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Get Powered Up! Certified Energy Manager Jeff Yago answers your alternative energy questions

Wondering about a great new energy-saving device
you found on the Internet? Then CLICK HERE!

Sorry. Jeff no longer answers questions online.
This will remain as a searchable
resource for all BHM website visitors.



Archive for the ‘Light Emitting Diodes (LED)’ Category

 

String lights to light dark steps

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Hi Jeff,

I am looking for solar string lights (like Christmas lights) to run down my deck steps to light the steps for safety. Right now the wired lighting leaves dangerous shadow areas. The challenge is that the steps are on the north so I will need 75 – 100 linear feet of lights to run from the south side along the deck rail then down the steps (my preference). OR I need 50 linear feet of plain wire between the solar collection to where the lights start then have them run 30′. Ideally the lights would need to be bright for 8 hours. What is your suggestion?

Eileen Obermiller

Eileen:

Not to talk you out of solar, but being on the North side of the house and all the other issues of running wires a long distance, why not just buy a string of white LED Christmas lights. If you check out a recent article I did on LED Christmas lights, you would see that I measued these as using only 2 watts of electricity for the entire string. That is less power that your cell phone charger uses.

Good luck,

Jeff Yago

 

LED Lighting

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Hi,

I read the article on LED lighting in the most recent Backwoods Home magazine and I have a couple of questions for Mr. Yago:

Do these lights have mercury in them, and if so, how can these lights be disposed of properly so they do not adversley affect the environment? And, what about the radiation that these lights emit? I have read many times that the LED alarm clocks should never face directly towards one’s bed as they emit low doses of radiation. This is a real concern for me as I realize that so many of the electronic gadgets we use emit radiation and I wonder if over time we will see more cases of cancer and other illnesses due to this radiation exposure?

Thanks for a great magazine!

Lori Smith

Ohio

Lori,

Not to worry, there is no mercury in an Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamp, but there is mercury in Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL). The only radiation an LED lamp projects is light energy, no radioactive radiation like you are concerned with.

The older style clocks did have their glow-in-the-dark hands coated with a phosphorescent paint, and years ago they did use a very low radioactive type material. Since radiation travels in a straight line, turning these clocks away from you would be a good idea. However, much tighter regulations has forced most of these products to switch to non-radioactive and safer materials.

Perhaps you need one of those talking alarm clocks!

Jeff Yago

 

Safe LED Lighting

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Hi,

I read the article on LED lighting in the most recent Back Woods Home magazine and I have a couple of questions for Mr. Yago:

Do these lights have mercury in them, and if so, how can these lights be disposed of properly so they do not adversley affect the environment? And, what about the radiation that these lights emit? I have read many times that the LED alarm clocks should never face directly towards one’s bed as they emit low doses of radiation. This is a real concern for me as I realize that so many of the electronic gadgets we use emit radiation and I wonder if over time we will see more cases of cancer and other illnesses due to this radiation exposure?

Thanks for a great magazine!

Lori Smith

Ohio

Lori,

Not to worry, there is no mercury in an Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamp, but there is mercury in Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL). The only radiation an LED lamp projects is light energy, no radioactive radiation like you are concerned with.

The older style clocks did have their glow-in-the-dark hands coated with a phosphorescent paint, and years ago they did use a very low radioactive type material. Since radiation travels in a straight line, turning these clocks away from you would be a good idea. However, much tighter regulations has forced most of these products to switch to non-radioactive and safer materials.

Perhaps you need one of those talking alarm clocks!

Jeff Yago

 

Surface mounted LED fixture

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

I am looking for fixtures just like the one in your article Is LED lighting in your future. I have been unable to find that style. Can you tell me where to get them?

Tim Kieffer

Tim:

That is actually a model that I purchased several years ago at a boating supply parts store. There are many more models and styles now available for the boating and RV world, and I suggest you try these outlets.

