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Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Replacing Standard Incandescent Light Bulbs with LED Light Bulbs

by Barbara 14. April 2014 07:31

Question about when, where and how to replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs.

Question: "How do I know what bulbs to purchase for replacements? Are there any places that I should not use an LED light bulb? They are certainly more expensive now that stores are selling 60 watt incandescent bulbs, 6 bulbs for $2.00. Thanks. Tim."

Answer: First, as many bloggers have noted, you have to see these bulbs as investments. You won't save hundreds of dollars in a year or two on your electric bill unless you have a huge building that needs all its lights replaced. The savings comes over time and with convenience, the convenience of not having to replace light bulbs in rooms where lamps or ceiling fixtures are on for many hours per day or year. LED stands for "light emitting diodes."

Second, you must make sure that replacement bulbs are dimmable ones for lamps or fixtures that have that feature. And there are no "3 way" bulbs like 50/100/150 available as yet.

Third, there are no 60 watt, 75 watt, etc. bulbs. Every bulb is rated in lumens. Lumens are the amount of light that is produced when a bulb is powered on.

Here is a basic chart that should help:

Incandescent Bulb Wattage             Lumens           LED Bulb Watt Equivalent

25 watt                                          250                4-9 Watts

40 watt                                          450                9-13

60 watt                                          800                13-15

75 watt                                          1100              18-25

100 watt                                        1600              23-30

125 watt                                        2000              22-40

150 watt                                        2600              40-45

Warm white is the preferred color for most people in their homes.  2,700 and 3,500 Kelvin are what you are looking to purchase for home use.

So remember that lumens are what you are looking for, not wattage.

Here is an A19 LED 60 watt equivalent bulb that Safe Home now sells. Equvalent to a 40-60 watt incandescent bulb yet uses only 8 watts of electricity. Epistar LED chip. Warm white color. Short neck. Not dimmable. 3000K. 180 degree beam angle.

As Safe Home continues to add LED bulbs, I'll be adding them to this blog.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

Reflector Style LED Lights for Gradual Replacement of Ceiling Reflector Light Bulbs Reduce Costs for Businesses and Homeowners

by Barbara 10. March 2014 09:58

Question about the Dimmable BR30 16 Watt LED Short Neck Light Bulbs to replace reflector type ceiling bulbs.

Question: "These light bulbs look a lot like the incandescent lights in our family room ceiling. Changing them is a real pain: requires a very tall ladder. We do like to dim the lights when we watching TV. Is it possible to mix these? The cost is a lot more. We don't like fluorescent bulbs: takes too long to come on and cannot be dimmed. How long should these bulbs last? What could our power savings be?" Thanks. Devin.

Answer: These dimmable LED short neck bulbs resemble the reflector type spot light bulbs. The warm white glow is similar to an incandescent bulb. Each bulb gives essentially the maximum light of a 100 watt bulb when not dimmed yet uses only 16 watts of power. Figure on about 3 years or 50,000 hours of use per bulb. The light is instant on, not like a CFL type bulb. BR30 light bulbs have an expanded reflector: the results are  narrow soft-edged rays and fewer shadows. Use these LED light bulbs for spot lights, flood lights and indoor lighting. 180 degree beam. This is a UL listed light bulb.

LEDs, or light–emitting diodes, are semiconductor devices that produce visible light when an electrical current is passed through them. LEDs are a type of Solid State Lighting (SSL), as are organic light–emitting diodes (OLEDs) and light–emitting polymers (LEPs).

Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive except for the 65 to 100 watts of energy used. (And 100 watt bulbs are hard to find these days.)Here in Iowa the cost per KWH (killawatt hour) is about 7.2 cents, the 12th less expensive in the USA. In the north east the cost can be as high as 18 cents per KWH. The price of LED lights is going down. My son recently began replacing burnt out reflector type bulbs in his ceilings with LED's to lower his power costs over time and to avoid dealing with ladders in rooms with vaulted ceilings. He figured this was less expensive than installing motion sensors to turn off lights in rooms where there was no movement. (His children support the Linn County REC by forgetting to turn off lights when they leave rooms).

We also sell replacement bulbs that look just like incandescent lights in the shape. These LED bulbs use only 8 watts but give the light of a 40-60 watt incandescent bulb. LED Bulb A19 8W, 40-60 Watt Equiv., Warm White, Short Neck. Again figure on 50,000 hours or 3 years continuous use.

Another option to the reflector lights is the COB PAR30 Dimmable LED Bulb, Warm White, 16 W, Short Neck. This has a narrow beam of 60 degrees. Also an Energy Star bulb. COB stands for "Chip on Board." Again UL Listed and Dimmable.

