Total Recessed Lighting Blog

  • Heading to Washington DC - Here's why!

    US Capital BuildingTechnology allows smaller businesses like Total Lighting Supply here in Rio Rancho New Mexico to reach customers across the nation and the globe and expand their business. Changes to online trading can be a game-changer for their long-term success and sustainability.

    That’s why we are sending one of our own to Washington D.C. on April 29 and 30 2014 for eBay Inc.’s 9th annual U.S. of eBay Advocacy Day. Our time will be spent encouraging lawmakers to support policies that promote small business growth and success. During the trip to Washington we will share with lawmakers the proposed way Internet sales tax legislation will create a huge tax burden for small business owners selling their products online.

    The Marketplace Fairness Act would force Total Lighting Supply and thousands of businesses like ours to collect sales tax from our customers for any state to which we sell, which would mean collecting and remitting taxes for up to 9,600 tax jurisdictions nationwide. That's a lot of paper work! Total Lighting Supply and eBay are advocating for greater equity for small online businesses like ours so that we can continue to grow and contribute to our local New Mexico economy.

    Additionally we will be discussing the importance of eliminating trading barriers for small and medium-sized enterprises.

    Thank you for reading :)

    Have a blessed day!
    Total Lighting Supply

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    Tags: DC, Government, Internet, Taxes

  • The new Soraa GU10 MR16 LED light bulb is Here!

    Soraa has released the new Soraa GU10 MR16 LED light bulb and we have all of them. You can get the new Soraa LED GU10 MR16 in 10°, 25°, 36° and the whopping 60° beam spreads to meet your lighting demands.

    Not only can you get the new Soraa LED MR16 in such a wide range of beam spreads there are also available 2700K, 3000K and 5000K color temperatures to get the color you need in your lighting application.

     

    Go check them out by clicking on the links below!

    For recessed lighting go here: http://totalrecessedlighting.com/recessed-lighting-light-bulbs/led-bulbs/soraa-led-bulbs/soraa-2-gu10-mr16-light-bulbs.html

    For track lighting here: http://totaltracklighting.com/track-lighting-bulbs/led-bulbs/soraa-led-bulbs/soraa-2-gu10-mr16-light-bulbs.html

    For bulk go here: http://totalbulklighting.com/led-lamps/mr16-led-bulbs/soraa-led-mr16-lamps/soraa-2-gu10-mr16-light-bulbs.html

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    Tags: led, MR16, Soraa, GU10

  • Lighting Your Kitchen Like Pro

    Whether one is doing a kitchen remodel or starting from scratch, the lighting design is frequently the last thing considered and often the first thing to get cut from the budget. Design and planning should be phase 1 of a kitchen project whether you are starting from scratch or remodeling. If you want your lighting to look like it was done by a pro, choosing the right light and the right placement of the light will make all the difference in the world. And, these decisions need to occur in the initial stage of the project and not as a 'hindsight is 20-20' kind of thing.

    Lighting designers say that using three types of lighting functions is paramount to good lighting design-whether it is in your kitchen or elsewhere. It is a 'layering' technique:

    1) general light source

    2) task lighting

    3) drama or accent lighting (also known as focal lighting)

    Some designers like to incorporate dimming systems in their lighting design. Our designer recommends that dimming systems be avoided in most cases-with the exception of dining rooms and media rooms. Here are some reasons why a dimming system should be avoided: 1) color temperature shifts 2) bulb does not dim in the full range and will drop out around 15-20% 3) flickering. Halogen bulbs experience color temperature shifts when being dimmed-not to mention that they require more energy to run and create unwanted heat. Fluorescent bulbs do not have a filament-which translates to it not being conducive to being dimmed-they drop out at 15-20%-which in turn, does not give you the full range. Fluorescent bulbs will also flicker when being dimmed. LEDs do not have a filament either, and suffer from the same things that fluorescent bulbs do; dropping out at 15-20% and flickering. Flickering is a bigger deal than one would initially think: it can cause neurological disturbances, headaches, fatigue, eye strain, affects your perception of motion and is a distraction, to name a few of the problems. Hopefully, we've succeeded in talking you out of using a dimming system.

