Tag Archives: led lights

Illuminating Discovery

Jim and Debbie rarely pass up the opportunity to browse an IKEA store. Not so much that it’s a destination for us, IKEA trips are entertaining diversions sometimes. For a full timer, the urge could hit anywhere. How better to spend a few (or more) hours than browsing the tremendous variety of fun stuff we don’t need and probably don’t have room for in our tiny tiny house?

Many stays in Vancouver BC included visits to the Coquitlam store, near Burnaby Cariboo RV resort, and to the Richmond store on the south side of Vancouver. Closer to our normal haunts is the Charlotte NC store, one we visit at least annually. They make it fun, offering good coffee free and tempting us with sweet rolls in the café. Too, they have entrees and marzipan in the “cafeteria” upstairs. Stay long enough and the body needs fuel to continue browsing.

Our clear favorite target at IKEA stores is the kitchen layouts. A close second is the arranged apartments, showing complete living quarters in under 600sf. Jim likes the display of chairs, particularly the comfortable armchairs and the lighting section. He sits in the POÄNG armchair every visit and wonders if this could be the thing most missed from having a roomier house these past eight years.

Ah, but the lighting section. Now there’s something we can sdd in our 188sf house, can’t we? Debbie’s practical and reasoning voice patiently says, “What problem does this solve?” Jim sometimes admits, “But isn’t this light (or switch, or whatever) just cool?” IKEA is the first big store to convert widely to LED lighting. Their LED product offerings are coming along gradually too.

Last year we finally succumbed to the inevitable. We bought and installed this little light. We waited till now to share it, after making sure we like it (did we delay too long? Can’t find it online now.) Would it hold up with mobile living? Do the batteries keep on or wane quickly? Is the light worth it’s cost and small weight? Probably!

Automatic LED light shines just when we need it.

Automatic LED light shines just when we need it.

A year and one set of AAA batteries later, this light is a win. It hasn’t fallen off, chipped, started any fires, or failed to light when we open the cabinet. Its biggest workout is when we show off our Airstream (and remember to open this cabinet.) Not all cabinets need this lighting. This one is the apt application for “appropriate technology.” We like it.

Hmm, what other treasures can we find at an IKEA store? So many displays, so much marzipan and coffee. . .

See you down the road,

Jim and Debbie

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Odds and Ends

We voted last week.  Picked up absentee ballot from our mailbox and realized we had zero days to deadline to get this in the mail and on the way to NC.  Our first time to do this, we’d always been home to vote before and relied on local newspaper for sample ballot and our research.

This time we studied the candidates electronically with great assistance from a voting info page sponsored by one of the universities.

A sign I’m back into my rhythm — three days in a row I’ve enjoyed my cup of matcha tea on our patio by 06:00 a.m.  It makes me feel great to watch the sun rise (closer to 06:50), to breathe the clean morning air, hear the morning noises of a busy city street, sip the rich tea, and read just one scene from a play or one small chapter of a slow book.  Except this morning I spent adding to these paragraphs and my next post.

We were moving around and committed to other things for the previous six weeks.  I might not have had but one sunrise cup of tea.  Didn’t even get out of bed until after 7 or 8 or even later a few times.  Well yeah, those times I stayed up until after 01:00 in the morning and am not too likely to get up right away.

I like this groove better.  Quiet time, just a little niche in the day, to get my my bearings.

Found the sole general delivery Mesa Post Office last week for our forwarded mail.  Mesa has maybe a dozen contract postal units (CPUs) serving their respective resorts like this one and several branch post offices in Mesa. We learned last year the branch post offices won’t handle general delivery mail.  Most folks staying in these many resorts simply get their mail through their CPU.  We receive a key from the resort for our mailbox, and the CPU stuffs whatever arrives (plus a generous helping of junk mail) into our box for us.

Our mail would go from the forwarding agency (Escapees) to the local post office, and then to the CPU for our resort.  But last year one of our forwarded packets disappeared.  The CPU lacks a scanner and so cannot account for what the Post Office does, and does not, transfer to the CPU.  Our packet left Escapees and the Post Office scanned it successively throughout its journey until it left the local Post Office.  Did the CPU get it?  We’ll never know.

This year we’ll use General Delivery instead of the resort’s CPU.   We pick up our mail every week or two directly from the post office.  The post office retains secure chain of custody on our package until we pick it up ourselves, at which time the post office scans it out as delivered.  Safe and sure.

Finally turned on the AC, it was 92 outside in the shade and we’re parked in full sun.  Mornings were 60 degrees, really nice for sitting outside.  I’m back to an old habit, making a cup of matcha and reading a chapter at sunrise.  Sort of symbolizes return to routine for me.  But this week the morning lows are high 40s, a little chillier.

Seems funny to have the air on and still turn off the converter to save electricity.  But the solar panels are more than capable, with all this sunlight, of maintaining the batteries throughout all the day’s use.  Why pay for more kwh?

We’re running the lights and fans and fridge controls and phantom (okay, all the battery loads) with solar charging only.  This is an experiment, to see how well it works and for how many (if any) weeks we can do this as the sun gets lower and lower in the sky.  Our solar panels aren’t yet tiltable but I’d like to correct this — maybe I can get to it in the next couple of months?

Jim and Debbie

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