Sunwave Lighting

Lighting Design, Redesign, Retrofits, Rebates, Results

What Color Light is Right Color Light? 

As you can see in the photos left above and right light comes in many colors. 

According to DOE, the natural or Daylight color is the most visually efficient engaging more than just the photopic visual system.   A whole new energy saving technology called Spectrally Enhanced Lighting has grown out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford University Research.  In other research also done by the DOE Solid State Lighting, street lights that use Cooler Bluer "Spectrally Enhanced" LEDs are 20 to 30% more efficient compared to yellower LED sources, if everything else is held equal.  That is that a 6000K LED will both appear brighter to the eye running at the same wattage and will also appear to be just as bright running at 70% of the input energy compared to a yellow LED.  .

Lighting Is Still Low Hanging Fruit

Our commercial office schools and other spaces use 70% of all Electricity produced in the US.  Lighting is approximately 40% of commercial building uses.  Lighting more efficiently, one can cut this total by 33, 50, or even 66 percent.  

The Return on Investment for lighting energy retrofits and redesigns can be substantial.  2 to 3 year simple payback is common.  These can be simply changing the color and selecting a 28-watt lamp to changing entire office suites to suspended direct indirect fixtures   Simple incremental investments can pay back multiple times.  The added efficiency provides significant leverage with Net Metered and renewable energy installations. 

We tend to prefer simple basic efficiency first, to keep i t simple, then we like basic simple control systems.  We like task ambient and personally and subjectively like our office light to have the highest possible color quality and the closest match to natural daylight.  We also like the cheap 6 watt task light  and both 13 watt Pin based CFL task lights that are reported to be to be "full spectrum"

How Much Energy Can We Save?

Lighting systems using incandescent technology can be replaced with halogen saving 25%, with a CFL saving 75% or with LEDs that will most likely last longer and save up to 90%  if you have not upgraded your lighting in the last 10 years you are candidate for a profitable lighting update.   

But we have known for many years that the Incandescent light bulb come with a much larger electric bill and that they need to be changed more often, but ... I don't like cheap CFLs.  I do like the efficiency of 4th generation Linear fluorescent lamps with rare earth phosphors, electronic, step dimming ballasts.   I like daylight, and a like lighting that better simulates actual North sky daylight for lighting daytime activities.  I note that LBNL research concludes that Spectrally Enhanced Lighting appears brighter and therefore presents an energy saving (money saving, perhaps even climate saving) opportunity.  It turns out that it works with LED's in steet lighting too.

How Many Legislators Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?. 

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
New Light Bulb Standards for a More Efficient California Beginning January 1, 2011 light bulb manufacturers will be required to meet new efficiency standards in California to save consumers money and energy. The standard, passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, becomes effective nationwide January 1, 2012. California has enacted the federal standards one year earlier to avoid the sale of 10.5 million inefficient 100-watt bulbs in 2011 which would cost consumers $35.6 million in unnecessarily higher electricity bills (Source: PG&E Case Study). By reducing energy consumption the standard will reduce air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels in power plants while producing the same quality of light as traditional incandescent bulbs.

Frequently Asked Questions Is California banning incandescent light bulbs?

No. California is implementing a new energy efficiency standard for incandescent bulbs that will save consumers money by replacing the least efficient incandescent bulbs with more efficient ones.

What is the new standard? 
Read the rest of the FAQ from the California Energy Commissions here.

Not only does it work in California,  It works here in Colorado too. 

California is voluntarily adopting the standard one year early.  They are going to save billions compounded annually and trillions of pounds of CO2 also compounded and they have a several year head start.   So with Utility Rebates and with Bonus ARRA Stimulus funds you can get 50 to 70 % back.  Yes I know, it really sounds too good to be true... They will actually pay you $$$$ to replace or update your inefficient equipment so that you will buy less electricity from them.   Save Energy.   

LED's are coming on Strong...
but T8's and T5's are still the best buy. 

DOE Solid state Lighting program has released their CALiPER Round 11 test results.  Overall LEDS are getting better and for many niche applications are already quite competitive for several applications.   However, LED's are not yet capable replacements for 4th generation or Super T8's for general office lighting. 

Look for the Lighting Facts Label. 


New Federal Lighhting Efficiency Standards are Adoped in California One Year Early.   

New Federal Light Bulb Standards Thursday, 13 January 2011 12:19 Chuck Colgan  E-mail | Print | California first in adopting new energy savings

A new federal law will start saving consumers money by improving the energy efficiency standard for incandescent light bulbs sold in California this month.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will save California consumers money with new bulbs that offer the same amount of light while using less power. Passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, the new law is designed to reduce energy use and associated pollution and make the United States less dependent on foreign sources of energy.

While the nation will adopt the standard on January 1, 2012, California was given authority to implement the national standards one year earlier, hoping to avoid the sale of 10.5 million inefficient 100-watt bulbs in 2011 that would cost consumers $35.6 million in higher electricity bills, according to a study by Pacific Gas & Electric.

Reducing energy use in California also results in improved environmental quality by avoiding the construction of new power plants and air pollution from burning fossil fuels, according to the California Energy Commission. 
. . .

