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Sam's Underground Aerie


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#21 of 74 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted December 18 2012 - 09:37 AM

I changed my theatre lights over to CFL and LED. Yeah you have to hunt and peck for dimmable versions of either...but... Since I did this in September(I replaced EVERY light bulb in and out of the house...went to Lowe's and spent close to $1200)...our electricity bill has dropped 40%. We keep outdoor house and barn lights...which is where most of the juice went. Barn went from 3500 watts in lights to 450. (we changed out some fixtures, 5 of them were 500w halogen/quartz) House went from 1400 down to 322. Most rooms went from 200-500 down to 40-90. Theatre room itself went from 1020 (17 60w bulbs) down to 136. Enormous difference.

#22 of 74 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted December 18 2012 - 11:09 AM

By the way, the county I live in started a "replacement light homestead" tax relief. Since the property is taxed as farm, we got... 75% of my "expenditure" as a tax credit on the Fed. 100% for the state. 45% for the county(the county includes the bulbs as well, the Fed/state only counted the fixtures). To boot, the local energy provider(which provides gas as well) gave us a onetime 60% cost rebate(fixtures and bulbs). Had to buy a new furnace earlier this year as well and we got a 25% cost rebate on that from the energy provider. (that one was a maximum $100/month off the bill...over however many months it takes to cover the rebate)

#23 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 18 2012 - 12:01 PM

Very cool Sam! I'm not 100% sold on LEDs these days, they can make photography tricky with the mixed lighting =) I am all for the energy savings but have read some weird things about the recyclability of LEDs and some harmful substances in some brands.., Mercury if I remember right. Anyway, quick Q for Jason: Does it matter if the dimmer is connected to a network controlled by 2 separate switches? What happens when the other switch is flipped?

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#24 of 74 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted December 18 2012 - 12:39 PM

Sam, if you're referring to the situation where two separate switches control the same group of lights (like one switch at the top of the stairs, the other at the bottom) then that's what's referred to as "three-way" (I had my terminology wrong above and will correct that - it's not the same things as double pole).  The wiring is a bit trickier (but would already be done in your case), but you need to make sure you have dimmers that allow for that.   Would have to look closely at the documentation for that Lutron dimmer (or any dimmer for that matter) to make sure it's three-way compatible.  I know I had to specifically order the version of my dimmer that would work in a three-way configuration.

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#25 of 74 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted December 18 2012 - 03:52 PM

Very cool Sam! I'm not 100% sold on LEDs these days, they can make photography tricky with the mixed lighting =) I am all for the energy savings but have read some weird things about the recyclability of LEDs and some harmful substances in some brands.., Mercury if I remember right. Anyway, quick Q for Jason: Does it matter if the dimmer is connected to a network controlled by 2 separate switches? What happens when the other switch is flipped?
Since our county is on the CFL/LED kick...the police dept, fire dept, library, High School, the three hardware stores, 4 gas stations(we have 5) and the grocery store all take them. We also get curbside recycling. If we leave a note on "pick up day", the next pick up day they'll drop off a special box to collect light bulbs in, then the third pick up day you just set the box out. They'll give you extra boxes as well. But they don't want the bulbs in the "general recycling". The two "drop offs" even have a separate bulb container. So...here...it is easy. And, since they made it easy, if you throw a CFL or LED bulb in the normal trash...and they catch it...it is a $250 fine, per bulb.

#26 of 74 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 18 2012 - 06:23 PM

Beware dimmable CFLs. We had the basement done with recessed lighting on a dimmer. The builder put in good quality dimmable CFLs. They buzzed and only dimmed a little bit. Online research shows this is a common problem. The builder switched them out to incandescent for us. No buzzing. Nice, low dimming. LEDs might work better, but I haven't researched or priced those yet. Sam, the Atoms would be great bedroom speakers! I wouldn't mind doing the living room in Atoms when the SVS eventually get moved to the basement. I hope to get a projector in a year. I'll have to do some recon at your place when I research :)

#27 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 19 2012 - 06:33 AM

Sam, if you're referring to the situation where two separate switches control the same group of lights (like one switch at the top of the stairs, the other at the bottom) then that's what's referred to as "three-way" (I had my terminology wrong above and will correct that - it's not the same things as double pole).  The wiring is a bit trickier (but would already be done in your case), but you need to make sure you have dimmers that allow for that. Would have to look closely at the documentation for that Lutron dimmer (or any dimmer for that matter) to make sure it's three-way compatible.  I know I had to specifically order the version of my dimmer that would work in a three-way configuration.
Yep, that's exactly what I need. There doesn't seem to be an easily decipherable FAQ on this stuff anywhere. =(

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#28 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 19 2012 - 06:34 AM

So...here...it is easy. And, since they made it easy, if you throw a CFL or LED bulb in the normal trash...and they catch it...it is a $250 fine, per bulb.
Don't think we have anything like that. We are 'single stream' for all kinds of recyclables but not sure on these!

