Yearly Archives: 2015


Hefty discounts on Wicker Emporium merchandise through promo codes

Wicker Emporium is an established and recognized retail chain which offers handcrafted and handmade furnishings and furniture for the home. While the retail brand started off in 1972 with only wicker products in its catalog, over the years it has expanded to offer products made of different materials. Today, the retail chain offers a full range of wicker furniture, solid wood furniture, leather products, wrought iron furniture, upholstery, textiles and various other home décor products and related accessories.
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When Should You Choose a Bi-Folding Door?

When deciding which type of door to use for your renovation project, you have many options. Yet your decision will affect how use the space both inside your home and in your garden. It is also likely to affect the way your property looks from both the inside and outside.

If you make the right choice, this could increase the asking price if and when you come to sell your home. With all of this in mind, the choice between a French, patio or bi-folding door is not one you should make lightly. Here is some information to help make your decision a little easier…


Deciding which doors to choose may well depend on the type of property you own. For example, many argue that French doors are most suited to period properties. This is because they can be customised with small window panes to reflect Edwardian, Victorian, or Georgian styles. If you are going for something that is truly authentic, then French doors may indeed be the best option.

However, despite being associated in the minds of many people with modern properties, bi-folding doors are becoming an increasingly popular choice on period homes. A bi-fold door will help to save space and offer the perfect solution to those looking to add subtle modern aesthetic touches which blend in well with their surroundings.


While French and sliding doors do offer different configuration options, bi-folding doors are much more flexible in this regard. They are available with varying numbers of door leaves. You can customise the door leaves to open in one direction, or to open in the middle of the opening. In fact, a bi-folding door gives you many other options. It can also be designed to fold inwards or outwards, and you can place it in bay or corner areas.


A big difference between French, sliding and bi-folding doors is their frames. French and sliding doors tend not to lie flush to the ground. This creates a step which can act as a tripping hazard. The step can also create a noticeable separation between the inside and outside of your property.

Bi-folding doors are the only option that offers a level threshold option and lies almost flush to the floor. This removes any danger of tripping due to the lack of a step effect. Choosing a bi-folding door will remove any such barrier and offer a seamless transition between the inside and outside of your property. While this can make it easier for rainwater to sweep inside your property, you can avoid this by ensuring that the floor outside your property slopes away from the door.


French doors are the cheapest option, whereas a bi-fold door is the most expensive to install. This is due to the fact that they are larger and have more leafs. Yet many believe bi-folding doors are well worth the extra money because they add greater curb appeal to a home, as well as being much more practical. In many cases, this makes the addition of a bi-folding door a very wise investment.

So if you are looking to add aluminium doors to any renovation project, make sure you do not inhibit the use of the space by getting the wrong ones.


Five tips to securing your garage this winter

As the darker evenings draw in home security is the topic of discussion in many households. But one area of the home that is sometimes forgotten is the concrete garage, which can be extremely risky as the garage is one of the most vulnerable areas of a home. That’s because a lot of homeowners store expensive equipment in their concrete garage such as cars, lawnmowers, bicycles, sporting equipment and tools. What’s more, many detached garages are essentially a gateway into your home.

However, there are some ways that you can secure your concrete garage all year long. Here’s five steps to securing your garage this winter:

  1. Install a security system – Truth be told, a security system is the best way to prevent burglars from trying to enter your property, and the best way to realise if they have entered it. A lot of alarms can be linked with emergency services, who will be alerted when this goes off, which means thieves tend to try and avoid homes with security systems in place at all costs. You can pick up burglar alarms at any electronic or hardware shop in the country, however there’s a vast selection of options out there, so make sure you do the relevant research beforehand to find the right system suited to you.
  2. Keep valuable objects out of sight – Perhaps one of the most important things to do when protecting any area of your home is to ensure that all expensive objects are out of sight from potential burglars. This means you need to move them and keep windows covered, especially in the night-time. If you don’t have curtains in your garage you could apply security grilles or even a translucent film to the glass. Although it may let in less light, it’ll definitely keep your belongings secure.
  3. Lock your internal garage door – A lot of homes have a detached garage that has an entrance way into their home. It’s crucial that you secure this door to stop any potential thieves getting further into your home. To do this, ensure that you have a lock installed onto the door, and ensure at all times when you aren’t in the home to lock it. Another good tip is to ensure that you have more than one lock – or if you have the money to do so, get a programmed entry code.
  4. Keep your garage remote safe – Electronic roller garage doors are now extremely popular amongst homeowners, but it’s important that you keep your remote controls stored in a safe place, especially at night time. Do not leave the remote in your car, as this will give burglars the perfect opportunity to get into your garage.
  5. Install motion detector lights – Another good way to ensure that no one is looking at trying to get into your property is to install motion detector lights. These work extremely well with security systems as they can detect moving objects. Once detected a light turns on for a short period of time before shutting off if no further movement is detected. This is a good way of deterring criminals from your garage.

