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It’s the end of the bulb as we know it

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By Paul Fitzgerald: Bye-bye incandescent light bulb, Hello LED

We all know that December 31 marked the end of 2013.

But this date also marked the end of the incandescent light bulb era for the United States and for other countries around the world.

That’s right only two weeks ago, efficiency standards officially went into effect that ends the manufacturing of inefficient 40 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs (the 100 watt has already been phased out). Incandescent bulbs are inefficient because 90% of the energy they produce is wasted as heat.

Clinton Howell, founder of H2 Systems Inc. in Burlington, ON, is out educating his clients and the general public alike on how the LED will illuminate the world in the foreseeable future, and how here are still many compact fluorescent energy efficient bulbs that can be used throughout the home and business.

Howell, a well-known expert in the home theatre and home integration, is a big believer in new ways of saving energy which reduces our environmental footprint.

The owner of one of the most successful home theatre companies in Burlington and across the GTA however suggests that there are some more finite changes consumers need to be aware of with the market saying bye-bye to the incandescent light bulb.

“Regardless of whether the homeowner is using LEDs or compact fluorescents, there is one component present in the new bulbs that was not present in the old incandescent bulbs – and that component is the circuit board,” says Howell. “Whether built into the compact fluorescent bulb or built into the driver that powers the LEDs, circuit boards are sensitive and cannot handle the surge impulses that the older incandescent light bulb could. Not only is the cost of the new lights much more than the old, but who wants to change out bulbs regardless of cost? That being the case, why not surge protect the LED circuit boards and make sure that all compact fluorescents and LEDs last as long as possible?”

Howell says that the easiest way to surge protect lights (and their controls) is to surge protect each breaker panel feeding the LED lights with a Transient Protection Design panel mounted surge suppressor.

He states, “Since the circuit boards can be surge damaged over time by even small spikes and transients, the surge suppressor should also have an effective transient filter that will protect the sensitive boards from even the small, internally generated transients caused by the daily operation of equipment in the home such as pumps, air conditioners, garbage disposals, printers, vacuum cleaners, heat pumps, fan motors, to name a handful.”

He suggests homeowners and business owners should check out the TTLP and ST Series surge protector models found at www.TPDsurge.com. And, that TTLP or ST unit on the electrical panel will also protect all other equipment (appliances, HVAC, computers, TVs, garage door openers, etc.) fed by the breaker panel as well as your new LED bulbs.

Howell adds with a smile, “As they say, ‘Out with the old –in with the new.’”

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