What Will Your Learning Space Look Like in 2018?

What our learning spaces will look like — and how they will function — in 2018.

The building blocks for the future of learning space design are already around us. Exploring five key areas will highlight the challenges our industry must overcome to make that future a reality. But first, one must understand the overarching educational trend that is driving the process: the collaborative classroom.

The pedagogical push into collaborative learning seems new to some, but in practice it has been around for a very long time — it is just being rebranded and marketed. This teaching style is an expanded application of what has been used in engineering, design, and business schools for years. In short, the class is a collaborative self-guided process, which is typically based on a short lecture at the start of the session or the review of a homework assignment. After the initial discussion, the class is run like any other laboratory class. Instead of the instructor lecturing for 80% of the time and interacting with the students the other 20% of the time, student teams spend 80% of the time in group learning while the instructor moves between the teams, providing personal guidance and responding to questions. This “flip” in the process required a “flip” in design. This collaborative environment can be a great source of revenue for the AV industry, but also presents design and management challenges.

COLLABORATIVE CLASSROOMS

Ideally, the collaborative classroom centers around six to nine students grouped at a table in sets of three. At their table is a group display where they can share what they are working on with the rest of the table. Next comes the challenge of the instructor location. While the objective is to free the instructor from a fixed presentation location, there still should be a node to connect their technology into the room system. Two locations that seem to work well are the stage right front of the room, and the center of the room. The center of the room seems the most logical location, but many instructors still prefer to be near the front. While a front of room focus is clearly not important when students are working in groups, it is still important for the 20% lecture. Having students twist their bodies to turn to see the instructor resembles a game of twister in the classroom. Our experience shows that U-shaped tables all facing a central point are a very functional solution for collaborative group work seating that aligns with a unidirectional view to the front or center of the room.

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Design for dynamic, versatile learning spaces that are equipped for self-guided learning, group work-shopping, and constructive idea-exchange.

 

What about the technology? This is where it can get real expensive…really quickly. Our studies have shown that a projection system is not always the best solution for this type of room. Projecting images for six to eight tables of students plus a main room display can be very costly. We feel that the displayed image should be a flat panel display no larger than 50 inches and no smaller than 40 inches. The display should be mounted at the end of the table but down low so students can see it but also view the instructor when they are in the front. The room display should still be a projected image, but it can be smaller and off the “center line” of the room, because the same information for critical viewing would be at the student tables. We still keep the primary image up in the front to support the 20% lecture component. To make sure that everybody is seeing the same thing, the resolution of the projected image should match that of the displays at the student tables.

BRING YOUR OWN DEVICES (BYOD)

In four short years, sales of iPads and other tablet devices sales have outpaced laptops, with some researchers showing that mobile devices will exceed all computer sales next year. All the portability, flexibility and accessibility they offer is good if you are on the public network at Starbucks or with your wireless provider, however, as soon as you step foot on the campus or the office, BYOD becomes a network access and security issue. Five years ago when students came to school they might have had one computer to register on the network. Now it is a computer, a tablet, a smart phone, a wireless printer, and more. All of these require security controls and all require bandwidth.

 

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An illustration of the AMX SchoolView solution

In our experience, some IT staff are more forward-thinking than others in planning for the challenges the onslaught of mobile devices brings. BYOD is a trend that does not appear to be slowing down, and as students and instructors come to rely on their own devices, they will demand that they work effectively in the classroom as well. Once network access and security issues are resolved, the main challenge in BYOD leads into the next area of development: sharing content wirelessly.

WIRELESS VIDEO

To share information from a mobile device in a classroom, we still need to connect the device to the display. Currently, connecting devices to a display wirelessly is still a challenge as there are at least five competing factions for this wireless “standard.”

1) WHDI (Wireless Home Digital Interface) — a consumer electronic specification for wireless HDTV connectivity throughout the home.
2) Intel’s WIDI — Wi-Fi Direct
3) Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast
4) Apple AirPlay
5) DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)

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A main concern for technology managers is how to support a collaborative environment while still meeting specific learning objectives.

There are many more options with their own entire feature set. Once a standard is uniformly adopted, the limitations of using a tablet as the primary teaching resource will disappear.

