About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

24 comments:

  1. 1
    Blurtman says:

    The blue glow of nuclear fuel rods can’t be beat.

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  2. 2
    Peter Witting says:

    High-quality, well-designed incandescent lighting cannot be beat. Bonus for using full-spectrum where appropriate. Compact flourescent is an abomination.

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  3. 3
    Hercules says:

    LED is the best, but the price point is still too high. Until that comes down I’ll stick with incandescent.

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  4. 4
    pfft says:

    NATURAL.

    epic fail:)

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  5. 5
    Treaty says:

    Just picked up 2 LED bulbs at IKEA yesterday… $12 each. LED is the sweet spot… Great brightness and color temp (almost exactly like incandescent), comes on at full brightness right away, and only uses 8 watts… All the eco benefits of CFL without the deal breaking color temp and warmup time issues that make CFL a deal breaker. LED is the future… For now.

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  6. 6
    Topdog says:

    Candle light, a bottle of pinot noir and a lady friend beats a high tech LED any day.

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  7. 7
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    Smartphone glow.

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  8. 8

    These are the best LED I’ve found, and I’ve tried a lot.

    http://www.amazon.com/Lighting-Science-Group-Retrofit-Compliant/dp/B005SHL40U/ref=sr_1_2?s=lamps-light&ie=UTF8&qid=1352734213&sr=1-2&keywords=glimpse

    They can be retrofitted in a lot of cans, or surface mounted in larger boxes. The only downside is there is about a .5 second delay in turning on, but the main benefits are the color is good and the dispersion of light is fantastic (most LED don’t spread light out well at all. They are dimmable (with LED rated dimmers) which is good because they are way too bright at full output. If you replaced all the cans in a typical room with these things and didn’t have a dimmer, the room would be visible from space. Finally, I believe Home Depot sells the same item under a different brand name, slightly cheaper.

    For outside, I have an LED flood which lights up the whole golf course with only 24 watts!

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  9. 9

    BTW, I don’t think much of these much hyped LEDs. The color isn’t good.

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31-flVH9cUL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

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  10. 10
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9 – If getting exactly the right color is your thing, maybe you should check out the Philips Hue – Make each individual bulb or all the bulbs in the house any color you want.

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  11. 11

    RE: The Tim @ 10 – I’m not really sold on those smart light bulbs. It’s sort of like buying a car that interacts with your smartphone. The bulb/car will likely outlast the technology it connects to! Where are you then?

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  12. 12
    pfft says:

    By Treaty @ 5:

    Just picked up 2 LED bulbs at IKEA yesterday… $12 each. LED is the sweet spot… Great brightness and color temp (almost exactly like incandescent), comes on at full brightness right away, and only uses 8 watts… All the eco benefits of CFL without the deal breaking color temp and warmup time issues that make CFL a deal breaker. LED is the future… For now.

    what people don’t realize is that when the power goes out and you need to run generator you’re going to love those 8 watt LEDs. not as much time spent standing in line for gas. you also aren’t polluting as much.

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  13. 13

    RE: pfft @ 12 – On the topic of generators, my refrigerator running uses just over 100 watts, and the lights in the refrigerator almost 90 watts! But the refrigerator has a “Sabbath Mode” which makes the lights inoperable when you open the door.

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  14. 14
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 13:

    RE: pfft @ 12 – On the topic of generators, my refrigerator running uses just over 100 watts, and the lights in the refrigerator almost 90 watts! But the refrigerator has a “Sabbath Mode” which makes the lights inoperable when you open the door.

    you thought about a few solar panels? I heard used solar panels can be bought cheap…

    some might like these too:

    Best Solar Chargers to Have for Emergencies
    http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/best-solar-chargers-have-emergencies.html

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  15. 15

    RE: pfft @ 14 – Most power outages are unplanned, and during short daylight hours. Besides, I already have the generator.

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  16. 16
    redmondjp says:

    RE: Peter Witting @ 2 – Incandescent light is full-spectrum (which is why you will always see incandescent lights used in higher-end clothing stores). White LEDs do not produce full-spectrum light (read the sections of this that discuss white LEDs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode). And LED lights are still far too expensive for household use (energy savings will never equal the initial purchase price), especially here in Seattle where any ‘wasted’ heat energy is actually useful for 9 months of the year.

    My house is lit by 75% fluorescent, with incandescent for reading, task, and outdoor lighting. No LEDs except in my flashlights.

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  17. 17

    RE: redmondjp @ 16 – What I don’t like about fluorescent is their disposal restrictions, and also I’ve found their operating life to be rather spotty.

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  18. 18
    rm says:

    We have a LOT of built-in lighting in our 1960s house. Replaced about 40 lightbulbs with CFLs when we first moved in. Nearing the 2 year mark, some of them blew out of their sockets. First a burning smell in the house, then a realization that a bulb had gone out. The spiral glass part had popped out of the metal socket. Fire hazard? Mercury hazard?

