Fire Safety 101, Part 1: Types of Smoke Detectors

Feb 08, 13 Fire Safety 101, Part 1: Types of Smoke Detectors

One of the most overlooked, yet vitally important safety features of any house is the smoke alarm. You’ve spent a lot of time and money turning your house into your home, filling it with irreplaceable things like wedding pictures and family heirlooms. An early warning from the right kind of alarm could help save those things, not to mention you and your family.

Protecting your home from fire and carbon monoxide threats is serious business. In this two-part series, we’ll discuss the different types of alarms, the advantages of each, the placement of alarms, and necessary fire safety accessories. First up are the types of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms available and their individual benefits.

Ionization Alarms

Ionization alarms detect invisible particles produced by fast, flaming fires, usually caused by things like grease or paper, or candles too close to curtains. Ionization sensors are generally better at detecting invisible fire particles sooner than photoelectric alarms. These alarms are either battery powered or wired directly into a power source, which is a definite plus as this prevents the alarm from not functioning due to dead batteries. Many of the wire-in alarms also feature a battery backup, protecting you even during power outages. These alarms have tamper-resistant features, preventing the battery from being removed for other uses, such as for video game console controllers or TV remotes.

Photoelectric Alarms

Photoelectric alarms can detect the large particles associated with smoldering fires, such as an electrical fire that starts in the walls, sooner than ionization sensors. Photoelectric alarms, just like ionization alarms, can either be battery powered or wired into your home’s power source and also provide battery backup. Since there are many different types of fires that can strike your home, it is recommended to install one alarm with ionization sensors and one with photoelectric sensors.

Dual Photoelectric and Ionization

Dual photoelectric and ionization alarms provide protection from fast, flaming fires and smoldering fires. These types of alarms are generally wire-in alarms and also feature a battery backup to keep protecting you during a power outage. Since there is no way to know which type of fire can strike your home, these alarms are recommended because they protect you from both types of fires..

Heat Alarms

Heat alarms detect high levels of heat, and alarm when the temperature reaches a preset level or when the unit detects a steady rise in temperature. Heat alarms are meant to supplement smoke alarms and give early warning of heat from a fire. These alarms are ideal in garages, kitchens, or other places with conditions not suitable for smoke alarms. Garages are usually not heated or cooled, so the temperatures can be below or above the alarm’s operating temperature, while smoke alarms installed too close to cooking appliances can lead to nuisance alarms. Heat alarms are generally interconnectable, meaning if one alarm is triggered, all the alarms sound, giving you enough time to safely escape.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide alarms are pretty straightforward. These alarms detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO). What makes CO so dangerous is that it cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted, so a CO alarm is definitely recommended, especially if you have gas appliances, as these can malfunction and leak the deadly gas. Even if you don’t have gas appliances, a CO alarm is recommended if you have a fireplace, as the burning wood gives off carbon monoxide. Just like the photoelectric and ionization fire alarms, the CO alarms are generally wire-in with a battery backup.

Protecting your home from fire and carbon monoxide threats is easier than you think, and we hope we just made it easier. If you have any questions about these products or just want to share how your home is protected, drop us a comment in the box below or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!

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Light Post Lighting News: New Fluorescent Technology, Rockefeller Tree, and More

Dec 10, 12 Light Post Lighting News: New Fluorescent Technology, Rockefeller Tree, and More

Here at 1000Bulbs.com, not only do we sell thousands of lighting products, lighting accessories,  and (my favorite) Christmas decorations to satisfy even the most seasoned lighting veteran, we also have our ears to the ground, scouring the Internet for news-worthy…news. Introducing Light Post, a bi-weekly gathering of lighting innovations and of course, news. So make sure you swing by every other week for your dose of Light Post.

