Say good-bye to T12 lamps!!!

Many businesses and homes have linear fluorescent lights which provide good lighting, but many changes have been happening that affect everyone.  As of July 14, 2012 no T12 lamps can be manufactured as mandated by the federal government.  But some people don't know what that means or how to tell if they have that kind of light.  Let us try to help.


This image is meant to illustrate the ends of the a few of the most common lamp types.  Many older homes or offices were all built using T12 fixtures.  If you want to identify what lamps you have the easiest thing to do is to measure the diameter of the end of one of the lamps.  As you can see above the T12 lamps has a diameter of 1.5 inches.  This is easily explained by the manufacturing standard of these lamps.  The "T" stands for tubular, which describes the shape of the lamp.  Next the "12", in this example, indicates how many eighth inches the diameter of the lamps is.  12 divided by 8 equals 1.5 inches.  T8 is easy to figure at 1 inch diameter.  T5 is 5/8 inches or .625 inches in diameter.

Please keep in mind that if you are measuring your lamps and this is not making sense we can help!  There are even more sizes of lamps that are much less common, such as a T10!

Next comes the question of what to do when you find out what kind of lamps you have.  First, many people have T12 lamps, and when they need new lamps they go a store and get a few lamps.  This is an excellent idea for those who want to do there own maintenance, but be aware that soon you will not be able to buy the right lamps.  T8 lamps may work in a T12 fixture, but it is not intended to do so and we do not recommend it.  

So when the time comes that you need your home or office changed over to a newer more efficient lighting system, please call us and let us explain some of your options.  There are many factors to consider, such as what color of lamps you need, and if you need T8 or T5 lamps.  LED's are quickly coming down in price and have become a viable option.  However, there are good places to use LED's or T5's, but there are also bad places.  Be careful on what someone sells you!

Many utility companies are offering rebates to help cover the installation costs for changing to more efficient lighting, but again this is changing fast.  Some utilities are ending their rebates at the end of 2012, and other utilities are continuing through 2013 with changes to some of their programs.  So with the federal mandate for the end of the T12, and the utility companies possibly ending rebates, now might be the time to act!  Call us today for all the information.

We would be glad to show you some options, and we can do a computer generated design to show you how almost any fixture will light your facility.  We provide each customer with a complete evaluation of lighting needs, power consumption, and return on investment (ROI).  Let us help you take advantage of everything available to you, from rebates to daylight harvesting to occupancy sensors.

Bucket Truck

Among the many services that Town and Country provides, many people may not know that we also have a bucket truck that expands our abilities.  We frequently use our bucket truck for parking lot lighting and power poles, but there are many uses.  We currently have two experienced drivers with CDL's.  From setting pumps to changing lights or standing arches, call us today to discuss your project.


Thermography, electricians...and RACE CARS!

Here at Town and Country we are always looking for ways to expand our thinking.  Our thermographer recently spent time at Meridian Speedway using our thermal camera to inspect race cars and tires.

Some of the components that a thermal camera can check include:

  • Check radiators for blockage
  • Tire inflation
  • Exhaust temperatures
  • Easily identify fluid leaks
  • Brake components temperatures

Tire heating patterns drastically change traction and tire life.  A thermal image can also easily indicate if a tire is properly inflated or not.  Our thermographer learned a ton of information about race cars and met lots of great racing teams.  Out of respect for the racing teams, we are not going to post pictures of the cars, but our thermographer did find improperly inflated tires here at our office that we fixed.

thermal tires

P.S. - Go get 'em CHET! #81

Networking and Communications

Along with the other services that Town and Country offers, we continue to update our skills as the environment changes.  Our data cabling has evolved to follow the rapidly changing technology industry.  We can supply and install the latest and greatest that technology can offer.  Everything from fiber optics to wireless technologies in your home or office.  For industrial applications, we can even install wireless, batteryless push buttons.  

We will help you design anything from your home media setup to complex motor control centers with video security.  Our CompTIA A+ and NET+ certified electrician can even program your PLC!  The options are almost endless with today's technology.  Ask us about outlets for your home or office that have USB ports built in for charging devices!


Eye health and lighting

Lighting is one of the most important factors in any environment, but it is often very misunderstood.  There are dozens of factors to consider when building a new facility or re-lighting an existing facility.  Some of these factors include:

  • the color temperature
  • the blue light effect
  • people with cataracts or other eye problems
  • the amount of light
  • the height of the light source
  • the direction of the light
  • energy consumption
  • color rendering index

These are just a few of the factors we consider when lighting any facility or home.  We can also build a layout of your home or office in a computer program and rapidly create several lighting scenarios to present multiple lighting designs based on light level, energy consumption, and fixture design.

If someone in your home or office complains of eye strain or late-afternoon headaches, it can often be caused by the lighitng in the area.  We can even help make your computer screen easier on your eyes!

For more information on lighting considerations or to talk about your lighting project, please contact us today!

And as always, we will work hard to provide a complete lighting package including: the best light, a fair price, and the largest Idaho Power rebate possible.

Certified Thermographer

Town & Country is pleased to announce, in order to continually provide better services, we now have a certified thermographer on staff.

Our thermographer is also a Flir Authorized Camera Technician for any T-series camera.

The uses for thermography are virtually endless, and we strive to provide efficient and effective use of our thermographer and camera.

Please visit our Thermal Imaging page to learn more.  Feel free to contact us and speak directly with our thermographer about applications and your project.  We may also be able to help you get an insurance break!

thermal logo