THE LECTURE CAPTURE STUDIO TO SUPPORT THE VIRTUAL CLASSROOM OF THE FUTURE

President Obama seeks five million more graduates from community colleges by 2020. For this to happen, Obama stated that he intends to invest a total of $12 billion over the next 10 years. Known as the American Graduation Initiative, the plan puts aside $9 billion to devise new grants for schools to develop new programs and to expand job training/counseling. His hope is that these programs will boost learning for college students and lead to higher completion rates for the schools. The plan also puts aside $2.5 billion to renovate facilities at college campuses.

 

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The “flip” in the pedagocial process requires a “flip” in learning space design. This collaborative environment can be a great source of revenue for the audiovisual industry, but also presents some design and management challenges

One way to quickly accomplish this is to utilize a virtual college. This form is a challenge to the bricks and mortar educational institutional. In the future, you will be able to select the courses that meet your educational goals and shop for your credits from any combination of colleges you would like. The term Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has been coined to help discuss this. Most MOOC are free, but right now the completion rate is very low. What is missing is the overall agency that approves the content, credits, and cubby-hole that it fits into. Once we have that, there would be no limit to the number of students that could take a class, the cost per credit hour would be leveled from provider to provider, providing a way to get an education while reducing student debt. For the AV Industry, this will require technical spaces, new and simple lecture capture rooms for the subject matter experts to present from and, naturally, the connectivity to broadcast the content.

AUDIO VIDEO BRIDGING (AVB)

Just as I dream about wireless video that works, I also dream about a much simpler installation and commissioning process, one that lets us test the cables with a simple meter, and allows the designer to quickly download the routing, setting and any presets in just a few minutes. That requires an open standard not a manufacturer’s standard. AVB is just that. Shortly, we will be sending our video signals over our computer networks, the switches will know when to mix, split and distribute the signal based on that initial programming.

Dante is a form of AVB that has been adopted by much of the pro audio industry. The Dante team states they function on a sub set of the AVB standard and are AVB compatible when AVB finally comes around. Officially AVB, is a suite of open standards IEEE 802.1 series designed specifically for the time synchronized delivery of audio and video media through networks developed with the support of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

To really understand the benefit — and importance — of AVB we need to look at what happens with current Ethernet networks and AV media. On current IT networks, there is no concept of “time;” there is nothing in the network infrastructure itself that synchronizes when information is needed. For computer data this is fine, the packets can show up when they want to. The computer will store the data and present it once it is all there. For audio and video communication, pauses are important — did the person lose their train of thought or was it the delivery system? With multiple sources and destinations for AV media, it is critical that there is some type of common time clock to which all of the media is synced. For AVB to work, new switches that open up the path between the nodes are required. Extreme Networks is one of the first manufacturers stepping up and building an AVB network switch from the ground up.

These are the building blocks for the classroom of the future, already available, but still needing development. Within these challenges lie opportunity, and it is up to our industry to help turn hopes for the future into reality.

An earlier version of this article ran in a 2014 AV Technology edition. 

 

This article was originally published at System Contractor News.

What our learning spaces will look like — and how they will function — in 2018. The building blocks for the future of learning space design are already around us. Exploring five key areas will highlight the challenges our industry must overcome to make that future a reality. But first, one must understand the overarching… Read more »

Wireless Audio Systems

“I just want to stream the audio from my laptop or device to the audio system in the conference room,” was a request during an initial design meeting.  This is another great example of technology in the home now pushing us at work.

For a number of years different products have been on the market to let you stream audio wirelessly within your home.  Sonos was the first major player in the market. They create their own Local Area Network to send music from the base station to loudspeakers located throughout the house.  Another example of this is through Apple TV. Other competing companies like Roku have similar systems that allow you to stream your iTunes through their systems.

The same Bluetooth signal you use with your wireless smart phone earpiece also has a spot in the home audio system.  Bluetooth is a wireless technology that uses UHF radio waves to transmit data over short distances and is used mostly in hands free phone applications. It was originally conceived as a data transfer method to replace RS232 cables.

Bluetooth loudspeakers now exist that are designed to work with your phone or Bluetooth enabled computers, however, there are no commercial or even whole-house audio distribution systems that use Bluetooth as its transmission standard.  One of the best uses in the home audio market for the use of Bluetooth is wirelessly connecting your subwoofer and surround loudspeakers.  The main drawback to Bluetooth is its limited range.