If you follow these five simple steps, we can guarantee that your concrete garage will stay secure this winter. Although it seems like a task to get these things in place, it will definitely be worth it in the long run.

led light

Energy Efficient Lighting: What You Need to Know about LEDs

There have been plenty of innovations when it comes to lighting in the last few years alone. Today, you can opt for many different kinds of lighting, but one of the most popular is LED lighting. LED lights are not only efficient, however – they are also known for their durability and long life, which make them a worthy investment in any home and commercial or industrial space.

LED lighting: the basics explained

LEDs, also referred to as light emitting diodes, are a form of lighting which is fast making waves because of its energy efficiency. But LEDs have come a long way since they were first introduced. When they first came out, LEDs were narrowed only for use as single bulbs seen in instrument panels and pen lights. You may also have noticed LED lights in outdoor and indoor Christmas light displays.
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How to start a solar life?

How to start a solar life

To say you have a solar life you should have at least one device that works with solar energy.

The house is one of the first places people think of when they think of solar energy, but a solar house must have solar panels and this can be difficult because the cost of solar equipment for the home are still a bit expensive.

But there are other solutions which start a solar life. They are solar outdoor lamps, which are not as expensive. Having a charger for cell or solar ipod is also a good solution and you can get for under $ 100.

So if you want to switch to a solar life you have to think ahead, but taking action today. And as we saw no need to invest a lot of money, but small changes all work together to Solar Energy.


Transform the sun’s energy

Transform the sun's energy

The solar energy can be used in two different ways. As once did Romans Greeks and all the classic peoples who worshiped you can use the heat energy that gives us, so, with solar collectors of different types, heaters and concentrators can heat water, but not at very high temperatures, they can not overcome the 4000 ° k so that solar energy will not be useful when melting metals in blast furnaces etc. .

But some things can be achieved, depending on the ingenuity of the designer and the technological possibilities: To collect the heat energy from the sun several devices are used for flat plate collectors: flat plate collectors intercept solar radiation on an absorber plate by passing the so-called carrier fluid.

(This, in liquid or gaseous state, is heated passing through the channels by heat transfer from the absorber plate).

The energy transferred by the carrier fluid, divided by the solar energy incident on the collector and expressed as a percentage, is called instantaneous collector efficiency. The flat plate collectors generally have one or more transparent plates to help minimize heat loss from the absorber plate in an effort to maximize efficiency coverts. They are capable of heating carrier fluids up to 82 ° C and get between 40 and 80% efficiency.

The flat plate collectors have been used effectively to heat water and for heating. Typical systems used for home-room fixed collectors mounted on the roof. In the northern hemisphere they are oriented towards the south and south to the northern hemisphere.

The optimum angle of inclination to mount the collectors depends on the latitude. In general, for systems used throughout the year, such as producing hot water, collectors are tilted (the horizontal plane) equal to 15 ° latitude angle latitude and 20º S and 20º latitude orient N, using so more solar energy.

In addition to the flat plate collectors, typical hot water systems and heating consist of circulation pumps, temperature sensors, automatic controllers to activate the pump and a storage device.

The fluid may be both air and liquid (water or water mixed with antifreeze), while bedrock or an insulated tank serve as storage of energy.

Concentrating solar collector energy:

For applications such as air conditioning and central generation of energy and heat to cover large industrial needs, flat plate collectors do not provide fluids with temperatures high enough to be effective. They can be used in a first stage, and then the fluid is treated with conventional heating means. Alternatively, collectors can use more complex and costly concentration.

