FAQs

 

CovRguard Saf-T-Gard lamps offer extraordinary protection with minimum light loss, block most ultraviolet light emissions, and meet FDA, NSF, and OSHA standards, keeping your surroundings bright and protected.

The new incandescent lamps utilize a coating for breakage protection, and offer superior energy-efficient and an outstanding quality of light for whatever the application. The fluorescent lamps have a polycarbonate coating. Both coatings help contain the glass in the event of breakage protecting the area from flying glass.

 

Because incandescent and halogen bulbs create light through heat, about 90% of the energy they emit is in the form of heat (also called infrared radiation). To reduce the heat emitted by regular incandescent and halogen light bulbs, use a lower watt bulb (like 60 watts instead of 100).

Fluorescent light bulbs use an entirely different method to create light. Both compact fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain a gas that, when excited by electricity, hits a coating inside the fluorescent bulb and emits light. (This makes them far more energy efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.) The fluorescent bulbs used in your home emit only around 30% of their energy in heat, making them far cooler.

 

Incandescent lamp life can be shortened by vibration or shock and supply voltage swings. If a lightbulb is going to be in an environment where it is exposed to vibration or shock, such as a garage door opener light or ceiling fan, you should try to use a lamp with a stronger filament. GE manufactures lamps specifically for these two applications along with the Survivor vibration-resistant and "Ruff-n-Tuff" rough service lamp.

Another cause of general incandescent lamp failure (other than leaving them on all the time) is high voltage. While utilities usually do a pretty good job of voltage regulation, they sometimes have little control. State regulatory boards allow them certain specified leeway because of anticipated load, local load peaks, and other criteria. The allowable limits are usually in the order of ten percent, which on your nominal house voltage of 120 volts would allow a range from 108 to 132.

Incandescent lamps are very sensitive to voltage. A lamp rated at 120 volts, for example, would only last 1/2 of rated life if subjected to 125 volts, or 1/3 of rating if the average voltage applied were 130 volts.

The first thing you should do is to keep track of how long the worst offenders are lasting. How long are your lamps burning? Be sure not to count the time that they are turned off. Typical incandescent bulbs are rated at 750-1000 hours, meaning approximately 2-1/2 changes per year.

The next step may not be easy. The only way to tell what average voltage your bulbs are experiencing is to attach a recording voltmeter to the circuit you are testing so that it records only when your lights are on. This step should only be accomplished by a licensed electrician. If you determine that you are receiving higher than rated voltage you will need to contact your electric utility to fix it.

 

In general, the PAR family of lamps, which typically includes spotlights and floodlights, is preferred for outdoor applications over lamps made with thinner glass and glass that is not heat resistant. However, PAR lamps are susceptible to breakage if cold water drips or splashes on hot glass. Therefore, many of our spotlights and floodlights contain caution statements on the package warning about use outdoors to alert you to the possibility that if water splashes or drips on the glass when the glass is warm or hot the glass could break. If you want to use this lamp in an outdoor application, the possibility exists that water could drip or splash on the glass. Thus, an outdoor lighting fixture that protects the glass from dripping or splashing water should be installed.

 

Insects and humans have different visual perceptions. This allows for people to have better control of nocturnal insect nuisances by adjusting the color of lighting.

The human visual system is activated by radiant energy in the color range from deep blue to dark red, which we call light. The vision of flying insects, however, is shifted away from long-wavelength red toward the shorter blue and near ultraviolet (black light) wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Sources which radiate ultraviolet energy and blue light are most attractive to flying insects, while those with a deficiency of ultraviolet and blue are less attractive. Insects see black light fluorescent, mercury, and metal halide best. Lamps which insects have a difficult time seeing include incandescent, high-pressure sodium, and bug light incandescent (yellow).

RESIDENTIAL AREAS Homeowners can reduce insect annoyance by using incandescent "bug lights", gold fluorescent, or high-pressure sodium near entrances. Unfortunately none of these sources render complexions, flowers, or greenery very well because of their lack of blue light. In addition, any light source near doorways should be shielded from horizontal view so that the flying insect will be less apt to see it. If possible, the light source should be located a short distance from the entrance and the light should be directed to illuminate the entrance. Note that incandescent "bug lights" do not repel bugs - they just don't attract as many as plain bulbs because the insects cannot see the yellow light as well as they can see blue or ultraviolet light. Another tip is that decks, patios, and particularly barbecue and eating areas should be lighted from a distance. The custom of stringing colored bulbs for a festive atmosphere will work reasonably well if the majority of light in the area is beamed in from some distance away.

COMMERCIAL AREAS Elimination of insect pests from commercial food preparation and serving areas is particularly important for health reasons. Many food preparation areas are protected from flying insects by a combination of lighting systems and insect traps. Due to the fact that insect systems need to comply with the National Electrical Code or the Canadian Electrical Code, specialists in the field of insect lighting should be involved with any design.

INSECT TRAPS Most insect traps use black light fluorescent lamps as an attractant. Some traps destroy the insects by use of an electrified grid while others trap the insects on a renewable sticky surface. An obvious caution is to install the traps outside the area you are trying to protect. The 9th edition of "The IESNA Lighting Handbook" recommends placing trap lamps 30- to 60-m away from the perimeter of the area you are trying to protect from entering insects. Specialists should be consulted to determine specific types of traps and their locations.

 

According to "The IESNA Lighting Handbook," incandescent lamps are frequently used to light flowering plants since they are strong in the red portion of the spectrum. However, incandescent lamps give off considerable heat and if used without care can damage plants. This includes reflector lamps.