Presently there is no easy “plug and play” (or should we just say “play”) system for the commercial / business environment.  Yes, you can go home and connect your computer or PDA to your stereo or video system, but you had to load something somewhere, place items on your internal network.  Your neighbor cannot just walk in and start using their device on your home system. This is part of the the challenge we find in the business world, while collaboration spaces and media rich rooms like classrooms, could use something like this, it still takes logging in and passing the key around to show your computer images.

Twice now we have tried to integrate Apple TV into conference rooms.  Both times it was a failure – not from a connection point of view, but from an IT security point of view.  The general drawback is the difficulty of managing the device on the company’s network.  Apple TV does not play well with commercial networks and it really is a home device not meant for commercial applications.

As with all things AV, we see wireless connectivity being wanted and needed.  It is just a matter of when. You can make it work now, some of the time, for some of the people, but not all of the time for all of the people.

“I just want to stream the audio from my laptop or device to the audio system in the conference room,” was a request during an initial design meeting.  This is another great example of technology in the home now pushing us at work. For a number of years different products have been on the market… Read more »

Using Cell Phones to Make Noise Measurements

Twice in the last month, we have heard “I just used my cell phone to make noise measurements so you do not need to make measurements.” Mobile phone sound meter applications have added a new twist to our consulting services.  As for using our smart phones as sound level meters…  The standard phone, as delivered from Apple, Motorola, Samsung, etc. is an awful sound level meter that should not be used for anything other than fun!  Of the over 120 and growing sound meter applications currently available, none of them make up for the inexpensive microphone that is part of the phone.  The microphone elements we use cost hundreds of dollars, much more than the most expensive smart phone available.  The meter that this very expensive microphone element attaches to is even more costly.

When the iPhone first came out, one of our colleagues was doing a demonstration to a city council. The demonstration was a recorded simulation of a noise event.  Prior to the meeting he carefully adjusted the demonstration level in the council chambers, in order to show the most accurate information.  At the time of the testimony, our colleague reproduced the calibration level and showed the council members that it was 60dBA – the goal for the calibration level. Then two different council members that had just gotten their iPhone for the holidays said, no I read it at 64dBA here and the other said no it is only 57dBA here.  How do you argue with Apple?  They clearly would not make a product that was not accurate.

In April 2014, the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America published an evaluation of smart phone sound measurement applications.  In this article, authors Kardous and Shaw tested a number of different systems and apps.  Their research confirmed this disparate range of readings reported when the devices are side-by-side in the same sound field.

A few weeks ago we tried a similar test… we used our sound masking system to create a uniform sound field as defined by our “true test meters”.  We used three of our “test meters” to triple check the levels and all were within a few tenths of a decibel, as we would expect. Unfortunately, our smart phones had a 10 decibel range between the lowest and the highest and none of them matched what our “true test meters” reported.

Is there a use for the smart phone sound meter app?  Sure, it gives you an idea of the relative level.  How loud is the office relative to the kitchen at home, or how loud is my car with the windows rolled up at a stop light.  Beyond that, be very careful of what you read on the web about acoustics, and what someone claims (and how they claim it) when it comes to a noise level measured by their smart phone.

Twice in the last month, we have heard “I just used my cell phone to make noise measurements so you do not need to make measurements.” Mobile phone sound meter applications have added a new twist to our consulting services.  As for using our smart phones as sound level meters…  The standard phone, as delivered… Read more »

Residential Wall Mounts for TV’s – Things to Think About – If you Must!

Many issues must be addressed when mounting a TV on the wall in a Condominium, Apartment or Townhome. Most Condos have aluminum studs. These are great for construction but make it a little hard to attach and support the weight of a wall mounted TV.

Most new LED TV’s have built-in loudspeakers. To save space and to keep the bezels small around the TV the loudspeakers are now rear firing. This tends to make it difficult to find the proper volume level – always adjusting the volume up and down. If you have mounted the TV on a shared wall with your neighbor, you may be sharing a lot of sound as well.

The mounts that are in use today are very thin. Most people want the TV mounted close to the wall; it looks cool. The problem is that most cables and power cords cannot fit behind the TV once connected. There are wall plates and even power boxes you can install that recess the connections – however this means you need to cut a hole in the wall.  If it is your wall you can decide if you want to “get away with it”.  If it is a common wall with a neighbor, you have to ask yourself – did I just make a sound leak in the wall – even more importantly did I just affect the fire rating of the wall.   On an even scarier note, we have seen installations where the homeowner dropped an extension cord in the wall and connected it to a wall receptacle!

