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Stouch Blog Sized Light Bulb in Hand 2021It’s been a great year for LED lighting technology thus far. As 2016 winds down, it is a good opportunity to look back and see which of our articles our readers deemed most valuable. We noticed an important trend: you are interested in learning how LED lighting technology compares to conventional types of lighting. Without further ado, here are Stouch Lighting’s best performing blogs this year - look for more of these in 2017!

Top 2016 Blog from Stouch Lighting: LED versus High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Low Pressure Sodium (LPS)

With nearly 8,000 views this year, how LEDs stack up versus high and low pressure sodium lighting solutions was our most popular topic this year. Common applications for sodium vapor lighting include street lighting and parking lots as well as for tunnel lighting where color rendering isn’t a major issue. High pressure sodium lights are typically used in outdoor environments for organizations like schools, large commercial buildings like hospitals, or municipalities managing city lighting on a budget. In fact, it’s highly likely that HPS lights are in your neighborhood - unless you’re in a municipality that has conducted an LED retrofit. They are easily recognizable by their distinct yellowish glow.

  • What is a Low Pressure Sodium light? Low Pressure Sodium Vapor (LPS) lights are a specific type of gas-discharge light (also known as a High Intensity Discharge, HID or arc light). The bulb principally contains solid sodium metal inside a borosilicate glass tube that vaporizes once the lamp is turned on. During start (while the sodium is still in solid form) the lamp emits a dim reddish/pink glow. Once the metal is vaporized, the emissions become the characteristic bright yellow associated with sodium vapor lamps. The spectrum of visible emissions from an LPS light is actually very close together (589 and 589.6 nm, virtually monochromatic) resulting in the colors of illuminated objects being nearly indistinguishable.
  • What is a High Pressure Sodium light? High Pressure Sodium Vapor (HPS) lights, similar to LPS lights, are a specific type of gas-discharge light (also known as a High Intensity Discharge, HID or arc light). The principal difference between low and high pressure sodium lights is the operating pressure inside the lamp. As indicated by the name, “high” pressure sodium vapor lights operate at a higher internal pressure. The arc tube is made of aluminum oxide and the sodium metal is combined with several other elements like mercury which counterbalances the yellow glow with some white to light blue emissions.

To learn how LEDs and HPS / LPS lights compare head-to-head in lighting characteristics, read the full blog.

Stouch Lighting: What's The Difference Between Conventional Lighting and LEDs

Stouch Lighting’s #2 Blog: LED Lighting versus Fluorescent and Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Lighting

When you think of the stereotypical office setting with harsh, bright lights overhead, you’re most likely imagining fluorescent lights. Perhaps the stereotype is getting to people, and they’re looking to replace fluorescents with LED fixtures; our LED versus fluorescents blog garnered nearly 3,000 hits since March. Fluorescent lighting technology has been used in many applications (primarily interior), but it’s a great candidate for an LED retrofit. For all their benefits, fluorescent lights are pretty inefficient as compared to LED lighting technology. Read below for a brief description of fluorescent lighting, or read our head-to-head-comparison here.

  • What are fluorescent lights? Fluorescent lights are a specific type of gas-discharge light (also known as a High Intensity Discharge, HID or arc light). CFL is an acronym that stands for Compact Fluorescent Light. Standard fluorescent lights are available in tubes (generally 48 to 84 inches in length). CFLs are much smaller. They are still tubes but they are “compact” as the name implies. CFLs were designed to replace standard applications for incandescent bulbs as they are both more efficient and longer lasting. Fluorescent lamps produce light by converting ultraviolet emissions with a fluorescent coating on the inside of the tube. UV radiation is generated in the first place by an electrical charge that is run through the inert mercury glass internal to the bulb. The gas is excited by the electricity and releases ultraviolet radiation as a consequence. Fluorescent lights require ignition which is typically provided by a voltage pulse or a third electrode (an additional metal part) internal to the bulb. Starting is relatively simple with small tubes but can require significant voltage with larger lights. Fluorescent lighting used to require a “warm-up” period in order to evaporate the internal gas into plasma, but now there are several near-instantaneous starting technologies for fluorescent light (those include “quick-start,” “instant start,” and “rapid-start”). Additionally, as the light heats up it requires additional voltage to operate. Voltage requirements in fluorescent bulbs are balanced by a ballast (a magnetic device in older bulbs and an electrical one in newer fluorescent technology).  As the fluorescent light ages, more and more voltage is required to produce the same amount of light until eventually the voltage exceeds the fixed resistance provided by the ballast and the light goes out (fails). Fluorescent lights become less and less efficient over time because they must use more and more voltage to produce the same lumen output as the light degrades.

Our Third Most Popular Blog of 2016: LED versus Incandescent Lighting

Rounding out our most popular blogs list at number three, this comparison blog was viewed more than 1,500 times since publication earlier this year. The incandescent light is your classic light bulb. It produces light by heating a wire filament to a temperature that results in the generation of light. The metal wire is surrounded by a translucent glass bulb that is either filled with an inert gas or evacuated (a vacuum). They’re really cheap to manufacture and accordingly, they’re really cheap to purchase (typically a dollar or two). Incandescent bulbs are widely available and adaptable to a large range of voltages, light outputs, and current (working well with both AC and DC power). They are the cheapest lights on the market. But wait - there are some catches:

  1. Incandescent lights have the worst energy efficiency on the market. Incandescent lamps have efficiency ratings around 10 lumens/watt. Unfortunately most of the energy they consume (~90%) goes into generating heat.
  2. Incandescent lights have the worst lifespan on the market. The average bulb lasts around 1,200 operating hours. This means that even though incandescent bulbs are cheap to purchase, you have to purchase a whole lot of them (50-100) to equal the lifespan of a single LED. Overall, that means high maintenance costs.

Read the rest of our head-to-head comparison blog here.

Want more information about LED lighting technology, energy efficient lighting solutions, and whether an LED retrofit is right for your organization? Stouch Lighting has you covered.

We invite you to take a look around our website, check out the resources we’ve compiled, or reach out with any questions. At Stouch Lighting, we are experts at assessing your current lighting situation and crafting a custom solution to meet objectives like reduced energy consumption, reduced maintenance costs, and improved lighting quality. If you have a moment, take a look at some of our case studies to see outcomes we’ve been able to achieve for clients. We are also more than happy to calculate a custom Return-on-Investment for your organization free of charge. Thank you for visiting Stouch Lighting, and we look forward to seeing you in 2017!

Ebook: 7 Different Lights LEDs Are Putting Out of Business