Total Lighting Blog

Valuable information from Lighting experts.

  • Getting to Know our H-Style 3-Wire Track Lighting End Power Feed with Junction Box Cover Video

    Learn pretty much everything there is about our H-style 3-wire track lighting End Power Feed with junction box cover in this informative and detailed overview video  :)

    Discover our TLSK138 End Power Feed with Junction Box Cover

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    See our Track Fittings

    7 Fast & Easy Steps to a complete track lighting system

    Build your own track lighting kit here.

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  • Getting to Know our H-Style 3-Wire Track Lighting End Power Feed Video

    Learn pretty much everything there is about our H-style 3-wire track lighting End Power Feed in this informative and detailed overview video :)

    Discover more about our TLSK101 End Power Feed

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    See our Track Fittings

    7 Fast & Easy Steps to a complete track lighting system

    Build your own track lighting kit here.

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  • Getting to Know our H-Style 3-Wire Track Lighting Mini-Joiner Connector Video

    Learn pretty much everything there is about our H-style 3-wire track lighting Mini-Joiner Connector in this no fluff informative and detailed overview video :)

    See our TLSK101 Mini-Joiner power track connector.

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    See our Track Fittings

    7 Fast & Easy Steps to a complete track lighting system

    Build your own track lighting kit here.

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  • Getting to Know our H-Style 3-Wire Track Lighting T Connector & Power Feed

    We just released our second video in a series of overview videos of our track lighting connectors & power feeds. In this video you will learn pretty much everything there is to know about how our H-style 3-wire track lighting T Connector and power feed works. Sit back and get to know our TLSK111 T-Connector :)

     

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    See our Track Lighting Suspension System

    7 Fast & Easy Steps to a complete track lighting system

    Build your own track lighting kit here.

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  • How Coronavirus COVID-19 is disrupting the Lighting Product Supply Chain

    VirusMany of our customers have asked how the Coronavirus / COVID-19 virus is affecting our lighting supply chain.

    They are concerned about stock running out on many of our lighting products such as track lighting, recessed lighting, LED T8 retrofit conversion lighting, LED low voltage outdoor landscape lighting and lighting parts, accessories and LED light bulbs that are almost all manufactured in China. They have large projects underway and the lighting must be installed at a specific point in time or the project is put on hold as the finish work can not be completed without it in place.

    In November, our primary factory told us to order for the annual Chinese New Year closure and  include one more month after, to ensure that the factory can have time to gear up after the holiday season. We did so and increased our order 30% just to be safe. This all took place before the Coronavirus took center stage in China and world. Then the virus hit and the factory remained closed and did not restart production.

    Container Ship SunsetWe purchased enough product to cover us until the end of March. 

    We expected that the factory would be back to work on a limited basis by the first week of February and we would have new product on the water (i.e. in a container ship heading our way to the United States) by the middle of the month. Unfortunately, this did not happen. We are now at the second week of March and there is very limited product in production and the shipping and delivery dates are still not guaranteed. We have some products expected by the end of March and the rest will arrive sometime later. You will see on our website that some items that are out of stock do not have an expected delivery date as they are not in production yet.

    We have had large delays before, the last big delay was back during the last dock worker union port strike in Los Angeles. It was very disruptive and it went on much longer than expected.

    Warehouse Full ShelvesIf you have a project that has a construction time-line, please contact us so we can ensure you have product in hand or on the move to avoid costly delays and pricey air shipping expenses.

    We do our best to help you from going over budget and get your project delivered on or before it is needed.  All of our orders ship complete unless you tell us to do otherwise. Incomplete shipping can create greater confusion, frustration and disruption that you simply don’t need added to your project. We want to avoid this at all costs.

    Communication is the most important factor in guaranteeing success.  Feel free to contact us. We are here to help.

    Shipping ContainersFor now, check your project schedule, wash your hands with soap and shut off CNN. We like websites like John Hopkins University, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) website for real facts on the virus, not “news” reporters running around like chicken little.

