Replacing Lamps in Incandescent Lighting Fixtures

Reduce lighting costs by replacing lamps in or “re-lamping” your older indoor and outdoor incandescent lighting fixtures.

Many older indoor lighting fixtures trap a significant portion of light inside the fixture. Newer incandescent fixtures are designed to push all their light out into the room. Others use smaller tungsten halogen lamps. Advances in indoor fixture design include brighter reflectors and better reflecting geometry.

Many incandescent lamps also are mismatched to their tasks or application. Some have excessive wattages, therefore, create unnecessarily high illumination. For example, some outdoor fixtures tend to disperse much of their light beyond the intended area, which causes light pollution. This can be corrected by using lamps with smaller wattage.

A-type light bulbs can often be replaced with improved lamp designs, such as reflectors or tungsten halogen lamps. For energy savings of 60%–75%, many incandescent lamps can be replaced by compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s). A standard 18-watt CFL replaces a 75-watt A-type lamp. CFL’s are especially economical in spaces where lights are needed for longer periods of time.

CFL’s are also packaged in the same glass reflector lamps as incandescent lamps. Use CFL’s packaged as ellipsoidal reflectors (type-ER) in recessed fixtures. Use reflector (R) or parabolic reflector (PAR) CFL’s for flood and spotlighting. Some CFL fixtures have built-in electronic ballasts and polished metal reflectors.

When used in recessed fixtures, standard A-type lamps and reflector lamps waste energy because their light gets trapped. To save energy, you could replace a 150-watt standard reflector with a 75-watt ellipsoidal reflector (ER). Remember, though, that ER lamps are less efficient at delivering light from shallow fixtures, so use reflectors or parabolic reflectors for these purposes.

Understanding the basic lighting principles and terms will help you to make the most economical purchase when replacing a lamp in a light fixture. For more information, call us at 702-269-0231.