Memories of columns past came to mind as I read the Consumer Reports latest CFL-versus-LED light bulb study, available in complete form in its October issue.
Consumer Reports says the biggest beef people have with CFLs and LEDs is the price, with 23 percent of those surveyed stating that they cost too much.
Consumer Reports has identified four light bulb letdowns and ways to prevent them:
Dim bulbs: Check the lighting facts label on the package for the number of lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb.
Weird light color: Choose the right Kelvin (K) number. Light color is expressed by its Kelvin temperature. The higher the Kelvin number, the cooler the light. Those wanting to trim electric bills who prefer the warm light of an incandescent should choose a CFL or LED marked 2700K or so on the lighting facts label.
Unflattering light: Choose bulbs with a higher color rendering index. When the colors of things look off, find out the CRI of the light bulbs; it indicates how accurately a light bulb displays colors, and the higher the better. Incandescent bulbs are at or near 100; most CFLs and LEDs Consumer Reports tested are in the low-to-mid 80s.
Early burnout: Return the bulb to the retailer or contact the manufacturer. You might need the model number or UPC and a receipt. And when buying replacements, be sure the bulbs can be used in existing fixtures.
Q. Every year wasps and hornets come into our house. We tried putting a screen on the chimney and sealing the recessed lighting, but they still come. An exterminator sprayed the perimeter of the house and bombed the attic with pesticide, but how do we find the source?
Do more of this kind of chemical warfare inside and outside of your house, and wasps and hornets will be the least of your worries, I guarantee.
A more direct approach is to locate the nests of these creatures – paperlike and made from chewed wood products mixed with wasp saliva – found under eaves and alcoves, in trees and bushes and on sides of the building.
I find one or two every year, usually underneath the eaves on the sunny side of the house. I deal with my own, but I recommend hiring a professional who will spend some time locating the nests and taking care of them – precision rather than area bombing.
I get email periodically from readers who have lifted throw rugs from flooring only to find yellow stains where the carpeting has been sitting. In some cases, there is no cure. Bernadette Chupein seems to have found a solution, although the reason behind it eludes her.
“I also had a yellow stain caused by a mat in front of a double slider door in the kitchen. I removed the mat, but did not replace the flooring – which is a gray-and-white swirl design vinyl.
“Within several weeks, the stain disappeared. I can only assume it was the sun coming through the glass that caused this.
“I have no other explanation, but I’m happy my floor is no longer stained. I had tried several cleaning products to remove stains to no avail.”
One thing you learn in this job is sometimes there just is no answer.Questions? Email Alan J. Heavens at aheavens@ phillynews.com or write him at The Inquirer, P.O. Box 8263, Philadelphia, Pa. 19101. Volume prohibits individual replies.