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#29 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 19 2012 - 06:42 AM

LEDs might work better, but I haven't researched or priced those yet. Sam, the Atoms would be great bedroom speakers! I wouldn't mind doing the living room in Atoms when the SVS eventually get moved to the basement. I hope to get a projector in a year. I'll have to do some recon at your place when I research :)
C'mon down any time. The Atoms sound great so far BTW, happy with em so will see if I move up to the 590s or not down the road! The great thing about projectors is two fold: - There is such a limited consumer market for them but 20 different vendors of them - They have to compete with the advances in flat panels So prices have come down to very reasonable price points and features keep getting better year after year. My only frustration is that we really are just above the 4k cliff and I expect to see more and more PJs, Content Delivery Devices and media supporting it within 2 years. So I know anything I buy is going to have a limited life time. I might not even burn out the first lamp. 2000 hours is ~950 movies. And I will be watching ONLY movies and Football down here, all my daily TV is likely to be upstairs. If I wasn't worried about 4k and just spent $2700+ on a plasma I'd buy the Panasonic 8000u or the Epson 5020 and be done with it. But at $2500+ for either of those choices I just can't bite right now.

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#30 of 74 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 19 2012 - 08:02 PM

I'll just say this: I was on the verge of buying a paradigm system of 390s or 590s, until I demo'd SVS :) But I really like the paradigm too. I don't know much about 4k. It seems like its a ways off practically. Where will the content come from? Does blu support it? Surely not cable, Netflix or iTunes? If I get a projector, it will be a daily driver. The Good Wife or New Girl at 110" will be fun! And my wife would love Amazing Race on a big screen.

#31 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 20 2012 - 08:53 AM

I'm only interested in disk based 4k for movies, I'm sure we will see it in other realms but that's my initial focus. The Blu Ray forum is investigating how hard it would be to make it work with current tech. We'll see. Content is out there, we know scans are being done on 4k and 8k recorders at all the studios and new content is being shot digitally in 4k and up. Independents are also pushing this forward with tech from Sony, Canon, RED and more. http://www.hometheat...or-movies-again

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#32 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 26 2012 - 12:15 PM

I've posted a few places and asked my dad to ping his electrician friends about my Lutron question...

In my basement I have a gang of recessed lights which I'm assuming, but will confirm, total less than 600 watts. They are on a three way switch currently, with two wall plates on opposite ends of the room.

Can I simply swap one of the switches with this Lutron pack and insert a remote controlled dimmer into the mix, with the other switch continuing to simply turn the whole set off and on to full power?
http://www.amazon.co... control dimmer

Is there a different configuration that would be best for me?

Will see how that goes.

PJ wise, I know CES isn't a big projector announcement place historicly but hoping that the flood of soon to be newly announced panels kicks the next step in price drops between the Epson 5020 and the Panasonic 8000 into place. If I had to buy today I'd get the Epson based on what I've read, but I haven't seen one firsthand the way I have the Panny. But at $2600+ it's still a no go for me.

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#33 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 29 2012 - 04:56 PM

Ordered the Lutron set, so if I burn my house down you and my dad will share responsibility! You know tho, the PJ situation is just grating on me. I have put so much into this basement now that I'm going to have to really evaluate whether not having a top notch display is going to frustrate me every time I use it. Won't decide till CES but it's on my mind...

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#34 of 74 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted December 29 2012 - 08:27 PM

Looks nice Sam. And regarding the above post, it would drive me nuts.

#35 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 02 2013 - 06:19 AM

Yep, same. Just gonna keep my eyes out for a bargain, will see how it goes.

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#36 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 02 2013 - 01:31 PM

The Hsu sub is dialed in, we are fully operational! First full movie in the Basement Aerie is: Looper http://pic.twitter.com/EUNpkek3 And then I took a closer look at the lights. There's 12 of em, and I think there is CFLs in there. Gonna have to talk to the builder's foreman... /doublefacepalm

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#37 of 74 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted January 03 2013 - 01:29 AM

Boy, I really need to see Looper... I was surprised this Christmas - not a single Blu-ray!  I guess that means I get to go shopping soon.


That's a bummer about the lights... would have been nice to have at least two separate zones of lights for the basement, but that's off the table.


Regardless, 12 lights with 600 watts max for the dimmer means you need 50W bulbs.  In our recessed lighting fixtures, I'm pretty sure they take PAR 30 - style bulbs.  Looking at Lowes, I saw only 75 watt PAR 30 bulbs, but Amazon did have some 50 watt versions, here (Walmart had them even cheaper).


Now, there's only a slight chance those would be the right match for your fixtures, but you should take one of the current bulbs out and take it to Lowes or some place to see what size bulb would fit for you (make sure the height is right, too, otherwise the bulb will stick out and be a real eyesore).  Then if Lowes doesn't have what you need, check online - I'll bet you'd be able to find what you need.


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#38 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 03 2013 - 02:49 AM

They are indeed floods but I didn't have a chance to pull one down. I will today while there is still enough light to see by before dark. Thanks for the link! Looper was GREAT, really enjoyed it. Lots of dark scenes tho, and the PJ was kinda murky. Definitely spoiled by Plasma upstairs. Saving pennies!

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#39 of 74 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 05 2013 - 11:38 AM

$120 in dimmable CFL floods later... http://twitter.com/N...6267904/photo/1

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#40 of 74 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 05 2013 - 12:43 PM

I would return them and get incandescents.




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