Home Energy Management A Look at What’s New & ‘Hot’ in Energy-Efficient Hotel Interior Lighting

A Look at What’s New & ‘Hot’ in Energy-Efficient Hotel Interior Lighting


NATIONAL REPORT—Fortunately for the lodging industry, the options for energy-efficient interior lighting have grown substantially over the last several years. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have become more affordable and compact, offer better light quality, and include reduced levels of mercury and lead—a real advantage for the environment. Linear fluorescents also have improved and an increasing number of LED lighting products have become available.

Green Lodging News recently spoke with a number of lighting companies to uncover the newest energy-efficient hotel interior lighting products. Below is a summary from each company (listed in alphabetical order):

Aero-Tech Light Bulb Co.—Ray Schlosser, president of Schaumburg, Ill.-based Aero-Tech, says his company’s Evolution bulb is ideal for hotel guestrooms and other applications because it is similar in size to a standard incandescent bulb. It comes in different sizes and wattages. The 25-watt bulb, for example, is four inches long out of the lamp base. The 2700K version provides a soft white light, lasts 10 times longer than incandescent equivalents and offers a 75 percent energy savings.

The full spectrum 5500K version of Aero-Tech’s Evolution bulb, which Schlosser says has been selling very well, provides a more natural light feel than the 2700K version.

“Color has been improving a lot the last couple of years,” Schlosser says. “The yellow dull looking color one would get from compact fluorescents is no longer common.”

From a cost savings standpoint, a 20-watt fluorescent, which provides the brightness or lumen equivalent of a 75-watt incandescent, will generate a savings of $50 over the life of the bulb.

In addition to CFLs, Aero-Tech sells a wide range of other types of bulbs, including a line of 20,000-hour incandescents.

GE Consumer & Industrial—GE’s energy efficient F28T8/UMX/ECO four-foot linear fluorescents with the GE UltraMax Electronic Ballast burn just 28 watts of electricity. They last 24,000 hours at 12 hours/start and can replace T12 lamps that burn 34 watts of power. Cleveland, Ohio-based GE Consumer & Industrial’s Lighting division is also offering other T8 lamps with reduced wattages.

GE’s UltraMax Electronic Ballasts result in cooler light operation, which provides additional air-conditioner energy savings. GE’s UltraMax Ballasts are backed by a five-year warranty.

In addition to its line of new linear fluorescents and ballasts, GE is also offering a complete line of CFLs, halogen, and high intensity discharge lamps. GE’s new dimming R30 and R40 reflectors bring CFL energy savings to down-lighting applications on dimming circuits. These lamps offer a wide dimming range with precise control.

GE just announced that it is aggressively pursuing a new high-efficiency incandescent lamp that will replace 40- to 100-watt bulbs. The target for the new bulbs at initial production is to be nearly twice as efficient as existing incandescents.

Green Suites International—Upland, Calif.-based Green Suites has just added TCP Inc. utility bath vanity, ceiling mount, and wall sconce fixtures to its lighting product line. Bath vanity fixtures feature 13- or 26-watt instant start, flicker-free fluorescents that last seven years, based on three-hours-a-day usage. The ceiling mount fixtures feature 27-watt fluorescent SpringLamps. The wall sconces use 26-watt fluorescents. The new lighting fixtures join Green Suites’ line of fluorescent flood lights, LED night lights, LED exit sign retrofit kits, and LED exit signs.

Litetronics International—This Alsip, Ill.-based company recently introduced its Neolite T2 CFL. The Energy Star qualified lamp has a 10,000-hour life and produces an average of up to 70 lumens per watt. Neolite CFLs contain only 1 milligram of mercury compared to 4 milligrams in a standard CFL. Neolite is also made to comply with ROHS—the European Rules on Hazardous Substances—and incorporates the use of lead-free glass and solder, which further restricts the amount of hazardous substances released into the earth once the lamp is disposed.

Bob Sorensen, marketing director for Litetronics, says a unique feature of the Neolite is its size range from 3.42 inches to 4.5 inches. The smaller size options give hoteliers more flexibility with recessed lighting.

“The bulbs sit further up in recessed cans,” Sorensen says. “CFLs are getting smaller and better. This year there is a big trend to get even more environmentally friendly.”

Sorensen says lighting manufacturers have cut CFL costs just about as much as they can.

Osram Sylvania—Like its competitors, Danvers, Mass.-based Osram Sylvania has made significant improvements in lighting efficiency. The company’s Dura-One electrodeless CFLs come in different sizes, offer 15,000 hours of life, instant flicker-free starting, and high light output over a wider temperature range than conventional CFLs.

“They look like incandescents but last much longer,” Berg says.

For back-of-the-house areas, Osram Sylvania is offering a complete line of energy-efficient T8s with electronic ballasts.

“If a hotel has not yet addressed back-of-the-house lighting, they are throwing away tons of money,” Berg says.

Berg says he is most excited about advancements that currently are being made in LED lighting. Osram Sylvania’s PAR20 and S14 LED bulbs offer multiple color options. Even though white LED light quality and affordability are not where they need to be, they are getting closer.

“Within three or four years, we will have LED applications all over the place,” Berg says.

LEDs currently are used primarily in signage and accent lighting applications.

Philips Lighting Co.—Philips, Somerset, N.J., which has committed to eliminating the amount of lead in all of its U.S. lamp manufacturing processes by 1.5 million pounds by 2010, has expanded its portfolio of CFLs to meet demands for various wattages, colors and shapes. Lisette Ditters, Strategic Marketing Manager for Philips, says the company’s 32-watt lamp is currently popular in hotels. Philips also has seen increased interest in its three-way CFLs.

At last fall’s International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York, Philips rolled out its Stumble Light. This motion-activated LED device lights a path from the bed to the bathroom with only enough light to enable a safe journey, but without the bright light that usually results in total alertness. Hotel guests often leave the bathroom light on all night and the Stumble Light will prevent this. The new LED light will be available to hotels in April.

“It has energy-saving potential and will cost just $2/year to operate,” Ditters says.

For back-of-the-house locations, Philips recently introduced a 25-watt T8 lamp to replace its 32-watt version. Later in the year, Philips intends to launch a new energy-efficient halogen line.

“Long term, LEDs have the potential to be used everywhere in a hotel,” Ditters says.

Pineapple Hospitality—A leading distributor of energy-efficient lighting and an Energy Star partner, Saint Charles, Mo.-based Pineapple Hospitality sells GE products, including those appropriate for fixtures sold by Brownlee Lighting. Some of Pineapple’s current products include 42-watt Super Long Life Universal Burn Spirals, CFLs for decorative lighting, and Mini Spiral CFLs.

Glenn Hasek can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.