Category “Articles”

Light Energy Designs is Back!

Tuesday, 20 August, 2013

I know you’ve missed Light Energy Designs, but don’t you worry, we’re back!

After a brief hiatus, caused by over-work and under-pay, I’ve decided to take up the pen once again and blog about the wonders of LED lights. You may now resume breathing.

Energy efficient, beautiful, high-tech, and very long lasting–you’ll love our lights!

Together We Can Make A Difference!

Wednesday, 1 December, 2010
We are proud to announce that fellow Vietnamese adoptee Stacy Thuy Meredith & successful business owner of LED (Light Energy Designs) is supporting the Vietnam Volunteer Network.
Light Energy Designs will with your help; donate a minimum of 27% of the proceeds to the VVN to enable us to continue our work that we do with the extremely needy orphaned children of Vietnam.

To help us help those children in need, please visit their website (www.lightenergydesigns.com) & purchase any of the four models (shown in the promotional advertisement) making sure you quote ‘VVN’.

To help us help those children in need, please visit their website (www.lightenergydesigns.com) & purchase any of the four models (shown in the promotional advertisement) making sure you quote ‘VVN’!

1.) Item #20621-70 (C6 Multi with Pure White, 70 Lights, Green Wire, 23 feet in length). Current price is $11.99 U.S Dollars. LED will donate $4.00 for every string sold

2.) Item #20677-70 (C6 Multi with Warm White, 70 Lights, Green Wire, 23 feet in length). Current price is $11.99 U.S Dollars. LED will donate $4.00 for every string sold

3.) Item #20417-35 (C6 Multi, 35 Lights, Green Wire, 11.5 feet in length). Current price is $9.99 U.S Dollars. LED will donate $3.00 for every string sold.

4.) Item #20693-70 70 (C6 Warm White, 70 Lights, Green Wire, 23 feet in length). Current price is $17.9 9 U.S Dollars. LED will donate $5.00 for every string sold

Offer Closes 31 December 2010. Please ensure you quote ‘VVN’, otherwise LED will not be able to track & donate proceeds to VVN.

Thank you Stacy & Light Energy Designs for your kind offer to help these children & Nic for the wonderful advertisement!

Together We Can Make A Difference!

Love & light,

Kim Nguyen Browne
Founder
Vietnam Volunteer Network
www.vietnamvolunteernetwork.com

Careful Cree!

Saturday, 16 October, 2010

The highest quality LED lighting manufacturer may be walking on a slippery slope. The North Carolina company, Cree has bought Cotco, a leading supplier of LEDs in China. Supposedly this  will provide Cree with strategic access to the solid-state lighting market. It also will provide Cree with a low-cost manufacturing platform and will help Cree to leverage its expertise in LED chips and intellectual property. But this may undercut their reputation as a the Gold standard in LED quality. The LED world has long looked to Cree to produce the finest LEDs to counterbalance the poor products pouring out of China. The obvious fear is that Cree will sell junk but under the fine Cree name. Let us hope that doesn’t occur.

LED Prices to Remain Even.

Sunday, 10 October, 2010

Sources in the LED manufacturing business say the price of individual LEDs will remain fairly consistent for the next few years. Normally new technology will start off expensive but gradually decline in price due to certain factors. With LEDs, the prices are pushed downwards by greater acceptance in the buying community leading to increase demand. It is also getting over the initial growing pains that all new technologies encounter and is producing LEDs with greater efficiency.

However there are factors pushing the price of LEDs up as well. LED prices are being effected by increases in wage prices in China. There are also great price increases in some of the components that make up LEDs, chief among them is copper and rare earth metals. Due to mining restrictions in the U.S., China is the chief supplier of these and using it’s near monopoly to increase prices.

These competing factors are acting to keep the prices fairly constant. This however may lead to a decrease in demand since one of the greatest complaints concerning LEDs is price. It is a common question to hear “When do you think prices will drop?” Many companies have made experimental purchase and now will only follow that up when prices decline.

These New Pure white LEDs are Guaranteed to Stop Traffic

Friday, 8 October, 2010

Our C6 LED string lights are a great way to make a change from the “usual”. These pure white LED lights are quickly becoming one of our most popular items due perhaps to the magical look they achieve.

Halloween, Not Just About Death, There Is Candy Too!

Wednesday, 6 October, 2010

“You are far too pessimistic.” A friend says to me.

“I am a realist with pessimistic tendencies,” I reply.

