Home Appliance + Lighting Blog

Honest insights, opinions and resources about buying home appliances, lighting and plumbing

The Problems With LED Lighting

by Steve Sheinkopf

Like any new technology, there are issues with LED lights in general. Let's look again at the new LED undercabinet lighting display at Yale.

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Topics: Cree, LED Lighting, LED Light Bulbs

Cree and LED

by Steve Sheinkopf

The cover of Investors Business Daily features Cree, a prime manufacturer of LED and a subject of frequent postings on the Yale Blog. Evidently, they blew away their earnings yesterday, far over estimates.

For commercial and industrial users, LED is almost a requirement, because the payback is almost immediate. LEDs are 90 percent efficient, emit almost zero heat and have a lamp life of 15-20 years.

So, a store planner can reduce the electrical, the HVAC (less heat to remove) and way less maintenance for bulb replacement, which is handy given these are three of the largest store expenses.

But the article also said they are looking at the residential market, which is curious...as they are already there.






Basic premise to homeowners is similar to commercial, LED will save energy, AC and heat and will require zero maintenance...Although the initial costs are higher, the payback in just energy is a little over three years.

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Topics: Cree, LED Lighting

LED And Me

by Steve Sheinkopf

I decided to replace my incandescent recessed with LED. If you have regular 6 inch cans, you can just replace the trim piece (decorative piece) without touching the housing (electrical part). Its simple replacement.

Is it worth the expense?

Maybe. First the LED is 12 watts versus the 75 incandescent, so I will save on my electric bill. Secondly, LED generates no heat versus 300 degrees for incandescent, so I will save on my AC bills in the summer. Lastly, I will never change a light bulb ever again since the bulbs have a 20 year life.

Have a look...







LED trims are about $110 each. From a cost/benefit analysis, it will be hard to determine the payback for replacement. For new construction, especially people looking at more upscale trims, LED is certainly a better option.

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Topics: Cree, LED Lighting, Recessed Lighting

Closer.....

by Steve Sheinkopf

I have been writing about LED lighting since we started the ole blog over 2 years ago. For review, LED, is 5 to 7 times more efficient than incandescent, lasts 20 years and does not emit heat, which saves HVAC costs.

Now the problems:

Problem 1: They cannot seem to manufacture LED so the color is white.

That issue has been rectified, but only by a few brands, most notably Cree, Juno and Jesco.

Problem 2: For many of the undercabinet systems, you need a "driver" or transformer. You still actually need this in many low voltage applications, but electricians hate the extra wiring.

Have a look at this:



The new Juno undercabinet...white and driverless. Available middle of February 2009.

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Topics: Cree, LED Lighting, Lighting, Recessed Lighting, Low Voltage Lighting

New Products

by Steve Sheinkopf

LED is the way. Hate tobe Zen, but its the truth.

To review (again) LED is:

1. 7 plus times per watt brighter than incandescent. Instead of a 75 incandescent or halogen, LED will use only 12 watts.
2. Has a 20 year life.
3. Cool to the touch...Doesn't add heat to the environment or further HVAC costs.

Small Tip:

Only buy LED recessed if it has a Cree chip in it. Thats right, go to the local store and ask that specific question. Cree casts white light, and every other company casts blue and/or yellow.

Lets look at the new 5 inch LED can and trim from Cree under their brand LRF. There is a much greater variety of trims and styles available than their 6 inch piece including: wheat, aluminum, pewter, black, graphite and white

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Topics: Cree, New Products, LED Lighting, Recessed Lighting

A Few Of My Favorite Things

by Steve Sheinkopf

LED recessed from Cree: First, for a $30-40 more per can, LED uses 1/5 the power, emits zero heat(saving HVAC and electric costs) and has a 20 year lamp life.

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Bosch integrated refrigeration: Integrating a refrigerator is a great design idea. Bosch is the most affordable way of achieving the look.

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GE Cafe French Door: GE refrigeration has staged a huge comeback in refrigeration. Dumping LG as the source may be a reason. Deciding to build a better product may be another reason. I am just speculating.

