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With the introduction of new lighting technologies, consumers are being exposed to new terminology that can make the shopping experience confusing. The following list outlines several of the new lighting terms:


Watts = energy used. Watts is a measure of the energy that is required to illuminate the light source. The lower the wattage, the less energy used. 


Lumens = brightness. Light that is emitted from the light source is measured in lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the source will be.


LED = light-emitting diode, or a miniature light source incased in plastic. They produce minimal heat, they don’t contain mercury and other toxic material, so they can be disposed of easily.


CFL = compact fluorescent lamp. An energy-efficient lighting option, CFLs emit light when electricity excites the mix of gases inside the bulb, creating high-energy, invisible ultra-violet light.


Kelvin scale. Kelvin is a unit of measurement used to describe the hue of a specific light source. The higher the Kelvin value, the closer the light’s output will be to actual sunlight.


Color temperature. CFLs are sold in a variety of color temperatures, usually specified on the packaging in Kelvins. Choose 3,500 – 4,100 K for clean, soft illumination for the kitchen or bathroom. Choose 5,000 – 6,500 K for a bright glow in reading areas or workspaces.


-- Home Depot


Decorating Tip: Create a seasonal gallery wall


Create a gallery wall with four to eight simple black frames, where you can switch out the artwork depending on the season. Try using orange and red leaves in the fall.  – Scripps Howard News Service


Tip of the week: Freshen your drapes, blinds


To revive droopy and dusty drapes, take them down, remove hooks and run them through an air-fluff cycle in the dryer along with a damp towel (to attract the dust) for 15 minutes. Re-hang immediately. Wipe blinds with a damp cloth. – Scripps Howard News Service    


Home-Selling Tip: Consider renovations, additions instead


Do you need to sell your home, or is it more of a desire? Before you scout a real estate agent, compare the costs of selling, moving and buying anew with the costs of renovating the old or adding an addition. If you can afford the move, then crunch the numbers to see if you can afford a larger mortgage. If so, find out what terms and rates are available to you.


-- FrontDoor.com


Going Green: Puma Suede shoe gets recycled


The Puma Suede shoe, known for its bright colors and unique lacing, is now 100 percent recycled. The Puma “Re-Suede” was recently released and features synthetic ultra-suede material, a recycled rubber sole and a rice husk filler. It is lightweight, at less than 5 ounces, and it comes in a reusable canvas mini-tote instead of a shoebox.


-- Earth911.com


Did You Know …


Your home should have one smoke alarm installed at the top of each staircase and one in every bedroom or sleeping area, according to the National Fire Protection Association.


New Product: Blockbuster Movie Pass


Dish Network, which bought Blockbuster six months ago, recently unveiled Blockbuster Movie Pass, which gives Dish Network subscribers access to Blockbuster’s library of movies, games and TV shows via mailed DVD discs or online streaming. The goal is to attract any customers who may have canceled their Netflix subscription after the company separated their DVD-by-mail service and online streaming service, effectively charging more than double the price, according to Consumer Reports.


Garden Guide: Test your soil in autumn 


Fall is a good time to have your soil tested because labs are not as busy as they are in the spring. A soil test will give you the pH, potassium, phosphorus and organic levels in your soil. The pH level measures the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. Most plants will grow well at a pH between 6 and 7.5.


To prepare a soil sample, take a trowel and collect four to six soil samples from different locations in your garden or lawn into a bucket. Spread the sample on a sheet of newspaper and allow it to dry. Place about a half pint of the dried soil sample in a sealed plastic bag and send it to the lab.


-- University of Illinois Extension


GateHouse News Service