I picked up a couple of the new Philips 10.5-watt 800-lumen LED bulbs this weekend. All around, they’re the best sub-$20 LED bulb I’ve seen yet.
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I learned something incredibly useful this week: For every 3 watts of energy consumption you save, you save an additional watt of power in cooling costs during the cooling season.
I bought my first CFL bulb a little over 9 years ago. I knew this was helping my AC costs too, but now I know how much.
Read More »How to calculate savings from reduced cooling costs when considering energy-saving improvements
Micro Center had the Inland warm white A19 LED bulbs on sale this week and had a hard time keeping them in stock. I snagged an 800 lumen (60W equivalent), non-dimmable bulb, which uses 10 watts, for $13. It’s not the state of the art in 10W LED bulbs, but the price is right and it has a 3-year warranty.Read More »A preliminary review of the Inland warm white A19 LED bulb
PC Magazine asks when it’s worth upgrading to the new Philips L Prize-winning LED bulb, lamenting its high price and long payback time. I can only say what I plan to do, based on my experience with high-efficiency bulbs. I was one of those guys paying $9 for CFL bulbs nearly a decade ago.Read More »When to upgrade to new LED bulbs
Bill Gates says the rapid advance of computers created unreasonable expectations for the advancement of energy technology. The argument makes sense. And while desktop computers did advance very quickly, I think people have a misconception of even how quickly computers developed–which makes it worse, of course. Some people seem to believe the computer was invented by IBM and Microsoft in 1981. Far be it from Gates to lead people to believe otherwise, but the direct ancestors of modern desktop computing date to the early 1970s, and the groundwork for even that dates to the 1940s, at the very latest.
Read More »How computer and energy technology don’t relate
I see the ‘net is overrun today with complaints about Apple switching to oddball Pentalobular screws (sometimes called “pentagram” screws–is that an accident, or people being snarky?) and the occasional person claiming to know where to get a Pentalobular driver for a few dollars, but few people actually being, you know, helpful.
So here’s where you can get one for $2.35, plus shipping. http://www.sw-box.com/Professional-Screw-Driver-Opening-Tool-For-Iphone-4.html
Read More »Apple and its controversial pentalobular screws
As television technology improves, they become more energy efficient. Generally speaking, at least. The CRT TV ranging in size from 26-32 inches that was common in living rooms for most of my lifetime used around 130 watts. But some of the monster TVs people are buying these days use more power than the fridge.Read More »Buying a new TV that won’t kill your electric bill
Affordable is relative, of course. LED lights are a long way from costing less than CFLs, and of course, the old-fashioned incandescents are still cheaper. But the Ecosmart LED bulb that Home Depot is about to start selling for $20 costs half as much as competing offerings from GE and Philips.
They use 8-9 watts to provide equivalent light to a 40w incandescent, work in dimmers, are made in the USA, and have an estimated life expectancy of 17 years. So I think I could be persuaded to buy a couple.But speaking of CFLs, I’ve been buying them since at least 2003. They get a bit of a bad rap, but in my experience, not all CFLs are created equal. Some of the first CFLs that I installed 7-8 years ago are still working. I’ve had others only last a few months.
I can think of two possible reasons for this. I bought my first bulbs at Home Depot. Later, I switched to buying bulbs at Kmart. The bulbs I was buying at Kmart were considerably less reliable. A couple of years ago I switched to buying bulbs at Costco. Fed up with replacing CFLs, I started writing the date of purchase on the bulbs and saving my receipts at that point. But so far, none of my dated bulbs have burned out.
So I think changing brands can make a difference. If a bulb burns out before its time, buy a different brand next time. And write the installation date on your bulbs so you can be certain the bulb really did burn out before its time. Given the number of fixtures in most homes, it can be difficult to remember exactly when it was you changed a bulb.
The other thing to check is the fixture itself. The base of the bulb contacts a copper tab inside the fixture. Over time, this tab can get mashed down, causing poor contact, which causes arcing and damages the base of the bulb, leading to decreased bulb life. If you want to fix this, cut off power to the outlet from your breaker box or fuse box, remove the bulb, and bend the tab to about a 20-degree angle. Turn the power back on, turn on the light switch, then start twisting the bulb into the socket. Stop turning just as soon as the bulb lights.
CD-RW vs. Zip vs. Superdisk. Mail from India.
I am writing from New Delhi, India.
I read your comments on the site concerning ‘super floppies’. I would be very grateful if you could help me in this matter.
I have been thinking for some time about whether to buy a CDR drive or a ZIP drive. Recently my computer was hit by the CIH virus. Some of my data was lost.
I am a graphic designer as well. Consequently I need to transfer heavy files of an average of 10-15 MB to the printers or to show to my clients. I have been using file splitting softwares of late — but now I feel the need of alternative means of carrying the data for them.
Also some people say that CDRW cannot be read by some CD ROMs. I primarily need the drives for data back-up and transferring 10-15 MB files b/w printers, clients and my office.
Should I be buying an HP CDR or an Iomega 250 MB zip drive ?
I would be extremely helpful, if you could help me in my decision.
First off, I’m sorry to hear about CIH getting you. We really need to find other ways to amuse 15-year-olds.
You are correct that some CD-ROM drives won’t read CD-RW discs. It’s a sure bet that any drive more than about three years old (pre-1997) won’t. Drives made since 1997 are supposed to be able to read them, but that doesn’t always happen. But with CD-R discs selling for peanuts, at least in the United States, that’s not too much of a concern. I’m usually willing to spend 75 cents on a CD-R I only use once. (I try to think of it as wasting 75 cents, rather than wasting 600 megs when I use a CD-R to transport a 20-meg file. Somehow that seems less wasteful.)
I had a conversation at work about Zips vs. Superdisk vs. CD-R/CD-RW the other day. I have a Zip drive, and I use it exclusively for installing Windows on computers I can’t easily connect a CD-ROM drive to. That’s it. I don’t trust it with any data I value. I’ve just seen too many of them fail. I know graphic designers swear by Zips when they aren’t swearing at them, but I’ve seen too many disks and drives fail. The Superdisk looks good, and Imation is on more solid financial ground than Iomega so I’m much more confident that Imation will be around in 5 years than I am about Iomega, but the LS-120 superdisk is much less common, and its capacity is lower.
If I were in your position, I’d get a CD-RW drive (I like Yamaha and Plextor, though I’ve also used HP, Sony and Philips drives) along with a spindle of CD-Rs and CD-RWs. Once you have a good idea which of your clients can handle CD-RWs and which ones have to use CD-Rs, you’ll be in good shape.
From an archival standpoint, CD-Rs make me a lot less nervous than either Zip or LS-120, because they’re optical rather than magnetic. I have plenty of 15-year-old floppy disks still floating around, but I’m not very confident many of them are still readable. Longevity varies greatly depending on the quality of the media, but you should be able to expect a couple of decades at least from quality CD-R (Kodak, Taiyo Yuden, and Mitsui discs are the safest; Kodak is the easiest of the three to find), plus they’re cheap, plus they can’t be damaged by viruses or user error. I periodically burn everything that matters to me to CD.
I hope this helps.