    You can achieve a more pleasing effect by using the layering technique. You can also keep your lighting costs down by using fixtures that can perform multiple functions.

    General Light Source

    6" recessed cans are a great choice for the general lights-and will give you the most choice by way of lamps/bulbs that fit into the fixture. When I did a kitchen remodel in my own home in 2008, LED lights for 6" recessed had just been introduced to the market. Yes, initially, LED bulbs cost more than their counterparts. However, I have no regrets to making that choice. For one, it takes less energy to have it on and keep it on. The bulbs provides up to 60,000 of continuous light that is cool burning nor does it have to warm up first. No other bulb can do that! LED is also the most 'green' choice you can make in keeping your carbon footprint down. Initially, we tried out LED bulbs that had a color temperature of 27K. We found these to look too 'yellow' and ended up going with a brighter, slightly cooler color temperature of 30K. Much better!

    LED 6" recessed kitchen lights LED 6" recessed kitchen lights

    Here is an example in my kitchen with just some of the recessed lights on-this is my 'everyday' lighting choice. The lights are LED bulbs in 6" recessed cans (my camera did yield some unwanted lens flare from pointing up in to the lights-those reflections are not really there on the ceiling).

    LED 6" and 4" CFL recessed kitchen lights LED 6" and 4" CFL recessed kitchen lights

    In this example of my kitchen lighting, I have all of the recessed lights on. All decisions for the lighting source and placement were intentional. We looked for a light that had a broad, white, diffused, bright, even light-one that did not have 'edges' to the beam spread. This reduces the shadows on the work surfaces and the amount of glare. The LED lights we chose met that criteria. Track lighting was not a good choice because it is harsh, directional and creates lots of shadows. It wasn't appropriate for our application (you might have call for a directional light in your kitchen layout, however).

    My lighting designer wanted all my work surfaces to be evenly lit. Notice the distance of the recessed lights in relation to the cabinets. They are place 18" out from the cabinets so that it would light the cabinets and allow the light to light the inside of the cabinet when opened. This distance also minimized shadows cast in the area of the work space when standing at the counter. The space between each recessed light is about 2 feet-allowing for a well lit room. Notice too, that one is placed over the doorway.

    Look carefully at the bank of recessed lights above the table (far top right of image). These are 4" shower trims with a CFL bulb in each of them. "Why shower trims?", you ask. Shower trims were selected because of the glass insert is frosted (esthetics) and shower trims are offered in many attractive trims. Using the 4" trims also breaks things up and adds interest-we didn't need as much light over the table area.

    With the 6"recessed cans, our lighting designer put them on two switches so that you could just have some on and at other times, have them all on when you want it to be brighter. That provided two levels of general lighting.

    Task Lighting

    The next layer of lighting in my kitchen is task lighting. Right above my kitchen sink is a light to provide me with an additional layer of light-by way of a fluorescent fixture.

    kitchen sink task light kitchen sink task light

    Fluorescent light fixture over the kitchen sink for additional task lighting (I turned the general lighting off so that you can see this light source better).

    My stove top area also has two MR-16 halogens (soon to be switched over to the SORAA LED MR-16).

    stovetop task lighting task lighting over the stove top area achieve by way of halogen MR-16s

    Additional task lighting over the stove top achieved by way of two MR-16 halogen lights.

    Accent Lighting (for added drama)

    Accent lighting in my kitchen was achieved by way of additional fixtures under the cabinets (and how I wish the LED under cabinet fixtures were available then-instead I have fluorescent fixtures). The LED under the cabinet fixture is a great choice over a fluorescent since it lasts longer, is more energy efficient AND has a lower profile. Not to mention that the color rendering is much better. However, most LED under the cabinet fixtures require special wiring and hiding a transformer-not something that is easily done after the fact. Had this product been available when I did my kitchen remodel, I would have included it in the design. The LED under the cabinet is a specular light source-it gives an added dimension that a fluorescent bulb cannot. Think of it as adding more 'bling'.

    under cabinet lighting under cabinet lighting

    Under cabinet lighting achieved here by way of  fluorescent fixtures.

    cabinet lighting specials cabinet lighting specials

    Pictured here are the fluorescent under the cabinet lights and MR-16 halogen lights in the upper cabinets. We do experience a problem with the halogen MR-16's in the cabinet-even when using the lowest wattage of 20 watts, over time, heat builds up in the cabinet and the lights go out. On our list of things to do is to replace it with a  1-3 watt LED MR-16 which will easily remedy the situation.