    Thank you for reading our update and feel free to contact us with questions and project schedules. Again, we are here to help :)

     

     

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    Tags: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Supply Chain, China, inventory, stock, Backorder, Shipping Delay, Factories, Manufacturing

  • Getting to Know our H-Style 3-Wire Track Lighting X Connector & Power Feed

    We just released our latest video in a series of overview videos of our track lighting connectors & power feeds. In this video you will learn pretty much everything there is to know about our H-style 3-wire track lighting X Connector and power feed. Sit back and get to know our TLSK112 X-Connector :)

    Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

    See our Track Lighting Suspension System

    7 Fast & Easy Steps to a complete track lighting system

    Build your own track lighting kit here.

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  • We retrofitted our 5,000 square foot Office Space from Fluorescent to LED T8 in 4 hrs - Find out How!

    Converted Fluorescent to LED T8 5,000 sqft Warehouse Building

    fluorescent t8 tube removalWe have been doing fluorescent T8 and T12 LED retrofits for many years.  Maybe longer than any Ecommerce website out there.  In this blog we will tell you about the process we used to convert our 5,000 sqft office space on Saturday morning that only took us 4 hrs.

    We started with a simple plan.  Here is how we did it.  First we got all of the supplies together which included: LED T8 Double End Powered Tubes, Easy Push-In Wire Connectors, Extra #18 Gauge Solid Copper Wire in Black & White, Retrofit Labels, ladders, headlamps, tools and lots of helping hands. I have listed at the end of this article all the tools we used. All of our fixtures were exactly the same, so we knew if we used one as a sample to see what was needed all the rest would require the same conversion process. This helped in reducing the time to retrofit.

    We had one electrician on the team and the rest of the team was completely inexperienced. They were a bunch of teenagers that wanted to make some quick money on an early Saturday morning.  We paid them very well and they were very surprised. Anyway, we had both young men and women and they all did a great job.

    We broke down the duties in an assembly line fashion.  Here is how it worked:

    1) Two of the teenagers were in charge of opening the fixture, (we showed them how) they released the two clips and let the lens swing down on its hinge so they could get at the tubes.

    florescent to led t8 ballast removalI have to note here, everyone was required to wear safety glasses and the power was turned off. In rooms that were dark, (some had no windows) everyone had “headlamps” we got at Harbor Freight and when the project was finished we gave them to the kids. 

    Once the fixture was open, one helper removed the fluorescent tubes and handed each down to the other helper on the floor that placed them in a temporary container.  The helper still on the ladder then removed the cover where the ballast was located and handed it down.  Once the ballast cover was down, a helper put on a sticker we sell that tells people that this fixture has been converted from fluorescent to LED.

    2) The next team removed the ballast by cutting the wires close to the ballast and removing the ballast mounting screw.  We had just the right size nut driver to release the one screw holding in the ballast to the fluorescent tubelight making it a very fast and efficient removal. We had a box ready to receive the ballasts for proper disposal latter.

    3) At this point our electrician came in and cleaned up the wiring, cut and stripped where needed and used our 5 port push-in wire connector to make the proper wire connections.  Clean and simple.

    4) The next team came up, aligned the wires in the center of the fluorescent fixture and put back the cover where the ballast once was. They also installed the LED T8 Double End Powered lamps. Once all theLED lamps were installed in all the fluorescent fixtures in the room, and before the covers were closed, the power was turned back on and we checked to make sure everything was working properly.

    florescent to led t8 rewiring5) The last guy came along to close the fixture. This was the most difficult part of the retrofit process due to the fixtures being in a drop ceiling. You had to get the hang of it as the fixtures were prone to move when you pressed the lens cover up against it.  We found that you had to get the lens cover lined up and quickly hit it with your hand to “shock” it in place (not hard, just quick). However, your fluorescent T8 or T12 fixtures may be different so get familiar with its workings to help quicken the retrofit process. But for us, this was the most difficult part for inexperienced helpers.  Have your electrician show your crew how to do this to make for a fast and quick fluorescent to LED conversion.

    6)  We further packed all the fluorescent tubes in the boxes that the new EZ Double End Powered LED tubes came in. Fortunately for us, all the fluorescent lamps were working when we took them out, so we wrote a Craigslist ad titled somewhat like this, Free 4-foot T8 Fluorescent Tubes In Working Order. Someone snatched them up right away and were all gone in 3 hours. The people that picked them up were very happy to have them, and we were happy to see them go where they will be used until the end of their normal life span.

    We found that in our office space, we increased the light foot candles by three times. I forgot to mention that we used the EZ Double End Powered 4000K Frosted LED Tubes due to the nature of the use of the spaces. When everyone came in the following Monday for work they were greatly impressed with a brighter work place and the natural look and feel the new LED light provided.