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Frigidaire slide in: Frigidaire has not been hurt by the recession, because they manufacture nicely styled yet affordable products. This gas range has power and simmer burners as well as convection and warming drawer for about $600-100 less than their competition.

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Induction: Any induction, really. Induction is 90% efficient versus 60% for gas and 55% for electric. The technology is vastly superior in heating, simmering, child safety and does not emit heat like the others. A hybrid unit starts at $1500, which is way less expensive than a Pro.

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Topics: Induction Cooktops, Cree, Gas Cooking, LED Lighting, Integrated Refrigerators, Slide-In Ranges, Recessed Lighting, French Door Refrigerators

The Future is in November

by Steve Sheinkopf

We have been posting about LED(light emitting diodes) for almost a year. LED is the greenest lighting available and is 7 to 10 times more efficient than incandescent. The bulb itself will last 30 times longer than an incandescent.

Because it is a new technology, LED has been scarce and expensive. One company, CREE, seems to be way ahead in color rendering and their chips seem to be in high demand.

Over the past year, more consumer products are becoming available. Tech Lighting, the best track and pendant manufacturer, will have LED pendants and track available in November...

A sample:

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Topics: Cree, LED Lighting, Tech Lighting, Track Lighting, Energy Efficiency

Before You Hit Buy Part 3

by Steve Sheinkopf

Our last hit buy post focused on the cost of delivery. The price seems to be good until the delivery screen. Delivery and logistics are the second hardest part of really any business. Outsourcing what should be a core compentency to a third party and shipping over long distances can be very risky.

But certainly not the riskiest.


You have checked the social blogs, the BBB, CitySearch, Angies' List, Yelp, Bizrate and others. You are comfortable with the store ratings, delivery policies and customer service.

One last consideration: Who will service it when there is an issue? Its worth a call for that specific bit of information
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Topics: Cree, etip

Consumer Reports

by Steve Sheinkopf

I like Consumer Reports, and many consumers will refer to it when shopping for appliances. I will never understand how they rate the same item so differently. The Kenmore dishwasher is manufactured by either Whirlpool or Frigidaire. There are no Kenmore factories per se, yet the ratings are incredibly different.

They did have an interesting section how to save money on your kitchen. There were 10 points, 8 were related to our industry. Here is my take

1. Consumer Reports: Pro-style ranges perform similarly to regular ranges:
My Take: In many instances 2 out of the 4 burners will work identically to a pro range with similar performance in the range. This is a great place to save money, BUT only in a 30 inch space. Also, regular ranges do not have grill/griddle options or as valued when reselling high end homes/condos

2. Consumer Reports: Skip steam ovens
My Take: Its a pricey option, but steam leaves nutrients and is considered to be a healthier way of cooking than baking.

3. Consumer Reports: Skip Multimedia Refrigerators
My Take: Amen, buy a flat screen for $299 and a regular refrigerator.

4. Consumer Reports: Skip Turbocharged dishwashers.
My Take: There are no turbocharged dishwashers, since Frigidaire discontinued their version.

5. Consumer Reports: Speed Ovens are a waste.
My Take: There are no speed ovens worth noting, other than Miele. This may change when Turbochef reintroduces their oven. It is flat out fast...

6. Consumer Reports: Appliance drawers are too pricey.
My Take: Yes, they are pricey, but there is some cache to an integrated or seamless look.

7: Consumer Reports: Pricey Sinks and Faucets have similar performance to regular products
My Take: Not sure, I do think that there are significant aesthetic differences between products in the $200 to the $500 price point.

8: Consumer Reports: Different Stores have different capabilities.
My Take: No Question, I am biased perhaps, but different stores have different competencies.


Consumer Reports is a start. If you shop around, find reputable companies and are involved with the process, you will save money and have a good experience
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Topics: Miele, Cree, Dishwashers, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Washers, Integrated Refrigerators, Sinks, Ranges, Faucets, Turbochef

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Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing.


Please call the store for most accurate price.