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May 20, 2013

The First Humans To Live On Mars Need To Be Farmers

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 9:46 am

To establish a sustainable settlement on Earth’s solar system neighbour, space travellers will have to learn how to grow food on Mars — a job that could turn out to be one of the most vital, challenging and labour-intensive tasks at hand, experts say.

“One of the things that every gardener on the planet will know is producing food is hard — it is a non-trivial thing,” Penelope Boston, director of the Cave and Karst Studies program at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, said yesterday at the Humans 2 Mars Summit here at George Washington University. “Up until several hundred years ago it occupied most of us for most of the time.”

NASA is actively engaged in researching how to farm on Mars and in space, as the agency is targeting its first manned Mars landing in the mid-2030s. And some NASA officials are wondering if that mission ought to be of long duration, rather than a short visit, given the difficulty of getting there and the possible benefits of an extended stay. “Sustained human presence — should that be our goal? I think that’s a good discussion,” Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, said here Monday (May 6).

Yet growing food on Mars presents several significant challenges. While research on the International Space Station suggests plants can grow in microgravity, scientists don’t know how the reduced gravity on Mars might affect different Earth crops. Mars’ surface receives about half the sunlight Earth does, and any pressurised greenhouse enclosure will further block the light reaching plants, so supplemental light will be needed. Supplying that light requires a significant amount of power.

“In terms of the systems engineering required, it’s not an insignificant challenge,” said D. Marshall Porterfield, Life and Physical Sciences division director at NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. NASA has been studying using LED lighting to give plants only the wavelengths of light they need to boost efficiency, he said.

Researchers are also studying whether plants can survive under lower pressures than on Earth, because the more pressure inside a greenhouse, the more massive that greenhouse must be to contain it.

“You don’t have to inflate that greenhouse to Earth-normal pressure in order for plants to grow,” said Robert Ferl, director of the Interdisciplinary centre for Biotechnology Research at the University of Florida. “Maintaining a full atmosphere of pressure is difficult on a planetary surface. You can take plants down to a tenth of an atmosphere and they’ll still function.”

Martian farmers must also contend with the issue of radiation. Mars lacks Earth’s thick protective atmosphere, so particles from space reach its surface that would be damaging to both people and plants. Thus, some kind of shielding or mitigation will be necessary.

“To maintain the infrastructure is the expensive part to grow plants, coupled with the need for redundancy if something fails,” MacCallum said. In fact, so much mass must be launched from Earth to Mars to establish a Martian garden that if missions last less than 15 to 20 years, it might require less mass to simply send along food, he said.

Despite the challenges, though, scientists said farming on Mars will eventually be achieved.

“Every great migration in history happened because we took our agriculture with us,” Ferl said. “When you learn to take your plants with you, you can not only go to visit, you can go there to stay and live.”

Peter Stein & Energy Saving Solutions Bring LED Lighting

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 9:45 am

Containing costs has become paramount for almost every business nowadays. The ongoing “expense to revenue ratio” is a constant challenge organizations must battle to maintain profitability. “Indeed, while the cost of virtually everything is rising, there is an opportunity to reduce costs in one area – lighting,” states Peter Stein, of Energy Saving Solutions USA, LLC.

Thanks to the technological advances in LED Lighting, mainstream use is rapidly becoming the accepted global standard. LED’s offer exceptional efficiency; typically, providing a savings of upwards of 80% versus legacy type lighting products. However, the benefits don’t end with just energy savings. LED’s have a life expectancy of upwards of 50,000 hours, while traditional lights normally last approximately 1200 hours. As such, the cost savings from not having to frequently replenish and install bulbs offers another savings advantage of LED Lights. For the environmentally conscious, LED Bulbs produce substantially fewer carbon dioxide emissions, acid rain (by-products of electricity generation), and landfill waste.

Menchie’s in Aventura, Florida was concerned about the rising costs of energy. As a result, owner Chris Hess was determined to find a way to get his bill reduced. Much to his surprise he discovered after meeting with a representative from the local power company that LED Lighting could help lower his costs significantly. Hess stated, “The decision to switch to LED Bulbs was a no-brainer. After learning about the savings and then to learn that my savings would actually pay for the Lights, there was little more to think about.”

Peter Stein of Energy Saving Solutions has created a model that is a win-win for consumers. “Our experience and knowledge in LED Lighting is second to none. We understand how lighting needs are unique and vary greatly depending upon each application. While this is of utmost importance to the consumer, we also understand that most businesses are not prepared to outlay capital for lighting. We get that! As a result, we created an industry first…a program that allows businesses to pay for LED Lighting from the savings they enjoy. Best of all, after they pay for the lighting, they still have money left over.”

Energy Saving Solutions’ mission is to help organizations large and small on ways to significantly lower energy costs with little or no upfront expense. The goal of the company is to educate decision-makers to the various options in LED and induction lighting that can help realize savings of anywhere from 30% – 90% off their energy costs. The company has years of expertise and knowledge in the lighting industry, with many notable customers who are already realizing the incredible savings Energy Saving Solutions has provided. Energy Saving Solutions Director, Peter Stein is a pioneer, who has created a unique factory-direct model of LED Lighting with zero to little up-front cost.

The new Torch LED light uses a direct LED light source, providing bright illumination and no heat production. The design of the light is smooth and the attention to detail from the handles to the powder coated casing is all inspired by a European design philosophy.

Pricing for the new Torch LED light is available immediately; please contact your local sales representative for pricing. When purchasing the Torch LED in a package the pricing will remaining the same as the A-Series Halogen light, Flight will be running a special promotion for Q3 by offering the Torch LED light at the same price as the A-Series Halogen Light when purchased as part of a package. If purchased independently as a unit mount or ceiling mount the new pricing of the light will apply.

