Kickin’ It at the Apartment Conference & Trade Show

Heather Blackhurst, Office Manger, and Kimbro Connell, Territory Sales Manager
Heather Blackhurst, Office Manger, and Kimbro Connell, Territory Sales Manager

Yes, it’s been awhile since we’ve posted here but we’re still kickin’! In fact, lots has been happening here. Laurie Dudasek, who used to post here, has left the company to seek new opportunities. We wish you the best of luck, Laurie! My name’s Briana Ross and I recently took over as the Marketing Director and the first thing I’ve learned is that I have big shoes to fill, but I’m excited to be here. Every day I’m finding out what a great company this is.

Yesterday we attended the 2015 New Mexico Apartment Conference and Trade Show. Wow! It was definitely worth the last minute decision to go. First, the turnout was amazing. One of my favorite parts was seeing the look on everyone’s faces when they learned that the lighting solutions we provide would save them money on their electric bills, qualify them for a PNM rebate, save them countless hours on maintenance, and reduce tenant complaints while increasing their safety. It really is a win-win for everyone.

Shawn Connell, General Manager, talking about the benefits of LED street lighting.
Shawn Connell, General Manager, talking about the benefits of LED street lighting.

However, the definite highlight of the conference was the scholarship program which gave away $500 scholarships to employees or family members of employees in the apartment industry. Many vendors at the trade show made contributions and the outpouring of generosity was immense—there were almost fifty New Mexican’s who received scholarships by the end of the day. We contributed in part by donating a $500 scholarship ourselves and we wish all of the scholarship recipients success in their futures!

It was a long day, but so worth it. If you’d like to know more about how energy efficient lighting can save you money, maintenance costs, and provide better lighting for your apartment complex—or any business you may have—give us a call. We’d love to talk to you.

Heather Blackhurst with the father of the recipient of Bulldog Energy’s scholarship donation.
Heather Blackhurst with the father of the recipient of Bulldog Energy’s scholarship donation.
 

LifeROOTS: Making a Difference

Since 1958, LifeROOTS has served the needs of children and adults with developmental, physical, and behavioral disabilities. For adults, they provide day rehabilitation, job coaching, literacy development, and more. For children from birth to three years of age, they offer early childhood intervention screenings, support services for children and their parents, and therapy.

There are two buildings at their Albuquerque location that include a preschool classroom and playground, a sensory room, a learning lab, a new garden where seasonal vegetables and flowers are grown, and staff offices.

Like many non-profits, LifeROOTS operates on a tight budget. Money saved on overhead goes straight to the services they provide. That’s why they chose to upgrade the lighting in their buildings. Not only did they realize immediate savings on their electric bill, but they also saw an improvement in the quality of light in the building. To help pay for the upgrade, they were awarded a $5,000 Reduce Your Use grant from PNM and they also qualified for over $3,000 in PNM Quick Saver incentives. With these savings, LifeROOTS will realize payback on the project cost in less than one year.

We visited LifeROOTS last week to check up on what they think of their lighting upgrade, and here’s what they had to say.

You can learn more about LifeROOTS on their website at www.liferootsnm.org.

The Difference Between a Kilowatt (kW) and a Kilowatt-Hour (kWh)

The Basics

cfl400x300_0Have you ever wondered what people mean when they say “I saved 2,000 kilowatt hours by switching to this light bulb” or “This heaters uses 2 kilowatts?” Let’s discuss the differences  between the two in words that you’ll understand.

First, it’s best to define each of these – kilowatt and kilowatt-hour. Think of it this way:

  • A kilowatt (kW) is a measure of how powerful something is and how fast it will use up electricity.
  • A kilowatt-hour is a measure of how much electrical fuel the device uses.

Take a look at the emphasized words – power, fast, and how much. With a kW, power can be related tospeed – much like miles per hour when driving in your vehicle. A kWh can be compared to a gallon of gasoline that is needed. How much (fill-in-the-blank) is needed to make this (fill-in-the-blank) work?

A kWh is the product you buy from your electric utility company. Have you ever noticed on your bill the area that describes your “usage”? Those numbers are measured in kWh.

Let’s look at a real-world example. As you may have noticed, electric cars are increasing in popularity. The US Department of Energy and EPA established that the ratings of energy efficiency for electric cars are to be measured in kWh/mile. Just as it sounds, this shows how much energy is expended each mile. In a traditional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle, energy efficiency is measured as miles per gallon (distance over the fuel).

Power is instead determined by the rate of transfer of energy – watts in the case of the electric car, and the gallons of fuel per second in the case of an internal combustion engine vehicle.

Conversion

Actually, you can’t convert kW into kWh or vise-versa. It just doesn’t work like that, although it sounds like it should by how similar the two are in labeling. If you were to try to convert it, you need to add an unknown – duration. Using the vehicle example, you could determine how many miles you traveled based off of your miles per hour, but you would need to know for how long you were driving.
Using kw and kWh, let’s say you reduced the power necessary to operate a certain appliance by 5 kW (5,000 watts). Perhaps you’ve upgraded to new lighting, or you’ve taken steps to turn off appliances when they are not in use. You can then determine how much energy you’re saving by looking at the usage over time. For this example, we’ll go with continuous use for 1 year.

5 kW x 24 hrs x 365 days = 43,800 kWh/yr

In this example, you would be reducing your energy usage by 43, 800 kWh per year. Now say your cost is $0.10/kWh. You’d be saving about $4,380 per year. Not a bad deal, huh?

If you’d like more information on how you can dramatically reduce your energy consumption like in the above example,  remember that we are available to look over your current usage and analyze how much you can save.

kilowatt_kilowatthour

Energy Saving Advice From Twitter Chat

live_tweetingLast week, an amazing moment of true social media networking generated a large collection of advice from key energy-saving promoters. Within an hour, 130 people joined The Alliance to Save Energy, Energy Star, Cree, The American Lighting Association and others in the second LUMEN Coalition Twitterchat. 500 tweets were generated during the event, reaching over 210,000 people. Here is the collection of tweets.

