Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tips on giving the perfect Christmas gift

Receiving gifts is great, and gifting them is also a pleasure. But, Christmas is not like a birthday, anniversary or some such occasion where you need to consider only one individual’s gift. You probably have a long list of people whom you need to buy Christmas gifts for. Here are a few tips to make your Christmas gifting a little easier this season.
  1. When making a list, use some headers, for example, close friends, best friends, close family, your immediate family, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. This will give you an idea of what kind of gifts you will have to get for the people in the different groups.
  2. Make a budget. It’s surprising, how easy it becomes to choose gifts once you’ve got budgets for the different groups. You could be a bit flexible, especially when buying gifts for people close to you, but by sticking to a budget, the number of things that you can buy dwindles and the choices become easier.
  3. But, budgeting doesn’t mean picking up some gift in bulk and giving everyone in one of the groups the same thing. This is Christmas and you could spend a little time thinking about what people’s interests are and pick up something they would appreciate.
  4. Shop online. The crowds filling up every store and mall during Christmas is crazy. Yes, granted that you may get some great buys. But most online stores have sales going on during Christmas. You may need to do a bit of searching to find what you want at the price that you want it, but it is much easier than pushing through the milling crowds.
  5. One question that everyone has is how to budget a gift. How do you decide the amount you want to spend on someone’s gift? A good rule of thumb is to spend about the same amount that the gift they gave you the previous year would cost. They would probably spend just as much this year, so you’ll do fine.
  6. For close friends and family, you need to do a little more research to find a great gift. You would probably have an idea for what to get your immediate family, but what about your extended family? You could check with people close to them to get an idea of what their interests are.
  7. Homemade gifts are appreciated as people like the personal touch. So, if you’re good at crafts, you could make pretty artsy stuff as gifts. If cooking is your forte, pickles, preserves, jams, cakes, etc are always great gifts. The big advantage here is that they hardly cost anything and you can make it in bulk.
  8. With people getting eco-friendly, green gifts are greatly appreciated. There are a wide variety of green gifts that you can give from potted plants for acquaintances to daylighting systems to close family. Not only are you being eco-friendly, but you are encouraging others to become environmentally aware too.
Give the gift of light

Solatube has a wide range of decorative fixtures that would be a great gift for people who have daylighting systems. Their range of decorative fixtures includes:
  • The JustFrost which showcases sunlight in a clean, contemporary design.
  • The TierDrop features a beautiful, cascading design for a classic look.
  • OptiView delivers artful views of the sky in a low-profile design.
  • QuadraFros delivers stunning daylight with symmetry and style.
  • AuroraGlo commands attention with the smooth, cascading lines and subtle beauty.
  • VividShade is chic and accents daylight with contemporary fabric.
Sunlight Concepts is the dealer for Solatube’s decorative fixtures in the Bay Area. Check out their products at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ventilation: Keep the moisture at bay

Good ventilation is necessary to prevent moisture build up in your home or commercial spaces.

How does moisture build up occur?

When an area does not have ventilation, there is no way for the stale air to go out and fresh air to come in. There are usually areas of wetness in your home or offices. It could be from the bathrooms, the kitchens, or damp from the floor. Our very breathing can cause a difference.

Have you ever breathed on to a mirror and seen the water vapor form on it? If you continue doing that in an enclosed space, you will soon see the water in the mirror start trickling down because when water vapor comes into contact with a cold surface, condensation occurs. This condensation causes dampness in the room, in the floor, walls and ceilings. This is one of the causes of moisture build up.

Another way moisture builds up is after the rains. During the rainy season, water seeps into the walls and ceiling and through the floor because of wet mud. If the place is not aired after the rains, it could lead to moisture build up.

One of the reasons that we see much more cases of moisture build up in houses these days is because the construction of buildings has become much better. Earlier buildings were not constructed as efficiently as they are now and there would be cracks and spaces through which air could circulate. But with the kind of air tight houses being built these days, there is absolutely no way for air to circulate.

What is the outcome of untreated moisture build up?

Moisture build up can cause mold and mildew to form on the surfaces of the house. This can start in the wet areas of the house and then permeate into the surrounding rooms. If left untreated, this can compromise the structure of your house. Mold and mildew have been found to cause a lot of health problems. You are breathing air that contains this particular form of bacteria. People who live in homes that have mold and mildew are more prone to respiratory problems.

How to prevent moisture build up?

Ventilation is the only answer to prevent moisture build up. You can leave your doors and windows open for a while everyday to let the air circulate. But in extremely damp places, even this may not be enough. Exhaust fans in wet areas are a wise choice. These days, there are energy efficient ventilation systems available that can be installed in the attic which will keep the air in your home circulating all the time, preventing moisture build up.

What is a good ventilation system?

Attic fans are a good ventilation system as they keep the air circulating 24/7. If you are worried about how much it would cost to keep the ventilation system running the whole time, you have a more affordable option. There are solar powered attic fans that run on the energy from the sun. So apart from the amount you will spend to purchase it, you will not be paying for the running of these ventilating systems. It will not affect your energy consumption or your electricity bills.

The popular choice for a ventilation system

Solatube have the Solar Star range of solar powered attic fans. These are very popular as they are easy to install, need very little maintenance and are energy efficient. They help in cooling and ventilating your home. Sunlight Concepts is the Bay Area dealer for Solatube products. 

You can visit their websites at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/ or call them at (408) 844-0081.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What are Smart LEDs and how do they work?

Smart LEDs are a revolutionary day and night home lighting solution that uses the latest LED technology with the most popular daylighting system, to bring natural light into your home. This great LED system decreases your energy consumption by 94%. It not only saves you money but is beneficial to your health too, as your spaces are filled with natural light from the sun.  This green product is cost effective and energy efficient.

What are the features of a Smart LED?

