Lighting advice

What do you do with candelabra light sockets?
Candelabra sockets are small.  We find them in chandeliers, pendant fixtures, wall sconces.  We could buy a candelabra based, flame-shape compact fluorescent lamps, but the wattage is usually low and the light quality does not seem as good.  Pamela Bracey of Calvary Church, Germantown (and  Pleasantview Baptist Church) did some research to find that sells an adapter for $1.99 each that modifies a candelabra socket into a standard, medium-base socket that accepts the higher wattage, better color, compact fluorescents.  Their product number is S51.  Their minimum order is $19.95 (10 sockets), and their shipping charges for that are $7.90.   Thanks Pamela!   ICE

Low wattage LED Holiday Lights

Brookstone is selling light emitting diode (LED) holiday lights again this year.  They back their products with a good guarantee.  They say their new LED lights generate much more light than conventional LEDs.

They require 90% less electricity than incandescent holiday lights, so they are cooler when on.   Their catalog says, each LED has durable, one-piece faceted weatherproof construction with a virtually indestructible lens, and there are no fragile filaments to damage. Available in Multicolor or Frosted White strands.  Each 12-ft. strand has 70 LED lights and is UL-listed for indoor or outdoor use.   LED bulbs last for up to 200,000 hours.  The strands cost $15 to $20 depending on type and color.  Call 1-866-576-7337 or visit   


As we described in our newsletter number 84, your congregation can purchase a small, but very good, “Kill-a-Watt” electric meter to measure the electricity used by 110-volt appliances.  When we survey the energy used by buildings, we install them on refrigerators, freezers, computers, electric water coolers and soda machines.

At the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, we spotted a coke machine with lights and immediately installed a Kill-a-Watt meter, recommending that they disconnect the ballasts for the lights to advertise soda.  Not only do the lights cost money to run, they also heat up the refrigerated compartment a bit.  They disconnected the ballasts, and we metered the machine without the lights.  The congregation will save $117 per year by keeping the lights off.   

Leaving the Lights On
The average cost per kilowatthour of electricity for a congregation served by PECO Energy is about 14 cents.  If that is your price too, here is what it will cost you to operate a single light bulb 24 hours per day, every day for a year:

15 watts   – $18.40                                    
25 watts   – $30.66
60 watts   – $75.60                
100 watts – $122.64

A Brief History of Lighting

At a trade show, we picked up a wonderful booklet by Philips Lighting called “History of Light and Lighting” written by G.W. Stoer and published in the Netherlands in 1986. 
Here is a brief summary:

Gaslight – 1780                 
Electric arc – 1802                 
Incandescent – 1820                 
Carbon     filament – 1879             
Tungsten filament – 1903             
Gas mantles – 1887                 
Fluorescent – 1835
Low pressure sodium – 1931
Mercury vapor – 1935
Halogen incandescent – 1959
Light emitting diodes – 1960
High pressure sodium – 1964
Compact fluorescent – 1980

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