To avoid excessive heat, consider using GE's new compact fluorescent reflector lamp (GE FLE20TBX/L/R40, Product Code 40332). It provides light with less heat than the incandescent reflector lamp. Plus, it uses only 20 watts of electricity, has a 10,000-hour average life, and a warm color (2700K) useful for flowering plants.

 

The Document Library contains downloadable PDFs, including the latest full-line catalog and product sell sheets with in-depth product specifications.

 

GE does not offer fixtures (sockets, lamp bases, lampholders, etc.) for the Circline fluorescents. Electrical distributors often carry lighting fixtures. Look in your local Yellow Pages or on the Internet to find the distributors or manufacturers of lighting fixtures.

 

Because incandescent and halogen bulbs create light through heat, about 90% of the energy they emit is in the form of heat (also called infrared radiation). To reduce the heat emitted by regular incandescent and halogen light bulbs, use a lower watt bulb (like 60 watts instead of 100).

Fluorescent light bulbs use an entirely different method to create light. Both compact fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain a gas that, when excited by electricity, hits a coating inside the fluorescent bulb and emits light. (This makes them far more energy efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.) The fluorescent bulbs used in your home emit only around 30% of their energy in heat, making them far cooler.

 

Halogen is a type of incandescent lamp. It has a tungsten filament just like a regular incandescent that you may use in your home, however the bulb is filled with halogen gas. When an incandescent lamp (one which produces light by heating a tungsten filament) operates, tungsten from the filament is evaporated into the gas of the bulb and deposited on the glass wall. The bulb "burns out" when enough tungsten has evaporated from the filament so that electricity can no longer be conducted across it. The halogen gas in a halogen lamp carries the evaporated tungsten particles back to the filament and re-deposits them. This gives the lamp a longer life than regular A-line incandescent lamps and provides for a cleaner bulb wall for light to shine through.

 

The life of incandescent and halogen light bulbs, referred to as tungsten filament lamps, is limited by the state of the filament. The filament is the wire inside the bulb that produces light when heated. The light bulb will not work if the filament is broken which may occur as a result of the application of force, such as dropping the bulb, or by lack of tungsten in a particular area over the filament. During the operation of tungsten filament light bulbs, tungsten from the filament evaporates into the gas inside the light bulb. When the tungsten comes in contact with a cool surface it will condense. Often, with incandescent products, the tungsten condenses on the bulb wall. Because the tungsten is redeposited on the wall instead of the filament, the filament grows thin over time. Eventually, there will be a point on the filament with so little tungsten that the filament will break and the light bulb will stop working.

Halogen light bulbs have a special gas inside their bulb containing halogens. The halogen gas facilitates the "halogen regenerative cycle" which means that the halogens carry the evaporated tungsten back to the filament instead of allowing it to deposit on the bulb wall. By placing the tungsten back on the filament instead of the wall, it delays the filament breaking due to lack of tungsten. Although the halogen cycle significantly increases the life of the light bulb, it cannot last forever because the halogen gasses cannot place the tungsten on a specific spot on the filament to avoid any place having too little tungsten and breaking.

 

To avoid unnecessary self-induced short life problems with Halogen and HIR lamps, follow these simple guidelines and you will receive the extraordinary benefits derived by their use.

  • Avoid striking, jolting or rough handling of the lamp when installing it or aiming it.
  • During operation, lamps are extremely hot and should not be touched to adjust or aim them.

Get more detailed information (PDF | 57KB)

 

The term "dichroic" applies to GE MR16 lamps specifically, not in general to low-voltage halogen lighting. For the GE MR16 lamp, dichroic describes the type of coating on the reflectors. These coatings can also be described as "multi-layer interference films". They are made up of dozens of layers of thin materials that have the unusual property of selectively reflecting or transmitting certain wavelengths of visible light, IR, and UV. Such dichroic coatings have been used since the 1960s to reduce the heat in the beam of certain reflector lamps (GE calls them "Cool-Beam" lamps). MR16 ConstantColor™ coatings are more sophisticated since they not only reduce the heat in the projected beam (up to 66%), but also absorb UV and control the color and amount of the light from both the front and back of the lamp - keeping it constant over the life of the lamp. The coatings are also very durable and will not flake off or deteriorate as the lamp burns.

 

MR16 lamps without cover glass should only be used in a closed fixture (fixture that keeps all parts of bulb enclosed) since the filament tube of all MR16 lamps is pressurized. In the unlikely event that the filament tube breaks, the closed fixture keeps glass particles from leaving the fixture. MR16 lamps with a built-on cover glass can be operated in an open fixture since the cover glass will contain any broken pieces of the filament tube.

 

In general, the PAR family of lamps, which typically includes spotlights and floodlights, is preferred for outdoor applications over lamps made with thinner glass and glass that is not heat resistant. However, PAR lamps are susceptible to breakage if cold water drips or splashes on hot glass. Therefore, many of our spotlights and floodlights contain caution statements on the package warning about use outdoors to alert you to the possibility that if water splashes or drips on the glass when the glass is warm or hot the glass could break. If you want to use this lamp in an outdoor application, the possibility exists that water could drip or splash on the glass. Thus, an outdoor lighting fixture that protects the glass from dripping or splashing water should be installed.

 

Tungsten filament lamps, such as halogen and incandescent, provide minimal UV. GE's ConstantColor® MR16 lamps are made using special quartz, which has properties that enable it to filter out nearly all of the UV portion of the spectrum.

 

The coating used on infrared halogen PAR lamps is made from tantala and silica. It is applied only to the outside of the bulb.