Many issues must be addressed when mounting a TV on the wall in a Condominium, Apartment or Townhome. Most Condos have aluminum studs. These are great for construction but make it a little hard to attach and support the weight of a wall mounted TV. Most new LED TV’s have built-in loudspeakers. To save space… Read more »

PEX Plumbing – Is it as Quiet as They Say?

Flexible water lines, to some the greatest thing since “Romex” wire for houses. No longer does a person need to fight with rigid pipe when they are plumbing a residence. The product has been around for many years in Europe, and the manufactured home industry has been using it for a number of years in the US. Its claim is that it is easy to work with, fewer leaks and it is quiet. Having spent time working with copper plumbing and cast and plastic waste/vent lines in the past, the flexibility and ease of installation is obvious to us.  Not having to connect lengths of pipe every time we have to join two lengths or have to make a corner will reduce the potential for leaks. It is the “quiet” claim we have concerns with.

Having spent a lot of time in two residents that use PEX, it is not a silent solution. Yes it has fewer fitting connections and therefore there is less turbulence as water flows through it, however it is still loud. When installed per the manufacturer recommendations, we still have flow noise, and the water hammer at the end of a long run actually seems louder, given how short the run really is. Our recommendation – when you use PEX, continue to isolate the lines and use the same acoustical details that we have developed over the years for copper.

Flexible water lines, to some the greatest thing since “Romex” wire for houses. No longer does a person need to fight with rigid pipe when they are plumbing a residence. The product has been around for many years in Europe, and the manufactured home industry has been using it for a number of years in… Read more »

Changes in Resilient Channels

For a recent project at a medical research university we were called in to investigate a vibration issue.  The lab is located on the fourth floor of a newly constructed building.  The research team was having problems with samples in Petri dishes clustering into groups.  For their work the samples needed to be evenly distributed across the dish.  The clustering of samples occurred when a dish was placed into an incubator, however the clustering was not consistent as to time of day or other obvious parameters.  As their test, a Petri dish filled with water was placed on top of the incubator and visible wave patterns (similar in pattern to the clusters) could be seen in the dish.  Our first step when we arrived at the facility was to conduct measurements with a portable vibration meter.  This meter allowed us to view measured vibration levels in one-third octave bands.  We quickly found that when we attached the accelerometer sensor via its magnetic base to the incubator there were two frequency bands that stood out higher than the others.  These fingerprints were found at the 50 Hz and the 1,000 Hz one-third octave bands.

Measurements were made on the incubator and on the floor next to the incubator as a control point. We also measured the vibration levels on the wet sink next to the incubator, the subzero freezer on the other side of the wall from the wet sink, and on the structural floor adjacent to building mounts for the equipment in the penthouse above the lab.  The vibration frequencies observed on the incubator did not appear in the control point on the floor next to the incubator.  Occasionally another tone cycled into our measurements on the surface of the wet sink and was also seen on the incubator.  This frequency corresponded to the operational cycle of the subzero freezer in the lab.

Because of the location of the mechanical equipment in the penthouse above the lab we also conducted measurements in various locations in the penthouse. The Energy System Re-circulating pump produced feel-able vibration in the floor but was outside of the apparent driving frequency of the vibration source for the incubator.  While the compressed air system did produce a tonal component in the same fingerprint as on the incubator, the vibrations at the incubator did not correspond to the operation of this system.  The other equipment in the penthouse did not have the characteristic fingerprints.

Based on our investigation, we determined the primary cause of the vibration within the incubator was the incubator itself (the circulating fan motor).  The first step will be for the manufacturer to confirm that the fan is installed and working properly.  We also provided recommendations to isolate the unit from the building as well as address a few other issues we noticed.  Investigative projects like these are always a fun challenge.

For a recent project at a medical research university we were called in to investigate a vibration issue.  The lab is located on the fourth floor of a newly constructed building.  The research team was having problems with samples in Petri dishes clustering into groups.  For their work the samples needed to be evenly distributed… Read more »

Too Much Lot Line Noise

As winter turns to spring people start talking to their architect or landscape designer about a new hot tub or pool, or perhaps it’s a new air conditioner or even an emergency generator. Soon we will start to get phone calls from homeowners at their wits end because they’ve lost many hours of sleep due to a neighbor’s noisy air conditioner, condenser, pool pump or even the freezer chiller at the new grocery store recently built around the corner. Noise can not only be a nuisance, it can also be unhealthy by disrupting sleep and causing stress.

