Troubleshooting

 

Technical Questions

How is the hour rating on a bulb determined?

Lamp manufacturers test large groups of lamps to estimate the average burn time that can be expected. In the lighting industry hour ratings are referred to as Average Rated Life. Some lamps will last longer and some will not last as long as the Average Rated Life but this provides the best estimate.

back to top

Why do my fluorescent lights flicker?

Flickering can be caused by any of the following conditions:

back to top

What is CRI?

CRI stands for Color Rendering Index and is measured on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the CRI the better the ability of the light source to render colors accurately. In other words colors will look more “true” and natural. A lower CRI can result in some distortion of the actual color.

back to top

Why choose Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL)?

back to top

How do you measure the length of a lamp?

The length of a lamp can also be referred to as the Maximum Overall Length or M.O.L. Most lamps are measured from end to end including the base. Linear fluorescents are an exception; they include the actual socket in their M.O.L. Find more visual information about this in our "Learn How to Measure" article.

back to top

Why does a light bulb turn black?

back to top

What is the difference between 120 volt and 130 volt?

back to top

How do I know what wattage to use in my fixture?

Whenever replacing a lamp you must check the fixture for wattage and voltage requirements. With an incandescent light fixture, wattage becomes a preference depending on how much light is needed. With fluorescent or high intensity fixtures the wattage is specific to the ballast built in the fixture.

CAUTION: Using the wrong lamp in a fixture could cause the bulb to burnout early and may create a fire or safety hazard.

back to top

What is Kelvin temperature?

Kelvin temperature is often referred to as color temperature. It describes the actual appearance of the light itself. Higher temperatures represent a “cooler” appearance while lower temperatures represent a “warmer” appearance.

You can learn more about this in our "Color Temperature Scale" article. Our customer service staff can also help you choose the best light for your needs.

back to top

What is a compact fluorescent?

A compact fluorescent is often used as an alternative to a standard light bulb. Compact fluorescents (also called PL twin-tube, CFL twist tube, or BIAX lamps) can be used in table lamps, wall fixtures, and lamp posts. The lamp life is about 10 times longer than a standard light bulb, and they use 3 to 4 times less energy to operate.

Push-in compact fluorescent lamps have a different base (depending on wattage) to reduce the likelihood of using an incorrect ballast.

back to top

What is the difference between medium and mogul base lamps?

Medium base or “standard” base is the most frequent choice in everyday household applications; a standard household bulb has a medium base. Many industrial applications require a mogul base lamp. This base is larger than the medium base. We carry both types of lamps.

back to top

What is the difference between Halogen, Krypton and Xenon bulbs?

Halogen bulbs are normally filled with about 99% inert gas and 1% halogen gas. The inert gas typically used is argon, which creates a yellower light and burns hot. Krypton and Xenon bulbs are a variation of Halogen bulbs. Different fill gases are used to alter their performance and physical characteristics. Krypton bulbs cost more to produce, however, they offer better performance with their long life and a better quality light. Xenon gas is used to create a bulb that produces a whiter light that burns at a cooler temperature. Xenon bulbs have a longer rated life than standard halogen.

back to top

What causes a fluorescent light fixture to hum?

All fluorescent lights require a ballast to function. Both magnetic and electronic fluorescent ballasts give off a slight humming noise; harmonics is the technical term. By design an electronic ballast has reduced harmonics and therefore the hum is less noticeable than when using a magnetic ballast. If the hum is louder than usual the ballast may need to be replaced.

back to top

What is an ANSI code?

An ANSI code is either an alpha or numeric designation that ensures certain specifications such as wattage voltage shape and base. ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute. This organization develops voluntary guidelines and product performance standards for the electrical industry and other industries. Bulbs and fixtures are often imprinted with the ANSI code.

back to top