Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ceiling Repair

My first attempt at a plaster repair on the ceiling. I got the location of this downlight wrong, not by much but enough to bug me everytime I looked at it. This is the relocated and repaired ceiling (Moved about 30mm). I was lucky the light doesn't reflect off this part of the ceiling or I'm sure you would see the paint touch-up.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Busy Weekend Part 3

It's only taken me 6 months but here it is the heated towel rail on the wall. I was nervous about drilling the porcelain tiles but with the right equipment and some patience the job is done...NEXT!

Saturn Switch Gear Arrived

These aren't cheap but the build quality is sublime and they make a statement. I just love the switches mechanical action, precise and positive.

Busy Weekend Part 2

I've been putting off a lot of jobs in the ensuite but this weekend I decided to bite the bullet and tackle all the odd jobs. First up the light/fan/heater unit, wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Now all I need is the sparky to add the extra circuits and change the wall switch.

Busy Weekend Part 1

We have laid more rocks but then ground to a halt due to our supplier running out of the crushed quartz rocks. No more till after the Easter/Anzac day break...oh well my back needed a break Got to work putting the clothes line together so another job can be ticked off a very long list.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lounge Area Lighting

I'm trying out a new camera and decided to try grabbing a night shot of the lounge area. Didn't come out too bad for a $200 point and shoot. I must get around to getting a DSLR and get back into some real photography but for now this Panasonic Lumix will do.

This areas primary lighting is currently provided by 9x 4.5W LED MR16 fitting downlights run through a dimmer on the 12V side. Dimming is not bad but the LED's are not completely linear in their dimming, they cutout below a certain level. The table lamp is lit with a 2oW Philips CFL that has a traditional bulb shape (It's slow to come to full brightness compared to the spiral design).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rock Me!

I got a little carried away today and moved a cubic metre of rocks....feeling it Result is one side of the house is starting to look finished.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

More Landscaping

Further progress on the great wall and a start on the front window garden.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

LED Bulb Review

I discovered these bulbs recently as I was looking for the ultimate MR16 Halogen replacement and found they lived up to their claimed rating so well I thought I'd review them and share my results.

The bottom line is there is a lot of false claims made for the performance of LED bulbs in the lower price range of the market (High priced solutions usually meet their claims as you'd expect). My simple rule now is drop the claimed wattage by 50% and you will be close to the real rating. As soon as I get my hands on a new bulb I measure the current draw and multiply this by the voltage and you get the wattage assuming 100% efficiency which LED's are very close to. I had already invested heavily in 3x3W MR16 bulbs only to discover when I measured the current drawn that they actually were closer to 4.5W rather than the claimed 9W.

The problem with the 3x3W configuration is heat output and the size of the required heatsink. To get a decent wattage the heatsink needs to be much larger as seen on the left of the first picture. This can cause some issues with replacing MR16 Halogens if you have height restrictions. In the example above I had to make some wire extensions to add to the retention springs for holding the bulb in place with the downlight fittings I'm using.

The bulbs I'm reviewing were purchased from Eco Online

3X3W CREE Led globe SKU: LED01

When I tested the current draw my 50% rule got thrown out as these bulbs actually rate slightly higher than their claimed 8W. The colour temperature is definitely warm white (Maybe a little warm for my liking) with a slight pink tinge. Not stark white like some and colour is even across the beam angle, no yellow fringing around the edge of the beam.

I have tried the bulbs in 2 different downlight fittings I had on hand and they fitted fine in both but I'd suggest getting a sample first to make sure they will fit your fittings.

Something to be aware of as well is most electrical retail stores are fairly clueless when it comes to LED's, in their defence the whole industry has been slow to embrace LED's and perhaps because of the false claims being made by some Chinese manufacturers.

To summarise these bulbs are the best I've found to date for output, colour temperature, beam angle and price. BTW I'm not affiliated with Eco Online in any way I'm just very happy with their product and keen to share that knowledge.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Portico Addition

After the recent heavy showers and observing the water flow off the portico roof I've decided the Metricon design is a little flawed as in there is no gutter. The water flows to one side normally but with a gust of wind it flows like a waterfall all over the front and potentially drowning anyone walking underneath at the time (Could be funny depending on

I'm going to add a small profile gutter around the front of the portico to drain down a chain as in the picture above. Now if I can just get someone to actually turn up!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Double Hung Window Adjustment

As part of our 6 month warranty service we had one of the A&L Windows technicians out to adjust our double hung windows which seemed all over the shop as far as tension goes. To our surprise he found 2 of the windows had incorrect springs attached at the factory. Which explains the mismatched feel. Anyway a great guy who also explained how A&L's fly screens attach on the double hung windows...the girls on the phone failed to explain it right and nearly lost me as far as us purchasing the fly screens off A&L.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Product Warning

Just a heads up warning to be cautious of buying these solar garden lights. They are FLC (The Fine Lighting Company) Air. I bought these on a run-out special from Bunnings and over a quarter didn't work out of the box.

Normally I'd just take them back but as these were the last left in stock I set out to try and discover the source of the problem. Broken wires or snapped solder joints was the problem with most as pictured above. Lucky for me I have a technical background. I'm down to 2 non-working ones now out of the original 16 which I'll return as it appears they might have bigger issues.