The Smart LED uses SunSense Technology, which is a patented control center. It assesses the daylight that filters into your home all day long. If it finds the amount of light being filtered into the house low, it automatically and seamlessly transfers the lighting option from daylighting systems to the Smart LED. So, your house is always lit in a controlled way, throughout the day.

The Raybender® 3000 that the Smart LED uses is a patented daylight-capturing dome lens that helps capture the optimum amount of sunlight. It redirects the reflector for maximum light absorption. It controls the light that goes in, and during very bright days, rejects the excess light.

The Spectralight® Infinity Extension Tube that are used in the daylighting system help the Smart LED, as the tubes are made of a special reflective material that delivers 99.7% reflectivity, for maximum sunlight transfer. The material that makes up the tubing renders the colors in the room that the sunlight is piped to, bolder and brighter.  This material takes in as much sunlight as needed and pipes it through the extension tubes to the various parts of the house. These tubes come in different sizes to facilitate both long, uninterrupted runs, as well as, shorter lengths, where it can be fitted together in angles, to provide light for even the most hard to reach spaces in the house.

The Smart LED’s LightTracker™ is an advanced dome reflector that can absorb light from whichever side the sun is during the dark, winter months. This ensures year round sunlight in your home.

Flashings

The Smart LED comes with a variety of add-ons that can help better the effectiveness and efficiency of the daylighting system. Their flashings come in different types so that it is easy to fit them on any kind of roof type, whether it is flat or pitches.

Daylight dimmer

Sometimes, especially during summer, sunlight can be extremely bright. The light that comes into your home can also be too much. The daylight dimmer helps you control the amount of sunlight coming into your home. With the help of the daylight dimmer, you can ensure that the light in your home is controlled throughout the day.

High-performance Amplifier

The amplifier for the Smart LED is protected in a special housing and uses patented technology to get the best results. It has 16 reflective facets. The number of facets increases the reflective quality of the amplifier, and even if the sunlight on a certain day is meager, the facets of the amplifier will reflect it many times over to ensure there is enough light being piped in.

Daylight Sensor

A Daylight Sensor continually monitors light levels within the tube and activates the LEDs when light levels reach a minimum threshold. It also deactivates the LEDs when sufficient daylight is present.

Why get a Smart LED?

Sunlight is beneficial for our health and the amount of money that you will save by installing a Smart LED is a very smart move. That is why Solatube has spent millions of dollars in R&D to get you the maximum benefit of sunlight. Sunlight Concepts is the local dealer for Solatube products in the Bay Area. 


You can see their products at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Benefits of natural light in hospitals and care centers

Hospitals, and care centers have realized that treating a patient for an illness is no longer enough. These days most of these health centers have tried to incorporate other ideas into the design of their building, to make it a healthy place for a patient’s treatment, and for pre and post treatment care. One of the important features that health centers have added to their building is the introduction of natural light into their spaces.

Natural light is good for health

Natural light has been found to be a very good therapy for recuperating patients. Some features that these health care centers have added are atriums with large skylights. They have created landscaped indoor healing gardens. These have been found to increase the recovery time for patients and help bolster their spirits.

What should a health center do if they already have an existing structure and no space to incorporate an atrium or a garden? Daylighting systems are the solution. Daylighting systems can bring in natural light into any space large or small, and even if the patient is not able to go out into the sun, they will reap the benefits of the sun’s natural rays which are beneficial for their recovery.

What are the advantages of installing daylighting systems in a health care center?

Studies have proven the healing benefits of the sun. Usually after an operation or any kind of long illness, a patient is confined to the interiors of the hospital for quite a while. During this time they get a measly amount of sunlight. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is helpful in recuperation. The natural and best way of getting a daily dose of Vitamin D is the sun. Being enclosed in a room with no access to sunlight prevents the patient from receiving adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Doctors normally prescribe Vitamin D supplements in such cases.

Another factor to be considered is the mental health of a patient. Being cooped up in a room with no natural light can lead to despair and depression, both of which are not good for a patient.

By installing daylighting systems, natural sunlight can be piped into rooms and this provides a two-fold benefit. It provides the patient with an adequate amount of sunlight for a good dose of Vitamin D, and also serves to lift their spirits.

Why are daylighting systems a good way to bring in sunlight?

There are many ways to bring sunlight into a health care center like skylights, atriums and open spaces inside the hospital. But in an already existing building, renovation is the last thing that people want. Having walls broken down to make space for larger windows, having ceilings destroyed to make an atrium or skylight, is almost impossible in most health care centers. There are patients who need rest and recuperation. Doing structural work around them, and exposing them to the noise and pollution of a renovation is unwise. Daylighting systems on the other hand, do not need any kind of structural change. They can be installed on any kind of roof. The tubing used for the daylighting system lends itself to being angled in any way, to bring sunlight to narrow and closed up spaces. A daylighting system can be installed in a couple of hours with a minimum of fuss or disturbance. This makes daylighting system the perfect choice for healthcare centers.

A daylighting system brings a bit of the outdoors inside, provides ample light, cuts down on energy consumption and lifts the spirits. It is the best answer for healthcare centers that care for their patients’ well being. Visit http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/ to get in touch with the best Solatube dealer in the Bay Area, Sunlight Concepts.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Benefits of natural light for children

Children are a joy and the saying that a mother or father is born, when a child is born is very apt. As a parent, your responsibility is to raise your child in a healthy and loving atmosphere. The household should be stress free as children flourish in a happy atmosphere. Most parents ensure that their child is given all the regular shots, taken to the pediatrician regularly, given healthy food and enough activities to help them stay fit. Not only do children need healthy food, but they also need enough sunlight everyday to get a good dose of Vitamin D. Many parents take their babies for a stroll in the sunlight and if the children are older, they are taken to the park or playground, where they get enough exposure to the sun.