    In conclusion, here are the results we found after converting 100 fluorescent t8 3-lamp 4-foot fixtures. Each fluorescent troffer had 3 x 32watt fluorescent T8 tubes and 1 x 12watt fluorescent ballast. To find the total wattage used by these fixtures we multiply 3 times 32watts and add 12watts for the ballast to equal a total of 108watts per light. We then multiply 108watts by the 100 fluorescent tube lights being used in the office complex. It's a whopping 10,800watts of electricity. Wow! Now lets calculate how much wattage the office complex is consuming after the conversion to the double end powered LED T8 tubes. Each LED T8 tube is rated at 18watts. Multiply 18watts by 3 and we have 54watts. We take the 54watts, multiply it by 100 and we are left with 5,400watts. That's half the power of the fluorescent lamps. That is a significant reduction in power being used. Think of the energy savings we will now enjoy moving forward!

    Now lets calculate the monetary value of our LED retrofit. We installed 300 double end powered LED lamps at $6.14 each as of the writing of this article. This large quantity gave us a significant quantity discount (see pricing on our website here). 200 5-port push-in wire connectors at $0.75 each and 100 LED retrofit labels at $0.14 each. You can purchase all these items securely from our website here. which includes free access to all our videos including our popular "5 minute or less fluorescent tube light to LED T8 conversion with our EZ Kit" video.

    Material Costs
    Qty Price Cost
    LED Tubes 300 x $6.14 $1,842
    Wire Connectors 200 x $0.75 $150
    Labels 100 x $0.14 $14
    TOTAL $2006

    Lets calculate the electricity cost savings.
     
    Local commercial electricity rate = $0.102/kWh
    Work hours = 9 hours
    Days in a year = 365

    Old Fluorescent Setup
    Electricity Consumption 10,800watts = 10.8kW
    Electricity Cost per Kilowatt $0.102 x 10.8kW = $1.1016
    9-hour Work Day Electricity Cost  $1.1016 x 9hr = $9.9144
    Yearly Work Day Electricity Cost $9.9144 x 365 = $3618.756

     

    New LED retrofit
    Electricity Consumption 5,400watts = 5.4kW
    Electricity Cost per Kilowatt $0.102 x 5.4kW = $0.5508
    9-hour Work Day Electricity Cost $0.5508 x 9hr = $4.9572
    Yearly Work Day Electricity Cost $4.9572 x 365 = $1,809.378

     

    Fluorescent T8 vs LED T8
    Fluorescent Yearly Electricity Cost LED Yearly Electricity Cost
    $3,216.672 $1,809.378

     

    Total LED Yearly Savings over Fluorescent
    $1407.294

     

    In less than two years our LED conversion will have paid for itself in energy savings and we will begin seeing the benefits of increased light and deeper energy savings for years to come!

    Doing a retrofit with dual end powered LED bulbs is the quickest and most easy ballast bypass retrofit you will ever do.  We offer a number of videos on changing your fluorescent t8 or T12 tubelight to LED T8 that will work for almost every fixture type.  However, you should open and inspect your fixture so you do not have surprises in the field. Watch out for emergency fixtures, fixtures that have dual ballasts, old fixtures with bad tombstones, weird wiring and other oddball configurations. Ready to convert your building filled with old energy sucking fluorescent T8 or T12 4foot fixtures to LED T8? Simply fill out this form, send us a photo if your unsure and we will help you get your project on the fast track!

    florescent to led t8 rewiring=led tube installHere is what we had on hand for the LED retrofit:

    • Ladders,  many of them
    • Tubes, we used the dual end,  4000K frosted as our fixtures did not have lenses but an open grid style. Our fixtures had three lamps
    • Headlamps
    • Safety Glasses
    • Stickers for the fixtures (we have these on our web site)
    • Push-In Quick Wire Connectors (also on our web site)
    • Tool for removing the screw or nut on the ballast, only needed one, it is quick
    • Wire snips for the wires on the ballast,  cut the wires close, see the video
    • Electrician had his quick wire stripper and his own snips, we gave him his own helper
    • We also had on hand, but did not need, extra shunted tombstones incase we found bad ones, extra solid core #18 wire in both Black and White.
    • Vacuum, to clean up after we finished
    • Water and snacks, it's always good to keep your crew hydrated and nourished :)

     

    convert fluorescent to led t8 hallwayHope this gives you an idea on what to expect for a larger scale project like a church, office complex or warehouse. Your plan may vary somewhat due to ceiling height, use of space or other factors unique to your location.  We have also supplied a large project with a very similar setup in a warehouse where they used two scissor lifts, less people and more skilled help, condensing the process down even further saving more time and money.