May 8, 2013

Flashlight Friends as Seen on TV Canada

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 9:11 am

This plush toy has a built in flashlight that is not only fun for kids to play with but also great for night time when they become afraid of the dark. This product is a combination of two things that kids love – flashlights and stuffed animals.

This toy has a built in LED light located at the center of the Flashlight Friend which acts as a flashlight which is safe to the touch and never gets hot. The light can be turned on or off by tapping it and automatically shuts off after 10 minutes. The LED light helps your children see in the dark as well as giving them a feeling of safety. The light lasts hundreds of hours unlike regular flashlights which operate on batteries and always run out of power. It has a handle on the back for easy use and so it can be carried like a flashlight perfect for trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

“I saw the infomercial for the Flashlight Friends on television and thought it was a pretty neat idea. My daughter had problems getting to sleep at night and night lights didn’t help and she would wake me up in the middle of the night. I decided to purchase the Flashlight Friend for her birthday and her eyes lit up when she opened her gift. She doesn’t get afraid of the dark anymore now that she has her favorite pink unicorn next to her. The auto shut off feature is really handy and makes it safe and reserves the time on the light. She really enjoys playing with her toy and brings it with her everywhere she goes. It’s definitely her all-time favorite toy and I recommend it to any parent who wants to give their child a gift especially if they’re afraid of the dark.”

Millions of children are convinced that something is lurking in the dark. This usually starts around the age of 2 or 3 when they begin to develop a sense of imagination but not able to distinguish between imagination and reality. While this fear is normal and tends to go away this problem may end up affecting parents as well as they may be awaken by their children in the middle of the night.

Flashlight Friends is a toy that comforts children when they are in the dark because they have a sense that they are not alone and the flashlight is a perfect brightness that is not too bright and not too dim. Kids look forward to going to bed and sleeping peacefully with their cuddly companion.

“My children called me into the living room when they saw the Flashlight Friends infomercial and begged me to buy one. So I went online and read a few Flashlight Friends reviews which were all positive before placing my order online. I ordered the Pink Unicorn and the Black Penguin which they both love playing with. This is really a brilliant toy and the price is very affordable. I would highly suggest this to parents who have young children who love plush toys.”

Kids find all kinds of ways to play with their Flashlight Friends such as reading in the dark, sleepovers, night games long car rides or just using their imagination and play with them.

This As Seen on TV toy is very affordable and safe for children of all ages. Each character measures 8.5 inches tall, 7 inches wide and 6 inches deep. To clean them just spot clean and air dry. Flashlight Friends come in 6 different characters including the Pink Unicorn, Black Penguin, Green Turtle, Green Dragon, Blue Puppy and the Purple Panda. Each Flashlight Friend is sold for $19.99 plus $7.99 shipping and handling. Orders include a 30 day money-back guarantee.

Philips Hue

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 9:09 am

I bit the bullet and bought a Philips Hue connected LED light starter pack back in November of last year. At the time, with a ton of favorable buzz and availability exclusively through Apple (you can now buy Hue gear through Amazon), the bulbs were in short supply. Online lead times quickly stretched into the two month range. My local Apple Store had two kits on the shelf, so I hustled down, pushed through the people standing in line for the iPad Mini launch and snagged a starter pack.

I haven’t reviewed the Hue system until now for two reasons. First, there’s a lot of technology packed in one of those bulbs and I wanted to have some sense of durability and reliability — I’ve had more than my share of cool gear that packs it in after a few weeks of use. Second, I wanted to see how a Hue bulb performed under extreme conditions, namely being installed in an outdoor light fixture through a Canadian winter.

There are three big technology trends that are converging in the home right now: Connected appliances, smartphone/tablet apps and energy conservation. Philips’ Hue connected LED lighting is one of those products that is aimed squarely at that convergence.

The packaging of the Hue starter kit is reminiscent of something Apple would have put together — clearly a lot of thought went into the box (complete with colour wheel). Probably a lot of money too, but this first iteration is clearly aimed at the early adopter crowd so cost cutting wasn’t a priority. Inside are three bulbs and a wireless bridge. As a connected system, Hue needs access to a home WiFi network; that means a bridge that requires its own power and a wired connection to your router (cables and power adapter are supplied). Set-up is a matter of plugging the bridge in and waiting for it to light up. Screw in the lightbulbs, launch the smartphone/tablet app (available for iOS and Android) and you’ll be walked through a quick, one-time routine to connect to the lights. That’s it.

Once your bulbs are online, it’s time to play. Control is via a free app that gives you the ability to individually control bulbs in real time, (or in sets) and to program them. You can control color and brightness, with an extensive color palette. Simply playing with the color options was enough to keep the kids entertained and tweaking them to find the perfect setting becomes a bit of a game.

Philips provides what it calls “light recipes,” which are settings with complementary color and brightness combos for different scenarios. For example, you can recreate a sunrise effect, with a gradually brightening combination of yellow, oranges and reds. You can actually pull up a photo on your device and use that as a basis for a light recipe, assigning different bulbs to different colors on the scene — with three bulbs in the starter kit, you are somewhat limited, but you can imagine what the effect might be if you had a few dozen at your disposal.

We had some fun for Christmas, with a basic (but effective) red and green theme. Sometimes it’s tough to beat the classics…

While playing with colors and brightness is pretty cool, the Hue system also has home security applications. The app allows you to program bulbs individually or as part of a set. This includes color and brightness and times, allowing you to set the lights to turn on in the morning and gradually increase in brightness (for a pleasant wake up), for example. You can also easily program Hue-powered home lighting to make your house look occupied when you’re away. Philips provides a website that allows you to log in remotely, check the status of each of your bulbs (whether it’s on or off) and turn them all on or off on demand.

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