These types of noise problems are becoming more frequent as people live more closely together. To combat this, many cities and towns across the nation have adopted noise ordinances. Sometimes, however, noise can make enemies out of neighbors and in order to be a good neighbor it is necessary to do more than just meet the local noise ordinance. It may be necessary to take additional measures to restore the peace and friendly neighborhood relations. Thankfully, there are many possible ways to fix the various causes of noisy mechanical equipment.

Another important consideration is the location of the offending equipment relative to the property line. If your noisy air conditioner is located just inches away from your neighbor’s property line, and their bedroom window, the best option may be to find a better place to locate it. That may mean moving the equipment to the back of the house where the closest neighbors are 30-feet away instead of 30-inches away.

When all else fails, it is usually time to consider some form of acoustical barrier. Noise barriers take many forms: from a natural berm or fence; to a custom mechanical enclosure; to a wall made of a material that matches the surrounding buildings that has both mass to function as a barrier and absorption to reduce the sound that bounces around inside the new enclosure. Landscaping can also be added around any kind of barrier to get rid of the “eye sore” and make it look more pleasant, but this will not reduce the noise. While barriers can be a very effective solution, depending on the noise levels, topography and distances involved, they might not be appropriate for all sites – relocation may be the only viable option.

As indicated here, there are many possible solutions for noisy mechanical equipment that is making neighbors unhappy or violating local noise ordinances. The feasibility, effectiveness and cost of each option must be weighed in order to find the best solution for all involved.

As winter turns to spring people start talking to their architect or landscape designer about a new hot tub or pool, or perhaps it’s a new air conditioner or even an emergency generator. Soon we will start to get phone calls from homeowners at their wits end because they’ve lost many hours of sleep due… Read more »

Video vs Audio

There is often a chill that runs up your spine when something is really well done. That happened for me the first time I heard the “THX chord” in a theater. It reinforced that audio gives us the emotion and can be much more than 50 percent of the experience. Even the early “silent” movies had music played by a local pianist to bring images and emotions to life.

In some venues, video may be king, but on a basic level, audio is still at the heart of distance communication. While the promise of integrated videoconferencing is appealing, it comes with a fair amount of challenges.

One example is the recent migration in our offices to a new IP phone system. Even with sufficient planning and expertise, we missed getting our videoconferencing systems functional for that first staff meeting. We fought with bad QOS (Quality Of Service) for about two minutes and decided it was time for a basic conference call instead. After one “Can you hear me now?” we were up and running.

PictureTel and CLI told us in the ’80s and ’90s we could roll a TV set and camera system into any room and video-conference from that room. Unfortunately in many offices that “roll-about” sat in a corner, unused for many months (if at all). When we asked the owner why the roll-about had not been used, the answer usually included something about lack of network drops, or bad audio or video quality.

Fast-forward 25 years and we seem to be in the same dilemma. While we now have phones that send video and let us chat with our loved ones on opposite ends of the globe, the increase in audio and video quality hasn’t kept pace with advances in shrinking hardware. Poor quality is tolerated because it’s still relatively novel, good enough for casual use, and the price is right: free or almost free.

However, in a professional business situation, that quality (not to mention reliability) becomes paramount for success, and in making that important first impression upon clients and prospects.

So what is needed for a professional, business oriented video-conference? It’s a combination of technology and environment; figuring out how to make them match up isn’t always apparent. As my good friend and colleague Scott Sharer stated, “A good video (conferencing) room can make a great presentation room, but a great presentation room does not necessarily make a good video room.”

In other words, it requires a blending of technology, proper acoustics in the proper space, and the right team to put it all together. The experience in our own office shows how tenuous the balance can be. On the environment side, what is needed for quality video communication is a room where the audio, acoustics, and video image all feel “right” to the participants, eye contact between both ends of the call can easily be made, and the sharing of information and actual control of the meeting is transparent.

On the technology side, we still have to remember that video calls are still just bad TV. The turnkey solutions from the major players are actually stepping back in time to the first video rooms from the early ’80s. These were custom and purpose-built rooms based on good television production techniques such as acoustics, audio, lighting. and quality video equipment. The only difference was it went to a codec that compressed the signal down to run over a phone line. Now we have these great custom built rooms with signals only compressed to a much bigger telephone (network) connection.

