Sunday, October 23, 2011

Making Light Work

As nightfall starts earlier and earlier, we again notice how much we depend on light to live our normal lives.  Light changes what we can do and how easily we do it. 

Simply having brighter bulbs can make a life brighter.  Light fixtures have ratings for the maximum wattage bulbs they can handle.  The issue is heat.  A 60 watt bulb creates 60 watts of heat.  Too much heat can 'cook' the electrical insulation to where it gets brittle and causes a short circuit.

However, CFL (Compact FLuorescent or my description: Curly Fluorescent) bulbs give you more light with less wattage.  A "60-watt-equivalent" CFL bulb may only use 13 watts of electricity and therefore generate only 13 watts of heat.  You could put in a 75-watt equivalent CFL bulb, save energy, not overheat the fixture and still have more light. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Aftermath of the flood

Since the flood a month ago, there have been a lot of requests for generators and battery backup sump pumps.  The materials for these jobs have been hard to get since so many people are interested in them. 
One little-discussed aspect of choosing a generator is the maintenance issue.  One major brand has you check/set the valve clearance after 50 hours of use.  Another had hydraulic lifters that are self-adjusting.  This makes a difference in the life of the generator but I doubt shoppers are aware of it.