“No you are a depressed pessimist with psychotic tendencies, which means you have a negative view of the world and yourself and you scare me sometimes.” He stoops and picks up a leaf. “To me this is a pretty orange and gold leaf. This reminds me that it is autumn and the holidays are coming up. What do you see?”

“I see you holding a dead thing, in fact a fine symbol of death.”

“It is meant to die. To a tree this is like losing a fingernail, you wouldn’t  mourn the loss of a fingernail.”

“It is the tree’s only outward expression of it being alive,” I tell him. “From a certain perspective, the leaf, is the only difference between a live tree and a dead one. Without leaves, a tree is either dead or in state so closely resembling death that you would have to cut it open to tell which.”

“I suppose so.” he says,” You seem a little fixated on death today are you feeling alright?”

“I am fine, you just mentioned the holidays and it made me think of our celebrations of death.”

“Ok, I will bite,” he said. “Where does death fit into any of our celebrations?”

“You can see death all around us, in fact, death gives texture to our lives. Consider it similar to how  an artist will use shading to bring out the colors in a picture. It does not take much to see how death figures in many of our holidays. Presidents Day for instance, we only really honor dead presidents, we don’t celebrate the living ones. These we ridicule at best and at worst we heap scorn and hatred upon them. As a nation we haven’t really liked a sitting president since JFK and he died before we could start properly hating him.”

Twirling the leaf in his hand with a grin on his face, he asks “Well, tell me, where is the death in Arbor Day?”

“Arbor Day, easy. I sit at my mahogany desk which rests upon my Cherry hardwood floors, in my pine framed home watching the fireplace roar and thank God we can still kill trees with impunity. Don’t give me that look hypocrite. I have seen your house. I say keep planting these wonderful trees, I need them so I can read my morning paper and blow my nose. We pretend Arbor day is all about how nice and pretty trees are, but really we like them dead and hacked to pieces. Tell me, what is the first thing an Eskimo would do if a giant redwood sprung up next to his igloo?”

“Hang up his laundry?” He smiles and asks “So how about St Patrick’s Day?”

“You mean besides the DUI related deaths?” I ask. “I have heard you use the terms “drink yourself to death ” or “drink yourself to oblivion” to me a couple of times. In a very real sense alcohol is a poison. On St Patty’s Day people purposely ingest very high dosages and the next morning what do they say? I feel like I have been hit by a truck, my mouth taste like death etc.”

Tossing the leaf aside he says, “That’s kinda weak. If you can show me the death in Christmas I will give you ten dollars.”

“Simple. The ONLY reason we celebrate the birth of Christ is because of how and why he died! It is not because of any miracles that he performed. Others, before and after,  performed similar miracles yet they don’t get a big day. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…”  Jesus, The Lamb Of God, in this case the sacrificial lamb. That will be 10 dollars.”

“Fine Mister Negative . What do you have against New Years?”

“New Years Day and Birthdays are not actually celebrated by too many people after the age of 35. Why? Because we are forced into the realization, by these arbitrary days, that life is slowly draining from you like sand trickling down the wall of the hour glass. Though you may have a party thrown to celebrate your birth, or go to a New Year’s eve party, inside you know it’s one more year slipping away. I know many people who refuse to celebrate either event and proclaim out loud that it is just another day. These same people thought it was fun at 25.”

I pick up the leaf and say “I could go on you know. Easter, too easy, Jesus gets nailed to a cross and gets raised from the dead. Memorial Day, we are suppose to remember those that died in war. Thanksgiving, death to turkeys or Native American culture, take your pick. Valentine’s Day, death to freedom. The best is Halloween. The pageantry and the symbolism, are not very subtle. Yes there are girls dressing up like the latest Disney Heroine and buffoons that think dressing up like a girl is clever. But every other kid carries a sword or gun or battle axe. As a boy you are either a killer or a killer of killers.”

“That is just the children,” I continue, slowly crushing the leaf in my hand. “Adults not only drape their own bodies with the trappings of death but their homes as well. Skeletons, stray eyeballs, a beating heart and other various body parts are only the beginning of the decorations of death. We then ritualistically sacrifice pumpkins, mutilating and disfiguring their bodies with our largest knives just for the fun of it. Having scooped out their guts we commence to make a pie out of their innards. Then we adorn our windows or porches with their corpses.”

“You are far too pessimistic.” A friend says to me a second time.

Heights, Tights and LED Lights, Ruminations on Fear

Sunday, 3 October, 2010

My boss walks in and says to me, “I want you to write an article for Halloween this year. No giveaways, no gimmicks, just an article. You do remember what a fiasco last year was right?” I smile and nod as I always do when someone thinks I should remember all the things they find important. Well this couldn’t be too hard, writing about our lights is easy. They are bright, beautiful and cheerful, everyone loves them. I just had to somehow link them in peoples’ minds with the most dark and terrifying day of the year. Holy crap I’m being setup!

