T8 vs. T12 Lamps

One of the most common questions we receive at Adventure Lighting is, should I upgrade from T12 to T8 lamps

Here’s the rundown on why this is a no-brainer. T12 Lamps are being phased out of production.  I’ve heard that 2012 will be the last year they’re made. Now, I’m sure the lamps will still be available, but there are reasons why they’re going away. 

A standard 4 lamp fixture, similar to what most every office in America uses, has a standard 40 watt T12 lamp on a standard magnetic ballast (which won’t be produced after June of 2010) and uses 172 watts of energy.  The same fixture retrofitted with T8 lamps and a new electronic ballast uses 112 watts of energy – that’s a 35% reduction in energy usage!  To retrofit an existing fixture with the new ballasts is a simple process that requires very basic wiring knowledge.  Remove (2) T12 ballasts, replace with (1) T8 ballast, and replace old lamps with new ones in the same sockets.

Find out how to save money on your lighting!

Not only are you going to see a 35% reduction in energy consumption, you’ll also see a dramatic difference in light output.  The Standard T12 lamp produces 2,650 initial lumens per lamp.  The standard T8 produces 2,800 initial lumens per lamp, 6% brighter.  But the standard T12 lamp produces 2,300 design lumens and the T8 produces 2,660 design lumens.   


Initial lumens –  the average lumen output of the lamp after 100 hours of operation under controlled lab conditions. 

Design Lumens are the average lumen output of the lamp after 40% of its rated life. 

You can see that the T12 lamp loses 14% of its light output over the first 40% of its life, whereas the T8 only loses 5% of its light output.  Combine that over 4 lamps and you have a loss of 1,400 lumens per fixture as compared to 560 lumens lost on a T8 fixture. I’ll get into why the T8 lamp is a better lamp as far as color later – but the 35% energy savings and a better lumen maintenance are 2 of the reasons why switching is better. 

Let’s say your office runs those fixtures 12 hours a day, 5 days a week.  At an average energy cost of $0.07 per KWh you’re looking at a savings of $13.10 per year.  If you have 50 fixtures in your building, that’s a savings of $655.00 per year. And by the way, MidAmerican Energy gives you a rebate of $18 per fixture to do this.  $54 dollars if you have an audit done. (We’ll get into this at a later post.)

Find out how retrofitting your lights can save you money!

I think I’ve made a compelling argument as to why upgrading from T12 to T8 technology is a no-brainer.  Call us and let me come out to look at your situation to give you a free assessment of what can be done to upgrade you today! 

Brian Huff, along with Jack and Sue, own and manage Adventure Lighting in Des Moines, Iowa. To find out more, visit www.adventurelighting.com.


A Light That Pays You To Use It?

Come see how far we've come!

Since 1806, when Humphrey Davy created an electric arc between two charcoal rods connected to a battery (Thomas Edison wouldn’t patent the light bulb for another 70 years) inventors have been building brighter, longer-lasting, more energy efficient bulbs.

Today’s CFL’s (Compact Flourescent Lights) generate 20% more light yet burn 70% cooler than standard incandescents (the kind we all grew up with) and last up to 10 times longer. When you do the math (or if you’re like me, have your wife do it for you) you find out very quickly that CFL’s literally save you money, even compared to their slightly higher cost.

Find out why CFL's are better

For example, on average, a CFL will save you $22 in a year of normal useage, compared to an incandescent. And that’s just one bulb – the average home has 30 light fixtures. Again, do the math – or better yet go to our web site, www.adventurelighting.com and use our energy savings calculator.

The other great benefit of CFL’s is their lower impact on the environment. If every homeowner in the United States replaced just one of their old-school incandescent bulbs with a CFL, it would be the energy emmisions equivalent of taking one million cars off our highways. Plus at Adventure Lighting we sell Philips brand CFL’s, which also have 30% less mercury – easier on the environment.  

So whether you’re a business owner or home owner, think about retrofitting your lights – it pays in so many ways!

Brian Huff, along with Sue and Jack, own and operate Adventure Lighting in Des Moines, Iowa. For more information visit www.adventurelighting.com.

The Accidental Environmentalists

We all want to save money, especially in these very hard economic times, and any company that can help people do that is probably going to do pretty well. Little did I realize that Adventure Lighting in Des Moines, the company my wife and I bought back in 2003, would not only be accomplishing this but would also end up being on the front lines of saving the world.

That’s probably a little heavy-handed and over-dramatic but it also happens to be true! Over 30% of America’s energy costs come from lights, and those same lights account for 0ver 10% of the billions of tons of garbage that piles up in our nation’s landfills every year – so any process that helps people and businesses cut down on their energy useage and lower the number of lights they throw away, is truly doing something great for our planet.

Which is exactly what we do at Adventure Lighting, every day.

Find out how helping the environment can also save you money

Yet I tell friends, this certainly wasn’t my goal when I bought the business in 2003. My wife Sue and I were ready to be our own boss and were also looking for something safe for our retirement – a company that sold lights seemed like a good bet. Of course I understood that energy efficiency is just good business and smart for anyone’s bottom line, business owner or home owner. But I truly had no idea that what we were really investing in was a “Green Machine,” – not of money (although we’re doing well) but of helping the environment.

And so I look back at then and look at where we’re at now and it’s ironic and amusing and yet, also rewarding – that Adventure Lighting is on the edge of the green wave, leading the way in energy efficient lighting technology. We didn’t buy the company for that reason – yet it turns out to be an even better reason.

Want to know what you can do to save the environment?

What I will try to do with this blog, with the help of my wife Sue, my smart son Brian and the other smart, dedicated people that are part of the team at Adventure Lighting, is pass along energy saving tips, do’s and don’t when it comes to lighting, and ways to lower your energy bill – the little tricks of our trade that we’ve learned over the past 20 years in the business. And if you have some of your own, please do pass them along to us – we all want to save money, and help save the environment – even if some of us came upon the latter by accident 🙂

Jack Huff, along with his wife Sue and son Brian, own and manage Adventure Lighting in Des Moines, Iowa. For more information, visit www.adventurelighting.com

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