We hope this helps with your decision!
Sincerely,Barbara

Product Review of Child Safe and Energy Saving Outlet Covers

by mskinner 9. October 2009 11:02

Barbara reviews energy saving electrical outlet covers that reduce air leaks.  Reduce energy bills or use as baby safety products: lower heating and cooling costs.  Increase safety for baby and children by this child proofing product for homes, medical offices, day care centers, etc. Use an electrical plug to push open a sliding door and insert plug. Safety outlet covers are available for ungrounded outlets, standard oval 3 prong outlets and Decora 2 screw 3 prong outlets. White, brown, ivory, red. One tool needed: a standard screw driver.

 

 

Reduce Home Air Leaks, Save Money with Sliding Door Outlet Covers.

by Barbara 1. November 2008 15:39

Question about the electrical outlet covers and sliding door outlet covers such as CoverPlug Duplex Outlet Cover for Electric Outlets, the Plug Guard Energy Saving Safety Outlet Cover, the IVORY STD 3-Prg 1 Screw Outlet Cover,6/PK, the Kiddy Cop Outlet Covers, Leviton 12777, 12/Box, or the Sockit Lockets.

Q: "What kind of energy savings am I likely to have if I replace my standard outlet covers with the ones that slide open and closed? Is it enough to insert those round plugs? Or should I put complete covers such as the CoverPlug onto outlets I am not using? I've noticed cold air coming in through the unused outlets in cold weather."--Jerry

Answer: Reducing air leakage would immediately improve your comfort. To get a dollars and cents number, you'd need to figure in costs of natural or propane gas, oil, etc. Get a professional energy audit: you may need more than outlet covers for significant savings. CareCovers will reduce leakage, though, as I personally learned.

The best and easiest way to childproof and reduce air leaks are to install the sliding door outlet covers, the Plug Guard Energy Saving Safety Outlet Cover, the CareCover probably in warm white or similar sliding door units. The PlugGuard outlet covers fit only standard three prong outlets and come only in white. The CareCover come in cream, brown, white, ivory and sometimes red depending upon if the duplex unit is a Decora or standard outlet. Carecovers also come in non-grounded two prong covers. These units insulate not only the plug holes but the outlet itself as each unit has a foam strip around the exterior to keep air leaks around the exterior of the cover, too.

The CoverPlugs fit over existing unused outlets. They can be painted or wallpapered. When you need the outlet, just pull out the cover as the original outlet is there.

The advantages of the Levitron units is that they are UL listed.  The PlugGuard doors move up and down while the other sliding door covers move from side to side. A less expensive option that is more difficult for kids to remove are the Sockit Lockets. CareCovers were tested using the Minnesota Blower Door Test that showed a 15% decrease in air leakage with Carecovers. Family Handyman magazine in 2008 recommended CoverPlugs.

I quickly installed CareCovers on all my exterior wall outlets several years ago when I felt cold air coming through outlet holes one January day. (My house was built in 1990 with insulation updated in 1994). There was an immediate increase in comfort without raising the thermostat.

All these units will save on energy just by blocking unused outlet holes. If you use the round plug inserts, remember to install foam gaskets behind each outlet cover.

If you have other questions, please contact us.

Sincerely, Barbara

What Size Pond Deicer for A Backyard Fish Pond?

by Barbara 19. October 2008 16:58

Question about pond deicers for a fish pond.

Q: "What kind of pond deicer is best for a fish pond located in Illinois? I don't understand why I need to heat the pond as long as there is a hole in the ice." Thanks. Roger.

Answer: For under $75, you can forget about checking your fish pond daily in cold weather to keep that hole open in the ice. The pond deicers we sell are thermostatically controlled. The electricity costs are nominal compared to the cost of replacing fish due to gasses trapped under the ice. I recommend that you choose a pond deicer according to the size of your fish pond and the depth of the water. We sell deicers from 500 watts for 50 gallon backyard ponds to 1500 watts. For example, the Allied Precision 1500 watt floating pond heater is quite popular as is the Farm Innovators Heated Pond Saucer for small ponds.

Pond deicers float or sink to the pond bottom. The heat generated keeps a hole open in the ice and lets gasses escape from the pond during freezing weather. If you have Koi in your pond and the population has been constant for years, the fish are unlikely to become victim to Koi herpes virus. If you introduce new fish, remember that this disease can remain latent for long periods of time. The virus becomes active only at temperatures between 15C and 28C. No treatment is available. Mortality in Koi is between 50 per cent and 95 per cent. Pond heaters, that maintain specific temperatures in ponds, should be custom designed by pond experts.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

Tags:

pet products | energy conservation

How Big a Solar Panel Will This Mount Hold?

by Barbara 3. August 2008 16:22

Question about the Go Power Universal Solar Panel Tilt Mount Kit:Item Code ARM-UNI

Q: "Will this hold a 200 watt solar panel or what size of panel does it hold?"

Answer: The solar panels we typically sell for this Tilt Mount Kit range from 5 watts to the more popular 10 watt and 20 watt panels. For those who plan on extended stays in wilderness areas and want the convenience of electricity without a noisy generator, we also sell solar panels up to the 110 watt solar panel that comes with a digital voltage regulator.

