With discussion about the Administration wanting to push forward with moving from the current approximately 6% of electric vehicles to 66% in only nine years without letting the market make the decisions, the changes from incandescent lightbulbs come to mind.
Reason Magazine has published an article arguing that this push will actually slow the development of better battery technology because auto manufacturers will have to double down on the current technology to meet these goals. If given time from the market and people buying as the technology develops (as they have been doing) the technology will develop with better batteries that will be less expensive, smaller, and won’t use materials that are as scarce as the materials used in batteries today.
Waiting would also give the infrastructure time to be built up, charging stations time to be built, time to charge could conceivably be shortened to be comparable to fueling up an internal combustion engine vehicle, etc.
Back to lighting. Back in 2007, the US passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 which would essentially ban incandescent light bulbs by 2012. The replacements for these were Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CLF) which were more expensive but we were told that they would also last longer so that the upfront higher cost would be borne out by the longer life. Personally, I never really found that much of a longer life.
Disposal of an incandescent light bulb was easy. You put it in the trash. It was simply made. Glass and metal. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs were not so easy. They contained mercury. You weren’t supposed to just toss them in the trash. Actually, CFLs are now due to be phased out by 2025 from a DOE regulation to be put in place at any time now.
Light Emitting Diode lights are now de rigueur. They can be in any color, cold or warm, dimmable from 0 to 100%, and all this in the same light. They come in “smart” and “non-smart” versions, the non-smart versions tending to be less versatile – but they may still come with a remote control for variety.
I have several types of LED lights in my home. I have some of the “dumb” ones that are in ceiling lights. I have some in lamps that are plugged into “smart” plugs. I have some in my outdoor light fixtures. I have some “smart” bulbs in lamps. And I have some LED fixtures. These, I’m not so sure about.
In the kitchen, we had a nice fixture that I really liked. It was somewhat off-center so I think that they may have replaced a fluorescent fixture there at one point. There is still a fluorescent fixture above the sink and two smaller fixtures under the cabinets. We had those converted to LED after we moved in.
Recently that fixture in the kitchen started to flicker so we thought we just needed to change a bulb. No. When we opened up the fixture we found that it had built-in LED strips instead of bulbs. It was an integrated LED fixture. This was somewhat surprising because the fixture itself was thick glass and heavy metal. It was definitely deep enough to hold bulbs. But, because of the LED integration, the entire fixture must be replaced when the “bulbs” go out.
Because of the quality of the actual fixture (metal and glass), this must have cost the previous homeowners a pretty penny. I don’t know when they purchased it, but we’ve been here for four years now and
These integrated LED fixtures have only been around for a few years though starting with track-, can-, and office fluorescent-type replacements around 2014. Since then they’ve expanded into home ceiling and wall fixtures and outdoor fixtures for doors, garages, porches, patios, posts, etc.
The problem with these integrated fixtures is that the entire fixture needs to be replaced when the light doesn’t work anymore. It’s not a simple matter of changing a bulb (or two). The integrated LED lights are supposed to last 50,000 hours. We’ve lived in the house for four years and we turn that overhead in the kitchen off when we’re not in the room. Frankly, I don’t turn it on if I don’t need it. It was probably under five years old when we bought the house, and I’d say it may have been around eighteen months old or so. The house had been on the market for at least that amount of time. I think the previous owners may have had a fluorescent in the kitchen and the realtor suggested they replace it.
The light the previous owners installed wasn’t very bright either. When we replaced it one of the things we looked at was the lumens as well as the warmness and coolness of the light. The one we finally chose even has a remote to be able to change the settings as we wish. It’s also flatter and closer to the ceiling. I’ll be redoing my kitchen in the next few years and with it, the whole lighting scheme, so this will do for now.
Our laundry room had a big fluorescent fixture in it with a smaller regular fixture with a light bulb by the garage door. We bought two LED fixtures in two sizes that matched. The bigger one replaced the fluorescent fixture and the smaller one replaced the other fixture. The bigger one is not centered because the fluorescent fixture’s electric box was to one side of the fixture, not centered. This will be fine. These fixtures are plastic and cheap and in a utility area.
Our fourth bedroom was converted to a closet by the previous homeowners. They had also replaced the overhead light in this room with a fluorescent fixture. We replaced this too with a regular overhead fixture.
Since the integrated LED fixtures have to be replaced when they go out you have to buy a replacement. If you can’t find a match you’re out of luck. We couldn’t find a match to the kitchen fixture (I loved the look of the fixture but not the amount of light it gave – which could have been adjusted with new light bulbs!) So we ended up with a new fixture, flatter and closer to the ceiling with adjustable lighting.
On the other hand, I have three matching post fixtures in the front and six matching post fixtures in the back along with 10 matching carriage lamps by the doors and one hanging lamp by the front door. Most of the carriage lamps still have incandescent candelabra bulbs in them. The ones by the garage door have been replaced with LED bulbs. The post fixtures and the hanging fixture bulbs were replaced with LED round bulbs by us. The fixtures require that you take all the glass out to replace the bulbs and some are awkwardly placed. If I were to replace these with coordinating integrated LED fixtures I might not have to change bulbs but if any one of the fixtures failed and I couldn’t find a matching replacement…
One could have this issue with interior fixtures as well. Matching sconces that would need complete replacement – not just one – because the product was discontinued or is otherwise no longer available.
