After careful comparison and research, the Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA) announces a home furnishings Light Bulb Program geared to educate home furnishings retailers on the best possible lighting for showrooms, warehouses, and offices while providing substantial group discount savings on the most energy efficient and best performing lighting products for these retail applications.
"This one-of-a-kind program is a culmination of more than two years and hundreds of hours surveying retailers' needs," says Dave Lane, WHFA Executive Director. "WHFA conducted an extensive bidding process and negotiated directly with the corporate officers at General Electric, Sylvania/Osram and Litetronics for the best lighting product for these applications. WHFA chose Auburn, California-based Century Lighting as the program distributor. With an anticipated volume of more than $500,000 a year, members can save more than $1 per halogen bulb, and 40% to 50% on fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. It is truly a unique home furnishings industry Light Bulb Program."
As part of the program's educational focus, the association is getting the word out that retailers should consider the following criteria before making their next lighting purchase.
The Cost of Light. The cost of light is determined primarily by the cost of the electricity used to power the bulb. In fact, 80% to 88% of every dollar spent on the cost of light is spent on electricity.
Saving your organization money depends on investment in the most energy efficient lamps, since the purchase price of a bulb is only a small part of the total cost.
"While the purchase price of a compact fluorescent for your table lamps may be higher than a standard incandescent, the pay-back in lower utility bills can be three months or less," says Lane. "For example, replacing a 60 watt incandescent bulb with an 11 watt energy efficient Spiral-Lite Screw-in Compact Fluorescent that WHFA sells will save $40.00 in reduced electrical costs over the life of the compact fluorescent bulb. This more than makes up for the higher cost of the bulb plus saves you money through energy and labor savings in the long run. Remember, when making your lighting choices the cost of the bulb is only a small percentage of your total cost of light."
Color Temperature. The color temperature of a light source is measured in Kelvin. The Kelvin rating refers to the color appearance of the light. Kelvin temperature is especially important when ordering your fluorescent tubes because a lamp's Kelvin temperature creates the mood for the space you are lighting and can thus influence buying behavior or work performance.
In describing color temperatures, a low color temperature of 3,000 Kelvin corresponds to "warm" or a red-yellow appearance like incandescent lamps.
Fluorescent lamps operating at 4,100 Kelvin accentuate cool blue and green tones and are good for use in showrooms with high light sources and general offices.
Fluorescent lamps operating at 3,500 Kelvin give off a moderate balanced tone to accentuate both warm and cool hues. These are a great choice to show off home furnishings merchandise. A Kelvin temperature of 3,500 is recommended for the vast majority of showrooms.
Color Rendering Index (CRI). A key performance characteristic is a lamp's Color Rendering Index (CRI). Colors appear differently under various light sources. On a scale from 0 to 100, CRI is a measure of a lamp's ability to render colors "naturally and normally." Generally, the higher the CRI, the more vibrant or close to natural the colors of objects appear.
CRI is especially important when evaluating fluorescent sources because they have a wide range of CRIs. While the 75 CRI has good color rendering, the 85 CRI has the best color rendering. The 85 CRI lamp brings out the full colors of fabrics, furniture and carpeting, showing them as they would appear in home lighting.
Light from lamps with good (70-80 CRI) and excellent (80+ CRI) color rendering properties is said to be "high quality light" because objects and people look more appealing and the light level itself is perceived to be higher.
Good color rendering is critical in retail applications where merchandise must look appealing. In office applications, high color rendering can increase visual clarity and create a more pleasing and productive work environment.
Until the mid-seventies, high quality light and high CRIs meant sacrificing lamp efficacy. But manufacturers have made great advances in fluorescent and color rendering technologies. The result? A myriad of efficient and high quality fluorescent and lighting solutions. WHFA recommends fluorescent light with a CRI of 85.
Efficacy. Efficacy is the rate at which a lamp is able to convert electrical power (Watts) into light (Lumens), expressed in terms of lumens per watt (LPW). Put simply, a watt of electricity is the amount of power in and a lumen of light is the amount of power out.
The WHFA Light Bulb Program is available to Association members at substantial savings. It is also available to all other home furnishings businesses in California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah at 20% above the WHFA member prices. For a free Price List or further information regarding the WHFA Light Bulb program, contact Pat Schilling at (916) 784-7677.
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