Wake Forest Introduces Revolutionary Fluorescent Bulb

Physics professor David Carroll and his team of researchers at Wake Forest University have created a fluorescent bulb set to replace LEDs and standard fluorescents. These new bulbs, based on field-induced polymer electroluminescent (try saying that fives times in a row) technology, or FIPEL, are shatterproof, flicker-free, and won’t burn out. No more of the mosquito-in-your-ear humming noise many office workers complain about now. Besides no more humming, these lights give off a soft, white light and are extremely efficient, at least twice as efficient as compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). Better yet, these lights are long-lasting: Carroll has one that has worked for about a decade. These lights should be available to consumers as early as next year.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting not Hampered by Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy definitely left a dark spot over New York City, flooding pretty much everything, costing millions of dollars, and leaving lots of people without power. However, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting erased any dark spot cast by the superstorm. The massive 80-foot Norway spruce, complete with 30,000 lights and topped with a Swarovski star, came to life November 28. The 10-ton tree resided at the Mount Olive, N.J. home of Joe Balku and was a mere 22-feet tall in 1973 when Balku bought the house. Today, the tree measures about 50 feet in diameter. The iconic tree will remain in the public eye until January 7.
After that, it will be turned into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

Streetlights in Central London to be Controlled by iPads

If this isn’t evidence of technology becoming more and more important in our everyday lives, I don’t know what is. Westminster City Council announced it will be replacing about 14,000 central London street lights with new, iPad controlled smart lights. The iPad application will be able to monitor street lighting levels and reliability, monitor which lights are not working properly, and can even predict when a light will fail. Installation of the new lights will cost about $3 million, but it will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands a year.

Texas Towns and Parks Scale Back Lighting to See Stars

Having recently moved from a small, Texas town to the big city, I can certainly attest for the lack of star-gazing ability here in the Metroplex. That’s why many Texas towns and state parks are fighting light pollution. In recent years, Texas’ state parks have seen a decline in visitors and to lure them back, the parks are promoting chances for night-sky viewing, away from the city lights by advocating cities and towns to use down-facing light fixtures, so as not to pollute neighboring areas with unnecessary light.

LED Lights May Boost Milk Production in Cows

There may be a link between higher milk production and LED lights. An initial experiment done in 2010 at Oklahoma State University found a 6% increase in milk production in cows when traditional lights were replaced with LEDs, which consume at least 75% less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs, in areas where cows were housed. While the research is still underway, and if the results can be replicated in other institutions, not only will cows produce more milk, but the savings over the long run will be tremendous for farmers.

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Five Christmas Decorations You May Have Missed

Nov 30, 12 Five Christmas Decorations You May Have Missed

Christmas is only 24 days away, but it’s not too late to put on your best lighting display ever! You may think you already know everything about Christmas lights and decorations, but there are a few awesome products you may have missed. Here are five of our favorites.

Bubble Lights

Bring back your (or your parents’) childhood memories with candelabra base bubble lights. Used since the 1940s, these unique bulbs aren’t as popular as they once were, but they’re a great idea for a retro-style Christmas. Each bubble light houses a tiny incandescent bulb that creates both heat and light to bubble the liquid within the tube. They even work as nightlights when the holidays are over!

Color-Changing LED Bulbs

Jealous of your neighbor’s Christmas light show, but don’t have time to set up complicated controllers? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just screw in some magic bulbs that did all of the work for you? Color-changing LED Christmas bulbs are just what you’re looking for! Simply replace your existing incandescent or LED C7 or C9 bulbs with these and watch as they cycle through red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and purple.

LED Snowfall Lights

If you live in a climate like ours here in Dallas, you may have given up hope for a White Christmas. But hang LED Snowfall lights from your trees and you can still watch the “snow” fall in the night sky. Ranging from 7 inches to over 6 feet long, each set of these suspended, water-resistant tubes contain cool white LEDs that chase and drift in randomized patterns, emulating a beautiful and calming snowfall.

Battery-Operated Candles

Ideal for candlelit Christmas ceremonies and picturesque holiday displays, battery-operated candles are a safer and cleaner alternative to real candles. Great for windows, tables, and mantles, the wax-drip details and metallic bases of these incandescent and LED candles add a traditional look and feel to any space.

Christmas Light Stringers

C7 and C9 Christmas light stringers are the pro’s secret to a perfect outdoor holiday display. Not only can you choose whatever color of incandescent or LED bulb to use with these stringers, you can also cut them to fit any surface. Reached the end of your gutter? Cut off the excess wire and cap it. Visit our site to pick up whatever length you need, but don’t forget the end plugs!

So what are your holiday decorating ideas this year? Let us know in the comments and drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest!

