Posts tagged ‘light’

How to Get Less Meat on a Deli Sandwich

By Chad Upton | Editor

Some delis put way too much meat on their sandwiches.

Some people will say, “there’s no such thing as too much meat.” For me, I at least want to fit my mouth around it.

When you order your sandwich, you can ask for it “lite”, which is deli-speak for less meat. Some delis also use the term “half sandwich”, where they give you a full sandwich but only half the meat, other delis will just give you half the sandwich.

There are health benefits to a lite sandwich. Deli meats usually contain a lot of sodium, saturated fat and nitrates. The other benefit of lite sandwiches is the price. Because the meat is the most expensive part, you typically get a break when you order lite.

If you’re buying your own deli meats, look for labels like “healthy” which means the meat contains less fat and less sodium or “lean” meaning it contains less than 10% fat.

PS – I’m still looking for more contributors to help write content. Please contact me here if interested.

Broken Secrets

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Sources: Xomba, Find Articles, All Menus, Yelp (1, 2)

Photo: onefish2 (cc)

August 17, 2010 at 5:00 am 5 comments

Lights Use More Energy While Turning On

By Chad Upton | Editor

There is a belief that it takes more energy to turn a light bulb on than it does to leave it running. That is true.

But, in some cases it’s still more energy efficient to turn the lights off when you leave the room.

That’s because the spike of additional electricity that is used to turn on a light bulb, is very short lived. That extra energy varies depending on the type of light bulb.

For most bulb types, the extra energy is equivalent to less than one second of energy that is consumed while the light is on. That means, you’d have to leave the room and return within one second to save energy by leaving the light turned on.

The one exception is fluorescent tubes (not compact fluorescents), they require a lot more energy to turn on than they consume while running normally.

Depending on the source of the information, fluorescents use energy equivalent to 5 to 24 seconds of regular use, just to power up. Therefore, if you use fluorescent tubes, there would be times when it would be more efficient to leave them on than turn them off.

If you have a large room that is lit with fluorescent tubes and you were going to leave the room for a few minutes or less, it would be more efficient to leave them on instead of turning them off and then back on when you return. But, if you’re leaving for more than that, you should shut them off.

That said, turning lights on and off does cause wear and tear on the bulbs. LED “bulbs”, which are now available at most hardware stores, are most resilient to this type of wear and tear.

Incandescent bulbs are extremely cheap, so the cost of replacing these bulbs isn’t an important consideration, although the environmental impact may be. But, it is important to consider this wear and tear for more expensive bulbs such as compact fluorescents. It is for this reason that the EPA recommends that compact fluorescent lights are used in areas where they will usually be turned on for at least 15 minutes at a time. This will contribute to bulb lifespan.

Although I used a couple other sources for this post, Mythbusters did some great experiments on this subject and I’ve embedded the video if you’d like to watch it.

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Sources: Mythbusters, EPA, EnergyStar (PDF)

July 30, 2010 at 5:00 am 1 comment

Sarcastic Secret: Signal Lights

By Chad Upton

Tickers, blinkers, indicators and flashers. They have many names, but only one purpose: to let people know your car is about to change course.

In most vehicles, a lever on the steering column moves up or down to activate flashing lights on either side of the car.

I suspect a lot of people don’t even know their car has such lights, but they’ve been standard on cars since cars.

Maybe it’s a confusing concept, so I’ll try to explain it in a straight forward manner: if you’re about to turn your steering wheel, put these lights on first.

I find that some people use signal lights like the horn. They know they’re there, but they only use them when they need you to move.

Most vehicles also have a way to put all four blinkers on at the same time. The vehicle manual may refer to these as “four way flashers” or “hazard lights” but a lot of people know these as “park anywhere lights.” Their understanding of this feature is, when you want to double park, park in a fire lane or any other no parking zone, these flashing lights give you temporary immunity from parking regulations.

In all seriousness, signal lights first appeared on cars in 1907, but weren’t patented until 1938. Some cars from the 1920s to 1950s used solid (non-blinking) retractable lights on the sides of the car, called a trafficators.

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Source: Wikipeda (Signal Lights)

Photo: Wikimedia (gnu free)

July 23, 2010 at 5:00 am 9 comments

Understanding Trucker Signals

By Chad Upton | Editor

You can’t go far on the highway without seeing a semi-truck. While they may be intimidating to some, in many cases they are the most careful drivers on the road — their life and livelihood is on the line.

Truckers usually communicate with each other using citizen’s band (CB) radios, but they communicate with you using headlights, turn signals and trailer lights. In a lot of cases, you probably don’t realize they’re doing it.