Companies do this to us enough already. Discontinue the products we love. Suddenly we can’t find the candy we like, the flavor of something we like, the color of lipstick, the jeans that fit us so well, the scent of air freshener that didn’t make us sick…
A fix for the integrated LED fixtures could be a snap-in replacement LED unit. Of course, that would require some coordination among manufacturers for sizes, connectors, and types of “bulbs” – simple lights, programmable, smart, remote control, etc.
Sometime after Christmas of 2020, we moved a small flat-screen TV we had into the living room and put it on the mantle so my husband could have the news on while he was working. He’d moved his office there in March when my son and daughter-in-law moved from Illinois to be with us here in Tennessee.
After Thanksgiving of 2021, we had a decision to make: Mount the small TV so there would be room for our Christmas decorations or buy a better TV to mount and move the small one to the basement gym which was a plan for the small one before the kids moved in and we put it on the mantle. We just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
I did some looking around online to see which TV might work best and found out that Samsung was having a sale on the Frame TVs at the time. We’d looked at them at Best Buy a few years ago just to see what they looked like and we were impressed by their slimness and that you could put up art or photos and not have a big black rectangle on the wall if you weren’t watching television.
So we ordered a 43-inch Samsung Frame TV. All the Frames come with mounting brackets and they mount flush to the wall, just like a picture frame. Ours also came with feet so we could, if we wanted, set it on a TV stand or other piece of furniture. You can also buy an easel to put the Frame on.
Mounting was really easy. There’s a template, tape it to the wall, make sure it’s level, drill through and then mount the brackets per the instructions. Plug the “invisible” cord into the back of the TV and hang it on the wall. The other end of the “invisible” cord plugs into the box that runs everything and can be 15 feet away from the TV. This is plugged into the power outlet and your cable, DVD/BluRay/Game System/Sound System are all plugged into this box.
We are really pleased with our Frame purchase. It looks elegant above the fireplace when not in use (and even when in use). We have a rotating set of artwork appearing on the screen.
Near the center, you can see the “invisible” cord. It’s pretty transparent and really does disappear into the background. The cord can also come out from either side of the Frame if wanted. The little bump on the bottom right contains the motion sensor which will turn the screen back on if someone comes into the room.
You can see here just how close to the wall the Frame hangs.
This is the box that controls everything. Our little cable box is just beyond it. You can just see the “invisible cord coming from behind Santa’s chair and swagging over to the brown cabinet.
If you’re looking for a TV that doesn’t look like a TV when it’s not in use I’d highly recommend the Samsung Frame TV.
From Real Simple
I recently bought some new blinds from Ikea that I just adore, but boy-oh-boy the old Venetian blinds were pretty gross with dust. And behind them in the window frame? Even worse!
I’ve been in my house for nineteen years now, but I remember when I had first moved in and my heating had gone out. I hadn’t really noticed it at first, the blower came on and the with the use of the stove and open blinds during the day the house had been retaining some heat. I just put on sweaters and put them on my kids and we used blankets. My dad came over and noticed how cool it seemed in the house and we checked the thermostat. It said we were down to about 55ºF.
This is when we want an excellent heating and cooling company that can come out on an emergency basis to get us back to where we needed to be. That gradual decrease in temperature, because it was so unnoticeable, was scary. The kids were small and didn’t tell me they were cold; probably didn’t even know to tell me they were cold. They were in those comfy, warm blanket sleepers at their ages. We were out during the weekdays; me at work and the kids at daycare and school. Weekends we were mostly at home. I’m so glad Dad came by and we were able to get professionals in right away to fix the furnace and get our heat back on.
Professional services getting the heat back on, especially when it’s so bitter cold outside is so important. Tune-ups of your HVAC system are a great thing as well. So is a check of your built-in humidifier (or installation if you don’t have one.) Getting that duct work cleaned out isn’t a bad idea either, especially if you have pets, small kids with small toys, or have been doing any work on your house.
We asked some friends for recommendations and did some research. We decided on the Shark NV753.
I just have to say “WOW.” After a quick and easy to assemble. I turned it on and it took off like it wanted to vacuum all by itself. The LED lights work very well and are a pleasant addition. The Dyson had no lights. The wand also has a light so you can see into those corners. I think the dust bin might be a tad bit smaller than the Dyson’s, but I’ll just empty it a bit more frequently. No problems there. It’s very easy to see when it’s getting full and very easy to empty. It picked up litter and dust in the laundry room like a champ. It picked up a lot of dust out of the rug in the Laundry room. So much so that I’ve already rinsed the filters and the bin. Very easy to do both. Now they just have to dry.
The TruePet ™ motorized brush also works very well, picking up the “ground in” pet fur quickly and easily. The crevice tool, called a Dusting Genie by Shark, has a brush that can be pushed to the operating end and used to loosen stubborn dust and cobwebs.
I bought this for my own use and was not compensated for it in any way. I am looking forward to using it more!
I am giving my kitchen a face lift, painting the Shaker style cabinets and putting some bead board panels in the insets in the cupboard doors. I’ve painted the lowers already, but the uppers have a coating of that greasy, dusty, stick gunk from cooking (and there’s probably a bit of that nicotine stick from smoking even though it’s been six years (Yay!) since I quit.
What’s the best way to get that gunk off the cabinets so the paint will adhere better?
UPDATE: We have an answer!
The bedding smells fresh and the room smells fresh. Even with the windows open and fans on, the scent is lasting. The “fresh” scent is indeed fresh and it’s also got a slightly sweet hint of apple which is quite pleasant.
I’d like to see what the “lush” scent smells like. If it has some lavender in it, it might be good for my children’s bedding. Even if I don’t end up liking the “lush” scent, I do like the “fresh” scent and will probably buy a bottle.