With a two parent working household, it can get quite difficult to find enough time to get your kids exposed to sunlight. To make sure your children get enough sunlight each day, get some natural light flowing into your home creating a healthy atmosphere for your family.

Making sure that babies get enough sunlight
  1. Make sure that the nursery is airy
    When designing a nursery for your new addition, make sure that the window is large enough to let in sunlight during the day. Even babies need a good dose of Vitamin D.
  2. Have the crib near a window or in the path of direct sunlight
    If the weather where you live does not allow for enough sunlight, you can make sure that your baby gets some exposure to the beneficial rays of the sun, by keeping the crib closer to the window for maximum exposure. On the other hand, if you live in a place that is warmer and you have too much sunlight coming into the room, reduce it by hanging sheer curtains on the window, to lessen the amount of sunlight coming in.
  3. Make a good choice when deciding on the nursery
    Most people have the nursery ready before the baby comes. When choosing the room that you are planning to convert into a nursery, pick a room that faces east. The early morning sunlight is the best and by having a nursery that faces east, you ensure that enough natural light comes in.
A good dose of Vitamin D for children
  1. Playing outdoors
    These days you find many children glued to their computer screen or the T.V. the entire day. Make sure that your child goes out to play for at least a while.
  2. Pick a good school
    When picking a school for your child, check whether they have plenty of outdoor activities for the children.
  3. Design outdoor activities
If you have the time, create outdoor activities, like a hike, or a day at the pool, or a picnic, where children get to have fun and get a good dose of Vitamin D.

What do you do if there is no option of letting sunlight into your child’s room?

Very often, the above suggestions may not be practical. You may not have a room that faces the sun. You may not have the time to take your baby for a stroll or take the children for outdoor activities regularly. The next best thing is to install a daylighting system. These are an efficient way to get sunlight into any room in the house. By installing a daylighting system, your house is bathed in natural light throughout the day and your kids will be reaping the benefits of the sunlight and will be healthier.

Sunlight Concepts, the dealer for Solatube daylighting systems will be able to help you fill your home with natural light with the minimum of fuss. Check out their websites at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The best source of Vitamin D and its benefits

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is part of a family of compounds. These compounds include vitamins D1, D2, and D3. Vitamin D affects almost 2,000 genes in the body.

What are the benefits of Vitamin D?
  1. Vitamin D is a very important but often overlooked vitamin that our body needs. Here are a few benefits of Vitamin D.
  2. Vitamin D absorbs calcium
  3. It brings a glow to your skin
  4. It helps fight depression
  5. It strengthen bones and teeth
  6. It helps in reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis
  7. Decreases the chances of a heart attack
  8. It even helps protect you against the common cold and flu
In olden days, people did a lot of outside work and hence got a daily dose of Vitamin D from the sunlight. But over time, lifestyles have changed and people these days are often deficient in Vitamin D. Some of the reasons why people have a deficiency in Vitamin D are:
  1. Staying indoors most of the time. Even when people go out, they get into air conditioned or heated cars, with their windows rolled up and many cars have tinted glass, making it impossible for the sun’s rays to reach them.
  2. Most people work in air conditioned offices, under artificial light.
  3. People don’t play outdoor games as much as they usd to.
  4. For people living in cities, there is one more disadvantage. High rises block the sunlight from falling on their houses.

How does one get a good dose of Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is available in some fruits and vegetables, but in minimal amounts. Now, fortified foods add Vitamin D to their product to help people ensure that they get a good supply of this compound. The best way of getting free, healthy Vitamin D is by exposure to the sun. Here are some ideas on how you can get Vitamin D from the sun: 
  1. Do some kind of outdoor activity. Yes, the exerc ise craze has caught on and the number of people hitting the gym is increasing everyday. But the gyms are temperature controlled and work under artificial light. It is good to go to the gym but instersperse your exercise with some outdoor activity like running, jogging, swimming, cycling etc, so that you have exposure to the sun. Early morning is the best time to soak in the rays of the rising sun.
  2. Make sure that your home and office space are mostly lit up by natural sunlight during the day. Have large bay windows and use skylights to let natural light in
  3. Consider investing in a daylighting system. They can fill your rooms with natural sunlight.
What should one know about daylighting systems?

Daylighting systems offer a lot of benefits and are a really good way to bring light into your home. Here are just a few of the multitude of reasons on why you should install a daylighting system 
  1. You and your your family are exposed to natural light the whole day
  2. In commercial places, it actually increases worker productivity
  3. It is easy to install
  4. There is no necessity to make structural changes
  5. It catches the optimum light of the sun
  6. It can be sent through the tubing to light even dark spaces like closets and corridors.
  7. The reflecor in the roof dome is made of a material that absorbs as much of sunlnight as it can
  8. It comes with a control switch so you can  regulate the amount of light that comes into your home.
Where does one buy daylighting systems?

Sunlight Concepts, is the leading dealer for Solatube daylighting systems in the Bay Area. 

You can check out their websites at http://www.saveonpge.net/ and http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Increase your factory worker's productivity with natural light

Offices and workplaces make an effort to look after their workers and keep them satisfied and happy in their jobs. Why? This is because employee iteration was on the increase and companies were losing good staff. Companies started spending a lot in trying to figure out what they were doing wrong and what they should be doing to keep their staff. Now, companies factor employee needs into every decision they make from job profile to workplace environment. Whether it is a small business, a multinational or a retail outlet, employees need to be kept satisfied to increase their productivity and workplace efficiency.

Some of the areas that companies have changed their outlook when it comes to employee needs are by providing well lit workplaces, and open and airy ambiences. They make sure that offices are well ventilated and cool during summer and warm during winter. There are cafeterias where employees can get access to healthy food and many offices provide kitchenettes and basic power snacks for employees to have during working hours. There are break rooms and recreational areas to help the employees relieve stress by taking a break in stress busting ways. Due to these innovations, employee productivity has been on the rise.