All I needed to do was concentrate, what do our LEDs have to do with Halloween? Haunted houses, no not really, costumes, no, candy…yes. Everyone loves candy and who turns it down when its free. We will give away candy with our lights, simple enough.

“What did I say!?” my boss asks, her temple vein looking like a garden hose. “Ahh , which time…I ahh” I know that was not very articulate but that vein was starting to get oddly shiny and was going purple. I wished at that point that I had worn a different shirt, maybe the green one. Fifteen minutes later I was finishing my second drink. It turns out I had pitched this same idea last year.  We gave away candy with the lights and people ate the candy AND some people ate part of the lights AND we got sued AND  I had to testify in court. Being sued is scary but what is more scary is memory loss at my age. I told my boss I remembered the part about having to wear a tie and put on underwear. My ability to suppress is what allows me to sleep so well at night.

Probably not the author

You know what I find scary? Whenever I see kids walking by with their pants down past their butts and their boxers hanging out. This makes me afraid for the future of America. Of course when I see anyone over the age of forty wearing skin tight bike shorts I don’t think to highly of present day America either. The thought of that vein “popped” into my mind, I didn’t think the boss would want me to equate underwear and the decline of American society with our LED lights.

Well what scares people? Heights, public speaking- that’s a good one, spiders, having babies, changing their diapers(I just got the chills), teaching them to drive a stick shift, paying for their communications degree! I had to stop and freshen my drink.

Maybe the key to this was to think like a writer, no, an author. I would just channel the dead spirit of Stephen King.” How to start… “It was a stormy night, and dark.” No that didn’t flow. How about “It was a dark and stormy night.” No, I had heard that somewhere else before. Plagiarism is a scary thought, well really, getting sued for plagiarism is a scary thought. Like all moral dilemmas such as the debate between “borrowing” a few ideas from another writer and losing ones job, a man must weigh the chance of getting caught with the benefit that the act will bring you. The bible is full of wisdom such as that. Nuns are scary. Even the singing types in the movies give me the heebie jeebies.

“What is this?” Her whole face was the same purple color as the vein. “Ahh,” was all I could manage before she repeated herself but this time far quieter. “What is this?” I am sure the mouse has this same feeling when staring into the eyes of a python. My mouth had come open at my last utterance but I forgot to close it and now a tiny stream of drool trickled down my chin.

“This isn’t ruminations in fear, this is rambling! How difficult is it to just tell people that our lights are pretty to decorate with? That we have nice orange lights for Halloween!” Her head seemed to be swelling along with that vein. “That their house would look eerie using the purple or green?” I felt the drool but was powerless to wipe it away.  She held me mesmerized like only a vampire or a stripper could.

Looming over me she said “The DEAD line is at 5pm, you have that long to write the Halloween article, I don’t care who you are related to!” Well at least she solved my moral dilemma.

How To Add To The Darkness Of Halloween, With Decorative Lights!

Thursday, 30 September, 2010

Halloween has always been about people dressing up in costumes. More and more people are getting into dressing up their houses. I am not just talking about a good haunted house but there are now many people who just love to get into the “spirit” by decorating. Not just the usual, spider webs and a witch or two but by going all out. LED lights are now becoming a part of this decorating craze mainly because of the “different ” look that some of these lights give. This different look usually is brought on by mixing colors. Normally people have been using orange only but lately there has been a change to purple and orange. These give an excellent and eerie feel to your home that the old incandescent lights don’t give off.

Another lighting decorative idea that is just about to take off is the mixing of orange and red LED string lights. This can give a bit of a flame appearance and or “demonic” look. My suggestion is to get these color strings and wrap them around themselves first before decorating.  Another decorative lights idea that is nice but should be used sparingly is the use of our green LED lights. You don’t want a St Patrick’s Day look, so use just enough to give off a super natural green glow.

Since our string lights are a patented one piece construction and never get hot, you can put these lights safely in to jars of slime. This lack of heat also means they can be placed where other lights cannot. A greatly reduced fire hazard means you can use your imagination to the fullest and try new ideas out.

I recommend three different styles of lights to use so that you don’t come across looking as if you borrowed from your Christmas lights. For the large orange lights definitely use our G25 orange. The G stands for globe so that these orange lights look a lot like mini pumpkins. Another festive style I suggest is the G12, these are similar to the G25 but are smaller. Finally, what is quickly becoming the most popular style are the conical lights. People love them so much because they appear to be the brightest of all LED light strings.

