Green Lighting: Energy Efficient Outdoor Lighting

As more and more consumers experience the joy of adding a great outdoor living space to their home, outdoor lighting is becoming a hot topic. From tiki torches to rope lighting, we want our patio or terrace to feel like a relaxing sanctuary from the stresses of everyday life, and one way to accomplish it is with effective mood lighting. However, lighting needs to be more than just beautiful, it also should be energy efficient. Here are some green lighting tips on how to keep your outdoor lighting as energy efficient as possible.
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The Four Most Common Types of Flies and How to Remove Them

Flies are a constant battle especially throughout the summer months, they pose a threat to your hygiene as well as just being a plain nuisance! But sometimes it can be challenging to even identify what species you are dealing with. Let alone selecting the best method to kill each species. That’s why it is often a better idea to call in the professionals such as Endeavour Property Services who offer fly control in Auckland. As pest control technicians are trained to effectively identify and treat all species of flies. Below we will go over the most common fly species as well as the best methods to get rid of them.
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Why it’s Essential to have Your Boiler Regularly Serviced and Maintained

Maintenance and servicing is very important in many areas – when it comes to your vehicles, your appliances, and so on. This is equally – or perhaps even more – true when it comes to your boiler. The boiler is a crucial item in your home or office, and its true importance is usually only felt when things go wrong; something that should be avoided at all costs, for obvious reasons.
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5 Reasons Why You Should Still Use LED Downlights Despite the Price

LED downlights have been around for some time. One of the reasons why the demand hasn’t increase drastically despite all the advantages is the price. On average, they are 40% more expensive than regular halogen and fluorescent lights used at home. Despite this fact, you should still consider using them. Here are some reasons why.

energy saving lights led

  1. Longevity. If you are searching for lights that are meant to last for a long time, you should choose LED downlights. On average, they can last for 25,000 hours to a maximum of 100,000 hours. Traditional light bulbs on the other hand are only going to last for up to 25,000 hours at best. Therefore, you might have to keep changing these light bulbs.
  2. Intensity. Although both options can produce intense light, the good thing about downlights is that there are several choices. You can decide how bright the lights are depending on where you intend to use them.
  3. Environmentally-friendly. LED downlights don’t emit carbon dioxide unlike traditional lights. We all know that carbon dioxide is what makes global warming worse. In the absence of carbon dioxide, you won’t feel guilty anymore about the use of the lights over an extended period of time. Some downlights are even used to secure homes and are on for several hours each day.
  4. No radiation. With the absence of mercury and other harmful elements causing radiation, it is totally safe to use LED downlights. You will also not feel worried that your kids are exposed to these lights when used at home.
  5. Heat resistant. One problem with traditional lights when used over an extended period of time is that they get too hot. They might even explode due to the heat. In some cases, they end up causing fire. This is such a huge risk you can’t afford to take. The good thing about LED downlights is that they can dissipate heat. They have the ability to prevent heat from escalating. Therefore, even if you forget to turn them off overnight, you won’t be at risk of fire.

These are just some of the benefits that you will get from using LED downlights. Therefore, you should take a closer look at them now and ignore the price. When you are getting all the benefits anyway, nothing should stop you from buying them. You can start now by looking at Aurora Lighting for more information.


A lot of people have given LED downlights a try. You should do the same thing and avail of these benefits. Besides, you won’t have to replace these lights often. They are also low maintenance. In the long run, you will save more money by not using traditional lights.


Image via freedigitalphotos.net (Sira Anamwong)


electrical alarm

How You Can Easily Enhance Electrical Safety in Your Home

The miracle of electricity cannot be denied – in fact, we can’t imagine ourselves living without the power of electricity. It’s difficult to envision how it was in the literal dark ages, isn’t it? But thanks to certain brilliant minds, we now have electricity as standard in our homes. In fact, we have been able to utilise its functions in many ways and can now benefit from well-lit, functional, efficient homes and businesses that have truly changed the way we live.


But just like any other important technology, your electrical system should be treated with care and respect. Have you ever wondered how you can easily enhance electrical safety in your home? Here, your top questions about electrical safety are answered.

General safety

There are some things you can easily do to improve the general safety of your home’s electrical system. Below are a few:

  • Stay alert

It’s important to stay alert and be aware of potential issues or problems, especially when it comes to various electrical risks or hazards. For instance, a twisted extension cord can be the cause of a short or even fire. Be conscious of flickering lights as well. Make sure that electrical wires are not bent or frayed, and if you have an appliance that gives you an electrical shock when you touch it (no matter how tiny), have this seen to as soon as possible. On the same note, if you have an electrical appliance that seems defective, have it repaired right away – don’t use it any more. Also, don’t try to donate the item; you’ll just end up passing the problem to someone else. If the appliance can no longer be repaired, dispose of it in the proper manner.

  • Be aware of your central breaker or circuit box

Most modern homes will have a circuit box or central breaker panel. This box or panel serves a very important purpose: that of controlling the delivery of electricity to different rooms or locations in your home. By knowing your circuit box or breaker panel, you can easily cut the electricity to any area in your home when necessary. And to further enhance safety, make use of electro-mechanical devices such as a miniature circuit breaker. A miniature circuit breaker automatically cuts off the power when there is a fault or overload, and it can be re-used as well.

The safe use of electricity

You should also be mindful of the safe use of electricity in your household. It may come as a surprise, but it’s amazing how many of us don’t have the first clue on how to correctly use particular electrical items. The smallest safety precautions can make a big difference.

