Say Good-Bye to Old-Fashioned Light bulbs

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Traditional incandescent light bulbs are about to be switched off. The federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 set light bulb efficiency standards that will soon prevent the manufacture and importation of most incandescent bulbs. That has created uproar among many fans of traditional bulbs who complain about the cost, harsh tones, possible dangers and other drawbacks of the new bulbs. What you need to know…


Most 100-watt incandescent bulbs will be eliminated starting January 1, 2012, with 75-watt incandescents following in 2013 and 60- and 40-watt bulbs in 2014. An attempt to repeal the law failed this July.

Exceptions: Some specialty bulbs, including three-way bulbs and certain appliance bulbs, are exempt. Also, many types of halogen bulbs, a form of incandescent bulb, are efficient enough to meet the new standards.


Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) consume about 75% less electricity than incandescents and, for the moment, are the best replacements for many applications. Still, many consumers have concerns.

Price vs. efficiency. CFLs cost an average of $3 apiece—versus the 50 cents you might spend on an incandescent. But thanks to their longer life and higher energy efficiency, the ¬overall cost to buy and use a CFL bulb for 1,000 hours is around $2, compared with more than $7 for incandescents, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. However, CFLs often fall short of their expected lifespan when they are used only in short bursts rather than the three hours at a time that the estimates assume.

Safety concerns. CFLs contain small amounts of mercury. If a CFL is broken, you may be exposed to mercury, which can cause serious health problems, including possible nerve damage. (For emergency steps if one of these bulbs does break and for advice on how to dispose of the bulbs, go

Getting the right light. Not all consumers are pleased with CFL bulbs because they may seem too harsh… to not be bright enough… or to be incompatible with dimmer switches. Good news: There now are more options among CFLs that can help overcome these drawbacks. What to consider…

Color temperature. Rather than being limited to a cool bluish light, CFLs now are available in many color temperatures, expressed in degrees Kelvin (K) on their labels, including…

• 2700K CFLs produce a warm yellowish light very similar to that of incandescent bulbs. They are particularly
good for rooms featuring amber or mahogany colors.

• 3500K CFLs make rooms with bright reds or greens look their best.

• 4100K CFLs make rooms with lots of birch or bleached wood look great.

• 5000K and 6500K CFLs produce a bright light similar to daylight—particularly appropriate for rooms full of grays or slate. There is some concern that they could interfere with sleep cycles more than bulbs lower on the color temperature scale, however, so consider not -using bulbs high on the color temperature scale near bedtime if you have trouble falling asleep.

Give yourself a few days to get used to a bulb in an unfamiliar color temperature before deciding whether you like it. Many consumers initially dislike anything other than 2700K because it is not what they’re used to. Westinghouse has a wide selection of CFLs with less common color temperatures (, click on “Light Bulbs”).

Bulb strength. CFLs use far less electricity to produce the same amount of light, so the wattage figures on their packaging won’t correspond to the familiar 40-, 60- or 100-watt bulb designations. Their labels list the equivalent wattage of an incandescent bulb that the CFL is meant to replace. The label also might mention lumens, a more accurate measure of brightness than power use expressed in watts. Examples: A traditional 100-watt incandescent produces around 1,600 lumens… a 60-watt, around 840 lumens, though in practice there is considerable variation, so one 60-watt bulb might produce 800 lumens…another close to 900.

Dimming ability. Certain specialty CFL bulbs can work well with dimmer switches—but only if you replace your old dimmer switches with ones designed to work with CFL or LED bulbs. These switches typically sell for $20 to $30 in home centers. Effective dimmable CFLs are not yet available above 26 watts, however—the rough equivalent of a 100-watt incandescent. TCP Inc. currently makes some of the most effective and durable dimmable CFLs ( Helpful: Dimmable CFL bulbs are more expensive than nondimmable CFLs, so you might want to replace a dimmer with a standard on/off switch.

Fluorescent flicker. Although CFLs flicker, it is so rapid that 95% of people do not notice it. Of course, that’s little comfort to the other 5%, who find it extremely annoying. A few bulb makers offer high power factor (HPF) CFLs that flicker twice as fast as conventional CFLs—too fast to notice—but these cost perhaps twice as much as other CFLs. They are available online at

Bulb shape. Most CFLs are spiral-shaped, but some consumers don’t like that look, and spiral bulbs don’t work with most clip-on shades. Bulb makers now offer CFLs shaped similar to conventional incandescents as well. Cone-shaped CFLs also are available for recessed fixtures and floodlights. Helpful: One complaint in years past was that CFLs took some time to reach full brightness. Spiral CFLs from leading makers no longer suffer from this delay, but CFLs contained in glass bulbs sometimes do.