Jeff Yago

 

LED plant lights

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Hello,

I was wondering if LEDs will work like fluorescent lights for growing plants indoors?

Thank you,

Janet

Janet:

Actually, there have been several recent studies related to growing plants using LED lights verses other lighting types. If interested, check out this link: http://www.growwithleds.com/

There are some LED lighting fixtures starting to hit the market for LED greenhouse lighting if you do some internet searches, and so far it looks like there is little difference between the growing effects of more common HID greenhouse lights and the new LED lights. You may want to check the effects of color on growth as it is my understanding that red and blue LEDs provide the best color frequencies for growing.

Good luck,

Jeff Yago

 

Flashlight review question

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Thanks for the information from the flashlight review. I had a min mag old bulb but had a battery go bad and corroded inside so I threw it away. I like the looks of the Garrity and Dorsy led but can’t tell if either has the capability of going from spot to flood light by twisting the head.

Interested in the small 3 AAA models.

Thanks for any information forwarded.

Joe Lucey
Joe:

Most LED style flashlights do not have the same distant beam “focusing” you may expect as compared with incandescent or halogen type flashlights. However, the models you are asking about will provide some beam size adjustment, just don’t expect a super bright center spot of light.

Good Luck,

Jeff Yago

 

Solar light question

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Dear Jeff:

I’ve tried the archives, but couldn’t find answer I was looking for. I am trying to buy, build or get plans for a very simple solar light to be used by developing nations without electricity or other power sources. If not Solar, perhaps a light running off a car or boat battery. Years ago we used to camp with a light wired to a smaller type vehicle battery, and a regular 60 watt bulb on end. I was a child, so I’m not sure how this was possible or made. If the people without electricity could use a re-chargeable vehicle battery, (12v??), perhaps that would be a sturdier power source, but solar is a choice I’d think would be best. The people I am trying to help don’t have any source of light at night, thus limiting them in so many ways. If you could help me figure a simple, doable solution for them, it would be great. I figure they don’t have access to many modern parts, or supplies once they got the light source, so I’d try and supply them with back up or something they could get if they needed to keep the “source” working. I did find some solar lanterns (most used for camping), but thought parts would be hard to get later for the people needing it. Maybe not.

Please feel free to truncate or shorten my ques, I wasn’t quite sure What I was asking for and was long winded. But found it necessary to get point across with my limited knowledge of alternative methods of powering a light source.

THANK you, I have also applied to join your terrific forums.

Sincerely,

Debbie

P.S. I found out that some soldiers in Afghanistan are requesting help for the friendly natives there who don’t have any source for lights at night. The soldiers in Afghanistan could use some easy light sources, too, but FIRST they asked help for the Afghan villages. I thought that was so thoughtful and self-less, that I’d try and help them. I’ve seen military care packages to Iraq and Afghanistan, but this seemed so humanitarian on the soldiers part, that perhaps I could do something from here to help. Thanks.

Debbie:

I am somewhat at a loss. You said you have tried everywhere and could not find any source for solar powered lighting. I admire your worthy goals, but you are really playing catch up here. First, every solar dealer in the United States sells solar powered lighting kits, solar modules, sealed batteries, and all kinds of DC lights. We have been selling low power solar-powered street lights for almost 10 years. Many companies sell new LED low voltage light “blocks” that are almost indestructible and sell these by the thousands to developing nations for lighting huts and rural farms.

I just purchased a sack of solar-powered walk lights from Lowes the other day that cost under $15 each and were very well made. Everywhere I look I can find solar powered lights, solar powered radios, solar powered laptop computers, solar powered water pumps, you name it.

Don’t try to re-invent the wheel, you just need to look in the right places:

www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/yago92.html

www.hollysolar.com/html/lighting.html

www.solarseller.com/dc_lighting.htm

www.etaengineering.com/lighting/lanterns.shtml

www.siliconsolar.com/DC-Lighting-System-p-16679.html

Good Luck!

Jeff Yago

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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