Bathroom exhaust fans are an often neglected fixture in the home. They’re in the ceiling and out of reach, so out of sight, out of mind. Finding bathroom fans with built-in LED lighting is an exercise in determining how much you’re willing to compromise. I researched 30 or so different fans trying to find a solution with a low Sones rating (the rating system for bathroom fan noise levels) and reasonable light output while maintaining a visually pleasing design. Check out my list of the best exhaust fans below.
The Ultimate Guide to LED Garage Lighting (from Lowes)
If you’re anything like me you spend a lot of time in your garage, in fact, most of it. The garage has a TV, in-wall speakers, it’s own home theater receiver, HVAC, and most importantly lighting. You can never have enough of it. Working on engines, detailing cars, fixing small electronics… These things all require plenty of light to do and do well. The best LED garage lighting based on my testing can be found below.
Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide to LED Garage Lighting (from Lowes)”
Review: Outback Big Stick Flashlight
Nearly perfect. That’s the easiest way to describe this flashlight. A few years ago an electrician I work with from time to time pulled this out of his tool bag, he could’ve elicited the same reaction from me if he pulled out a lightsaber. The Outback Big Stick is the light you can replace your trusty Maglite with (even if you have a new LED Maglite).
When I was a kid I would always shine my dad’s Maglite in the air like it was a searchlight,
I remember loving those nights (dad didn’t he preferred to see what he was working on). Continue reading “Review: Outback Big Stick Flashlight”
Garage Exterior Lighting
Update (12/29/16): Cree has changed the standard bulb to the plastic FlowForm version. This does not have the weather resistance offered by the original bulb. You can find the older 75w (13.5w) version here:
One of the very first lighting changes I made to my house was to replace the 13 Watt GE Helical CFLs on the front of my garage with the new Cree 9 Watt Daylight LED Light Bulbs. When I moved into the house I left these lights on 24/7, and there was concern about the power draw from leaving the lights on all time, causing me to look into LED replacements. I quickly searched the web for “best LED light bulb” and stumbled upon the Cree’s. I found one review that said they were the best, and I already knew they were selling for the lowest price at roughly $10 per bulb.
The name Cree is synonymous with high quality LED lighting, they build the diodes found in most high-end flashlights, and light engines for most professional stage lighting. Now with their foray into consumer lighting they’ve proven themselves again. These bulbs turn on instantly, are dimmable, a have very high CRI (90 or greater) ratings powered by the Cree TrueWhite® technology.
Long story short, I stopped by Home Depot, who happens to be the exclusive retailer of Cree bulbs, and picked some up. I installed them and the change blew me away. I use to be able to make out the driveway at night, now the driveway is fully illuminated and part of the street is too. No holds barred, I think these are the best screw in LED bulb money can buy right now. If you’re looking for a screw in replacement you can stop, just buy these.
GE Helical CFL on the Left vs Cree 9 Watt Daylight LED Bulb
After Replacing Both Bulbs with the Cree Daylight LED Bulb, Garage Lights On For Color Temperature Comparison