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"Green" Piano Lamps: California's Title 20 Update
By Sam Bennett
1/12/2010 7:17:00 PM  
Normally, an update like this doesn't merit commentary.  More of our piano lamps are now considered "Green" in California.  This is good for our customers and vendors alike.  We are pleased because it seems, for now, logic is gaining ground in legislation.  Three cheers!

Many House of Troy LED lamps were briefly listed as non-compliant with the new California Title 20.  Now, apparently, they are okay again.  At the root of this problem must have been failed communication between scientists and legislators or legislators and manufacturers.  We commend them for arriving at a solution.  Basic science tells us that LED lights are much more energy efficient than old technology and should be included in energy-saving mandates.  We don't know how the problem was solved.  We don't know if the lamps were re-tested, the restrictions were improved or if it was simply a clerical error.  And sometimes this is how things seem to work, for better or worse.

So the great Oz said, "LED is not good enough," but just 11 days later he commanded "Send LED piano lamps to earnest customers everywhere!"   

That only leaves first generation CFL lamps like House of Troy P10-191-61C on our restricted in California list.  Sorry Californians; it is a lovely style.  Back to the drawing board.


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"Green" Piano Lamps: How California's Title 20 will affect us.
By Sam Bennett
12/29/2009 4:50:00 PM  
This is a difficult topic for me to report on because I am not fully informed about all new aspects of California's Title 20, but this policy is created as a "Green Law" so my first reaction is to support it.  I have to plan for some changes in an effort to help my customers be more energy efficient in their choices.  What for now seems like California news may soon be national policy anyway.  In the short term, we will only be able to ship certain models of piano lamps to California, but our vendors have already started the process of compliance to include more styles. 

Unfortunately, the models most affected by this policy are actually the more energy efficient choices that do not meet the definitions within Title 20.  The target of the law is incandescent bulbs that can be replaced by more energy efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs).  The initial cost of these bulbs is much higher, but they have shown both a return on investment in long-term energy savings and overall price reductions as consumer demand for the new bulbs increases production efficiencies.  Our best selling piano lamps from House of Troy currently use CFLs, and are very energy efficient, but they pre-date the definitions used in Title 20.  The LED piano lamps, our most efficient models are also excluded for now.  When they find compliant lights, we'll opt for those.

We can make most of the lamps that previously used incandescent bulbs compliant right away simply by switching to approved CFLs.  I will make this a preferred option on our site, but it is more expensive.  Consider yourself warned.  For other piano lamps, I'll have to determine which ones comply and perhaps include a California disclaimer until our vendors catch up.  I've already switched most of the bulbs in my home to CFLs which I think is a good and simple act.  I also like the Energy Star washing machine commercial...or from their site, "Over the life of your new washer, you’ll save enough money to pay for the matching dryer."  The same savings can come from lighting choices.

From House of Troy:

On January 1, 2010 California Title 20 requirements for portable lighting will go into effect.  It is part of a state mandate issued by the California Energy Commission to reduce average state-wide energy consumption not less than 50% from 2007 levels for indoor residential lighting.  This is, in effect, the demise of the incandescent bulb in favor of more energy efficient light sources.  “Title 20 is the law,” says Dick Upton, president of the American Lighting Association.  “The best thing people can do is to look at the issue and see how they can use it to their advantage.”  ALA worked closely with the California Energy Commission staff to develop five compliant energy efficient light source options for all portable lamps.

At House of Troy we have begun to modify our products to meet CEC requirements. We will add the Energy Star rated CFL bulbs wherever possible.  There are many LED products currently on the market that would seem to be excellent and efficient options, however the current LED requirements of Title 20 are so stringent that they do not qualify.

A federal energy bill that recently passed the U.S. House and will go under Senate consideration this month will likely imitate Title 20, in making these requirements national. Clark Linstone of Pacific Coast Lighting in California, says the state’s role in the issue of energy efficient lighting “presents a real challenge to local retailers and manufacturers. A federal bill would help level the playing field.”


On a personal note, I welcome the change though I would prefer it originate from consumers and businesses, not government mandates.  We'll do our part to educate our customers and support Green choices.

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Holiday Gift Idea For Pianists: House of Troy Piano Lamps
By Sam Bennett
11/22/2009 12:37:00 PM  
With this year's holiday season fast approaching, we are all mindful of our budget.  Even fiscal conservatives wish to make generous gifts to loved ones, but thoughtful gifts are at a premium over lavish ones.  When considering the pianist in your life, buy them a light for their piano and they will always remember you.  Piano lamps give necessary reading light for sheet music just like a favorite book, and House of Troy builds the best.

Not only is a piano light a helpful gift, it is a long-lasting gift.  Not many gifts will be seen and used so often.  Your gift will become part of their experience every time they sit down to play their favorite music.  Music may change, but it never goes out of style.

Truthfully, not enough people consider light for their music in the same way they light their favorite reading spot.  Whether you read the paper at the breakfast table (where you probably have bright overhead lighting) or a cozy book nook you will make sure you have the light you need to avoid eyestrain.  Reading music is the same, and for a piano, lighting is all about getting the proper reach.  As simple as a lamp is, the right light can make all the difference.

House of Troy makes many kinds of lamps and lights including specialty lighting.  They are an industry leader for proper lighting of artwork, quality desk lamps and of course, piano lamps.  Their upright piano lamps come in a variety of styles not only for the right look, but also for the right style of piano, even digital pianos!

Grand and baby grand pianos provide a different problem of reach.  House of Troy offers both Clip-On lamps which attach directly to the music desk and Balance Arm lamps which set neatly on the the music desk's side. 
  
They also make long arm piano floor lamps that work for both piano types.

Contact us about fulfilling this year's list with the right piano lamp.

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