    Thanks for reading.  Please checkout our Fluorescent to LED T8 Quick Tool to see all the options available to you.  It's a great starting point to help fast track your project. We have also made this easy to use page for large projects, allowing you to buy each LED retrofit component in bulk for significant savings.

    Thanks for considering Total Lighting Supply for your project.

    Build out your bulk project here and save on your LED T8 Conversion

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  • Finding the Perfect Lighting for Your Home

    Finding the Perfect Lighting for Your Home

    Lighting is a very important element of a home that can often be overlooked when designing and decorating your space. Even if you live in Florida, with an abundance of sun, having the right lights can still be critical to the look and convenience of your home. There are many different styles, designs, and types of lighting that finding the best lighting for your home can sometimes be overwhelming. That is why we asked experts in the field to share their tips about lighting your home the right way.

    Create layers of light

    The best way to illuminate your home the right way is to create Layers of Light. This includes General Lighting, Task Lighting, and Ambient Lighting. Although general lighting is your powerhouse for illuminating your home, task lighting, like pendants & sconces will give you direct lighting for applications such as chopping vegetables or applying makeup. Ambient lighting can be achieved with lamps or simply by adding dimmers to your general lighting, creating a softer glow for winding down and relaxing. –Celeste Jackson, Celeste Jackson Interiors

    Analyze your space

    Observe the surroundings of your home to understand which areas should be enhanced through focal brightness, where ambient lighting is required, and where the play of brilliance may occur. Your space should be analyzed in all directions before you begin planning your lighting. –Magda Colodetti, EOS Lighting 

    Don’t ignore under-lighting

    Under-lighting is just as vital as chandeliers or pendants in your home. Powder rooms are a great place for underlighting, whether beneath a floating vanity or under a quartzite countertop. The lighting creates a special effect in the evening that will have your guests raving. –Michelle Rohrer-Lauer, Michelle’s Interiors

    Understand lighting trends

    If you understand the latest lighting trends, your knowledge can help you narrow your choices to select a light that is on-trend and under budget. In today’s interior design, matte black, nickel and mixed metal options are the three most popular finish trends. –Lighting Connection

    Plan ahead

    Always start with a plan – a furniture plan! This will help you to determine where to position your task lighting, such as reading lamps or kitchen spotlights, and where you’ll need more general, ambient lighting. Don’t be afraid to play with the shadows either. Highlighting interesting architecture or artwork draws the eye and contrasts against the darker areas of your room. –Darklight Design

    Layering and aesthetic are key

    It is important to not only find a fixture that suits your space but also ensure you are providing the space with proper illumination for every function. As much as lighting trends and technology have changed, there is not just one fixture that can provide enough light for a multi-function space. That is why it is invaluable to consult a lighting designer when replacing your fixtures; they can help you find the perfect aesthetic, and make sure you have the right fixtures to suit the purpose and look of your home. –Charleston Lighting and Interiors 

    Be careful with recessed lighting

    Never use recessed lighting in a manner that makes your space look like an office. Recessed lighting fixtures should be placed in a manner so each one has a specific function. –Total Lighting Supply 

    Don’t Skimp on Lighting

    Lighting is the jewelry of your home. Many people forget to include it in their budget and often end up regretting it later. Lighting can either make or break the overall design of your space. Proper lighting can enhance many aspects of your home. –Lighting Design

    Light your home with LEDs

    The smartest way to light your home is with LEDs and intuitive controls. LEDs are better than ever, and when combined with lighting controls that account for daylight or times of vacancy, the combination generates huge energy savings. Gone are the days of flicking a switch, the future of lighting lies in highly-efficient LEDs that can be controlled through an app, allowing individual control over light levels, color temperature, and scheduling. –Michael Hennessy,  Wavelength LED