Oh Clark, Why Hath Thou Forsaken Me?

Saturday, 25 September, 2010

Clark W Griswold, once a hero of many has fallen in my eyes. I know you may be thinking it is due to that terrible European Vacation movie. Yes that was a sad and painful waste of twenty dollars. However I am talking about the blatant disregard for my intelligence in Christmas Vacation. Not the whole movie, there were parts that had Oscar written all over it. Who could forget the scene where Clark opens what is thought to be his Christmas bonus… wait I have to stop I am tearing up.

No, what I am talking about is the poor attempt at using special effects in some of the movie’s best scenes. I am sure the men out there are nodding their heads in agreement. For the women, let me tell you it was not the scene with the supersonic  greased sled, really how else do you think we got to the moon. Nor was it the scene with the killer squirrel. I know that this is an actual occurrence, having been attacked by one, going by the name Mr. Pickles. Of course the wife tells me it was a neighbors Yorkshire Terrier, but all I saw were fangs and rabid bloodshot eyes.

I am talking about Clark’s house, perfectly lit with festive Christmas lights. In case you don’t know, it was a fake, probably CGI(computers have no part to play in the movies unless they are trying to exterminate mankind, then I am all for them).

It' A Fake!

 Let us start with the lights. Does anyone believe for a second that he puts up all of those Christmas lights and they all work… the first time. Right, like that has ever happened in the history of mankind. There are Hieroglyphics’ of Pharaoh kicking Moses for not getting his Christmas lights up right. How many times did they have to shoot that scene 20, 30, I am thinking more CGI. And did the fuse blow with all those lights plugged into one outlet. Not even the fancy LED String lights could do that, more fakery.

How about how Clark, by himself(thanks for all the help kids!)is able to put up 10,000 string lights on his house, with relatives in town, the week before Christmas. This just strains credulity, especially when you note the sub freezing temperatures combined with the use of an aluminum ladder. Hello, come back to reality even my local fire department knows for a fact that people(not just me), can get frozen to an aluminum ladder in freezing temperatures if they happen to spill their beer on themselves while putting up lights.

The temperature brings me to Clark’s Mr. Roger’s cardigan he sometimes wore while putting up his lights. The first three times I watched the movie I was fooled into thinking that Chevy Chase had a high tolerance for the cold. Then I realized that movies are made in Hollywood where it never gets below 80 degrees. When I put up lights, I look like Nanook of the North and not just because of the harpoon I carry, which is almost strictly for self defence only(I know where you live Mr. Pickles). I look like that because of the layers of coats I put on over the layers of jackets and perhaps, maybe, it is the Vaseline I have my wife smear on my naked body first.

It is the temperature on this beautiful, warm, September, Colorado day that prompted me to write this. I was thinking, “I should put up my Christmas lights today so that I don’t have to freeze my butt off in December”. I then realized that sounded a lot like work. However I could write about putting up lights. I could write all about this being the perfect time of year to get those lights up. That winter is coming and to get ahead of the game. That sounded boring so I wrote about Christmas Vacation instead.

The 5 Biggest Complaints About LEDs!(And Their Solutions)

Sunday, 19 September, 2010

The 5 Biggest Complaints About LEDs!(And Their Solutions)

Led lights have been around for a few years now. Not very long but long enough to have garnered a distasteful reputation. But is this reputation justified? The answer from a person who makes his living in the LED world is unfortunately yes. Light Energy Designs started as an LED Christmas light company but very early on there was a great demand for the “light of the future”. It was obvious that we needed to find energy efficient LEDs for everyday life. The task of finding a high quality LED light was arduous, time consuming, expensive and a headache. We interviewed manufacturers, tested products and spoke to consumers. The consumers(and I was one of them) all had similar problems with LEDs, it was our job to find solutions.

1) They Are Too Expensive: This is easily the number one problem, however it is not quite true. There are many relatively inexpensive LED lights on the market, you just don’t want to buy them. Since price is always an important issue, we inspected the less expensive lights first. The reason why they were so cheap is because they were junk, pure and simple. They put out an odd light, they got hot and stopped working, they never worked to begin with, they came in pieces and were not covered by any warranty etc.

At that point we decided to take a look at the highest quality, best designed LEDs. Beautiful, consistent, bright lights that were durable too. We found a manufacturer(U.S.A.) that had almost everything we were looking for in an LED. After doing the math, we found we could bring these LEDs to the market for around $120.00 per bulb and great as they were no one would buy them. Why? They are too expensive!