Benefits of using natural light in the workplace

Improves employee morale

Prolonged exposure to artificial light, especially in the late evening and night, can lead to depression. If employees in workplaces have to work only under artificial light, they would feel tired and stressed out and depressed most of the time. To have an efficient and productive workforce, it is wise to switch to natural light. This will improve the mood of the employees and keep them focused. Many companies use skylights and large windows to let in light. But this kind of light cannot be controlled or directed towards specific areas. Many businesses are turning towards daylighting systems as the smarter choices for lighting up workplaces.

Reduces the energy bill

If you are a start up or your business has to adhere to a budget, consider using natural light instead of expensive electric bulbs. By reducing your energy consumption, you are increasing your profit margin. Using daylighting systems to light up your factory space is a great way to bring down your energy bill. Most factories need lighting throughout the day. Having a daylighting system ensures that the employees are working under optimum health conditions.

Increases productivity

By affecting the mood of the workers, working under artificial light can affect the productivity of your workforce negatively. Studies show that this is a universal phenomenon. Millions of dollars have been spent to find out what is the best ways to bring optimum productivity to workers. High on the list is the need for natural light. The amount of money that you will spend on changing over to natural light will be offset by the reduction in power bills in the long run.

Daylighting systems are an asset

Solatube realized the importance of natural light years back and have been working tirelessly in research and development of state of the art daylighting systems that will be an asset to any building that it is installed in.

Sunlight Concepts is the dealer for Solatube daylighting systems in the Bay Area and they stock all of Solatube’s extremely well engineered, energy efficient products. 

You can check out the advanced features of their daylighting systems at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/content/show/6931. Visit their websites at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/.

With the help of Solatube daylighting systems, you can make a big difference in the productivity of your workforce.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why are commercial spaces switching to natural lighting systems?

There are many areas in which commercial spaces have changed the way they look and the way they present themselves to prospective clients. Gone are the little-hole-in-the-wall, windowless office spaces. Offices these days are all about open, airy spaces, with glass and chrome and offer a good ambience for workers and clients alike. Open cubicles, large cafeterias, large windows overlooking greenery, well lit atriums are all in. The reason is quite obvious. It is about giving the effect of more space and light.

Commercial contractors are using all the new advances in building technology to offer better workspaces for their clients. These are some of the areas to which commercial building contractors are paying more attention to.

Security

The need for security has become much more important as more research and development happens in offices, and confidential information needs to be protected. The level of security in new buildings has increased dramatically over the last decade. Some of these security features include infra red lights, occupancy sensors, etc. These are just a few among the many security measurements used in new construction.

Communication

With the financial world totally dependent on technology, it has become more and more important that buildings have their own communications systems, their own electric system etc., and if any of these fail and a business loses communication, billions could be lost. Builders try to make their constructions as self sufficient as possible.

Worker productivity

A healthy and good ambience in the workspace makes for a healthy and happy workforce leading to more productivity. Businesses have learnt that to make money they have to keep their staff happy and they factor in the needs of the staff when creating workspaces.

How has lighting in commercial spaces changed over the years?

Gone are the days where employees slaved under artificial light in sweaty offices. Now, they have centrally air conditioned workspaces with good lighting. Of late, businesses have woken up to the fact that in spite of providing comfortable workspaces, working under artificial lights brings down the productivity of the workers. They have switched to daylighting systems and LED lights which are healthier options

How do you incorporate daylighting systems and LEDS in commercial 
spaces?

Daylighting systems and Smart LEDs have a lot of advantages

Easy to install

Daylighting sytems can be installed with the minimum of fuss and in no time at all. There are no structural changes required to install daylighting systems

Low energy bills

Daylighting systems and Smart LEDs use the natural energy of the sun to light up your commercial spaces and hence you will find a big drop in your energy bill.

Light control

Daylighting systems use infinity tubing that can bring natural light to hard-to-reach spaces. The light can be directed towards specific parts of the room. Daylighting accessories help in controlling the amount of light coming in.

The most popular brands in daylighting systems and LEDs

Solatube daylighting systems and their Smart LEDs are the most popular energy efficient daylighting systems in the market. Sunlight Concepts, the dealer for Solatube products in the Bay Area stocks these green products. You can check out the daylighting systems at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/content/show/6931. Their Smart LEDs can be viewed at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/content/show/88046. Visit their websites at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/. Call (408) 844-0081 to fix an appointment with one of their technicians.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Are energy bills causing a huge dent in your pocket?

The worst bill at the beginning of every month is the energy bill. Whether it is summer or winter, energy bills seem to be sky rocketing. People need to use the air conditioning a lot during summer, and the heating system gets used a lot during winter. Is there any way to bring down your energy bill? Yes, there are many ways. Some of them are easy, quick and cost effective tips. Some may cost a little extra in the beginning but in the long term, your energy bills are sure to reduce in a big way.