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How to Pick a Christmas Tree

Oct 12, 12 How to Pick a Christmas Tree

Buying a Christmas tree, to many, is a yearly ritual of taking the family to a tree lot and buying a fresh, newly cut evergreen tree. For the more practical, it’s an ever-so-often trip to a store ending in “mart” to buy an artificial tree. There is always a conflict between aesthetics and practicality when it comes to buying a tree. What if you could select an artificial Christmas tree so realistic you would swear it even smelled like a real tree? What if it was also so well constructed you could pass it down for generations?

With today’s designer Christmas trees, like those from Barcana, that’s possible. Hardy branches, lifetime warranties, and quick setup are common to every tree we carry at 1000Bulbs.com. Though quality and durability are a given no matter which of our trees you choose, after you pick the size and the “species” of your tree, you have one decision left, whether to go with PVC or PE branches. Both are great options, but one or the other may be a better fit for your home or business.

The most common type of Christmas tree is made of polyvinyl chloride, more commonly known as PVC. At 1000Bulbs.com, we call these “classic” trees because they’re made of the material used to build Christmas trees for the past several decades. The manufacturing process is simple: Thin sheets of flexible PVC are cut into long, flat strips and then attached to a twisted wire shaft. Production of PVC trees is inexpensive, so savings that are passed to you, the customer. Though they aren’t the most exquisite option available, PVC Christmas trees are better constructed than they used to be, making them a good option for any homeowner on a budget.

Despite quality improvements, however, PVC trees barely compare to polyethylene, or PE, trees. Premium quality, ultra realistic PE Christmas trees are produced with the interior designer in mind. Their branches are injection molded and three-dimensional. Because the molds are created from real evergreen needles, PE branches are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Though PE trees were once quite expensive, their price is now more in line with PVC trees, making them an option for homeowners as well as professional designers.

What both types of trees have in common is easy setup. If you remember tree setup taking an hour or more, you’ll be shocked to find out how quickly and easily you can set up a designer Christmas tree. If you don’t believe us, you can see for yourself in this Christmas tree setup video, where we set up a designer tree in less than 10 minutes! PE trees especially are almost “ready to go” right out of the box. The branches hold their shape well, even in storage, so they need very little “fluffing” and adjusting. Many models are even pre-lit with incandescent or LED lights. Whichever type you choose, you won’t be disappointed.

What kind of Christmas tree are you setting up this year? Let us know in the comments or drop up a line on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. We’d especially like to see your holiday decoration photos on Pinterest!

And one more thing: We’re giving away one of our designer Christmas trees on Facebook. Click here to enter!

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Your Guide to Incandescent Light Bulbs

Aug 03, 12 Your Guide to Incandescent Light Bulbs

With today’s emphasis on energy efficiency in lighting, it’s easy to forget that our old, inefficient friend, the incandescent light bulb, still exists. In fact, it may never go away. The lowly incandescent isn’t just the less-efficient alternative to modern bulbs, it is oftentimes the only bulb available for many everyday applications.

Standard Shape

They’re known as A-shape, pear shape, or traditional, but most people just call them light bulbs. Standard shape bulbs are the old-fashioned bulbs that many of you are still using or are hoarding in your attic. Though these bulbs are the type most directly affected by EISA 2007 and other lighting legislation, lower-wattage and special application bulbs aren’t going away anytime soon.

Low Voltage

Have an RV or a camper? Chances are you use one of these 12 or 24 volt light bulbs. Other applications include landscape and outdoor lighting, especially battery-powered. Though they look just like other bulbs, don’t use them in your home, or they’ll blow out in a fraction of a second!

Antique and Vintage

An increasingly popular bulb type, antique bulbs are reproductions of bulbs made in the 19th century, with many very closely resembling the original bulb made by Thomas Edison himself. Though they are highly inefficient, even in comparison to other incandescent bulbs, these beautiful creations are popular in restaurants, retail stores, and of course, home restorations.

Spot and Flood

Though Halogen reflector bulbs are more popular, incandescent spot and flood lights are popular options for recessed cans in homes, businesses, and even elevators. Many are also weatherproof, making them a good choice for covered outdoor fixtures.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 19:  McDonald's fren...

French fries under a heat lamp (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Infrared

Also known simply as “heat lamps,” these reflector bulbs emit more infrared heat than light. In effect, they are heaters you can screw into a light socket. Infrared heat lamps are commonly used in fast food warmers, buffets, and even household bathrooms.