    Have since replaced most with incandescent and will slowly move towards LEDs as we find them on sale, etc.

    Thanks for the rec, Kary @8.

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  19. 19

    By rm @ 18:

    We have a LOT of built-in lighting in our 1960s house. Replaced about 40 lightbulbs with CFLs when we first moved in. Nearing the 2 year mark, some of them blew out of their sockets. .

    Where they enclosed light fixtures? I don’t think all CFLs are rated to be used in enclosed fixtures.

    http://askville.amazon.com/safe-Compact-Fluorescent-lightbulbs-enclosed-light-fixtures/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=2209847

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  20. 20

    On the topic of enclosed fixtures, for a house that age you also shouldn’t use many of the modern style enclosed fixtures which attach to the ceiling. The insulation on the wires is not designed to withstand the heat and will become brittle, creating a fire hazard (or requiring expensive repairs).

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  21. 21
    rm says:

    Kary, the CFLs that blew out of their sockets were not enclosed. Two were in our kitchen, which has a vaulted ceiling but at the level of the top cabinets, there is a frame around the kitchen, sort of a dropped ceiling, with two rows of light bulbs above the frosted plastic sheets and cabinets. There are about 30-40 sockets up there, and this is a modestly sized galley kitchen! We only put bulbs in half the sockets.

    There are no modern light fixtures in this house at the moment. The women took a number of her light fixtures with her and left us with bare bulbs in sockets. The rest are mostly recessed can lights original to the house. We had to have some barriers put around them when we had insulation blown into the attic.

    Are the LED ceiling lights that you recommended at 8 a fixture with replaceable bulb, or a fixture-shaped bulb that plugs into an existing can light?

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  22. 22
    redmondjp says:

    I took the plunge last night and bought eight LED bulbs, which were priced at $3 each after the sale and significant PSE subsidy. They were 40W equivalent, in a conventional spherical bulb shape but with only the top half (opposite of the base) actually emitting the light. I wanted to see if these bulbs could successfully be used in place of the G40 globe-type CFL lamps that we have all around our bathroom mirror. The short answer is a definite ‘no.’

    Despite the shape of the lens, the light emitted from these bulbs is still fairly directional, meaning that most of the light comes straight out the end of the bulb. This made it hard to stand at the vanity due to the extremely bright light shining into one’s eyes (imagine that early in the morning), and the wall opposite (the ends of) the bulbs was much brighter than before – most of the light in the room was coming from reflections off of the wall. This caused shadows on the vanity as well which weren’t there with the previous bulbs.

    I had my wife evaluate the before/after lighting as well, and we both agreed that it was not acceptable. I tried the bulbs in two other rooms in the house and found similar results – the direction of light output from the bulb did not work well as compared to a conventional spherical incandescent bulb or ‘twisty’ CFL bulb. I will be returning these bulbs to the store tonight.

    I’m not against LED bulbs per se, as I think that for applications in which directional light is desired (such as from most recessed ceiling fixtures) they will probably work fairly well (but those bulbs are still way too expensive for me to consider them – the PSE-subsidized CFLs are still working pretty well for me in that application).

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  23. 23

    By rm @ 21:

    Are the LED ceiling lights that you recommended at 8 a fixture with replaceable bulb, or a fixture-shaped bulb that plugs into an existing can light?

    There are only two LED products I would recommend. The first is an exterior flood 23 watt LED light, which I don’t like the brand of, but which does light up a huge area.

    The second is the Glimpse product mentioned earlier. Their 6″ product is very nice, and will retrofit to some 5 and 6 inch cans. For my 1968 5″ cans I had to adapt, but for a neighbor’s slightly newer 6″ cans they fit right in with the spring clips and light socket adapter. They are so bright you definitely need a LED rated dimmer.

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  24. 24

    By redmondjp @ 22:

    I took the plunge last night and bought eight LED bulbs, which were priced at $3 each after the sale and significant PSE subsidy. They were 40W equivalent, in a conventional spherical bulb shape but with only the top half (opposite of the base) actually emitting the light. I wanted to see if these bulbs could successfully be used in place of the G40 globe-type CFL lamps that we have all around our bathroom mirror. The short answer is a definite ‘no.’.

    I think that would be a really tough application for LED because of the light disbursion (sp?) issue, and the fact that most LED screw in bulbs are fugly.

    I’m interested in trying this one, because it’s made by the same company that makes the Glimpse, and therefore might disburse the light well, but it is also fugly. I wouldn’t think of it for that application.

    http://www.lsgc.com/interior_led_lighting/definity-lamps/a19-a60-omni/

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