with the music by tapping in the tempo.
Joystick/trackball controls: These make tilt/pan and other positional functions easier to control.
Keyboard input: Allows connection of a computer keyboard for faster programming and naming of scenes, chases, and shows.
MIDI I/O and control: Allows control of the lighting system with a MIDI-enabled pedalboard, keyboard or other controller—a valuable feature for performers and DJs who control their lights in realtime. MIDI in and out connectors also facilitate programming on external computers and other MIDI-compatible devices.
USB Connectivity/Software-based DMX control: A USB connector plus MIDI implementation opens up a world of control possibilities using PC software and/or mobile apps to program and control your lighting.
Wireless operation: Some DMX controllers are compatible with wireless adapters so as to deal with situation where very long cable runs would otherwise be needed. Such systems have a wireless transmitter at the controller and receivers located near lighting fixtures. These systems convert DMX control messages to radio frequencies at the transmitter then convert the signal back to DMX signals at the receivers which are connected to the fixtures.
Each fixture produces output at a specific beam angle, which denotes the width of beam being produced. Assuming that you have two fixtures with the same wattage lamps, the fixture with the smaller beam angle will appear brighter. This is because the same amount of light is being focused into a smaller area. In addition, because a smaller beam angle creates a more focused and intense projection, the light can be placed further from the subject being illuminated. The larger (wider) the beam angle of a fixture, the larger the area that can be covered by the unit.
Fixtures should also be placed in proximity to the subject based on output. Lights that have a lower output need to be placed closer to the subject than a high-output fixture in order to be perceived as having the same brightness.
Having a combination of wash and spot fixtures illuminating an area will greatly enhance the look of any show. By using contrasting colors, the spots will pop out more, appearing brighter within the wash effect than if used alone.
Assigning Effects and Programming Shows
The key to good lighting design is to mix and match fixtures and tones to create a desired mood and effect. When programming, use color schemes that complement or contrast with one another, depending on the mood you want. Using a wash to create an ambient light in a color that will complement your spot, or effect, will make it appear brighter and richer. Clean, crisp complementary colors, along with fluid movement and symmetry produce an air of professionalism. Contrasting colors add high energy and drama to a venue. The best way to increase your design skills is by visiting different venues and shows to see what other designers have done. Note the elements that struck you as the best, and attempt to emulate and improve on them.
Connecting a Controller to Lighting Fixtures
A DMX signal begins at the controller and follows the path of the cable to the first fixture and then to each fixture in line down the cable run. The following diagram shows the proper method and order for connecting multiple fixtures to a single controller. The DMX line pictured here runs from the controller to the “DMX In” connection on the first fixture. From the “DMX Out” connection of the first fixture, a cord is connected to the “DMX In” connection of the next fixture in the line, and so on until all units have a cable connected to the “DMX In” connection. The last fixture in the line should have a DMX terminator installed to maintain the quality of the DMX signal.
Method for connecting DMX lighting fixtures to the controller
When setting up your lighting, you need hardware that will safely and securely position and hold your fixtures where you need them. Raising your lighting fixtures increases their coverage and keeps them safe from accidental contact and damage caused by vibrations. Musician’s Friend offers a broad selection of clamps, mounting brackets, and safety cables to accomplish this.
If you perform in a variety of venues, it’s likely you’ll run into challenges in setting up your lights. Having an assortment of lighting stands can help make setup simpler. Basic T-bar stands with tripod bases make a good all-around lighting support. A pair of such stands with an integrated truss affords more positioning options, support, and stability. Read specs carefully to make sure that the light stand or truss system you choose is rated for the weight of your fixtures.
The fixtures you select will determine the cables required to connect your system. In general, you will need one power cord per fixture, along with the appropriate extension cords (if needed). In addition, if you are connecting your fixtures via DMX cable, you will need one DMX cable per fixture. DMX cables use XLR connectors and come in 3- and 5-pin varieties. Check the user’s manual of your fixtures and controller to determine which type will be needed for your application. It’s a good practice to have extra cables on hand to deal with failures and venues requiring longer cable runs. That goes for extension cords, switchboxes, and AC power strips too.
Attribute » a controllable parameter on a fixture such as gobo selection, color, tilt, pan, etc.
Barrel scanner » This effect fixture, also called a rolling mirror scanner, has a moving mirror that rotates around a drum with a beam that can be panned across its axis
Beam angle » The width of a beam of light, often designated by the number of degrees; the greater the number the wider the beam. Sometimes designated with qualitative terms such as narrow, medium, and wide.
Chase » A sequence of lighting effects or on and off sequences. A simple example is the apparent movement of theatre marquee lights along a string, caused by the rapid sequential illumination of each fixture.
CMY » System of light color mixing using Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. This system entails the use of colored gels or filters to create a wide palette of colors. Also see RGB.
Color temperature » A measurement of how relatively blue (“cold”) or amber (“warm”) a given light is.
Color wheel » A circular metal disc containing colored glass filters and is motorized to rotate in front of a light source.
DMX51» The protocol used to control lighting systems and individual DMX-compatible effects.
Fixture » In lighting systems, any lamp or lighting effect is considered a fixture.
Focus » A qualitative statement of how relatively hard or soft a gobo’s projected image is. The hardness of a projected image is largely a function of the distance that the beam is projected; the greater the distance, the softer the image. Focus may also refer to the X/Y position of a moving light in relation to the performance space or stage.
