Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

Set Phasors on Stun! Scottie, Warp Power Up to Full Capacity!

September 20, 2013

phasor

It was reported recently  that some bright folks have figured out that if you watch the current of the power grid with phasor measurement units (picture colorful layers of EKG displays),it will reveal potential disruptions in the power supply nationwide and help us catch a problem before it gets too big, like it did in the summer of 2003 when 50 million people lost power.

Knowing when trouble is coming is great but if we tax the grid with cooling and lighting, watching re runs of Star Trek, and running blenders for margaritas’ in the summer, what do we do about it?

Either generate more power (Que Scottish accent shouting “I dannae is she can’t take any more captain!”) or we change our behavior (put the blender away)  We may have escaped this summer unscathed, but reducing our electircal load year round is a great idea.

Here’s one more option:  Energy efficient appliances, lighting and homes!  When you replace appliances or lighting, make sure it EnergyStar rated or is a LED or CFL for lighting.  As for our homes, increasing your comfort can mean reducing your bills as well and using less from the grid at the same time.  Air sealing and insulation makes a big difference on the cooling bill.  Consider a home performance assessment, that way your shields will be up and ready for anything.

Thanks,

Jason

Good looking lighting?

October 31, 2011

I have to say I’m a sucker for good design.  Something that catches my eye is sure to draw me in, but more important is whether or not it works.   Like a book jacket that promises an exciting story, I want it to actually read that way.  A wise man in my family once said, “life is too short to read bad books.”  I have to add, especially with bad lighting.

 How about LED lighting?  You heard Mike rave about some of the CREE and Halo products.  Not coincidentally, both are ceiling recessed lights and this is where the directional nature of LEDs shine.  (Sorry, Bad pun).  And as far as good looking design, when it’s off, we don’t see recessed lighting, it is recessed after all.

I’m still waiting for that perfect regular ol’ light bulb replacement, and a good looking one.   More important may be another drawback to LED lighting which is the brightness “ceiling”.  As incandescent bulbs are phased out and my eyes get worse, I’d like to see more bright LED lights come to the market.  And the directional nature of LEDs means there are design challenges trying to get them to throw light in every direction.

I have found some bulbs which are pretty cool looking but just like the dust jacket of a book, what is inside?  I hope to not be looking at the bulb when it’s on because it’s shedding some good light!  What catches my eye is the promise of better light so far, the bulbs out there brighter than the 60w comparison look funny or they are big and clunky and well as pricy!

Exciting to me are the ones that promise the same light as a 75w or 100w incandescent like the Switch, and they don’t look like a prop from Star Trek.   If it looks good and works, count me in!  They are due out this coming year, and I look forward to trying them out, good book in hand.

Efficiency guru Amory Lovins once said all people want is “a cold beer and a hot shower” I say” a good book and good light” too!


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