the time to update
your home lighting system
change has awakened in many of us our neglect of home lighting systems.
and Sons biggest seller this week has been light bulbs, such as for front
porches; flood lights, used on garages, over decks and back yards; and
photoelectric cell-driven technology. “All of a sudden everyone needs a bulb
for the porch light that’s been burned out all summer,” says Mike Frentz.
time change allows children to walk or ride to school in daylight. At night,
though, the rest of us pull into our driveways at 6 p.m. in darkness. If you’d
rather be greeted by the warm glow of a well-lit home when you arrive, you might
We’ve all seen commercials for this. It’s a little disk that fits
into a light socket with the weighty claim it will extend a regular light
bulb’s life 50 times over. Mike says it really does.
The way it
works: Basically, it converts AC (alternating current) to pseudo-DC (direct current) through
a half wave rectifier. This in turn reduces the output of the bulb – a
100 watt bulb powered by a socket with The Button in it turns, essentially, into
a 58 watt bulb. This means if you absolutely need 100 watts of light replace the
bulb with a 150 watt bulb.
it’s not a good choice for reading lamp light,” Mike says. “Because the
half wave rectifier is clipping the voltage in half you tend to get a slight
vibration in the light output. This can be annoying with up close
work. It is a great
choice for places with lights that are hard to reach and you don’t want to
have to keep changing them, like cathedral ceilings, front porch lights you have
to disassemble to change the bulb, or warehouses with a lot of bulbs in them.”
light bulbs are rated to last about 1,000 hours. Mike installed The Button in a few
lights inside Frentz and Sons warehouse, and they ended up re moving the fixtures, a couple years later, before the lights burned out.
about halogen lighting
Regular light bulbs operate basically in a vacuum with a tungsten
filament. Halogen lights replace the vacuum with halogen gas, it's a more clear and
bright light because it emanates from the blue-white end of the
spectrum. They’re more expensive to purchase, but less expensive to power than
have been the biggest seller this week at Frentz and Sons. But if you peruse the
shelves a bit, you’ll notice halogen equivalents for almost all regular light
bulbs. Floodlights, for example, have gone halogen to better and more efficiently light back yards
lights are energy savers,” Mike says. “Same amount of light, a better
quality of light that will seem brighter, but with less electricity.”
The same things you fiddled around with in high school science class
are making a comeback. Now they’re small enough to be convenient and useful
around the house, particularly the ornate outside lamp posts in front of many
Royal Oak homes.
really good if there’s a light you want to stay on all night long, for your
own comfort or as a deterrent to break-ins,” Mike says. When the cell no
longer senses light, it trips an internal switch, to light the light bulb. The
process reverses at dawn, so you don’t have to remember to turn it off.
“I really recommend these because they can save you money. These are for situations where you may not want a light on for
the entire evening, and not always at the same time,” Mike says.
carry a standard clock timer that plugs into a socket and has a mark for each
of the day’s 24 hours around its dial. All you do is move a little pin to
the time you want a light to snap on, and put another pin at the time you want
it to turn off. These are great for living rooms and people who have a pretty
Big Brother Zone
A decade ago this stuff was only available in movies or from that
brother-in-law who’s always traveling, wears a shoulder holster, speaks 12
languages, has several passports but swears he’s just running an import/export
business. Today, you can purchase an outdoor lighting fixture that senses not
only motion in a 180-degree radius, but also detects body heat. When it detects
either one, it snaps on two floodlights that stay on until they have detected no
motion for up to 12 minutes.
is that you don’t want it to go off when a tree branch moves in the wind.
That’s why it detects body heat,” Mike says.
until for indoor use replaces a light switch. It has a small electronic cell
that monitors motion and senses body heat. “It’s great for family rooms and
kids’ bedrooms, where you’re always telling them to turn out the lights when
they leave. With this, the light comes on as soon a someone enters the room, and
turns off as soon as they leave.”