Nov 29, 13
If you’re an avid participant in the madness that is Black Friday shopping, then you know how much of a nightmare it can be; the long lines, the ruthless shoppers – it can be a draining experience. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials on everything from light bulbs to Christmas decorations, 1000Bulbs.com has a little something for everyone – and you won’t even have to leave the house! Highlighted below are only a few of these great deals that are going on now and will extend through Cyber Monday, December 2, 2013.
ETi 5W – 35W Equal A19 LED – $2.99
For those of you that are currently making the switch to more energy-efficient lighting, you know how difficult it can be to find quality LED lighting at an affordable price. This ETi 5-watt A19 LED bulb will give you just that. Using only 5 watts, this bulb produces a warm white light and is an energy-efficient alternative to standard 35-watt incandescent bulbs. Featuring a standard A19 shape, this bulb will easily replace incandescent bulbs in fixtures like table lamps and hanging pendants. Because it produces the same wattage as an incandescent using less energy, the ETi LED will also save you money on energy costs. Now that’s a pretty great Christmas gift.
25% Off Holiday LED Wax Candles – Starting at $6.90
Part of decorating for the holidays is all about creating the right atmosphere. For some people, a component to creating that cozy Christmas feeling is having holiday candles everywhere from fireplace mantles to dining room tables. To give your home the same warm glow without the potential fire hazard, flameless LED wax candles will work just as well. Starting at only $6.90, these battery-powered holiday candles feature a soft glow flicker flame and a convenient timer option. Receive 25 percent off when you enter the coupon code “CANDLE25” at checkout.
6 ft. Pre-lit Christmas Tree with 200 Clear Lights – $39.95
If you’re looking to snag a great deal on a new Christmas tree this year, you’re in luck. This Barcana 6 ft. Timberline Pine Christmas tree eliminates the hassle of wrapping and unwrapping light strings. Constructed of classic PVC tips, this tree is incredibly easy to store and will last you many holiday seasons to come. Originally sold for the retail price of $149.99, you can get this tree while supplies last for only $39.95.
30% Off All Halogen Automotive Headlights – Starting at $3.63
Having replacement headlight lamps on hand is always a good idea, especially during the winter months. Driving through snow (or any kind of weather for that matter) without rear or front-facing headlights is never a good idea. Starting at just $3.63, all halogen headlights at 1000Bulbs.com are 30 percent off their original price using the coupon code “HEADLIGHTS”. By entering the make, model, and year of your car, our new Bulb Finder will help you find the perfect light for your automobile.
For a full list of our Black Friday items, visit www.1000bulbs.com/blackfriday. Have any more questions about our products? Give us a shout in the comments below or you can contact us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
Nov 15, 13
One of the best things about the holiday season is the warm and cozy feeling that seems to charge the air during the winter months. Although this might be our bias talking, we at 1000Bulbs.com like to think those joyful feelings are somewhat attributed to holiday lighting setting the mood. In some households, illuminating the neighborhood by putting up Christmas lights has become a tradition. However, using traditional incandescent Christmas lights can not only have an impact on your wallet, but on the environment as well. So, before you buy more light strings and power up that holiday display you have planned, here are some of the benefits of switching to LED (light-emitting diode) Christmas lights.
Unless they’re the equivalent of a modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s safe to say that most people find Christmas light displays to be delightful. Although holiday lights are lovely to look at, they can lead to excessive amounts of wasted energy, not to mention a hefty bill in the mail. While it’s impossible to stay 100 percent green, using LED Christmas lights is a reasonable alternative.
Unlike incandescent lights, LEDs have no filament to burn out, which is why they are able to last for up to 40 holiday seasons, whereas incandescent bulbs have the potential to burn out after one. LED lights also consume less wattage and only burn about 10 percent of the energy that incandescent lights do. According to Energy.gov, the cost of lighting a 6-foot tree with incandescent bulbs for 12 hours a day for 40 days, is roughly $10.00. Using LED mini lights for the same period of time only costs $0.82. The Department of Energy estimates that Christmas lights use just as much electricity as half a million homes do in a month. If every household switched to LED lighting, the DOE also says that U.S. households could save over $400 million in electricity costs.
Not only do LED Christmas lights use less energy than their incandescent counterparts, but they are also much safer. Typically made of glass, incandescent Christmas lights are much more likely to shatter, increasing the risk of house fires. LED light strings, like wide angle LED mini lights, use epoxy lenses, or plastic, and are much sturdier and resistant to breakage. Again, because they have no filament to produce heat, LED bulbs are cool to the touch and reduce the risk of burns or combustion. Consuming lower amounts of energy also makes LED Christmas lights better for the environment. This is why large Christmas displays around the world, such as the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City, use LED lighting. By switching to LEDs, the iconic tree has decreased daily energy consumption from 3,510 kWh per day to 1,297 kWh per day.