Summer tips to reduce energy bills
  1. Use heavy drapes for your windows. Thick, dark colored drapes will reduce the amount of sunlight coming into the room and keep it cooler longer. So, the amount of time your air conditioner runs will lessen.
  2. Ventilate your home well. You can get solar powered attic fans that will expel stale air from the house and let in fresh air. This air circulation not only makes your indoor air quality better, but helps cool the home down.
  3. Use daylighting systems to light up your home. Most often, the windows are closed and drapes are drawn to keep the heat out. This makes the interior dark, and electric lights have to be switched on in the house at all times. This adds to the energy bill, while at the same time increasing the heat in the room. By fixing daylighting systems, you have natural light coming into the house which is healthy and at no cost to you. Between the daylighting system and the solar powered fans, you can help decrease your energy bill quite a bit.
  4. Have indoor and outdoor plants. Having a lot of plants around your home brings down the temperature in your home by quite a few degrees.
  5. Lessen the amount of cooking. Have cold cuts and cold salads during summer and lessen the use of the stove, barbeque, ovens etc, as they add to the heat in the home.
  6. Reduce the use of electrical appliances as it raises the heat level.
Winter tips to reduce energy consumption
  1. Make sure that your home is well insulated. Even small cracks and gaps will lessen the efficiency of the heater.
  2. There are insulation materials that can be used inside your walls and under the floors to make the rooms warmer.
  3. Ventilate your home well even in winter. Since everything is kept closed, the quality of indoor air will become unhealthy. With the solar powered attic fan you can make sure that your indoor air is healthy
  4. Even in winter, daylighting systems are a smart option. You need light more than ever in winter as daylight hours are less. Instead of using artificial lighting, daylighting systems will bring in natural light to light up your homes, making it healthy and what’s more, it is absolutely free too.
  5. Smart LEDs use the free and natural energy of the sun. The systems absorb and store the energy when the sun is out, and later uses the stored energy to power the LEDs when it gets dark. Again, totally free lighting which will reduce your energy bill.
Be smart and savvy and spend a little now, but earn returns in a big way by bringing down your power bills. And what is more, you are lessening your carbon footprint too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 popular ways to go green

Going green is a huge thing these days and in a good way. What better way to thank the planet that has harbored us for millennia, than by giving back to it. Earlier, it was simply too expensive for everyone to join in the green revolution. But now, there are cost effective ways for you to be eco-friendly. You are doing the planet a favor and spending less while doing it. Here are a few simple but effective ideas to go green.
  • Stop using electric bulbs – Electric bulbs are big energy consumers, and working or living under artificial light is bad for the health. Studies have shown that working under natural light increases productivity. So, whether it is your workplace or home, you can make it energy-efficient by installing daylighting systems instead of using electric bulbs.
  • Make sure that you unplug and switch off all your electrical appliances when you are not using them. There is a minute amount of energy being consumed as long as it is left on and the indicator light is still glowing. Most of the time people switch off the appliance but do not switch off the main.
  • Insulation is great to minimize energy consumption. It may take a bit of money to integrate it into your home but the long term benefits to conservation and to your pocket are high
  • Make sure that your faucets and pipes don’t have a leak. It may be a small drip, but you are wasting water and by fixing the little drips here and there, you are contributing to conservation.
  • Reuse material. Carry a shopping bag with you when you go shopping, so that you won’t have to waste more material to bring back your purchases. Make sure that you dispose of your trash in an eco-friendly way. If you are a retailer, use bio-degradable products for as many uses as possible.
  • Install Smart LED lights at home and at the workplace. These LEDs use the sun’s rays to power up and fill your space with light when needed. Even if you pay a little more to have them installed, you will be saving a lot on energy in the long term.
  • Make sure that the air filters of your cooling system and heating system are clean. If they are dirty, the cooling or heating will be less efficient, and you will have to use the system longer to get more effective results.
  • Get your HVAC units maintained regularly. Make sure that you have no leaky ducts. This will go a long way in maximizing your energy consumption.
  • Ventilate your homes using solar powered energy efficient attic fans. Ventilation maximizes the heating and cooling in your home, while at the same time improving the quality of air inside the house. It circulates the air in the home, maximizing the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems.
Leader in energy consumption

Solatube is way ahead in the field of energy consumption. They have advanced daylighting systems that light up your homes with the natural rays of the sun and are cost effective. Their Smart LEDs are designed with efficiency and effectiveness in mind. Their solar powered attic fans will ensure that the air that you breathe inside enclosed spaces is healthy. They even have great decorative fixtures that go with their daylighting systems. Call Sunlight Concepts, the leading dealer for Solatube products in the Bay Area at (408) 844-0081. You can also visit their website at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Factors to consider when choosing a daylighting system

Are you ready to go green? If you have made the eco friendly decision to light up your home with energy efficient products, then a daylighting system is what you need. When choosing a daylighting system and before installing it, you should consider certain factors. Get one of the daylighting system technicians or staff to take a look at your home. They will be the best people to advice you on how to go about buying your daylighting system and advising you on how to get it installed.

Factors to consider when choosing your daylighting system

Roof

There are straight roofs and pitched roofs. There are roofs that are covered with shingles, roofs with eaves, and roofs that are tiled. The type of roof you have is an important factor when it comes to buying your daylighting system. Daylighting systems can be fixed on any type of roof, but there are different fixtures to help install them, depending on the type of roof.

Angle

Where you place the daylighting system’s reflecting dome is important. It should be placed in a position that receives the most sunlight. It should be angled towards the sun’s rays and should be in a spot that is not shadowed by neighboring buildings or trees

Hardy

Your daylighting system should be able to withstand weather conditions. It should have some kind of protection to face rough weather.

Angled tubing

The tubing for your daylighting systems should be of good quality, and should lend itself to angles. Only then can it be used to reach light to the hard to reach spaces, like hallways and closets.

Requires low maintenance

A good daylighting system should require very little maintenance. It should come with a good guarantee, and the dealer from whom you are purchasing the system should have people who will respond immediately, in case you have any problems.

Good fixtures

The daylighting system should have good add on fixtures, like light fixtures, dimmer switches, flashings etc. This makes it even more efficient, and enhances the system and the look of the house.

Which company has a good daylighting system?

Solatube daylighting system offers the 160 DS and 290 DS Daylighting Systems that have set performance standards never seen before. These models feature the patented Raybender® 3000 Technology and LightTracker™ Reflector to deliver an Effective Daylight Capture Surface (EDCS) nearly double the EDCS of copycat products. It is highly effective and simple to install. These models will take your space from dark to dazzling.