    Of course, it goes without saying, that if you have natural light to work with, by all means incorporate that in to your lighting design. Natural light always makes a home more appealing. When trying to achieve natural lighting with lighting fixtures, be sure to use bulbs that are described as 'daylight' instead of those described as warm-that way the color temperature is more closely matched.

    Hopefully, by sharing what went in to the decision making process for lighting choices in my kitchen remodel, you will have at least a better starting point. Avoid using a dimming system and avoid trying to light the entire room with just one light source such as a ceiling mounted fixture.  Please feel free to contact us for solutions to your lighting challenges-we are here to help!

    If you found this article to be helpful, please send us your before and after photos and a brief description of your experience-we'd love to share your success story!

    Posted in:

    Tags: led, kitchen lighting, LED kitchen lights, lighting for kitchen remodels

  • Unequivocally, the most perfect LED MR-16 you can buy

    MR-16 LED

    We have all waited a long time for technology to catch up to our expectations of the perfect LED MR-16. The wait is over as the SORAA team took performances issues head on in their design and development of this bulb and conquered them all, we might add.

    Here are the top ten reasons why the SORAA LED MR16 lamp is on the top of our list:

    1) Perfect fit. SORAA conforms to the ANSI standard, so they do fit standard lighting fixtures (MR16) when used as specified.

    2) No noise. Performance, performance, performance. These bulbs do not blink, they do not buzz. SORAA lamps turn on and operate properly with both magnetic and electronic transformers.

    3) Fully UL listed. What does this mean to you? It means that you can trust them to work safely as a retrofit lamp in UL listed fixtures.

    4) Dimmable-SORAA lamps work properly with many commonly installed leading-edge and trailing-edge dimmers.

    5) Flexible. The SORAA LED MR16 works in both NEC Class 1 and Class 2 transformers. While most LED lamps are designed to work only with Class 2 systems, SORAA lamps are UL listed for both systems.

    6) Single source light output. Why is this important? The SORAA design allows for a high lumen density which in turn gives you more light output from a single source. Which in turn, gives you more design flexibility and control. Isn't that what you want? A Halogen MR16 lamp have multifaceted reflectors which in turn, do not project crisp shadows as does the SORAA single source light.

    benefits of the SORAA LED MR16

    (left) SORAA single source (right) other LED MR16 multi source

    7) More natural light. SORAA lamps are designed to replicate halogen illumination with one color and one shadow.

     

    8) Elegant (and smart) design. The thermally optimized heat sink (all LEDs are designed to have heat sinks) mimics the Halogen counterpart:

    9) Lightweight. SORAA lamps are the same weight as standard halogen lamps.

    10) Energy efficient. Are you thinking green here? Green as in energy efficient and green as in the money you will save on your utility bill-not just by way of this bulb requiring less energy, but lowering the cost of cooling your space. Here is a chance to make a difference on your carbon footprint.

    Still not convinced? Check out our video here that does a side by side comparison of the SORAA MR16 lamp against the Halogen MR16 lamp:

     

    Total Recessed Lighting currently carries the SORAA Premium and Vivid bulbs.You can find the selection of lamps under our "bulbs and accessories" section in recessed lighting.

    The premium lamp line is the choice for when you want a quality, 'no compromise' LED solution for a 50W halogen MR16 lamp. If you need a high quality output for interior applications that is energy saving, choose the SORAA premium lamp.

    When high color rendering is of utmost importance, the SORAA Vivid lamp line is the lamp of choice. With a CRI (color rendering index) of 95, it will yield rich, saturated colors along with color stability. These lamps are designed to replace standard 50W MR16 Halogen lamps with a savings of up to 75% of the energy that halogen lamps require. Now you not only can choose a superior light quality as well as save on your energy consumption.