Bulbs based on light-emitting diodes use 90% less electricity than incandescents, making them even more efficient than CFLs. They contain no mercury, don’t flicker, come in dimmable versions and last for many years. Unfortunately, for most household uses, their time has not yet quite arrived. Prices remain steep, ranging from about $15 to $70…they are not yet available for all applications…and in many cases, their color temperature is bluer than many people like. Within a few years, it’s likely that relatively affordable LED bulbs will be available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and strengths. They already make sense in certain situations…

When a 40-, 60- or 75-watt-equivalent bulb is needed in a tough-to-reach location. LED bulbs can last 25,000 hours or more—around four times as long as CFLs and 25 times as long as incandescents. LED bulbs capable of replacing standard bulbs often cost $35 to $50—but their efficiency and ultra long life means that they cost less than half as much as incandescents per hour of use and not much more than CFLs. LED bulbs cannot yet replace 100-watt incandescents, but that’s expected by the end of 2012.

Example: GE’s Energy Smart LED (3000K color temperature, is available as a 40-watt equivalent, with a 60-watt equivalent due out in late November and 75-watt and 100-watt equivalents due in late 2012.

Warning: When you replace a traditional incandescent bulb with an LED bulb, make sure the LED bulb selected is omnidirectional—some LED bulbs cast light only in a particular direction.

LEDs also make sense for directional lighting, such as track lighting, under-cabinet lighting, table lamps, floodlights and spotlights that illuminate art.


Halogen bulbs are a type of incandescent that contain halogen gas and special filaments. They’re 10% to 20% more efficient than the standard incandescent—just enough to allow some halogens to remain on the market—and they work with dimmer switches. Although they get hotter than plain incandescents, as long as the bulbs do not come in direct contact with flammable material such as a curtain, they can be used in place of incandescents.

With a typical color temperature of 3000K, halogens are only slightly bluer than standard 2700K incandescents. A few manufacturers are starting to make incandescents available in higher color temperatures as well. Turning a halogen on and off frequently will not shorten its life, so these are appropriate for rooms where lights tend to be used in short bursts, such as bathrooms. Halogens are more expensive than standard incandescents, however, costing perhaps $2 apiece. They do tend to last slightly longer.

Bottom Line/Personal interviewed David Brooks, owner of Just Bulbs, a New York City–based store that stocks more than 36,000 different lightbulbs. Just Bulbs has been in business since 1980. Mr. Brooks’s family has been selling lightbulbs since 1942.

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J. David Rauch Bio

Dave Rauch is the Founder and President of ProTec Building Services (ProTec). He ensures that work quality is consistent.  Dave maintains a consistent presence within the company.  While managing the growth of ProTec, he strives to improve everything that ProTec does, especially exceeding client expectations.  At Mr. Rauch’s previous company he designed the original HOA manual and monthly building maintenance programs specific for each HOA. In 1996 Dave opened ProTec, which now provides maintenance programs to over 600 communities and other services to 2,000 communities.

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Andy Henley Bio

With over 20 years’ experience in construction management and janitorial, Andy knows what it takes to repair and maintain your largest asset, your homes and common areas at your community. Not only will Andy provide unparalleled customer service for all ProTec’s work but he will ensure that all jobs and service exceed client expectations. Call Andy and request to meet at your community. He will walk your community, detailing what maintenance and repairs are needed to keep your property values increasing.

Candy Allen Bio

ProTec’s controller, Candy Allen, has over two decades of experience in accounting and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the executive team.  Candy also has extensive HR, office management and organizational skills derived from her years of experience in the service industry.  What truly sets Candy apart from her peers is her energy and zeal to get the job/challenge done correctly and immediately.  She’ll explain that her success comes from devoting herself to creating a team environment in which the company can accurately track and maintain their various business and accounting systems.  Teamwork, honesty and hard work are all core elements of Candy’s work ethic.