These daylighting systems come with a number of excellent add-ons and accessories that will add style to your home. Their systems are durable and can be installed on any kind of roof.

They use the Spectralight® Infinity Extension Tubes that can be added in increments of 16 in/400 mm or 24 in/600 mm for long runs without sacrificing performance. The secret is the unrivaled reflectivity of Spectralight® Infinity tubing, making it possible to create up to 90 degree angles and long tube runs up to 30 ft/9 m.

The Solatube daylighting system is simple to install and does not need any kind of renovation to your home. It takes a technician about two hours to install it, and it is quite simple that you can install it yourself.

Solatube provides a ten-year Manufacturer warranty on all tubular daylighting devices.

Call (408) 844-0081 to reach Sunlight Concepts who - the best dealers for Solatube products in the Bay Area. Their technicians will come around to take a look at your home and help you decide what you need.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Smart Leds And The Green Revolution

Is your energy bill making a large hole in your pocket? Here is a great solution for that. The Smart LED system! This is a revolutionary lighting system that can be used to light up your home during the daytime and at night too. And the best part! It cuts your lighting energy use by 94%. This new age technology uses an innovative system to combine advanced LED technology with state-of-the-art daylighting. By using these Smart LEDs, you are being energy efficient, lighting up our home with less money and being eco-friendly.

Day time lighting

Many homes and apartments have few windows, especially in certain rooms and thus very little light makes its way in during the day. Due to this, the electric lights have to be kept on, even during the day. With the Smart LED System, you don’t need to switch on your electric lights during the day. It is a no-cost, natural way to illuminate your home.

Night time lighting

During the day, these Smart LED Systems store enough energy for the night. They automatically get triggered to light your interior after the sun goes down.
LEDs and daylighting systems are now combined to provide you with the most energy efficient lighting for your home ever. They are designed to light spaces up to 250 sq. ft. The Smart LED System works best in small- to mid-sized spaces like hallways, bathrooms, kitchens and closets. For larger rooms, you can use more than one to create truly dramatic effect.

Making a difference

By installing Smart LEDs in your home, you are contributing towards the green revolution. There are many small ways in which each person and each family contribute towards making the world a better place, and leaving it safe for our future generations. A Native American proverb says, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” That is so true and wise. All of us should remember our responsibility.

Who makes the best Smart LEDs?

Solatube has revolutionized the market with their incredible energy saving devices. One of their latest and most innovative products is the Smart LED. Their Smart LED System has earned the prestigious ENERGY STAR rating* for its ability to minimize heat loss in extremely cold climates and heat gain in extremely warm ones, giving you the ultimate in thermal performance. With its cutting-edge, energy-efficient design, the Solatube Smart LED System beat out more than 300 other lighting-related products to win the coveted LightFair International Innovation Award in early 2013.

Since then, it has been featured extensively in the media in places like Fox News, Residential Building Products Magazine, Environmental Design and Construction Magazine, and even DIY Television.

The secret behind the Smart LED System is SunSense Technology, a patented control center that continually assesses daylight levels. When levels are low, the LED lights turn on automatically. When levels are too high, the LEDs turn themselves off. The result is a seamless blending of daylight and LED light, giving you effective lighting up to 24 hours a day.

Get your Smart LED from Sunlight Concepts, Solatube’s leading dealer in the Bay Area. You can see this fantastic product at http://www.saveonpge.net/ and http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/. Check out the Smart LEDs at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/content/show/88046.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ten ways to beat the heat

‘In the summertime and the weather is fine’. Isn’t that a lovely song? But for the people in the Bay Area, that may not be the best song for the summer. As temperatures rise, so do tempers. Here are some cool ways to beat the heat.
  1. Get dark colored heavy curtains for your rooms for the summer. Leave the windows open during the night and pull the drapes as it gets warm during the day. This helps to keep out the heat and keep the room cool.
  2. Turn off all the heat inducing equipment in the house when not in use like the oven, computer, heater etc. This will bring down the temperatures inside the house.
  3. Don’t switch on all the lights in the house. Electric bulbs make the room warmer. Use bulbs sparingly. Consider investing in a daylighting system. This brings in natural light from outside which is cooler than electric bulbs and healthier too. The amount of sunlight in a daylighting system can be adjusted using a dimmer. As an added bonus, you are also being eco friendly and saving money.
  4. Place a shallow bowl filled with ice in front of your fan to increase windchill, if your fan isn’t making the room cool enough.
  5. Drink lots of water. In the summer, your body gets dehydrated and drinking water cools the body down (The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes no recommendation as to the temperature fluids to consume in a heat wave other than to “avoid very cold drinks” as these can cause stomach cramps. It also recommends avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and drinks with large amounts of sugar as these can “actually cause you to lose more body fluid”.)
  6. Keep a spray bottle filled with water in the fridge and occasionally spray yourself with chilled water. Spray the pulse points of your body like the head, neck, wrists, back of knees etc. If you add a piece of cucumber or twist of lemon it adds to the spritz. This is a great way to keep your body temperatures down and keep you cool
  7. Have cold food. Frozen yogurt, fruits, smoothies are all great to indulge in during the summer. Try to reduce cooking in the kitchen. Have cereals for breakfast, cold cuts and sandwiches for lunch and light sandwiches for dinner. Try to avoid hot and spicy food as it increases your body temperature. Eat light during the summer.
  8. Go out! This is the best time to get out in your car and go for a long drive. The air conditioning in the car is much more effective and cheaper than using the air conditioner at home. You can make it even cheaper, by just rolling the windows down if there is a nice breeze blowing.
  9. An even cheaper option is to take some sort of public transport and hit the mall. Air conditioning for free and you can have fun in spite of the sun.
  10. If it’s a really hot one, wet sheets and drape them on the curtain rail. The breeze blowing through the wet sheet will make the air blowing in, cooler.
Another great way to keep yourself cool is to get a solar attic fan. It ventilates the house, pushing out the hot air and letting in cool air. Solatube has a very nice solar attic fan which you can get from their local Bay Area Solatube dealer, Sunlight Concepts. 