    At long last. The perfect LED MR16 lamps has arrived."

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    Tags: led, MR16, led mr16 bulbs, led mr16 lamps, Soraa

  • Eliminate the Guesswork with Recessed Lighting Kits

    You can make your next recessed lighting project less frustrating and more efficient with the recessed lighting kits that Total Recessed Lighting has put together. We find that a lot of people aren't sure about which trim goes with which fixture and bulb, so we've put together recessed lighting kits in hopes of eliminating the frustration and guesswork.

    These recessed lighting kits include a lighting trim, a housing and a light bulb. The kits are available for 2", 3", 4", 5" and 6" recessed lighting fixtures.

     

    LED 2", 3", 4", 5" and 6" recessed lighting kits 2", 3", 4", 5" and 6" recessed lighting kits available in LED and Halogen

     

    If you are ready to make your recessed lighting projects easier, be sure to check out the recessed lighting kits that we offer.

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    Tags: 2" recessed lighting kits, 3" recessed lighting kits, 4" recessed lighting kits, 5" recessed lighting kits, 6" recssed lighting kits, kits, recessed lighting kits

  • The PAR 38 LED versus Halogen Bulb-which is the one for you?

    Questions. We get lots of questions. When we get a lot of questions in one particular area, this always prompts us to address it in a more global manner. Such as, the questions we get about LED Par 38 versus Halogen PAR 38-and which one is the better bulb. People want to know if  the LED PAR 38 is brighter than the Halogen PAR 38. Is the LED a good option? Folks are taking a good, hard look at LED as an alternative to Halogen because they know they are energy efficient and last longer, but they are not sure if they will be happy switching over. Does this sound like you?

    Our team here decided to take it to the test-what they think is a real test-not a fancy, scientific test. We'll just call it an empirical test since it is based on actual experience instead of an experiment. In plain language, it was a shootout:

    In this video, our team did a side by side comparison of a 24 watt LED 5000K PAR 38 against a 90 watt 2800K Halogen PAR 38 which should will help you decide if the LED bulb is the one for you and if it will save you money.  We cover wattage issues, color temperature, which one puts out more foot candles (a measurement of light intensity),  and more!

     

    We welcome your comments and hope that they are presented to us in a constructive manner so that we can incorporate it in future videos and blog postings. Send us your 'before' and 'after' project pictures! We'd love to be able to talk about your process so that others can benefit from it too.

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    Tags: comparison, par 38 halogen, par 38 led

  • Multifaceted Reflector Lamps or what we all call MR bulbs common codes

    We get a lot of questions on what those strange three letter words mean that always seem to be designated to MR 16 light bulbs. You have seen 'em. They go something like this: EXN, BAB, FMW . . .

    So we decided to write-up a brief explanation to demystify these strange words and show you how they relate to Multifaceted Reflector lamps or MR 16 light bulbs. Those three letter words are ANSI codes assigned to the MR 16 used to designate what type of beam spread and wattage of a particular MR 16 lamp.

    Below we have listed many of the popular MR16 lamps including the wattage and beam angle characteristics.

    BAB - 20 watt, 36 degree, 12 volt
    ESX - 20 watt, 10 degree, 12 volt
    EXN - 50 watt, 36 degree, 12 volt
    EXT - 50 watt, 15 degree, 12 volt
    EXZ - 50 watt, 24 degree, 12 volt
    FMW - 35 watt, 36 degree, 12 volt
    FMY - 35 watt, 24 degree, 12 volt
    FNV - 50 watt, 60 degree, 12 volt

    As you can see the ANSI codes are simply just codes to help standardize the MR 16 light bulbs so that when you go to purchase this type of light source you will have a pretty good idea on what you will be getting.

    We here at Total Lighting Supply are on a mission to demystify lighting aspects one bulb, one fixture at a time.

    Want to be demystified even more? Go to our You Tube Channel and check out the informational videos that we've made for you.

