NLB: Inefficient Incandescent Light-Bulb Phase-out Complete on January 1, 2014

Silver Spring, MD – America will conclude its three-year farewell to inefficient general-purpose incandescent light bulbs on December 31, 2013, the National Lighting Bureau advises. On the following day – January 1, 2014 – it will be a violation of law to manufacture in or import into the United States 60-watt and 40-watt general-purpose "A-line" incandescent light bulbs. The process – required by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 (Public Law 110-140) – began on January 1, 2012, when 100-watt A-line incandescent light bulbs were phased out, followed six months later by a variety of inefficient incandescent R-series reflector bulbs and, six months after that, on January 1, 2013, inefficient 75-watt incandescent A-lines. "As substantial as the energy conservation could be, the environmental conservation could be even more significant," said National Lighting Bureau Chair Howard P. Lewis (Visioneering Corporation), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America's (IES') representative on the Bureau's board of directors. "Again, assuming 100 percent reliance on coal, the reduction would come to almost 970 million tons of CO2 that does not escape to the atmosphere. We'd also see reductions in the emission of other greenhouse gases, mercury, and fly ash."

Continually more power plants are generating their electricity from natural gas, which now makes up one-third of the primary energy used, about the same percentage as coal. Using natural gas creates about half the CO2 as coal. The electric-power industry is also generating more energy from clean, renewable alternative means, like wind, solar, and hydro. "The lighting industry deserves a huge amount of credit for these developments," Mr. Lewis said. "The major lamp manufacturers, like Bureau sponsors GE and OSRAM SYLVANIA, were highly supportive of the Energy Independence and Security Act, even though it meant elimination of one of their most significant product lines. The bottom line is that all Americans can now have better, more versatile, and far more efficient lighting whose energy cost is about one-third or less of what it was before." In fact, once the phase-out achieves its ultimate effect, Americans could be saving more than $20 billion per year at today's average electricity cost of $0.115 per kWh in the residential and commercial sectors.

National Lighting Bureau Executive Director John Bachner said, "Overall, in my opinion, American consumers are being extremely well served by this law. They've been given more lighting choices at a variety of price points, longer-lived light bulbs, especially with CFL and LED types, more efficiency, and lower operating costs. They also derive the satisfaction of knowing that, by taking advantage of these benefits, they are contributing to a healthier environment for themselves and their children. What could be better than that?"

© 2013 The Electrical Distributor. All rights reserved.

Congrats to our Simplify your Life Contest Winners!

Sentry Electric would like to say thanks to everyone who entered our Simplify Your Life contest. But now we have our winners.

Congratulations to:

William L. Kohl!

Jay Benson!

Maxine K. Sorensen!

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and remember keep it simple!


NFPA Electrical Fire Safety PSA

The National Fire Protection Association has released a new Public Service Announcement about Electrical Safety.

From the NFPA website:

Nearly 50,000 home fires involved electrical failures or malfunctions
NFPA provides electrical fire tips for National Electrical Safety Month

"Electrical fires remain one of the top causes of home structure fires, according to a new report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The Home Electrical Fires report estimates that an electrical failure or malfunction factored in 45,000 to 55,000 home structure fires reported to the U.S. fire departments every year since 2000.

These fires, which account for 13 percent of total home structure fires, resulted in annual losses of 455 civilian deaths, 1,500 civilian injuries and $1.5 billion in direct property damage during 2007-2011. Any type of equipment that uses electrical power can have an electrical failure or malfunction. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment accounted for 48 percent of home electrical fires in 2007-2011. Arcing appears to account for most home electrical fires, outnumbering overheating by at least 2-to-1 and as much as 7-to-1."

They go on to offer some Electrical Safety Tips.

"NFPA is offering the following electrical safety tips: 

  • Replace damaged or loose electrical cords.
  • Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
  • In homes with small children, make sure your home has tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
  • If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician.
  • Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp's recommended wattage.
  • Make sure your home has ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in the kitchen, bathroom(s), laundry, basement, and outdoor areas.
  • Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) should be installed in your home to protect electrical outlets.
  • When you are buying, selling, or remodeling a home, have it inspected by a qualified electrician."
Click Here to See the Full PSA


Smoke Detectors

There are three types of smoke detectors. Photoelectric, Ionization and dual technology. The Photoelectric sense smoke and the ionization style sense heat. We recommend the dual technology style.

Click Here for more info on Photoelectric and Ionization Style Smoke Detectors.

A good smoke alarm is always the first and best defense against a fire that may occur in your home, but even the best smoke detector doesn't last forever. Most people do not realize that smoke detectors have a lifetime of 8 to 10 years. The photoelectric style get filled with dust and the efficiency is reduced. The older ionization type which usually contain americium-241 a radioactive isotope just plain do not work quickly enough and studies show a 50% failure rate in smoldering fires.

More About Americium in Ionization Smoke Detectors


According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke detectors or no working smoke detectors. CPSC found that the greatest number of faulty residential detectors were the ionization-type, battery-operated, which isn’t surprising, considering that they’re the cheapest and the easiest to install. We can install a dual technology style that can be interlocked so that if  one goes off in the house, they all go off. We can also install one with carbon monoxide sensing which is now required by the City of Lincoln when installing a new gas furnace or water heater.


Here are some links about smoke detectors that you may find useful:


National Fire Protection Association Smoke Alarm Safety Tips


New York Times Article About How Long Smoke Detectors Last


The National Association of State Fire Marshals Smoke Alarm Facts

We Are Very Proud of our Electricians!

Sentry Electricians Saves Lives

Thanks to observant neighbors and a couple electrical contractors, firefighters reached a Lincoln family’s home near South 11th and Hill streets just in time to save it from the flames that devoured their garage Monday.

Sentry Electric Inc. employees Alan Kriegler and Dustin Thomas were sitting in a company truck having lunch just after noon when they noticed smoke a half block away.






Sentry Electricians Save Lives

Protect your Family and Employee's ... eliminate the use of extension cords.

It doesn’t take a match to start a file. An extension cord can do it. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates about 4,000 injuries per year due to extension cords. These injuries include lacerations, contusions, fractures and burns. Even death can result from fires caused by using extension cords. Simply put, unlike hard wiring, extension cords are not designed to carry stronger currents. Whenever possible, hard wiring should be your number one priority. Not only will hard wiring carry stronger current, it will trip the fuse or circuit breaker if overloaded… Extension cords cannot duplicate this safety mechanism. Therefore, if you are using an extension cord to run a piece of equipment, a space heater or an appliance of any size that requires significant power, you are putting yourself and your Family and employee’s at risk.


More on extension cords



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