They are devices that reflect and concentrate solar energy incident on a small receiving area. As a result of this concentration, the intensity of the solar energy increases and temperatures receptor (called “target”) can approach several hundred or even thousands of degrees Celsius.

Concentrators must move to follow the sun if they are to act effectively; the devices used for this are called heliostats, mirrors that are mechanically moving or computerized control to reflect the maximum amount of solar radiation at the target.

Solar ovens:

Ovens solar energy are an important application of high temperature concentrators. The biggest, located in Odeillo, on the French side of the Pyrenees, has 9,600 reflectors with a total area of about 1,900 m2 to produce temperatures up to 4,000 ° C.

These furnaces are ideal for research that requires high temperatures in pollutant-free environments, for example in materials-research.

Central receivers of solar energy:

Centralized electricity generation from solar energy is developing. The concept of central receiver power tower or a matrix of reflectors mounted on computer-controlled heliostats reflect and concentrate the sun’s rays on a water boiler situated on the tower. The steam generated may be used in conventional cycle power plants to generate electricity.

The houses of the future:

Often speaks of smart homes, houses built and specially designed to reduce household energy consumption by focusing especially on energy saving and heat loss. These smart homes, for example have large windows facing south to heat inside in winter and some blinds designed to generate inside a refrigerated space in summer, without spending all electric or fossil energy for heating or cooling.

Also the walls are constructed from ceramic materials that keep heat in winter and in summer expel addition to using concrete tanks or water tanks to keep the heat for the winter night.

These small changes in our lifestyle as smart homes or use double glazing, insulate the house to avoid losses etc. to avoid the risk of passing as in photography; will make in the future global energy consumption is reduced considerably and so, like a domino effect, can save nature and our quality of life much better.

Black bodies:

As described in the introduction, and in relation to the previous point, there is theoretically what are called black bodies (bodies would be able to absorb all the radiation incidiesen upon him), that if someday encontrasen would be a invaluable as devices such as flat plate collectors and solar cells would yield very close to 100% and the scientists only have to worry about how to avoid heat loss and electric resistance and the like; the energy crisis would be solved, with solar energy solution.

hydroponics system

A Winter Checklist for Your Grow Room

A Winter Checklist for Your Grow Room

With winter weather just around the corner, it’s an excellent time to get your grow room prepared for conditions that are less than favourable. You can simply spend about five minutes using the checklist below to make sure that you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way in the midst of winter.

  • The temperature inside your grow room should be monitored day and night so that you can identify any failure in your heating system immediately. To get the results you want from your hydroponics system you will have to maintain a room temperature that is conducive to growing healthy plants. By purchasing a meter that gives you a reading for humidity and temperature you will have an accurate gauge on which to base temperature adjustments if necessary. Generally speaking you should aim for a temperature that ranges from 24⁰C to 28⁰C.
  • Can additional heat be generated if your growing room temperature drops suddenly? If you have an oil radiator or one of the convenient tubular heaters, you should be able to recover from loss of temperature rather quickly.
  • Have you sealed your grow room so that cold air and draughts won’t disrupt growing? Be sure to caulk around your windows as well as any other openings in the walls that can allow cold air to enter.
  • Check to make sure that your lights are coming on at the appropriate times. Since temperatures normally drop during the night, it’s recommended that lights be run during the night. You can use HID lamps that maintain a suitable temperature in which your plants will thrive. Once the sun rises, the amount of generated heat that your grow room needs will be reduced.
  • Try to draw some fresh air into the grow room from outside when possible. Don’t allow the cold air to come in direct contact with any of your plants, but instead use an intake fan to bring fresh air into an adjoining room and then direct it into the grow room.
  • Remember to never set your plants on the floor if they are growing in pots. The floor beneath them can be extremely cold and this will shock the plants. If you want to place any plants on the floor, use a tray under them to buffer any cold air.
  • Track the temperature of your nutrient solution. It’s important for your plant roots to receive access to a nutrient solution which will promote substantial development and rapid growth. By using a digital thermometer you can successfully maintain the proper temperature for your nutrient solution. Keep in mind that only one or two degrees can make a difference in the health and growth of your plants; a temperature that ranges from 18⁰C to 20⁰C is ideal for them to thrive. Remember that a nutrient solution that is too hot can cause root rot, and one that is too cold can stunt the growth of your plants.