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    Tags: MR light bulbs, MR16, MR11

  • The "KISS" Method: Keep It Super Simple

    Many of you are familiar with the "KISS" method? Keep it super simple (well, there is another version out there-the "keep it simple s-----", but we won't use that language here!) Sometimes simple is the best. One of our clients that does large trade shows in the fashion industry came to us with a dilemma. They had three days to light a huge color banner of one of their models for a trade show in Austin, Texas. The trade show facility vendor wanted to rent them $1800 in LED lighting for the three days they were there- which was way outside of their budget. They needed the banner to stand out and be seen, but the quoted rental fee definitely put it out of reach. The owner of the fashion company called and talked with our lead lighting designer, Mark Scott. Mark has been in the lighting industry for 30 years and has wonderful and creative solutions to just about any lighting dilemma. His simple solution got the banner to stand out with even, bright light all for under $300 total. The client also got to keep the lighting fixtures for their next upcoming show too. Sometimes a simple solution is the way to go. So, what was the simple solution? They used two 500watt wide flood Par64 fixtures with bulbs, and one PAR64 flood to highlight the banner on the top left so it would be slightly brighter there.

    Easy solution, and boy did that banner stand out-it was easily seen from the other side of the convention center. No matter what your project is, from kitchens to landscape lighting, good lighting can make all the difference in the world. The staff at Total Lighting Supply are not about just selling part numbers on box, they are about getting you the light you need to make your project sparkle.

    Looking up at the par lights above the trade show booth

     

    Full view of the poster (well lit, we might add!)

    We here at Total Lighting Supply are on a mission to demystify lighting aspects one bulb, one fixture at a time.

    Want to be demystified even more? Go to our You Tube Channel and check out the informational videos that we've made for you.

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    Tags: trade show lighting, trade show lighting solutions

  • The Differences in LED Recessed Lighting from 2008 and Now

    This posting is in response to a very long thread on the Garden Web Lighting forum (Disappointed With My LED Recessed Lighting)-the original post was from 2008. Our lighting designer and guru was fascinated by all the comments an remarks and varying levels of input from the community at large. He thought it was time he should weigh in and we'd thought we'd share his insights and knowledge with you. To see the original thread that this post was based on, please be sure to use the link through for Garden Web.

    "I know this post has been around for a while-please forgive me in responding to such an old post, but the technology has changed so much since then that I thought I'd weigh in. The improvements made in LED recessed lighting has addressed so many of these issues that I find it no longer disappointing. In addition, I get questions related to kitchen lighting all the time and thought I might be able to provide some quick insight from a lighting designer's point of view.
    First of all, it seems that many lighting designers shy away from kitchen lighting, although I'm not sure exactly why. I have done hundreds of lighting designs for kitchens and I always take the approach that kitchen needs to have at least two different levels of lighting along with under-cabinet lighting. The quality of light is very important in any space-particularly the kitchen.
    Kitchen  light needs to be bright, white and even.  In most cases, halogen lighting will not work. Halogen is a specular light source and tends to create harsh shadows. Not to mention the heat that it produces in addition to the heat that you get from the stove and the oven.This is something that an electrician or a contractor is not likely to take into consideration.
    Fluorescent light can work well if done right, but you have to select your housing, trim and the color temperature of the lamp very carefully. As for the color temperature, we like to use lights that are 30K (or even higher) in color. The light output at this color temperature is closer to daylight.
    LED fixtures now offer many choices of color temperature but most of my clients seem to like the 30K range the best. After years and years of looking at various samples we finally have found a LED module that seems to meet everyones needs.  First and foremost, it fits just about every recessed housing out there. It actually fits both 5" and 6" line voltage recessed
    housings.  And even though I do not believe in dimming a kitchen light, the LED module can be dimmed with a number of common dimmers. Just know that a dimming system will add another level of complications to your lighting system.
    I prefer splitting the kitchen lighting into at least two parts of lighting levels (and on two different on/off switches), if you will. One level is a 'support level'-providing light for ambiance and resembling having dimmed lights and the second level (along with the first) is the full on work mode that is needed for food preparation, cleanup, etc.
    In addition, LED fixtures are at such a low wattage and are very energy efficient that they can be left on all day. In fact, the circuit in the LED lamps like to be left on and over time, can loose their efficiency by being turned on and off all the time. Turning LED lamps on and off frequently throughout the day will actually shorten the life of the LED driver in the fixture.  Another great addition to your kitchen lighting design is under cabinet lighting. Adding a quality LED under cabinet lighting fixture as a third lighting level option can also help to create an even distribution of light in your kitchen. From a design standpoint and from a user standpoint, offering at least two to three levels of lighting will make all the difference in the world and eliminate the 'need' for having to dim your lights."