We know how easy it is to accidentally leave the lights on when you don’t really need them. To reduce your energy consumption even further, use automatic timers for both indoor and outdoor holiday lights. Set timers to turn lights on when it gets dark and off during a reasonable hour later that night. Having the ability to program your Christmas lights will eliminate the stress of wondering whether or not you forgot to turn them off before you left the house. Before plugging in and programming, make sure the timer is capable of handling the combined wattage of your lights. According to Energy.gov, keeping light displays on for less than eight hours per night will help you keep your energy costs low. If you don’t have a timer, being as frugal as possible with the number of hours your lights are on will make all the difference.
Do you have any questions about LED Christmas lights? Let us know in the comments below, or give us a shout out on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!
Nov 01, 13
Using light to create luminous lines in photography is not necessarily a new concept. For as long as there have been film cameras, people have been able to capture streaks of light using long exposures and slow shutter speeds. As digital photography has evolved, light painting has become increasingly popular, with artists using the medium to create stunning images and animation. Light painting has turned into a full blown art form that is evolving just as quickly as the technology being used to create it.
There are those who consider themselves to be light painting artists, but you certainly don’t have to be one to create photographs with similar effects. Light painting is a fun and fairly easy activity that can be done by just you or with a big group of friends. We recommend having a group with you, that way you can create more complicated designs in one picture. After trying our hand at it, we at 1000Bulbs.com have compiled a list of basic materials and steps you’ll need to take to begin creating your own light paintings!
The Essential Items
- Darkness. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, make sure you’re in a dark enough space that your lighting painting will show up.
- A digital SLR camera that has Manual or Bulb settings
- A sturdy tripod. This will keep your camera completely still. If you don’t have a tripod, you can try using any flat, steady surface, such as a table, to keep your camera from moving.
- A light source. This can include anything from a flashlight, LED tape light, light sticks, sparklers, etc.
If you are going to be light painting outdoors, make sure you have all of the necessary equipment to protect your camera from the elements.
Before you begin, make sure you are using the right camera settings. For the best results, use a digital SLR camera. These cameras have manual settings that allow you to control the shutter speed. The slower the shutter speed, the longer you have to draw your light painting.
For the light painting picture below, we used Manual or “M” setting, and put the shutter speed at F22, the highest F-stop. This keeps the shutter open for 22 seconds. If your camera has a Bulb or “B” setting, this will work even better. At the Bulb setting, you can keep the shutter open for as long as you like so that you’re not restricted by time. You will also want to turn your camera down to the lowest ISO level possible. This will minimize any noise, or visual distortion, in your picture.
The best way to know if your camera is capturing the light painting you want is trial and error. Take a few test shots at a regular shutter speed without the light source to make sure you have the correct exposure. When you’re happy with the exposure, change your shutter speed settings to the desired position.
Now, you can begin light painting! Once you’re positioned in front of the camera with your light source and ready to go, have a friend press the shutter release button for you. You can do this yourself, but having someone do it for you is much easier than stepping in and out of the frame each time.
Once the shutter release is pressed, begin moving your light source. To get certain spots brighter than others continually move your light source over that one spot as if you were coloring with a large crayon. Using all of the steps above, an LED flashlight, and an LED tape light suit (DIY tutorial here), we created the image below.
Light Painting from an LED Light Suit
Are you planning on creating any light paintings of your own? Tell us about it in the comments below, or drop us a line on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!
Oct 18, 13
Let’s face it. As lighting efficacy standards continue to change, traditional incandescent bulbs are struggling to keep up. While incandescent bulbs themselves are not being outlawed, they are being made to abide by the guidelines of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. This congressional mandate states that light bulbs now need to use 25 percent less energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. households could save nearly $6 billion on energy costs in the year 2015 by following these standards alone. In this post, we’ll show you why making the switch to energy-efficient lighting is worth considering and how it can save you money!
LEDs and CFLs
For over a century, incandescent light bulbs have been the go-to lighting source for household fixtures. Their inexpensive price tag and classic shape have made many people hesitant to give unfamiliar bulbs like LEDs (light emitting diodes) and CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) a try. However, these bulb types not only meet EISA requirements, but will produce the same amount of lumens (brightness) for less wattage and, therefore, consume less electricity.
CFLs are simply smaller versions of the fluorescent tubes you see in businesses and warehouses. Typically, a CFL uses about one-fourth of the wattage of a comparable incandescent and uses 85 percent less energy to illuminate itself. CFLs can also last up to ten times longer than a standard incandescent with a 1,000 hour lifespan. Some of you may be put off by using this twisty light in fixtures with an exposed bulb, but don’t worry! CFLs now come in a variety of shapes, including the classic A-shape of an incandescent.