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

External Lighting

6 Things to Consider When You Are Installing External Lighting

Installing outdoor lighting is one way to create a safer, more welcoming, and more attractive home environment. External lighting helps provide security for people in the garden and makes the property less likely to be a target for criminals. And external lighting can simply make a big decorative difference to the look of the home – perfect for entertaining. Here’s what you need to know when you are deciding on outdoor lighting.

  1. Understand What You Are Trying to Achieve

Different types of lighting will help you achieve different goals in the garden or yard. For example, when you are deciding on the type of lighting to install, consider what you are hoping to achieve and where you want the light. Think about whether you are looking to create an area outside for entertaining, or if you want to ramp up your home security. You may simply want to light a path better so that elderly relatives are safer in the evenings.

  1. Consider the Practical Matters

Before you start the lighting project, figure out the answers to key practical questions like: how are you going to power the lights? Where will the switch be located – is it in a safe and dry place? Will neighbours be adversely affected by the lighting?

  1. Choose Fixed Lighting Solutions

A permanent light fitting is often the best solution for outdoor lighting as it is sturdy, efficient, and can be wired up to the existing power supply. In this way, you can fit an outdoor security light or a set of decorative lamps around the patio, and have them wired to the electricity supply in the house and operated with the regular type of light switch. You can even install lights into decking, or around pathways. For supplies for this type of lighting project go to a specialist wholesaler or retailer like

  1. Consider Portable Lighting

If the situation calls for temporary or cheaper lighting solutions then you can find a range of affordable battery-powered lights for decorating the garden. These range from battery-powered lights to hang from trees, to spike lights that are driven into the ground to light a path. These lighting options are good for irregular use but are not suitable for enhancing security or lighting a patio on a regular basis.

  1. Think About Positioning

You need to consider the glare from a light and how that affects people in the garden as well as people in other next-door properties, or on the street. When you install security lights or spotlights you need to make sure that they do not create a nuisance when they come on at night. Floodlights should also be positioned high above the ground to give the best effect. It is best if you experiment with light positioning using a temporary structure before you fit them permanently.

  1. Remember Safety

Installing outdoor lighting is not a difficult task but with every electrical project you need to consider safety by using steel armoured wire which is buried deep, plus a low voltage system for the whole circuit.


Image courtesy of nuchylee /


What is the future of solar energy?

What is the future of solar energy

I will summarize in two words the future of solar energy, VERY PROMISING.

Why is it explained below.

Solar energy has been used since ancient times. In Mesopotamia, for example we know that the priests lit the ceremonial fire with curved mirrors of polished gold in 2000 BC also said that Archimedes used mirrors to sink enemy ships diverting sunlight towards them.

In more recent times by the year 1930 they became popular in Japan solar collectors to heat water, but the low cost of fossil fuels at the time relegated quickly to solar energy.

It was not until 1973 when OPEC oil prices shot and solar energy back to the world map, since that day has been steady growth.

Today in the early 21st century, the energy future is more promising than ever.

A part of that oil prices have soared in recent years, thanks to predicted it will end in the next 20 years, the population has generally realizing that unless we take action on global warming, our grandchildren they will have a promising future.

Every day more discoveries to improve both efficiency rates of solar energy are made, and while the prices of fossil fuels will not stop rising, prices of solar energy will not let down.

So if you were looking for was whether the solar energy has a promising future , the answer is a resounding YES, solar energy has a promising future, and the more people we use the know and have a brighter future and faster.


Points to Consider before Buying a Freestanding Bathtub

You’ve seen them in movies, looked at them in magazines, but have you ever considered buying a freestanding bathtub for your own home? This type of bath adds a touch of class to any bathroom decor. Whether you choose a model with claw feet, a roll top style, or a more contemporary style, a freestanding bath can be just the element of design that your bathroom needs to appear more modern. Let’s review some questions that you should ask before you actually buy your freestanding bathtub. Continue reading