Over the next few months we will look at current standalone and computer based codec systems and what is required for good videoconferencing. Until then, count how many times your video meetings start with some form of “Can you hear us?” At least in the business world, audio wins!

The Long View

The “Granny Cam” is here to stay. Anybody with a computer, microphone/ camera, and internet access can download any one of a dozen or more programs like Skype and stay connected to friends and family for free.

Because these free web-based videoconferencing systems are convenient, they have migrated into the business world. I for one have started to see a lot of “Skype addresses” on business cards and email footers. This started with our European friends (they were the early Skype adopters) but now we see it with some of the manufacturers in our own industry. At a recent event, one person saw me use a document camera to annotate a drawing. He came up afterwards and said, “I am on Skype four to six hours a day doing training. How can I get one of these in my system?”

Four to six hours a day with a program that in my opinion is not business quality, “What are you thinking?” was my first reaction. But as an early adopter of interactive web-based training, the convenience for him outweighed the quality. Polycom, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, and Adobe Connect are the most common business-quality web conferencing systems we deal with. Maybe this convenience thing is not bad; if we live with it and can tolerate the bad quality, we may find a way to make it better, just as we have seen the quality of fixed conference systems improve over time.

 

This article was originally published in System Contractor News.

There is often a chill that runs up your spine when something is really well done. That happened for me the first time I heard the “THX chord” in a theater. It reinforced that audio gives us the emotion and can be much more than 50 percent of the experience. Even the early “silent” movies… Read more »

Product Review: Insight Lighting’s SmartWall® Ever Changing Wall Color!

The true measure of sustainability in LED lighting products today has less to do with quantity of light and more to do with efficient management of the digital source.

Insight’s revolutionary SmartWall® employs their proven SmartEdge® digital LED technology with a unique engraving process to create luminous white light and color changing wall systems. Whether back-lighting glass displays, creating semi-transparent room partitions or integrating into window mullions for exterior branding, the SmartWall technology helps transform an interior or exterior space.

All Insight digital products have proven and tested manufacturing processes, independent photometric results (LM79), documentation of heat management techniques and a substantive warranty to back it up. Insight’s design approach relates to longer life, reliable white light color temperatures and product integrity that last.

The true measure of sustainability in LED lighting products today has less to do with quantity of light and more to do with efficient management of the digital source. Insight’s revolutionary SmartWall® employs their proven SmartEdge® digital LED technology with a unique engraving process to create luminous white light and color changing wall systems. Whether… Read more »

Focus on Lighting: A Look Into Lamp Technology and Lighting Legislation

The federal government is pushing toward more energy efficient solutions with regard to lighting and lamp selections, or what is more commonly referred to as “going green”.

This will result in changes over the next couple of years with regard to the lamps that will be available for purchase. Several governments around the world, including the United States, have passed legislation that will phase out the incandescent light bulb for general lighting. The goal is to encourage the use and technology development of more energy efficient lighting alternatives such as halogen, compact fluorescents (CFLs) and the ever popular Light Emitting Diode (LED) which offer increased efficiency, decreased heat emissions and are significantly more economical than traditional incandescent lamps. (Technically speaking, a halogen lamp is an incandescent lamp, but it is more efficient than traditional incandescent as the result of the halogen technology and is usually considered separate from incandescent lamps.) This means “lights out” for Edison’s 131 year old lamp that still lights homes worldwide while wasting 90% of its energy as heat rather than light. While you won’t be required to throw out your old bulbs, you may be surprised when you are trying to find the same replacement lamps in stores.

The first phase of the process will bring an end to the production of the 100 watt A lamp in January 2012, the 75 watt in 2013, and the 60 and 40 watt counterparts by January 2014. This will also affect the availability of the T12 fluorescent tube which will be phased out by 2012.

The second phase will come into effect by 2020 and will require general purpose lamps to produce at least 45 lumens per watt, similar to the energy consumption experienced with CFLs. Subsequently, several states have adopted more stringent legislation which requires lamps to produce a minimum of twenty-five lumens per watt by 2013 and sixty lumens per watt by 2018.

The federal government is pushing toward more energy efficient solutions with regard to lighting and lamp selections, or what is more commonly referred to as “going green”. This will result in changes over the next couple of years with regard to the lamps that will be available for purchase. Several governments around the world, including… Read more »