Major twist and tweak…
Since only, seven people read this blog entry previously, and we are in Christmas time, I decided to majorly tweak, and repost an “oldie”. If you read it the first time, you can see everything that is new. If you have not read it, enjoy as it is all new to you.
“And now our feature presentation”
Turning my knight into day…(redo)
Trying to find the best new light bulbs for my house, I have done a lot of research on all of the light bulbs currently on the market. We have been using incandescent light bulbs since their inception in 1879. They have not changed much, over the years. The standard incandescent light bulb uses 70% of the energy that it consumes, as heat. As inefficient as the incandescent light bulb is, it took over 100 years until the light bulb was reinvented. Yes, a new lightbulb was badly needed!
The compact fluorescent lightbulb (aka CFL) was invented in 1976. These bulbs come in many shapes and sizes, and even several different colors. The CFL bulb has a higher up-front cost but can save over five times its purchase price in electricity cost over the life of the bulb. This energy saving bulb, last eight to fifteen times as long as the standard incandescent light bulb. These bulbs lost popularity, partly because they were filled with toxic mercury. This mercury complicates their disposal. Many countries have even banned the disposal of CFL bulbs with regular trash. Furthermore, they have established a special collection system for CFL’s and other hazardous waste. Also, LED bulbs took the position as a more energy efficient light bulb.
The LED, light emitting diode, light bulb is the more energy efficient bulb. The LED bulb tends to “sip” energy, and not “gulp” it like the incandescent bulb. It is hard to pin down an exact year, that the LED bulb was invented, for the residential light bulb. The date it was invented for home use, is so nebulous because it had so many other lab uses in its early days. The first diode was also extremely expensive. For this reason, it took a while before someone decided to simply group theses diodes together, for a light bulb for the home. However, in 1962 the first visible-spectrum LED, in the form of red diodes, was invented.
Many companies are currently going one step farther and making their LED bulbs “connected”. This means that the bulb is able to be controlled by your smartphone. Many of these new light bulbs look extremely different. And some people don’t like that these bulbs look so drastically altered. I personally spoke with a woman and her husband, when I was lightbulb shopping. She did not like the bulb I chose because it looked so different. (Let me pose this query to my readers. When was the last time that you looked at one of your lightbulbs, EXCLUDING INSTALLATION? Yeah, me either.) Some of these new bulbs look flat like they were sat on by a sumo wrestler. Yet, others look like they are wearing a medieval suit of armor. It is understandable, and even extremely beneficial, that these companies are making their smart light bulbs dimmable, as well. This dimmable aptitude means that not only can you simply turn a light on, from your phone, but you can also dim it as needed.
However, some of these bulbs are being made to do things that are feckless, in my opinion. The part that seems senseless to me, is that they also change colors…why??? This skill seems like an eccentricity that is simply pointless. Although, I suppose if you want to show off for your friends, it would be cool for a few minutes. But, after a few weeks, color changeability will become, as useless as a submarine with a screen door.
Sadly, the majority of these light bulbs are downright expensive! I have seen several of them go for over $50, PER BULB! I would definitely never pay that kind of money, for a “one trick pony”. I even saw a kit of three bulbs with some sort of “mini-hub” to control them, which costs over $200! The light bulbs I chose, for my house, are the Cree connected bulbs. They are one of the least expensive “connected” LED bulbs on the market, today. What I really like about them, is that they have a great customer rating, and the manufacturer stands behind their product, with excellent customer service. I also like the bulbs, because they are simple, and have no useless flashy “bells and whistles”. I mean if you want to pay over $50 for a bulb that allows you to change the colors, more power to you. However, I bet like most people who buy them, you will only change the colors a few times to “show off”.
Connecting light bulbs to a Smart Hub, to control them from your phone, is even more convenient. Even greater yet, is if you get a Voice assistant like “Google home” or “Amazon Echo”. For someone like me, it is especially advantageous. I go through a significant number of steps to do any of the tasks that are significantly simplified by various smart technologies.
Some have said that this technology is useless. I (sort of) get their point, however, I say it is extremely helpful for someone in my perfectly problematic predicament. When I am going to bed, after putting my PJ’s on, I would normally have to get back into my wheelchair and roll back to the light-switch and turn it off. At this point, in the dark, roll back and get into my bed. Now, I can simply use my phone and turn off the light, from my bed. When I am in bed, if the temperature feels a little off, I can adjust the thermostat from my Google Home. When I am sitting on the couch, and someone rings the doorbell, I can check who it is, from my smartphone. I can even see and speak with them. While sitting on the couch, and using my phone, I can also unlock the door, and let them in.
I knew someone when I was a kid, who was in a physically challenging situation. Although they too lived alone, they needed someone do a lot for them, including dealing with their money issues. I am a private person. I pay my own bills, thanks to internet banking. I can buy things that I need or want, thanks to internet shopping. Because of all of this technology like the internet and connected devices, it is possible for me to live an extremely independent life.
I used to think that smart technology was silly and a luxury only for the people who could afford it. I’m guessing some of you may have felt the same way. However, in many ways, we would be wrong. The more that I welcome these terrifically timely technologies into my home; I learn more about the benefits that they have. I also learn about new technologies that could also make my life easier and more comfortable.