Tag Archive: electricity


Whoops! I got the pictures from my father-in-law, posted them on Flickr, and totally forgot to write up a post! Better late than never! The Array went up on 2010-11-29, and has been working great!

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LEDs Rock!

I’m an avid Twitter user. The ‘Fiesta Movement’, Ford’s social media campaign to drum up excitement for the car’s launch, is what got me started. I’ve kept using it, and now I’m connected to people from the auto industry, nonprofits, politics, and other ‘socialites.’

One of the companies I follow is Cree, Inc. They make LEDs and LED-related products, and are one of the foremost producers/innovators in the field. Also, they have a classic Honda Insight on their home page – a Citrus Yellow Metallic one, no less! – which gives them mad bonus points in my book.

@Cree was running a contest to celebrate the WORLD’S first 100% fully LED-lit house built in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity (news article here). Winner(s) get not one, but TWO! Cree CR6 LED downlights. Long story short, I won!

It’s great to see a leader like Cree doing this with Habitat for Humanity. I fully support the work that Habitat does; I think they’re one of the most excellent charities one could give to. The folks that get homes definitely need what they get, and they need their bills to be affordable. LEDs use very little electricity for the amount of light they give off (high lumens per watt rating), and this will help to keep down their electric bill significantly.

The Cree CR6 downlight is a 10.5 watt light giving off 55 lumens per watt; 575 lumens (577.5, to be exact). CFL ‘spiral bulbs’ are slightly higher for lumens per watt (in the 60’s); HOWEVER, they also happen to have this wonderful thing in them – mercury! LED’s don’t have any mercury in them, so they’re the best compromise of efficiency and eco-friendliness.

I will be putting my CR6’s in my basement. It’s currently lit by a 13W (60W equivalent) CFL, and two 26W (100W equivalent) CFLs. The fixtures aren’t in good places for where I need light the most, so there ends up being a lot of “dark spots in my basement. CR6’s are designed for use in 6 inch diameter recessed lighting fixtures – of which I have none. More pics will be taken with before/after lighting conditions and a review of the CR6’s after they’re installed. For now, UNBOXING!

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My father-in-law sent me this the other day:

The meter was installed for his solar PV array on Monday. The actual panels go up on the 29th. I can’t wait!

Even though it’s a digital meter, from what he’s been told it actually WILL count backwards.

Solar PV Array Update

A technician came out on Friday to measure my in-law’s house for solar coverage. The minimum for a “functional” installation is 80% unshaded coverage. Their roof came in at 97% unshaded. Excellent!

New Toys!

So I just found out over the weekend that my in-laws signed papers to get a solar PV array put on their house! 26 panels, 3×5′ each; 5.4 kW. Grid-tied setup with no local storage (no battery) at this time. It’ll be enough power to cut their usage in HALF every month. This is gonna be cool to watch go up!

More details as I have them.