The way I see it,  if it doesn't have a Lighting Facts label issued and tested by DOE (not the FTC label) it's not ready for prime time.  If it does not have an ENERGY STAR Label, (so we know it meets some minimal standards) and If it doesn't have a 5 years parts, labor, color shift and flicker warranty.  It's just too experimental and too expensive.  And then what good is a 5 year warranty if the company was started just 3 years ago?  DOE has found that as few as 1/3 or manufacture's products tested actually perform as claimed on the package.    Most claims of equivalency as in replaces a 65 watt bulb were not true. 

See the CALiPER Round 11 test results and read about it here.
See the EPA Energy Star Qualified LED Light Bulb list then calculate lumens per watt.   at this writing it ranges from 40 to 65.

T8 and T5 systems are shown to have the lowest Lifecycle costs. 

Navigant Consulting study from 2010 clearly shows T5's systems to have the lowest lifecycle costs.   A paper presented at the DOE SSL conference in San Diego clearly says the same thing.  So if not now,  then when will SSLs take over for general purpose lighting?  Moore's law for LED's is in play and they will reach parity ...
Read MORE>  Life Cycle Assessment of Ultra-Efficient Lamps


Xcel Energy to Phase-Out T12 Rebates

Is official.  Xcel has announced that they will phase out T12 to T8 or T5 rebates in 2012.  But in the meantime, they are increasing the current T12 incentives by 50%.  where the rebate was $22.00 its now $33.00.  Plus you can now qualify for additional incentives from local jusidictions.  Boulder, Denver Westminster Arvada and Littleton.  all have additional ARRA Stimulus funds on top of the utility programs.      SO IF YOU HAVE T12's you can get paid to upgrade them now.  In 2012 ... your going to on the hook for the whole program as T12's replacements will be increasingly unavailable.  The current incentives are pretty good and the savings begins now.  Pace financing, Buisness leases and other financing is available for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Working with Sunwave Lighting:

As an Independent Lighting Efficiency Consultant I work directly for the Client.  The one that pays the electric bill and not for the lighting equipment manufacturer, distributor, ESCO, Electrician, Utility, etc.  I like to do this to avoid conflicts of interest and so that we can select the best products, sources and contractors for each job from the Clients Point of View.   I like working with incumbent electricians and facilities staff and even do-it-yourselfers and companies with their our own maintenance staff ... We come with a plan, then implement some of all of the plan, securing parts, suppliers, labor and contractors as needed to update the lighting to save more energy and more carbon now. 

Together we can do this without compromising comfort, convenience, or triple-bottom-line profits.  You can't save more than off.  When starting with the 2x4 134 watt 4-lamp T12, (or even the 90 watt 3 lamp generic T8) we prefer the simple 2 lamp 48-watt Spectrally Enhanced T8 solution to the business as usual sell you more than you need 3-lamp 735 series T8 86-watt solution.  You will too if you are the one paying the bills. 

Does anyone see the problem? 


CO2 Emissions Purdue University


Maybe we could stop lighting outer space???

We're going to need to stop wasting so much energy.

If you can see if from space is it waste?   Is it waste if no one on the ground is using the light?  Funny how Purdue's Carbon Dioxide Emissions looks a lot like NASA's lights at night. 

So if 50 percent of the energy we currently use for lighting is waste And if we can earn a profit by eliminating this waste, then what's the hold up?   We can save this 50% using currently produced and off the shelf technologies.   This is not new technology, it's just not the technology that is stocked and pushed by the lighting industry. 

Then when we've saved 50% we can save 50% again using simple daylighting and occupancy sensing and other "brains in the ballast" control strategies. 

Here in Denver we are among the most carbon intensive humans on the planet.  We are 2x as high as Manhattan and they are 4x as high as most of the rest of the world.  Best of all kWh's saved (not used) cost less than any other kWh's from any source including coal fired power plants.   So we need to encourage ourselves to do more.  It's tough to make your numbers if you have to sell less of something less often.  It's going to be a tough to transition to Electricity 2.0 we can get there.  For those of us that think a planet and our ecosystems are a terrible thing to waste and who think leaving something for future generations is important, the time to get started is now.     

See Citizens for Clean Energy for more Energy Efficiency Ideas. 
Download the Latest White Papers
"Blue Mountain Arts Lighting Redesign"
"Retrofitting 4-Lamp F40 T12 2x4 Office Troffers" 
"Retrofitting 2-Lamp F96 T12 HO:  2-Lamp 8 Foot F96 T8's vs 4-Lamp 4 Foot F32 T8 850 HL"
Visit Coast 2 Coast Lighting
Visit Link Lighting and Controls. 
Visit MSi SSL MSi Solid State Lighting

California Lighting Technology Center
Center for Sustainable Energy
DOE SSL Department of Energy Solid State Lighting Program
DOE EERE FEMP Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy  Federal Energy Management Program. 
DOE Commercial Lighting Design and Simulation Tools. 
US EPA Carbon Equivalency Calculators
ACEEE Amercian Council for and Energy Efficient Economy

Thanks for Visiting.  Call us 303-581-9296   

Sunwave Lighting, Spectrally Enhanced Lighting, Lighting, Design, Redesign, Efficiency, Rebates, EERE, FEMP, ACEEE, Research, Lighting Design, audits, energy, assessments, conservation, occupancy, controls, day lighting, skylights, Boulder, Colorado, Heising, CLEP, AEE