Decorative Chandelier

Meant to replicate the look of a flame, these bulbs are what you see in chandeliers, electric candles, and a host of other decorative light fixtures. The most popular versions are straight tip (torpedo) and bent tip, but specialty bulbs like shaped like prisms, satin string bulbs made to reproduce a gas flame, and flicker flame bulbs are also common.

Decorative Globe

Used in holiday lights and outdoor light stringers as well as bathroom vanities and even as a non-traditional alternative for chandeliers, globe bulbs are nearly as widespread as standard shape bulbs.

Tubular

Tubular bulbs include many sizes and styles of bulbs made for applications as varied as older incandescent exit signs and picture lamps. You may also see these in household appliances like vacuum cleaners and as replacement bulbs for microwave ovens.

Linear

Linear incandescents are one of two proprietary technologies made or licensed by GE for their Lumiline brand and by Sylvania for their Linestra brand. Though rare now, these were once a high-CRI, warm-toned alternative to fluorescent tubes.

Silver Bowl

Silver bowl bulbs are frequently used in restaurant pendant lights and other base-up fixtures. The reflective coating on the top of the bulb redirects light into a hanging fixture so that it is refracted by the fixture’s shade, reducing glare.

Control panel

A variety of bulbs in a control panel (Photo credit: Elsie esq.)

S6, S11, and S14 Indicator

S-type incandescent bulbs are found in everything from heavy machinery to instrument panels. S11 and S14 bulbs are widely used in signs, marquees, and flashing arrow sign boards you see in merging traffic as well as in amusement park rides, where they outline the profile of roller-coasters and bring a sparkle to Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds.

C7 and C9 Commercial

C7 and C9 bulbs are well-known for their use in Christmas lights, though they have many commercial and specialty applications as well. Like S-type bulbs, C-type bulbs are often used in marquees and signs. In homes, C7 bulbs have especially widespread use in night lights.

Colored and Bug Lights

Though CFL and LED colored light bulbs are slowly gaining ground, colored incandescent bulbs are much more common. Colored light bulbs can be found in just about any bulb shape mentioned above. An especially popular subset of colored bulbs, the yellow bug light, is used on porches and decks as their yellow color blocks the wavelengths of light that attract moths and other irritating flying insects.

Code Beacon

Code beacon bulbs are high-wattage, high-output bulbs used on the roofs of buildings and in radio towers to signal aircraft.

Traffic Signal

As their name implies, these bulbs are used in old-fashioned traffic signals, though they have been all but replaced by Halogen and LED bulbs.

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Form and Function Meet in the Plumen CFL

Jul 27, 12 Form and Function Meet in the Plumen CFL

Many people in lighting and design circles are already familiar with the Plumen CFL. If you’re not, Plumen’s tagline sums it up pretty well: “The world’s first designer energy saving light bulb.”

To many, the typical spiral shape of a compact fluorescent is an eyesore, so they hide it under a lampshade or within an enclosed light fixture. That’s unfortunate, because there’s no reason a CFL has to be so ugly. In fact, the bulb’s glass tube can take virtually any form. There are plenty of fixtures, from pendants to desk lamps, which challenge the status quo. Why shouldn’t a bulb do the same?

Plumen Box

Plumen Packaging

The creators of the Plumen—designer Samuel Wilkinson and British design company Hulger—took that challenge. Their revolutionary bulb takes its inspiration from bird feathers (the “plume” in Plumen). Instead of twisting the glass tubes of the bulb into a utilitarian and industrial shape, the designers gave them an airy, organic form.  The unique design has already landed Plumen in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and earned it the Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award.

Popular applications for the Plumen include pendant lights, floor lamps, and anywhere you might use an antique light bulb. Indeed, many stylish, yet energy conscious customers find the Plumen satisfies their desire for much less efficient incandescent antique bulbs. The Plumen uses only 11 watts to produce the equivalent light output of a 60 watt incandescent light bulb. This means the bulb saves 80% on your energy bills. In addition, the 8,000 hour bulb will outlast 8 to 10 incandescent bulbs. Lower bills, fewer carbon emissions, long life, and beautiful design: What more could you ask for in a light bulb?

Head over to our website to check out the Plumen, and let us know what you think. Drop us a line in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

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