Check it out at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/content/show/7044. You can call them at (408) 844-0081 to make an appointment and go see this amazing product for yourself.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ventilate your home with solar attic fans

One of the important points to keep in mind when designing, building or renovating a house is ventilation. Good ventilation is important for many reasons.

It keeps odors at bay

If your home does not have proper air circulation, the moisture in the air clings to the walls and furniture, and your home will have a damp and wet smell all the time. Other smells too do not get dissipated quickly.

Keeps the damp away

If the ventilation in your home is poor, the dampness in the air will cause the paint on your walls to bubble. The furniture and flooring has more chance of rotting due to mildew. Your upholstery, carpets and other furnishings also get affected by the dampness.

Keeps the air clean

Poor ventilation makes the indoor air quality of the home poor, and the chances of you and your family falling sick often are high. It could be allergies due to dust and other contaminants that have no way of getting out of the house. Dampness can give rise to asthma.

Keeps you healthy

Fresh air keeps one healthy. If you have a good circulation of air in your home, clean air is constantly wafting in. This makes your home a healthier place to live in.

Cuts your energy costs

When you have proper cross ventilation, except for the hottest months of the year, you don’t need to use your air conditioning unit. This will cut down your energy bills quite a bit.

A whole new system of ventilation

But how do you ensure that your home is properly ventilated? You need to make sure that you have large windows that bring clean air into the home. Having an attic fan is a great way to ensure that your home is well ventilated. Wondering how you cut costs if you are running an attic fan constantly? The answer is simple…Solar powered attic fans!

Solar powered attic fans have attic vent and roof vent fans. These fans run on the sun’s energy and so cost nothing to operate. Your energy bills will come down drastically while clean air circulates around your home. Most solar powered fans come with flashing option which means they can be fixed to almost any kind of roof.

Solar powered attic fans are a green product. By using them, you cool down your home, keep your house ventilated, cut down on your energy bills and earn federal tax credits. These are just some of the reasons that it is a great idea to buy a solar attic fan. Wondering where to get the best solar powered attic fan? You don’t have to look far. Solatube’s solar powered attic fans use the best technology that money can buy. Take a look at this great green product from Solatube.

The Quiet Cool System from Solatube

The Quiet Cool System is a "New Generation Product," based on a years of research and study and has been around for years.  It is a versatile cooling and ventilating system. The Quiet Cool fans are a multi-fan and multi-location system that moves large volumes of air (CFM) per fan. The Quiet Cool Fans are easy to install and have insulated self-closing, damper doors that create a positive closure to prevent air from freely flowing from the house to the attic, when the fans are not in operation. The Quiet Cool fans are attached in a hanging position from your attic rafters, away from your living area to provide tremendously quiet operation.

Call Sunlight Concepts today at (408) 844-0081 to find out more about their solar attic fans. You can also check out the product at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/content/show/7044.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency

Are you a tax payer?  If you earn any kind of income, you probably are. Are you one of those people who just pay up whatever your CPA tells you to pay up? Or do you do some research into what kind of tax deductions you could get, and make sure that you are paying as minimum tax as possible? There are many deductions that people are not aware of. Do you know that apart from tax deductions, you can even get tax credits? This can be a substantial saving. It actually brings down the amount of tax that you need to pay. It reduces the tax itself, unlike a tax deduction.

Do you know that energy efficient products qualify for a Federal Tax credit? This means that any kind of energy efficient product that you buy, install and use will make you eligible for a federal tax credit.

Some green ideas that provide you with Federal tax credit

  • If you are building a home and are using energy efficient products, you can get a tax credit for them.
  • Building energy efficient homes by itself makes you eligible for tax credit.
  • Energy efficient commercial buildings also get tax credit
  • Buying hybrid and alternative fuel cars afford you tax credit.

If you purchase select energy-saving products, from 1/2/13 – 12/31/14, you may be qualified to receive a federal tax credit. Eligible products include: HVAC, doors, windows, insulation, appliances, washers & dryers, toilets, faucets, showerheads, programmable thermostats, LED & CFL light bulbs and more. *Limit of $200 tax credit for windows.( http://beta.congress.gov/bill/112th-congress/house-bill/8)

Get Federal Tax Benefits with Solatube energy efficient products

When you purchase a Solatube product, you can avail up to 30% Federal Tax Credit. And that is just one of the advantages of buying a SolaTube product. Their range of products is so wide and extremely efficient. Apart from getting a tax credit, when buying a Solatube product you are:

  • Making your space more eco friendly
  • Saving on electricity bills
  • Conserving power
  • Doing your bit for the planet

As you can see, it is advantageous in many ways.

The ultimate range of Solatube products

Daylighting systems

Their daylighting systems set performance standards never seen before. These models will take your space from dark to dazzling. They are great for bathrooms, hallways, kitchens, great rooms, laundry rooms, home offices, dining rooms & closets.

Solatube Smart LED

The revolutionary Solatube Smart LED System is a 24-hour home lighting solution that delivers up to 94% in light energy savings. It also operates automatically and lasts longer than traditional electric lighting for maximum efficiency.

Solar Attic Fans

The Solar Star Conversion Kit transforms any roof vent into an eco-friendly solar-powered vent. Now you can easily and quickly use the power of the sun to reduce attic heat and battle moisture. Keeping your attic cool has never been easier – and with a 30% Federal Tax Credit it's the best time ever to get a Solar Star Attic Fan.

