Electrical Contractors phase-in alternatives to incandescent lamps

Date Announced: 06 Mar 2012

Bethesda, Md. — As federal mandates gradually phase out incandescent lamps over the next two years—along with T12 lamp/ballast systems this July—electrical contractors aim to partner on a compliant, alternative mix. According to Electrical Contractor magazine’s latest surveys, 60 to 80 percent of its readers directly influence or specify lighting brands and 40 percent of their projects are design/build. To deliver function and aesthetics with reduced consumption, they’re training in integrated lighting systems and sophisticated lighting controls—including light-emitting diodes (LEDs), compact-fluorescents (CFLs), fluorescent/LED combinations, OLEDs, fiber optic, halogen and induction lights.

“We really have to understand the new types of lighting and their associated controls before we can start applying labor factors because the lighting industry is changing very quickly,” said Jim Breslin, estimator/project manager for Wm. A.J. Shaeffer’s Sons Inc. a King of Prussia, Pa. electrical contractor.

In a down market, electrical contractors are increasingly involved in lighting retrofits and lighting replacement projects for exterior lighting, and in commercial and residential buildings to maximize utility incentive programs and rebates. Lighting controls are another fast-growing area.

"We are going to reach out to manufacturers and request in-house training to get up to speed,” said Dan Gleason, project executive, Morrow Meadows Corp., an electrical contractor in City of Industry, Calif.

The latest technologies to achieve green building certification including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) include T5 and T8 fixtures with integrated controls to reduce the number of fixtures required for a project by at least 10 percent and improve lighting quality and levels; CFLs and LEDs; appropriate controls including sophisticated addressable ballasts, daylight and motion sensors; bi-level switching; occupancy sensors; dimming ballasts; daylight harvesting; dimming fixtures/dimmable LEDs; ceramic metal halide (CDM) technology for atriums, parking lots and garages.

Induction lighting with a long life of up to 100,000 hours is also reemerging as a hybrid between incandescent and fluorescent since it uses less power than either and provides high-quality light, has instant start and restrike capabilities and operates at a low temperature.

Lorelei Harloe, 703-362-2774


Web Site:www.ecmag.com/

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