American Lighting Association

Issue No. 43, December 2013

Photo courtesy of Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.

Learn more about:
Switches Utilize New Technology
Compare Your Choices
Ask a Lighting Professional

Switch Your Switch
As you prepare to ring in a new year, it's a good time to change your lighting controls to ones more compatible with new lightbulb technology.

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TURN ONS: New Switches are More Compatible with New Technology

A lighting switch is just a switch, right? As it turns out, not really. Technology is changing your home's smallest details - switches, controls, and dimmers - to make daily life more beautiful and functional.

Traditional lighting controls don't work very well with LED and CFL bulbs, because
the physics of the new bulbs is much different than that of incandescent bulbs. With LEDs and CFLs, light is emitted by a driver or ballast, which do not naturally dim.

Say you have a fixture with four bulbs; one burns out and you decide to replace it with an LED-equivalent version. The old traditional dimmer does not know how to control that mixed load of bulbs, but new specialized dimmers are engineered and designed to work in that situation.

One thing that often stops homeowners from improving the efficiency of lighting controls is wiring. Older systems used to require wires from one control to another. Now, wireless controllers allow control from spots around the room or even another room.

Lightbulbs in development will integrate control technologies in new ways. As these new bulbs and controls make their way into wider acceptance in the marketplace, consumers are going to have a shift in how they think about lighting. Lightbulbs are becoming more like an appliance

Your local ALA-member retailer can demonstrate the lighting controls best suited for your particular space.

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Legrand N.A.
Photo courtesy of Legrand N.A.

Photo courtesy of Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.

BULB BASICS: Buying a Lightbulb Does Not Have to be Complicated 

2014 Consumer Bulb Choices-10

Let an ALA-member lighting professional help you choose the right bulbs and fixtures for your home.

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In 2014, as standard incandescent 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs start to disappear from retail outlets, consumers will see shelves featuring three main bulb choices:

  • Halogen Incandescent
  • CFL (compact fluorescent)
  • LED (light-emitting diode)

The graphic (at left) shows how the available bulb choices compare with a standard incandescent.

For more information, go to

EXPERT ADVICE: Want More Ideas? Ask a Lighting Professional. 

Will a floor lamp with nine E12 G50 half-chrome bulbs give off a lot of light?         -Cynthia

One E12 G50 bulb produces approximately half the light of one 100-watt incandescent bulb. Therefore, nine of them will produce a level of light approximately equal to 4½ 100-watt incandescent bulbs. This is quit
e a bit of light

Questions about lighting your home? Click here to ask an ALA-trained lighting professional.

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Visit ALA online to find more information about lightbulbs, as well as all things related to home lighting.

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Photo courtesy of Hubbardton Forge

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