Jan 262012

Minnesota Xcel Electric customers- now is the time!

Those of you who still have T12 lamps in your offices and warehouse be aware that Xcel Energy is offering bonus rebates on top of their already generous rebates to change these older fluorescent lamps to newer T8 lamps with Electronic ballast. (T12 refers to the diameter of the tube in 1/8″ increments. A T12 is 1-1/2″ in diameter, whereas a T8 is 1 inch in diameter. But the real cost and energy savings come from the efficient electric ballast that drive T8 lamps. )

2009 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regulations require T12 fluorescent lighting be phased out in 2012 and will no longer be available. To help it’s Xcel MN customers with this change, Xcel is offering bonus rebates through 2012 for T12 to T8 retrofits, T12 to T8 optimization projects and T12 to T5 lighting systems.

Now through March 31, 2012, all Xcel Energy is offering 50% bonus rebates to their Minnesota business electricity customers. These T12 conversion projects must be completed and invoiced on or before March 31, 2012. T12 upgrades completed and invoiced between April 1 and December 31, 2012, will be eligible for up to a 30% bonus rebate.

Note: Rebates for T12 upgrades will not be available after December 31, 2012.
After 2012 there will be no more T12 fixtures sold and as of last year there are no more magnetic ballasts sold. T8s and electric ballast are proven technologies, so there is no reason to keep playing your utility company for more electricity than you need.

Rebates range from…

  • $18.00 – $28.00 per fixture standard program
  • $27.00 – $42.00 per fixture with the 50% bonus (ends March 31st)
  • $23.40 – $36.40 per fixture with the 30% bonus (ends December 31st)

Note: All rebate amounts are per retrofitted fixture. Rebates cannot exceed 75% of project cost. Applications must be turned in within 12 months of invoice date or no later than May 1, 2013.

Details can be found on the Xcel website although it takes some hunting to find the rebate forms.

 Posted by at 2:37 pm  Tagged with: ,
Sep 302009

We have been getting some interest in LED Lighting recently. LED is a new technology that is finding its way into more lighting products. LED lighting has many good features, but for now efficiency is not one of them. For example TCP has just released a LED lamp. This TCP bulb is one of the best LED I’ve seen, but it only puts out 35 Lumens per Watt. Whereas a Compact Fluorescent will put out 55 lpw, a Standard T8 lamp will pump out 75 lpw, and a high performance T8 lamp almost 100 Lumens per Watt!

LEDs do have many advantages.

  1. Although 35 lpw is not much compared to a fluorescent it is an improvement over incandescent bulbs. A 2.6 watt LED replaces a 15 watt incandescent.
  2. The LED bulb last a long time (25,000 hours) so it is a good application where maintenance is difficult like a chandelier
  3. The LEDs are directional, this makes for a good spot lighting, but a poor area lighting.
  4. The LED is vibration resistant. They work well in ceiling fans. Our TCP brand LED lamps are outdoor rated and work well in cold locations.
  5. The TCP LEDs are dimmable and look pretty good with a CRI of 80. They look much better than some LEDs, which have weird color casts.

If you’re interested in what technologies are currently hot check out “Lighting’s Workhorses” by Jim Benya in Architectural Lighting. Pay special attention to the graph. It shows which lamp technologies are efficient and which are not. Effective Concepts has a good selection of all the lighting listed in the article: Tungsten, Halogen, Metal Halide, Ceramic Metal Halide, Fluorescent (Cold Cathode, PLs, Biax, Induction, T8, T5s, etc), and even LED lamps.

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