Laura Swirski Bio

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Fernando Urrea Bio

Fernando Urrea began his ProTec career in 2009. After a short leave he returned to ProTec in 2014 as the San Diego Maintenance Division Manager. He holds a General Contractors License; as well as, EPA Certified Lead Renovator. Fernando worked at Standard Pacific Homes and Pacific Bay Homes in the San Diego Divisions and has over 15 years’ experience in new home construction management. While working in Military Housing for 10 years he was able get hands on experience on all trades and management skills. His new home building and maintenance knowledge are unparalleled and is what makes Fernando a great asset.

Mark Adams Bio

Fascinated by construction from an early age, Mark developed the skills and knowledge to construct and repair any building. Prior to ProTec, Mark honed his skills at Quality Built Consulting on construction defects/diagnostics nationally. Mark is a licensed California General Contractor and a certified applicator in Excellent Coatings (Waterproof Coatings), SIKA Products (Sealants), PROTECTO Wrap (Waterproof Membranes) and Superkrete (Overlay Concrete Systems). Mark has been a manager at ProTec for 15 years and is the top HOA estimator in San Diego County. He prides himself on being able to assist HOA Boards and Community Managers resolve any type of repair or construction project.

Lee Sterling Bio

While attending Arizona State University pursuing a degree in engineering, Lee Sterling enlisted in the United States Army prior to Desert Storm. After completing his service he began working in the property service industry. Duly licensed as a Building (B1) and Roofing (C39) contractor, Lee rose through the ranks of the industry becoming the Division Manager and acting Chief Engineer for properties in San Diego, Irvine and Brea. His commitment to quality and superior service has earned him recommendations from his peers, clients and customers.

Cesar Ibarra Bio

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Paul Mayeski Bio

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Chris McHenry Bio

Chris has over 25 years of construction experience in the residential and commercial industries. He has done everything hands on from operate heavy equipment, ro build and remodel custom homes, and commercial tenant improvements. He started working in his family’s business building custom homes during the summers in high school. He moved on as a Project Manager for an apartment maintenance construction company in Rancho Santa Margarita. He proceeded to get his contractor’s license and owned his own company for 7 years. Chris also holds the positions of superintendent on a high rise construction project and Project Manager with an industrial/commercial company.

Sal Mendoza Bio

Salvador Mendoza is our Los Angeles regional manager for ProTec Building Services. Since starting with the Company in 2008 he has devoted himself to the challenging world of maintenance for mid and high rise buildings. Salvador’s past experiences of running his family owned construction business, along with his real estate and mortgage banking experience, provide him with a unique perspective within our industry. He has a created the company’s first Planned Maintenance Contract (PMC), which allows for a custom annual maintenance calendar of the building components for each individual building, enabling clients to plan ahead and have an annual maintenance budget

Mirzet Velic Bio

As ProTec’s Vista Maintenance Division Manager, Mirzet brings immense experience in the HOA industry and knowledge of maintenance, repair and construction methodology. Mirzet joined ProTec in 2006 as an Account Manager.  Prior to ProTec he honed his experience at All American Construction as a Maintenance Technician.  With over 15 years of experience in contract management, construction, electrical, and property management Mirzet can solve any technical problem. However, Mirzet’s true tour de force is his Customer Centric service model; he takes care of clients’ needs before they even know they have a need. 

Timothy (Ty) Haisch Bio

Ty is ProTec’s Construction Division Manager for the North County San Diego region, working out of the Vista office.  Ty joined ProTec in 2010 as a Project Supervisor.  He has moved up in the management ranks due to his excellent work record, supervisory skills, hard-work and dedication to getting jobs done in a timely manner that have made him a “go-to” manager at ProTec.  Prior to joining ProTec, Ty was a manager at TDT Construction.  Yes, Ty has many years of experience, but it is mostly his excitement with solving complex problems, that cause Ty to stand out among his peers.  Ty loves challenges and will happily solve our clients most vexing or technical problem(s).

John T. (JT) Anderson Bio

John learned the value of hard work at his family business at the early age of 5, where he started out as a janitor.  He went on to learn additional trades and skills, where he eventually left the business world to attend college at The University of Hawaii and the University of Utah.  He received his degree in Political Science and Business.  After moving to San Diego in 2004 he founded Elite Services, which provided building services to Commercial and HOA clients.  In 2016, John saw an opportunity to join the ProTec team where he has put his many talents to work, expanding ProTec’s list of 172 services and engaging new clients.