     

    Note: ALWAYS USE A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN (not your buddy) AND TO ALWAYS CHECK THAT YOUR PROJECT IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH LOCAL BUILDING CODES. WE WELCOME BLOG TOPIC SUGGESTIONS: SEND US YOUR 'Q'S' AND WELL GIVE YOU AN 'A'. AND, WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS AND WOULD LOVE TO SHARE YOUR 'BEFORE' AND 'AFTER' PICTURES (send them to us!).

     

     

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    Tags: led, efficent led recessed lighting, going green with led recessed lighting

  • One of the 'Sexiest' Recessed Lighting Fixtures Around!

    iFit any 5" and 6" recessed housingsWe just introduced a LED Retrofit Module and Trim (aka: universal LED Retrofit ) to our line about a month ago and it is soon becoming one of most popular and most sought after items. Want to know why?

    -First off, if you have an EXISTING 5" OR 6" recessed light fixture, this retrofit can be used to replace what is already in there. Its application is for remodel and for new construction.

    -It fits shallow AND regular IC and Non-IC housings.

    Are you impressed yet? Wait-there's more:

    -It's energy efficient: it is 14W: to equate it to what you've been used to, which would be the 65W incandescent bulb. That translates to a 75% savings on energy consumption, so this is a very 'green' choice by way of lighting. It also has the Energy Star rating AND meets the California Title 24 requirements.

    -It is bright: 620 lumens (remember that lumens is the measure of brightness and not wattage: see our article that explains how this works). Not to mention that has a color temperature of 3,000K-which is a very good approximation of daylight.

    -Long lasting (because it is LED): it is rated for up to 50,000 life hours.

    -If you so desire, it is dimmable. Although, our lighting designer frowns on installing dimmable lights-instead, he recommends that you create several 'layers' of lighting. For the sake of aesthetics and for the sake of longevity of the fixture (as dimmable switches come with their own set of issues).

    This fixture is dimmable with these dimmers:

    LUTRON: Ariadni, Diva, Skylark, AY/TG Series,DV Series, S Series Electroic Low Voltage: Diva- DVELV-300P, Maestro MAELV-600, Nova T-NTLV-1000, Nova T-NTELV-600

    LUTRON System Homeworks HW-RPM-4A-120

    LEVITON Dimmers IPIO6-1LX,6673-10W,6631-LW and IPE04-1LX, 6615

    Note: Use of 600watt incandescent dimmers will limit maximum number of fixtures to 4 and 7 for 1000watt incandescent.

    We recommend using electronic low voltage dimmers for better performance.

    -This fixture is also rated for WET locations: such as, your shower or under eave lighting.

    -This LED Retrofit Module and Trim can easily convert most 5" and 6" incandescent recessed lighting cans to an energy saving LED fixture. There is no other product out there that has this versatility.

    You can see how easy it is to install and change out your fixtures here:

    We don't know of any other product out there that can do all of these things: be used in remodel and new construction, fits shallow and regular IC and Non-IC housings, that can also be used in a wet location, that can fit an existing 5" or 6" recessed housing, that is energy efficient, that is rated for 50,000 life hours, meets California's Title 24 code, and is Energy Star rated. Do you? I mean, this fixture gives you a lot of bang for the buck and you will not find anything like this in the big box stores.

    If you already have existing 5" or 6" recessed incandescent fixtures, you can now go green with the existing housing with this LED Retrofit Module and Trim.

    So, if you are looking for ways to cut your energy cost and consumption of your existing 5" or 6" incandescent recessed lighting fixture, this is the way to go: with Total Recessed Lighting's  LED Retrofit Module and Trim.

     

    Posted in:

    Tags: 5" recessed lighting, 6" recessed lighting, LED recessed lighting

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