Monday, April 6, 2015

Solar LED Lights and Dryer Vent Updates

I was searching through my photos, looking for a particular photo, when I ran across this photo of the solar LED lights that we installed on the eave trough over our kitchen side porch.  It was then that I realized that I never posted about the lights after we installed them.
If you want to read the post about the lights just go here.

In a nutshell.....we love them.  The install was simple and who doesn't like simple.  We installed them on our eave trough with the bracket and thumb screw included in the box.  There was a fair amount of snow here in Michigan this winter and they survived the snow and ice without any problems.

The amount of illumination given off by these solar lights is subdued which is what we wanted. We were concerned about the light shining into our kitchen through the window since the lights were mounted directly over a large window.  What we wanted was just enough light to be able to climb the steps without tripping and to be able to insert the door key into the lock without fumbling all without the cost of using electricity.  Both of those tasks are easily accomplished without any light shining into the kitchen.

Solar lights have rechargeable batteries which in some situations can last anywhere from a few hours to many hours.  I can honestly tell you I have no idea how long these lights shine at night before the batteries go dead or if they go dead at all.  We know they shine late enough for our use and if for some reason we need to leave in the middle of the night in a hurry and the batteries are dead we can just turn on the exterior 110 light.

The only downside I can see with these solar lights is that they only come in white.  Lucky for us, white was the color we needed.  The price is right because there are not many items you can buy for a 10 spot.  The install was easy enough and opening the box was probably harder then the actual install.

The dryer vent was the other product that I didn't do a wrap up on.  You can read about the install and price here.

We love this dryer vent and as I said before, it is the best dryer vent ever.  We had a lot of wind this winter and with the traditional louver dryer vent that wind would come right into our dryer depending on the direction of the wind.  If the outside temperature is 20 degrees and that 20 degree air is blowing into your dryer than you can be sure that it is lowering the temperature of your laundry room in addition to adding to your drying time.  Let's not even think about the zero degree and lower temperatures that we had this past winter.

I specifically made trips to my dryer to check on the internal temperature of my empty dryer during extremely windy and cold conditions this past winter.  I found that the inside of my empty dryer was only slightly cold and not even close to how cold the inside was with my old dryer vent.  I also noticed that the laundry room was warmer.  How much warmer?  I can't quantify it with a number but I can say that my flannel PJs (I do laundry at night before I go to bed) were enough to keep me warm when I put clothes into the dryer.  In the past I would hurry and leave the laundry room as fast as I could because it was so cold.

The price of the dryer vent was OK considering I had to order it online. When considering the price of online items shipping needs to be included in the overall price. Unfortunately, I could not find this product locally, which is a shame. With today's emphasis on saving energy and cost saving, dryer vents are often overlooked and can be a source of wasted energy.

Another bummer is the color.  It's off white and not pure white.  I personally think they should offer it in both white and off white or a paint able plastic so that the vent can blend with all exteriors.  I won't need to paint the dryer vent at the Torrey Rd house but at The Gear it will need to be dark grey to blend with the siding.  I have a real pet peeve about vents.  I see so many of these large newer homes that cost BIG BUCKS and the backs of those houses are littered with numerous ugly vents.  I want my vents to blend and go unnoticed.

So there you have it.  We were happy with both products.  We would buy them again AND we would encourage our family and friends to purchase them, too.  Let me know if you purchase either of these products and how they worked out for you.