    Light your walls

    Whenever adding lighting to a home, it’s important to try lighting up the walls of the space your in. Instead of having dark lit walls which can make a room look small, having lamps near walls or lighting directed towards walls will make your space look much bigger and more pleasant. –Brightech 

    Don’t forget outdoor Lighting

    Outdoor lights should do more than simply illuminate the path to your door, String lights are a great way to highlight a focal point and transform an otherwise unused area into an outdoor living space.  –Hometown Evolution Inc

    Originally Published on Redfin

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  • Goof Trims & Oversize Recessed Trims for Your Recessed Lighting Cans & Pot Lights

    With and without Goof RingIs your trim too small to cover the hole they cut in your ceiling? Don't worry! These products are perfect to use when your drywall is cut incorrectly, and your trim will not completely cover the area.

    Unfortunately, some inexperienced drywall contractors will make the hole in the drywall way too big and a standard recessed trim will not cover it. For this reason we offer a full assortment of trims for both the 4” and 6” recessed lighting can.

    Carefully check the measurements before choosing what you need, as we offer a variety of trims with diameters all the way up to 8”. And we have them in designer colors, and even black. We even have shower trims at 8” check our shower section to see the full list.

     

    With and without Goof RingNot sure if your recessed trim will work?  Please review this video so we can ensure you do not get something wrong. We have recessed goof rings available in White, Black, Satin Nickel, Chrome, Bronze, Gold and more! We have the largest selection of recessed lighting trims on the internet and our team has expert knowledge in recessed lighting. Let us help you find what you need.

    See our goof rings and oversize recessed lighting trims up to 8” at this link.

    Let us know if you need help!

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  • 4 Ways to Convert a Fluorescent Tubelight with 2 Ballasts to a LED T8 Fixture

    There are four possible reasons you have two ballasts in your T8 or T12 fluorescent tubelight fixture. See which one matches your light fixture and how our EZ double end powered LED T8 conversion kits can help.


    1) I have one wall switch and all the bulbs light up in my fixture when I turn the wall switch on. There is only one switch that turns on this fixture and there are two ballasts inside.

     
    You have an old style fluorescent fixture. No matter the type of bulb (either T12 or T8, the size is on the bulb) you can rewire this fixture. Please tell your electrician to review this video and instruct him that the double ended feed bulbs require Hot (black) and Neutral (white) wired on each end. Here is the wire diagram.


    2) My fixture has two switches that control it this way; One switch controls 2 bulbs and the other switch controls either 1 or 2 more bulbs. When I turn both switches on all the bulbs will be on. Both switches are in the same place on the wall.

     
    Your fixture must have been set up to allow you three levels of lighting, You can turn on some of the lights, the other set of lights or all the lights. Therefore your fixture has two Hot wires (Black) and one or two Neutral (White) wires going to the fixture. From your wall switches, this fixture can be rewired, but as we are not on site we can not tell you exactly. Any good electrician can get this fixture retrofitted with LED and remove the old energy sucking ballasts. A simple wire diagram is included here, give it to your electrician. In our sample diagram, one switch will control two lamps, and the other switch will control one lamp. When both switches are on, all the lamps we will be on. In some cases, your wiring on site may be slightly different.

    Convert dual ballast fluorescent T8 fixtures to LED T8 with 3 Levels lighting and a switch box diagram


    3) My fixture's tubes all come on at the same time, but I have two switches on opposing sides of the room that control the fixture, that way, no matter the door I come in, I can turn the light on or off.

     
    This is called "three way switching". There are a number of ways this is wired, and we cannot explore all of them here. Get your electrician on the job and in 10 minutes he will know where the hot and neutral wires are that come in the fixture and will be able to wire up your retrofit quick. As long as he knows that the bulbs are powered from each end, Hot (Black) on one and Neutral (White) on the other it will be easy. Your electrician will remove the ballasts and wire up your LED to work perfectly.


    4) My fixture has 6 bulbs in it, it requires two ballasts to make it work. When I turn on the switch all 6 bulbs come on.

     
    We have a video and a diagram for fixtures like this. Usually these are shop fixtures but are easy to convert. For 6 lamp fixtures we recommend that you buy the two parts you need Al-la-cart, the bulbs and the label. Then use wire nuts as shown in our video to connect the wires.

    One fixture 6 lamp double end powered wire diagram

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