Trucks have a lot of advantages over the average driver. For example, they sit a lot higher, so they see past other cars when you can’t. Also, from their CB radio, they know about things that are around the next corner.

The most common signal is used by cars and trucks in oncoming lanes. They will double-flash their headlights when they just passed a police speed trap that you’re heading toward. While this is very helpful, be sure you know your local laws about this, in some places it is against the law.

More than two consecutive flashes from oncoming traffic signals that there is another type of danger ahead, such as a foreign object on the road and drivers should proceed with caution. These two signals are often confused, but the appropriate action is the same, slow down. (more…)

April 26, 2010 at 12:02 am 37 comments

Why do Some Cars Have Blue Headlights?

Traditionally, cars have had yellowish headlights. Now, many cars have light blue colored headlights. Some cars come with those headlights from the factory and other times, owners will install similar systems or similar looking systems.

The factory blue headlights are known as HID (high intensity discharge) headlights. Just like the name describes, they’re brighter than normal halogen headlights.

Traditional lights heat a small metal filament to produce light while HID lights create a plasma discharge arc between two tungsten electrodes. It is this plasma discharge that creates the blue color. But, this technology is not new, it’s very similar to the bright lights that illuminate stadiums and roadways.

The brightness is the main advantage of these lights. Like rear fog lights, these headlights were popularized in Europe where fog, rain and curvy roads create demanding driving conditions. Because HID lights are brighter, they penetrate fog, rain and snow better than halogen lights — an advantage when the conditions are not ideal.

HID headlights are also more energy efficient than halogens, which isn’t a major concern in vehicles right now, but as we move to battery powered cars that will become very important — the less power accessories consume, the further the vehicle can drive on a single charge. (more…)

April 2, 2010 at 12:46 am 12 comments

Instantly Brighten Your Basement With CF Lights

This secret is great for garages, basements, crawlspaces and outdoor spaces — where you can always use more light.

This is a cheap and easy way to give you a light boost without installing extra light sockets.

Now, it’s no secret that the beautifully spiraled compact fluorescent (CF) lights use less energy than their incandescent counterparts, which saves you money and ultimately reduces our energy demand. But, even if you don’t care about saving electricity, CF lights may still benefit you.

When you replace an old bulb with a CF, take a close look at the socket. There is usually a silver sticker that indicates the maximum wattage light that can be used in that socket. Typical light sockets will be limited to 40, 60 or 100 watts.

You can replace a 100 watt incandescent bulb with a 26 watt fluorescent bulb, which gives you the same amount of light while using 25% of the energy the old bulb used. But, if you use a 42 watt compact fluorescent, you’ll still be well below the 100 watt max and the light will output the equivalent to a 150 watt bulb. Because the compact fluorescent produces more light per watt, you’ve got a much brighter room.

I use two of these lights in my garage light sockets and it makes a huge difference when I’m working out there. I also have one in my basement, which makes a big difference compared to the 100 watt incandescent it replaced — especially since there are no windows in the area.

I’ll remind you that it is extremely important to check the socket or fixture maximum and be sure the compact fluorescent bulb’s consumption is equal or lower (although the “equivalent” wattage will likely be higher, giving you more light).

BrokenSecrets.com

December 28, 2009 at 12:01 am 2 comments

Rear Fog Lights

Most North American cars have one set of bright lights on the back, of course those are the brake lights.  But some American cars and most European cars have other bright lights on the rear: rear fog lights.Rear fog light on an Audi

If you’re not familiar with this concept, then you probably assumed their lights were malfunctioning or their break lights were “stuck.”

Rear fog lights make it much easier for the vehicle behind you to see your car when fog, rain or snow is heavy.

Some rear fog lights are a pair of lights mounted low on the rear bumper.  Other cars have a single light, mounted near the driver’s side rear turn signal.

There are debates about the validity of rear fog lights.  Some claim they can be confused with brake lights, others agree but believe that is still safer than not seeing the vehicle until it is too late.

In the photo of the instrument cluster, the icon on the left is the front fog light indicator and on the right is the rear fog light indicator.

Some cars have separate switches for front and rear fogs, other cars have one switch that activates both.

Studies have shown that in North America more people inappropriately use their fog lamps in dry weather than use them properly in poor weather

BrokenSecrets.com

Photo Credit: mroach (Creative Commons)

Sources: DriveAndStayAlive.com Wikipedia SAE

December 1, 2009 at 1:35 am 2 comments


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