Nov 21, 2014

PAR vs BR Bulbs: What's the Difference? A Sustain University Update by Conservastore *Amended*

***originally published on 2012, we have added some important info ***

In this edition of our Sustain U series, we will discuss the difference between PAR and BR light bulbs, as well as touch on how bulb selection can help you save energy. At the end of the blog, check out a bit on a new wave of LED PAR and BR bulbs!

What does “PAR” or “BR” even mean?
                PAR stands for Parabolic Aluminized Reflector.  BR stands for Bulged Reflector.
What does the number after PAR or BR mean?
                This number is indicative of the diameter of the lamp in terms of 1/8ths of an inch. For example, a PAR38 bulb is (1/8 x 38)” or 4 ¾” across.  A PAR20 is (1/8 x 20)” or 2 ½” across. A PAR16 is (1/8 x 16)” or 2” across. And so on and so on…
What is the difference in construction?
                PAR bulbs are incandescent, tungsten-halogen, metal halide (some even now have LED replacements, which we’ll touch on later), and have a hard glass cover which is hermetically (airtight or impervious to air or gas) sealed to the reflecting surface. Inside are precisely placed lenses that controls beam spread and cannot be altered in position in relation to the filament. These items’ positions cannot be adjusted or altered in any way. There are flood bulbs and spot bulbs. Flood bulbs diffuse or scatter light, while spots focus all light in one direction.
                BR bulbs are a common reflector lamp, with a bulged reflector. They’re incandescent or electric discharge (as well as LED replacements, but that’s for later!) bulbs. The sides of the outer part of the blown glass bulb are coated with a reflecting material that directs light. The light transmission pattern can be clear, frosted, or even patterned.
That all sounds great and everything, but where do I use them?
                A common misconception is that PAR bulbs are only meant for the outside, like in corner “emergency light” applications and that BR bulbs are superior for the indoors. This is false. It really comes down to what application and what you desire for the light appearance. In reality, PAR bulbs have better photometric qualities due to their brightness and light temperatures. They’re also shorter bulbs, allowing them to sit higher in the fixture than a BR bulb. This makes the bulb harder to see (which is desirable), and reduces unwanted glare.
                Now—that doesn’t leave BR bulbs without their advantages. The frosted/patterned coating on BR bulbs may create a desired room appearance. PAR bulbs also tend to be a little harsher when it comes to where the light starts and where it ends, due to the way their reflective surface and lens are situated. The lens doesn’t allow light to spread much further than the angle of the beam spread. BR bulbs tend to have a more gradual “fade” in light as the light reaches the outer limits of the beam spread. BR also produce less shadow than PAR bulbs.
                In the scheme of things, modern PAR or BR bulbs can be used in a variety of applications. In the past you had to spend time finding an outdoor bulb that was resistant to moisture. Modern PARs make it rather easy to find such a bulb. PARs are still typically better suited for the outdoors than BR or R bulbs are. When it comes to the indoors, it really is all a matter of room appearance. Both are usually considered for use in track lighting, recessed lighting, or as flood lights. BR or R bulbs are often used in common areas and hallways. You see PAR can lighting in some home theater applications. However, these can be entirely switched around just depending on how you want the lighting in your living areas to appear. Keep in mind the “soft edged” lighting of BR bulbs versus the “hard edged” beam spread of PAR bulbs.
Make me some recommendations!
                At Conserv-A-Store, we have a selection of great long-life bulbs that reduce bulb changing costs and allow you to enjoy the highest quality lighting. Many of them have 20,000 hour ratings, preventing you from having to change the bulbs often, not to mention preventing you from having to buy them often! These incandescent flood bulbs can be found here.
                Conserv-A-Store has also recently gone under remodeling as far as our LED bulbs are concerned. We’ve added many AMERICAN MADE LED bulbs, all with tremendous hour ratings, bulb life, and all with a warm white light temperature—the closest you can get to incandescent lighting. There are several bulbs with 50,000 hour bulb ratings, and many are energy star listed. Think about it this way; there are 8760 hours in a year. If you run one of our LED bulbs 6 hours a day, that’s 2190 hours per year. Here in Orlando, we’re charged 11 cents for every kilowatt-hour. There are 1000 watts in every kilowatt-hour. We have an LED flood bulb that is a 15 watt bulb. 1000/15=66 hours you would need to reach 1 KwH of usage. 2130 hours in a year/66 hours per KwH = 32.27 KwH used in a year. 32.27 KwH x 11 cents per kilowatt-hour = $3.55 PER YEAR! That’s less than four dollars a year to run that bulb!
                For those of you that aren’t the analyticals, we apologize for the math. But that’s a cheap bulb to run! Our LED bulbs can be found at this link. While we’re talking about LEDs, here’s two charts showing some differences between LED PARs and BRs to help you decide what may be best for you.
BR30 LED Light Bulbs

PAR30 LED Light Bulbs
We hope we helped you in your search for the answers.
                Should you have any more questions about PAR vs BR lighting, or have a suggestion about another topic we should cover in our blog series, please drop us a line. You can contact us at any time.
Thanks for reading! Here’s to going green!
Visit our Conserv-A-Store Long Life and Long Lasting Incandescent and LED Light Bulbs page were you can find and buy the long lasting bulbs we have available.

The Conserv-A-Store Sustain U series is our attempt to teach you a bit about how going Green can be a regular part of life and usually will not cost you more, especially when return on investment is considered. We welcome any suggestions on a Sustain U topic you would like us to investigate and blog about.

As a Thank you to our readers, visit our Long Life and Long Lasting Incandescent and LED Light Bulbs page, and get 5off for reading our blog. Coupon code BLOG1121

Conservastore is your Green Products Superstore found here at give us a look; we think you'll be glad you did.