LED bulbs are becoming increasingly popular for their low energy use in everything from residential lighting applications to street lighting. These lamps not only use up to 85 percent less energy, but can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years because they have no filament to burn out. Although current LEDs on the market tend to be on the pricey side, they will eventually make up for their initial cost in annual energy savings.
“How Much Money Will I Save?”
So, how much money can you save by switching to energy-efficient light bulbs? It all depends on how much your utility company charges you per Kilowatt hour (kWh) and the wattage of your bulbs. By following a simple formula, you can compare what your current bulbs and energy-saving alternatives would cost you annually.
Let’s say you have 40 light bulb sockets in your home all using 60-watt incandescent light bulbs. Let’s also assume that you use 2,000 hours of electricity from these fixtures annually and that your utility company charges you $0.11 per Kilowatt hour.
40 (Number of Bulbs) x 60 (Wattage of Bulbs) = 2400 Watts (Total Wattage)
2400 (Total Wattage) / 1000 = 2.4 Kilowatts
2.4 (Kilowatts) x 2000 (Hours of Usage Annually) = 4800 Kilowatt/Hr
4800 (Kilowatt/Hr) x $0.11 (Cost of Energy per kWh) = $528.00 per year
Now, let’s say you are planning to switch your original bulbs out with 14-watt CFL bulbs that are 60-watt incandescent equivalents. Using the same information, such as the hours of usage and the amount you are charged per Kilowatt hour, it would look something like this:
40 (Number of Bulbs) x 14 (Wattage of Bulbs) = 560 Watts
560 (Total Wattage) / 1000 = 0.56 Kilowatts
0.56 (Kilowatts) x 2000 (Hours of Usage Annually) = 1120 Kilowatt/Hr
1120 (Kilowatt/Hr) x $0.11 (Cost of Energy per kWh) = $123.20 per year
As you can see, the annual cost of running incandescent bulbs ($528) compared to an energy-efficient alternative ($123.20) can be substantial. Also, because incandescent bulbs have a much shorter life than CFLs and LEDs, replacing them will only add to your annual energy costs. While replacing all of your incandescent bulbs with these energy-savers might cost you more initially, the amount of money you save on your energy bills over time will more than make up the difference!
If you have any questions about our selection of energy-efficient lighting, leave us a comment or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!
Oct 04, 13
Crisp autumn air and changing leaves can only mean that Halloween is quickly approaching. Before you know it, all of your neighbors will have set up their impressive graveyard displays accompanied by a full-blown light show. You don’t have to take it quite that far, but a few lights here and there from our Halloween lighting section could make all the difference! So, take a break from constructing that super cool Halloween costume you’ve been planning for months and read some of these simple tips on how to turn your humble abode into a festive All Hallow’s Eve dwelling.
What is it about haunted houses that make them so scary? Sure, the demented clowns and large men in masks running after you with a chainsaw are a big factor, but the abundance of black lighting sets the perfect creepy mood. Replace indoor or outdoor lighting with black lights to make your visitor’s costumes glow. Swapping out your existing bulbs with colored red, green, or orange bulbs will also work just as well.
DIY Ghost Yard Decoration
We agree that decking out your yard with fake tombstones and other elaborate decorations can cost a pretty penny. Save yourself some cash and take the ever-popular DIY route. In a previous blog post, we guided you through the quick and easy steps of making a DIY Halloween ghost yard decoration using only a tomato cage, fabric, paint, and lights (preferably ones with the ability to flash).
If you want a decorating activity that the whole family can participate in, try some of these kid-friendly DIY activities for Halloween: Snap an 8-12 hour green glow stick, insert it into a white balloon and inflate. Once it’s tied and closed, use a black Sharpie to draw anything from black cats to ghostly faces. Once you’ve made as many as you want, use transparent tape to stick the balloons to a wall and dim the lights. Or save and clean out old milk cartons and fill them with battery-operated Christmas lights. Using a black Sharpie, draw ghoulish faces to create glowing ghosts that will be a charming decoration, both inside and outside of your home.
LED String Lights
As explained above, Christmas lights aren’t just for, well, Christmas. They can be used for a multitude of holidays and special occasions, including Halloween. Orange and purple LED string lights are ideal for wrapping around a black decorative wreath or framing a door or spider web-covered window to create a colorful and inviting display for trick-or-treaters. Rope light in hues of green, orange, and purple will also create a spooky atmosphere during a costume party or lining the railings of your porch.
If you have questions about any of our Halloween lighting products, leave us a comment. Or, share pictures of your spooky decorations with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!