We contacted our Go Power distributor for the answer to using this with such a large solar panel. Here is his response"

" The tilt mount kit will hold a panel that large. However, remember that if the wind catches that panel, the panel will pull the mount off whatever it is attached to. This kit is designed to fold flat against an RV, boat, motor home, trailer, etc."

Specifications on this Tilt Mount Kit are as follows:

  • Lightweight: 0.7 kg / 1.55 lbs
  • Easy and quick to install
  • Ideal for boats, trucks, motor homes and trailers
  • Adjusts from 0-75 degrees
  • Tilting can increase performance up to 70%
  • Adjustable without tools
  • Dimensions 15.5 inches x 2 inches x 1 inch.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,
Barbara

Does a 115V AC Cozy Legs use a standard USA outlet?

by Barbara 30. January 2008 11:05

Q: "My Cozy Legs radiant heater's instructions state to plug into a 115 VAC outlet. Is that a standard American household outlet?" ..Kay.

Answer: Yes, that is a standard USA outlet. Your question sent me to investigating alternating current and its voltages. (Somehow I don't recall learning this in high school physics. Or maybe I forgot?)

For residential alternating current (AC), the voltages 110V AC, 115V AC, 117V AC, 120V AC, and 125V AC are all functionally the same. Electric companies have slowly increased the line voltage over the last 100 years to cope with increased loads. The tolerance is generally +/-10%. That's +/- 11.5 volts in this case. So, a 115VAC appliance will run between 103.5 and 126.5VAC. Interestingly enough, AC power in Mexico is about 127 VAC with occasional power surges causing appliances to blow fuses.

For years, Safe Home Products has sold Kill a Watt meters and Watts Up meters that give you electrical information such as power quality of an AC outlet and what voltage, watts or amps an appliance draws, etc.
Thanks again for your interesting question.

Sincerely,
Barbara

Sliding Door Child Safety Outlet Covers in 2 Prong, 3 Prong and 3 Prong Decora Styles

by Barbara 9. July 2007 07:28

Q:"Do you sell any non-grounded Decora style sliding door outlet covers? I believe that is the name of the older style electrical outlets. Thanks. Dave."

Answer: No, we only sell 2 prong sliding door outlet covers in the standard, ungrounded style style. They are available in white, brown and almond. The two prong have two prongs one longer than the other.

Comment from Customer: "A grounded outlet has three prongs, two "knife" blade ones of two lengths and a rounded grouping prong. So do you have ungrounded or not?"

Answer: The only ungrounded outlet covers we sell are the ones that work only on standard outlets with two oval outlets with two plug slots. The Decora style have the two plug outlets in a rectangular shape and have the grounding hole as well.

Comment: Safe Home now sells three brands of sliding door outlet covers, CareCovers made in the USA, Safety Innovations, Made in China and Plug Guard, Made in China. None of the child safety covers are made other than in a duplex cover, i.e. for two outlets in a single electrical box. Each outlet is covered by a spring loaded sliding door that remains closed until an electrical device is plugged in. Each CareCoverr also has a foam strip around the outside. Note: The Safety Innovations outlet covers in Decora do not have the foam strip as there were customer complaints that getting the two screws through the foam could be difficult. Both the doors and the foam keep air from leaking in or out around the outlet, saving energy as well as fingers from shocks. Color choices: white, off-white (cream), ivory (almond), brown and red in the standard 3 prong. Decora and 2 prong are available in white, ivory and brown.

The Plug Guard units come only in white. The sliding doors move up and down to expose the outlets.

To use an outlet, simply take a blade of the appliance plug, pull the door to the side and push in the plug.

If you have other questions, please contact us.

Sincerely, Barbara

Using Super Footwarmer Mat in a Bathroom

by Barbara 19. March 2002 08:50
Q: "Hi, Can I use this mat (ES-CZP-FWB Cozy Super Footwarmer Floor Mat) in a bathroom? Thanks, --Ron"
Answer: Good question. No one has asked this one before. This is a sealed unit. Heavy rubber, fully sealed and waterproof. Is this going to warm feet while seated on the throne at night? Or in front of the mirror while you shave? Just curious. If you have ground fault interrupters in your bathroom and the unit is unlikely to fall into the tub, shower, or stool, it should be safe. Wet feet shouldn't be an issue since it is rubber and sealed. These are used in warehouses and for drying out boots.I'll shoot this one to the manufacturer and see what their response is. Okay?Barbara
3/19/2004 Answer: The official word is yes, that it can be used in a bathroom. I am not sure how much heat would be generated through a bath rug. Some have rubberized backs. This unit come with a two prong plug. I am not enough of an electrician to know if you could replace the plug with a grounded one. It does take this unit about 25 minutes to reach 125 degrees. I guess it depends how long your shower lasts! Sincerely, Barbara

Tags:

home safety | cozy personal heaters | energy conservation