Nov 11, 2014

Top 12 Ways To Save Oil And Gas Use -Updated-

**This blogpost was first published back on 2007,  we have added new information to reflect some changes**


Here are Conserv-A-Store's 12 ways to better use your oil and gas allotment yearly:

1. Keep your car(s) serviced ie correct amount of air in tires, oil
change, coolant change, spark plug/fuel injector checks, exhaust checks
often--at least quarterly.

2. Read the vehicle owner's manual regards the "Essentials of Good Fuel
Economy". This will offer tips on how to drive to come closest to the
projected mpg the auto manufacturer estimates. Have you thought about computing gallons per mile instead of mpg. Try it for a while.

3. If you have 2 vehicles and need a large vehicle to transport kids or
items for your business, why not get a smaller 4 cylinder vehicle for
your trips requiring less vehicle space as your 2nd car.

4. Consider walking or biking if your trip is less than 2 miles and the
weather appears favorable for the trip. You will save gas and help your

5. For trips over 2 miles in towns where bus and train service are
ubiquitous, please take this alternate form of transport when you can.

6. Carpooling is certainly an option for those working in one locale
together for a large part of the day or parents taking kids to the same

7. Spread the word. Say you are a more conserving type of person but your
best friend or family member is not. You may just ask them if they have
ever thought of how their apparent over use of oil and gas products may be
ultimately reducing the amount of available product for us all.

8. Contact your legislative representatives, both local and national, on
occasion and let them know that laws favoring alternate means of transport
are what we all need.

9. Drive in the correct gear. Incorrect gear shifting can lead to as much
as 20% increase in fuel consumption. Also idling is a gas guzzler--many
times it is best to turn the car off if idling for more than a few
minutes. If not in the middle of winter, warming a car up is a waste of

10. Strongly consider a hybrid vehicle or an EV(electric vehicle) as a secondary(or primary) vehicle.
Go test drive a hybrid and see what you think. Practically every major car manufacturer now has a hybrid and the common EV's are the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Mitsubishi Miev, Toyota Prius EV, a Ford Focus and CMax EV, and of course the Tesla. EV car sharing is more ubiquitous these days. There is currently some tax relief for these EV's. Hybrids are also available in a big way in the pre-owned car market especially in the larger metro ares of the US so you may can find a nice pre-owned Hybrid for $10K;

11. Which is better? MPG or GPM--you decide right here-give this a click please

12. The market continues to change and as many of you in the larger US cities know Uber and it's competitors can provide a very economical short trip. Likewise Zip and Hertz and the like allow very short time rentals of less than 24 hrs. This can be viewed as a more prudent use of oil and gas and can really allow many to do without their owned licensed auto altogether.

Here's a chart of the most fuel efficient cars in 2014

Happy Early Summer '06 and updated in November '14,
General Manager

Thanks to the many of you who have found this blogpost helpful-it's one of our most read posts
We decided to update it a bit to consider the events that have happened since 2006. Of course the largest change is the very high cost of petrol. Now more than ever it is smart to baby your vehicle to get the highest mpg, drive the lowest gas guzzler you can find, and buy a hybrid or EV if you can afford. Of course walking, biking, and public transport always makes sense. If you like the post, please comment.

Visit our New Conservastore  where you can find many Green Products and Solutions

Nov 8, 2014

Sustain U - Rubber vs Coco Tree Rings and Mulch Mats

In this edition of Sustain University or Sustain U, Conserv-A-Store's attempt to educate you on certain green products and methods,  we are reviewing the pros and cons of the recycled rubber mulch mat material and the coco mat mulch substitute material.

Here are pics of the two products we will discuss:

The rubber mulch tree ring is composed of reused tire treads. It is mixed with adhesive to stick together and painted. It should last at least 5 years but could last much longer depending on wear and care

For more information about tree rings and mulch mats visit our Tree Ring Mulch Mats Made of Recycled Goods Page 

Why Hands Free Faucets - Why the Tapmaster

The main reasons for hands free faucets are in order of importance:

1. Water saving- if your kitchen faucet is 2.5 gallons per minute at 60 psi water pressure and you use the kitchen faucet for 20 minutes per day that equals near 18k gallons per year on average.
Sadly the cost of water is not as high as it should be to penalize you for this water use so the cost to you is not really that much. But if you have a "green" bone in your body you do not want to waste that much water.

2. Hygiene- especially during cold season the spread of germs is rampant and continued touching of the faucet by different family members is a great place to spread germs. Hands free prevents this.

3.Convenience-The main idea behind hands free faucets in kitchens was not only to cut down on germs, but to cut down on clean up. An avid cook spends much time going back and forth from cook or prep area to the sink. Many times your hands are covered with flour, dough, spices, and yes, raw meat juice. Hands free makes it much more convenient to get the hands clean without having to get gunky stuff all over the faucet!(from Consumer Reports blog)

A unique and helpful hands free faucet perhaps not well known is the Tapmaster.

The Tapmaster is non-electric hand free device instead using the power of water to make it work.
It is an easy install for anyone with handyman/woman knowledge.

The install is easy:
Simply install a small pedal valve(provided) between floor and cabinet and then retrofit the stops for the faucet below your kitchen faucet with the hardware provided and you are in business.

The Tapmaster is available in two styles. The traditional Tapmaster comes in chrome, black and white.
The Euro Tapmaster is available in brushed nickel. The Euro version has a stylish look that many women enjoy.

 Visit our Tapmaster Central page where you can more information about the Tapmaster. 

Also chek out or New Conservastore