Here is an example of the some of posts –

Where should you start when replacing your light bulbs with LEDs?

energystar

How long consumers can expect an LED light bulb to last?

timespent

Is it possible to replace outdoor lights and recessed lighting with more #energy-efficient options?

outdoor

Read more advice on the Alliance To Save Energy website.

How to create brighter lighting from low-watt bulbs: A look at scotopic, photopic vision

When you’re looking to upgrade to energy-efficient lighting, you may be wondering how it’s possible that lower watt bulbs can look as bright – if not brighter – than those that offer a higher lumen rating. Let’s explore some of the science behind your vision (scotopic and photopic sensitivity) to determine how our engineers do it.

 

opicvision_web2The following post is a summary of Dr. Sam Berman‘s Scotopic vs. Photopic: Research on
vision suggests that we have more to learn about the eye and energy efficiency
.

Some background

Some of you may recall learning that there are two types of photoreceptor cells in your eyes – conesand rods. You might also remember that cones are responsible for day vision and rods contribute to night vision. However, vision scientists have long known that this description for the causes of day and night vision is overly simplistic.

A series of experiments sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy showed that rods play a role in vision in lighting conditions typical of the average workplace. These tests concluded that energy efficiency in lighting could be improved if the design and installation accounted for the role of rods in the human eye. Before these studies, lighting designs for various applications have only ever considered cone sensitivity (photopic).

The experiments, conducted by Dr. Sam Berman – physicist and senior scientist emeritus, and former head of the lighting group at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory – and Dr. Don Jewett – neurophysiologist and professor Emeritus at the University of California Medical Center – used infrared technology to show that rods primarily controlled the opening and closing of the eye’s pupil. In separate tests, they later demonstrated the perception of the brightness of a room is dependent onrods, and that pupil size, as controlled by the spectrum of the room lighting, was a factor in visual performance under workplace lighting conditions.

Energy-efficient lighting and design can capture the benefits of these conclusions. That’s why knowing the difference between scotopic and photopic lighting effects can be important when choosing your new lighting equipment.

Photopic and Scotopic Vision

At different light levels, the human eye experiences different sensitivities to light.

Photopic sensitivity is based on the response of the eye’s cones to light, and currently all present light-measuring instruments are calibrated by the photopic function alone. Until recent research has demonstrated otherwise, rod response – or scotopic sensitivity – has been incorrectly assumed as not relevant for lighting practice. Since the studies demonstrated that pupil size follows the scotopicspectrum, the newer conclusions show that rod receptors are actually very active at typical interior light levels.

Pupil size does play an important role in our vision: smaller pupils provide better depth of field and awareness and will provide for better overall vision at typical interior light levels. Common lighting practices often call for the reduction of pupil size by raising the light levels. This is actually an inefficient method to control pupil size and fails to utilize the response of rod sensitivity. Simply increasing light levels in an attempt to improve vision can instead add glare and wastes energy.

In the study, participants were asked to observe two different room lighting situations constructed with the same perceived light color and asked to choose which one is brighter. The subjects overwhelmingly chose the scotopically enhanced lighting as the brighter of the two – even though the light level measured 30% lower on conventional light meters.

What it means for your lighting

It is important to have knowledge of both photopic and scotopic components of the observed light to provide optimum lighting for visual performance and brightness perception. We can adjust the lighting perception by measuring the ratio of scotopic to photopic quantities (S/P Value) for the given light source.

Allow us to demonstrate with some examples:

 

Ambient Lighting

Typical room lighting where visual performance is important

Lamp A

Lamp B

Bulb

T8

T8

Watt

32

32

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

85

85

Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)

3500 Kelvin (K)

5000 Kelvin (K)

Photopic Lumens

2950

2800

S/P

1.4

1.9

Research has shown that the relevant photometric factor is the equivalent pupil response, which is measured as P[(S/P)^0.78] where P is the photopic amount and the exponent 0.78 of the S/P value. The effective lumens is .78. Conventional lighting application would determine that Lamp A is more efficient – higher lumens for the 32-watt bulb. However, to account for the scotopic sensitivity, let’s apply the formula. The S/P for lamp A is 1.4 and for lamp B it is 1.9.

Lamp A  2950[(1.4)^(0.78)] = 3835

Lamp B  2800[(1.9)^(0.78)]= 4619

Now you can see that lamp B actually produces more visually effective lumens than lamp A. To use other terms, lamp B is 20% more visually effective per watt than lamp A – this is the complete opposite of conventional lighting wisdom.

 

Task Lighting

Ambient lighting that includes independent sources, like from the monitors in a computer environment

Lamp A

Lamp B

Bulb

T8

T8

Watt

32

32

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

75

75

Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)

3500 Kelvin (K)

6500 Kelvin (K)

Photopic Lumens

2850

2700

S/P

1.3

2.15

 

In order to provide for the smallest pupils with the least amount of glare, the ambient lighting needs to be judged purely on the basis of scotopic content: S = P(S/P)

Lamp A 2850 * 1.3 = 3705

Lamp B 2700 * 2.15 = 5805

Lamp B wins in this case as well. And in this case lamp B will cause considerably less glare and desaturation of colors on the monitor’s screen.

 

Well there you have it! The higher CCT helps to determine S/P and thus making it possible to calculatevisually effective lumens taking into account both photopic (cones) and scotopic (rods) vision. Our lighting experts know how to engineer your lighting design for different applications, applying photometric research and vision science.

To learn more, we encourage you to read through the research conducted by Dr. Sam Berman.