  • Take, for instance, the unplugging of electrical appliances. Before you begin cleaning an electrical appliance, whether it’s a microwave, a lamp, a television, or other, take the precaution of unplugging it first. When holding an appliance, never hold it by the cable.
  • It’s also wise not to overload your electrical outlets with the use of a variety of cables. Also, never try to force an electrical plug into an electrical outlet if it doesn’t seem to fit – chances are, it’s not built for that outlet at all.
  • When using extension cable, be careful of risks such as tripping or slipping. Avoid running extension cables underneath rugs or carpets and across a hallway or doorway.
  • When you install light bulbs, make sure they are actually the proper wattage for the fixture or lamp where they will be installed. Avoid using light bulbs which have a higher wattage than what is specified for the fixture. This can lead to overheating, which can result in a fire. Furthermore, check your light bulbs regularly and make sure they are a tight and secure fit; loose light bulbs also have a risk of overheating.

Regular checks and inspections

Every few months or so, it’s also a good idea to do some regular checks and inspections of the electrical systems and appliances in your home. Some checks are better done once a month, whilst other checks can be done every six months or so.

What to check every month

Every month, you should make it a point to check your kitchen and bathrooms as well as utility rooms for any leaks or signs of damage from water. You should also change the filters for your air system or central heating system every month. If you have any smoke detectors, test them each month to see if they are functioning properly, and if you have an alarm system operated with a remote, test this as well.

What to check every three months

Every three months, you should check your first aid kit. If you don’t have one, it’s the perfect time to acquire one. If you have any items in your first aid kit which have already been used, replace them with new ones.

What to check twice a year

There are certain electrical safety precautions you should check every six months as well. One of these is to clean the buildup of ash in your fireplace or any other appliance which burns wood. Every six months, you should also drain the buildup of sediment at the bottom or underneath your hot water heater. If the sediment builds up, it can lead to a less efficient heating system.

You should also make sure to check your laundry machine’s hoses and replace them if necessary (if they are already showing signs of wear and tear). Otherwise, just clean them and replace them once every 24 months.

Your refrigerator coils should also be cleaned every six months to get rid of dust, and you should remove the filter on your kitchen’s extractor fan to clean and wash it.

Making your home a safer place is not a difficult task, as long as you know what to do and how to do it. By improving electrical safety in your home, you can sleep better at night – and have better peace of mind – knowing that your family is protected at all times.


Image courtesy of Suat Eman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


How to Improve Your Office Working Space with the Right Kind of Lighting: Your Important Guide

There are two things that greatly influence the efficiency and comfort of the office worker whilst he or she is at the job – temperature and lighting. Temperature is easily fixed; however, lighting is often a complicated topic and needs a little more study. There are different kinds of lighting, after all, and different kinds of jobs need different kinds of lighting as well.
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Renovation Project

How to Prepare for a Big Renovation Project the Right Way

A big home remodeling project is challenging and exciting at the same time. The endless possibilities and the wealth of new features and improvements you can add to the property make a big renovation one of the best investments you can make as a homeowner. At the same time, the scale of the project means you have more things to prepare beforehand.
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How to Find Energy-Efficient Homes in Montreal Real Estate Listings

Picking a home among the many attractive Montreal real estate listings is a daunting task. You have many factors to consider, such as the price, the size of the home, the number of bedrooms and baths, and the location.

But you also have to know not just whether you can afford to buy a home, but also whether you can afford to live in it. You may find out to your regret that your beautiful home will actually cost you a lot in your utility bills, and it may cost you a fortune to implement energy-efficient remodeling.

So how do you know whether a home is energy-efficient? Here are some tips that can help:

  1. Ask for copies of the owner’s previous utility bills. How much the owners’ pay for electricity, heating, and water can shed a light on how the home works, and how much you’ll have to pay if you don’t make certain improvements.
  2. Have the home go through an energy audit. In Canada, you can get an EnerGuide home evaluation regarding the energy performance of the house. The audit can check the insulation, measure the air leakage, and specify any problematic areas that must be addressed. This will give you a very clear idea of home much you will have to add to the cost of the house to make it truly livable.
  3. Look for brand new windows. This is a great sign for you as the homebuyer, because it’ll set you back anywhere from $8,000 to $24,000 to put in new windows. The problem with old windows is that they can get drafty, and that’s a problem that can cost you a lot. In the summer, such windows can let the heat seep in, so your air conditioning works over time and uses up greater power. In the winter, the cold air gets in so the heating needs to work harder as well.

With new windows, you get a better look and you don’t even need to repaint it. They also block much of the noise from outside. It’s even better if the new windows are Energy Star-qualified. These can reduce your energy bills by as much as 15%.

  1. Check the condition of the roof. The roof needs to be properly maintained. After all, they’re susceptible to winds, heavy rains, snow, and ice. Without proper maintenance, you may end up having to shoulder the expensive repairs later on.

You should have an expert look over the roofing in a comprehensive inspection. If any repairs are needed, make sure that you use the repair price as part of your negotiation. Also, check if the roofing materials are Energy Star-qualified. These qualified roof materials can reflect more of the rays of the sun, which can then help reduce the workload of your air conditioning system.

  1. See if the appliances are also Energy Star-qualified. Some homes have the appliances as part of the deal. If that’s the case, you should make sure that they’re all energy-efficient. The ES-qualified refrigerators use up 20% less energy. The ES dishwashers use 10% less energy and 18% less water. An ES washer uses 20% less energy and 35% less water. All these savings add up over a year.

It just makes sense, that when you’re picking a home in the Montreal real estate listings that you also factor in the monthly costs of the utility bills. By taking energy-efficiency into account, you can really have a more accurate idea of how much your new Montreal home really costs.