Your friendly neighborhood Solatube dealer

The best part is that you don’t have to go too far to find your nearest SolaTube dealer in the Bay Area. Sunlight Concepts at 1130 Walsh Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95050 has all the Solatube products. Their Certified Solatube technicians will have them installed in your home in no time. You can check out their websites at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/ to see their green products. Call 1-855-DAY-LITE to fix an appointment with one of their technicians for a daylight assessment. They are offering an instant rebate of $200 off for installation right now. So strike when the iron is hot!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why should you get a Smart LED for your home?

The acronym LED stands for light emitting diodes. LED’s can be found in many kinds of gadgets and can be used in various ways. They are the little miracles that form the numbers on digital watches, the light that comes on when an appliance is on, etc. They are actually tiny light bulbs that can fit into an electrical circuit. They don’t have a filament like ordinary light bulbs, and they have a longer life than regular light bulb.

Advantages of LEDs over regular light bulbs

  • LED’s are versatile, durable and long lasting. These days LEDs are being used to light up homes. Since they are small, they lend themselves to a variety of niches into which they can be tucked into, and can be used with a variety of fixtures. They have made a revolution in interior lighting.
  • They are a directional light source which means that they can focus light on one point. Regular light bulbs spread light in all directions. But since the LED is fit into the right fixture, the light can be focused on specific objects or niches in the house.
  • Regular light bulbs use a filament to burn, and after a certain time the filament becomes so hot that it produces more heat than light. This is not the case with an LED lighting system.
  • LED bulbs have an energy star rating as they are energy efficient. They do not use up electricity like how regular light bulbs do. All energy star rates products have undergone stringent testing before being awarded the prestigious rating.

Designed for ultimate performance

Solatube has gone one better and come out with the Smart LED which uses no-cost, natural light to illuminate your home. At night, these energy-efficient LEDs automatically trigger to light up your interiors after sundown. This great combination helps you reduce your energy use by up to 94%. Imagine the savings that you will make if you install the Samrt LED in your home. The Smart LED System has earned the prestigious ENERGY STAR rating* for its ability to minimize heat loss in extremely cold climates, and heat gain in extremely warm ones, giving you the ultimate in thermal performance. This award winning environmentally friendly product from Solatube is a pioneer in it’s field.
The Solatube Smart LED System beat out more than 300 other lighting-related products to win the coveted Light Fair International Innovation Award in early 2013.

What is the secret behind the Smart LED system?

The secret behind the Smart LED System is SunSense Technology which is a patented control center that is continually assessing the levels of daylight. The result is an efficient combination of daylight and LED light that gives the most effective lighting.

The Solatube Smart LED System is the simple and smart way to brighten dark bathrooms, hallways, entryways, closets and more.

The Smart LED system uses sunlight and provides no-cost daytime light supply, and the energy-efficient LEDs use minimal electricity. The system requires virtually no maintenance and the lighting runs on autopilot. Daylight levels are continually monitored and there is automatic operation for a total hands free lighting.

Where is your nearest Solatube dealer in the Bay Area?

Sunlight Concepts is the nearest Solatube dealer in the Bay Area. You can visit their websites at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/ to check out all their green products including the Smart LED. You can call them at 1-855-DAY-LITE and fix an appointment, to see how this great lighting system works. They have a rebate right now. If you hurry, you could get lucky.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to raise environmental awareness in your neighborhood

The first Earth Day was held in 1970 and it was a great success. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act were all products of this great endeavor taken up by the people of the country, crying out to make the world a better place to live in, and to leave a better environment for our future generations. We still have a long way to go, but every little bit helps. If individuals take it upon themselves to make a change, it may seem very small, but it is adding to the bigger change taking place across the world. There are small ways in which you can contribute to making the world a better place.

You can make a big change by raising awareness in your neighborhood on being environment friendly, using green products and following the three R’s. Here are a few ways in which you can raise awareness in your neighborhood.

Have an Earth Day

You can have an Earth Day in your neighborhood. It need not be on World Earth Day, though you and your neighborhood could join the rest of the World to celebrate it. But you can have it any day that suits your neighborhood. The idea is to get the message across. Reach out to schools, NGO’s, businesses, your local council etc, and get them involved. You can do a series of activities that day to raise awareness.

There would be different types of ideas that different organizations would be interested in. You can even get two different sectors to work together. For example getting volunteers from NGO’s to do art activities in schools about climate change is a great idea. When people get together, energy levels rise, awareness increases, and commitment deepens.

Make a change in your workplace

Talk to your bosses about making your workplace more eco friendly. Go to them with a well thought out proposal, and there is a bigger chance of them listening to you. You could advocate putting in daylighting systems. You could get people to car pool, have bike to work days etc.

Promotions

Many businesses like to be associated with good causes, and environmental awareness is one of the most popular causes. You can organize an event like:
  • An art show of paintings and sculptures highlighting environmental issues
  • Planting trees
  • A fashion show using recycled materials
  • A concert which is save the earth themed
Most businesses will willingly sponsor events like this, and there will be a big turnout. Make flyers, put up posters at the event, to raise awareness. Make sure that people understand what the event is in aid of.

Community garden

If your neighborhood has a park, get permission from your councilman to have an event in your park. It could be aimed at any type of audience. If they are for children, you could have tree planting, craft activities with prizes etc. For adult crowds, you could plan an acoustic concert to showcase the idea of using less electricity. You could have a fair selling organic and eco friendly things. Gently but consistently keep reinforcing the idea of a greener lifestyle.

Be the change

Change begins at home. If you want to make people aware of our environment, you need to follow all these rules at home too. You can make your home eco friendly by installing daylighting systems. Visit to take a look at Solatube’s advanced daylighting systems. When people come to your home, they should be inspired to make a change when they see the way that you live!