Gel » Also called a color gel or color filter, it’s a transparent colored polyester or polycarbonate sheet used in stage lighting in front of a light beam to alter its color.
Gobo » A usually spherical glass or metal template containing patterns that are projected by light sources mounted behind or within the gobo.
Gobo wheel » A disc within a moving light fixture that has several gobos placed around its perimeter. A motor steps through each gobo pattern in sequence, or fixtures may be programmable to select custom sequences.
Joystick » A device that allows control of a moving light’s pan and tilt functions. See trackball.
Kelvin » The measurement of a lamp’s color temperature. Incandescent lamps typically range between 600-3200 Kelvin. Arc and discharge lamps range 6000 and 9000 Kelvin. The sun has a temperature of 577See color temperature.
Moving head fixture » A lighting fixture in which the entire optical system, including gobo wheels, lamps, prisms, etc. move with the emitted beam(s).
Moving mirror fixture » Often called scanners, these lighting fixtures employ a mirror to animate and project beams of light. They typically offer faster movement than moving head fixtures.
Halogen bulbs are really just incandescent bulbs that have a little halogen gas trapped inside with the filament. Like incandescents, halogens emit light because the electricity heats the tungsten filament until it is white hot, at which point it emits light.
The main difference is the halogen – it helps recycle burned-up tungsten gas, making the bulb use electricity in a slightly more efficient manner.
Halogen bulbs are not considered hazardous in the same way that CFLs are.
They use up to 25-30% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and have an estimated lifespan of 3,000-4,000 hours.
They are fully dimmable, just like incandescents. And unlike CFLs, they brighten instantly. Halogens are great for reading and task lighting, as the bright light can help reduce eye strain.
They’re also fantastic for display lighting – the white light, when focused on a point, makes colors appear more vibrant and helps highlight artwork, photos, and architectural details.
Halogen lights can also be used outdoors, and make great addition to floodlight and security light fixtures.
When you picture a light bulb, you’re most likely thinking of a traditional incandescent. A tungsten filament is enclosed in glass. Electricity heats the filament until it glows, and you have light.
Unfortunately, the bulb has to create a lot of heat in order to produce light, which is why it is a much less efficient energy user than halogens, CFLs, and LEDs.
In terms of up-front costs, these bulbs are generally the most cost effective. However, they use the most energy out of all of the basic bulbs, which costs more in the long run.
If you’ve had incandescent bulbs for any period of time, you may be used to looking for bulbs based on watts. With more efficient options on the market, you should really be looking for lumens.
Watts are the measurement of power a light bulb uses. 40 watts means that bulb is drawing 40 watts of continuous power to stay on.
Lumens are the measurement of a light bulb’s brightness. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light.
Because many new bulbs are designed to save energy, the result is reduced wattage with higher lumens. That means if you’re relying on these wattage (rather than lumens), you could end up buying a bulb that is too dim or too bright for your home.
Most CFL and LED bulbs are marketed as replacements for incandescent bulbs of specific wattages, i.e. a 40-watt replacement LED bulb that really uses about watts. Just remember – lumens are a much more accurate predictor of brightness.
If you’re switching from incandescent to CFL or LED, here’s what to look for in lumens:
How much light do you really need? Different rooms require different amounts, depending on what you typically do in that room.
Most rooms use a combination of ambient (overhead/wall-mounted) and task (spotlight/desk and table lamps) lighting. Here are our recommendations:
Faint Blue Fluorescence
Obviously, “None” refers to the absence of fluorescence, so the presence of this feature starts with “Faint”. Diamonds graded with faint fluorescence are never hazy. Meaning, you can always take a diamond with faint fluorescence and it will not make any difference. This grade is best with a G or higher color as it can save you money without losing the diamond’s overall brilliance.
The diamonds above have the same 4Cs. Although the one on the left has faint fluorescence, it still looks bright and is much cheaper than the gem on the right.
Medium Blue Fluorescence
Diamonds in this level of fluorescence are usually not hazy. As I have also described in my post about diamond color, you should consider medium blue fluorescence for H-K color graded diamonds.
Since the glow is usually blue, and blue complements yellow, diamonds with H-K color can appear whiter. This effect will always be evident when you view your diamond under the sun.
Blue Fluorescence and its Bad Name
Diamond fluorescence can be bad because it can sometimes cause haziness in a diamond. This would translate to milky spots that can be seen with our bare eyes. Such gems are also referred to as “over-blue diamonds”.
On top of that, diamonds with blue fluorescence tend to be cheaper because of their bad rep that’s completely unfounded. It started some decades ago when so-called “blue white” diamonds with blue fluorescence were sold at a premium price.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Black Light Bulbs wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Black Light Bulbs
- №1 — SleekLighting 13 Watt Spiral CFL Black Bug Light Bulb, 120Volt, E26 Medium Base. (Pack of 2)
- №2 — Sunsgne 25Ft Globe string lights with G40 Bulbs (Plus 2 Extra Bulbs) UL Listed Backyard Patio Lights Garden Party Natural Warm Bulbs Cafe Hanging Umbrella Lights on Light String Indoor Outdoor-Black
- №3 — Sunlite SL20/BLB/3PK 20W Spiral Energy Saving CFL Light Bulb Medium Base (3 Pack), Blacklight Blue