We had looked at the Yugo version and the Ferrari version of LEDs, what we needed was the Ford or Toyota Camry version. Long lasting, well made, dependable, consistent light color and output but also priced well. It took three years to find! Proudly we brought these to market in the $40-$70 range only to be told they are still too expensive. Clearly some teaching had to be done about how long life spans and energy efficiency can save a person money in the long run. For example one of our lights, an LED Par 20 can save a person around $336 over the lifespan of the bulb.

2) They Breakdown To easily: Led lights have a high incidence of sudden unexplained failure. One minute, they are shining bright, the next all you have is a $60 paperweight. This is extremely odd since almost every LED manufacturer makes claims of life spans of at least 30,000 hours. There are basically only two reasons for this sudden failure: voltage spikes and heat.

Voltage spikes(really should be called energy spikes) usually need to be frequent or excessive to cause LED failure. An example of frequent would be in mountain towns where numerous power outages cause increased generator use. Direct lightening strikes and malfunctions caused by power companies are examples of excessive voltage spikes, both of which are very rare.

The main cause of LED failure is heat. Nothing kills an LED faster than heat buildup. This is why most LED lights have a heat sink. A heat sink is a term for a component or assembly that transfers heat generated within a solid material to a fluid medium, such as air or a liquid. A heat sink generally uses its extended surfaces (usually aluminum alloy fins) to increase the surface area in contact with the air. The heat sinks can be so elaborate and large that it is obvious that they cannot be sold separately but must come as part of a unit. The problem with most LEDs with heat sinks is that they are then generally placed in a recessed can. Unfortunately this enclosed space then holds in the heat that the heat sink is trying to bleed away.

We came across an interesting idea that allows for the heat to be dissipated with far greater efficiency. Our LED Par lights have a fan built in to the base. The fan is the very same one that is built into IBM lap top computers and is rated at 70,000 hours. The other advantage that the fan gives you, is that it allows for a direct replacement for your old incandescent lights without the need for replacing any of the housing components. It’s as easy as screwing in a light bulb.

3) The Light Color Is “Weird”: This is a twofold complaint, light color consistency and a low CRI. CRI or color rendering index is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of various objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source. For example picture how pale people look under fluorescent light compared to being in sunlight. To counter this use only LEDs with a CRI of 70 or higher.

The second complaint is light color consistency. When you order 12 lights you are expecting them all to put out the same color light. LED manufacturing is not an exact science, for this reason each LED is tested for color and light output. Once tested they are sorted into different shades, warm white, soft white, pure white etc. Unfortunately the range of shades within “warm white” can be large and very noticeably different. In order to get a consistent uniform color, Light Energy Designs pays a premium to have the lights sorted again based on their color on the Kelvin scale. This means to the naked eye all of the warm white will look identical.

4) They Are All Made In China: I understand this complaint even though it is not quite true. The gold standard in LED lighting is an American company based out of North Carolina. Another great name, and the one we use, is a Japanese company, Nichea, which is just as good but at half the cost. This being said there are a tremendous amount of LED lights coming out of China and a great many of them have issues. Patent stealing, inhumane working conditions, companies changing ownership and names to avoid warranties and lawsuits. This is precisely why it is wise to go with a known US or local company. They will act as a buffer, allowing you the peace of mind to purchase products knowing you can go to them with any problems.

5) They Don’t Put Out Enough Light: There are two main reasons for dim LEDs. The most obvious is that you are using low powered LEDs instead of high powered LEDs. Low power LED lights use 30-60 small 5 millimeter LEDs, the same ones found in our LED string lights. These are tightly packed together and give off a fair amount of light. They have their uses but are just not designed to illuminate a large room. High powered LEDs use a single large chip and are easily equivalent in lumens to incandescent lights and CFLs.

The second most likely reason for dim bulbs is that you got scammed. As stated above, LED manufacturers sort their LEDs for light output, the better companies pay more for higher quality lights. This does not mean that the dim LEDs are thrown away, quite the opposite, these are sold but at a much lower price. The same companies that buy cut rate LEDs will  also use inferior secondary components and out of date designs. Where they do not go cheap is in advertising expenditures and the use of top of the line packaging. Thus it is sometimes very difficult to tell a good LED company from a bad one, make sure you check our blog for tips when buying LEDs.

I draw attention to these complaints not in any way to scare people off of using LEDs. But rather to educate the public that there are reputable companies who are willing to find solutions to these valid complaints. Every problem that is faced and overcome makes the LED that much better.