Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


True or false: Does a paddle fan lower the temperature in the room?

False: The paddle fan does not change the real temperature, just the perception. Think of it as wind chill. If you live in Boston and temperature is 30, but the wind is blowing from Canada, the wind chill across your skin makes it feel colder.

Paddle fans have two key functions, creating the wind chill in the summer and by reversing the fan, heat is redistributed in the winter.

For taller ceilings, the fan should 25% of the height of the ceiling. So on a 16 foot ceiling, the fan should be placed at 12 feet.

Now for the picture part of our post:

Monday, March 30, 2009

We Are Somebody

Forgive the wrong name...but finally some favorable press.

Hi Yale Electric!
Taniya Nayak from HGTV's Designed To Sell here. Just wanted to drop you guys a quick line to tell you that I LOOOOVE my new Prospetto Chandelier. It is the one that comes up first on your slideshow. Such a cool fixture and amazing how much it transforms a room. I'm so glad you guys amped it up and brought in some funky new designer pieces.
All the best!

How about some more cool lights...

Slide In Versus Freestanding

If you are remodelling/renovating a kitchen, cooking is the toughest selection. Pro, dual fuel, different sizes, etc. One of the most basic decisions is free standing versus slide in...

Lets look:

Slide-in: This range has the controls on the front instead of the back. Pros: Aesthetically, it is much nicer to see the backguard uninterrupted by a backguard. Also, there are no seams on the sides for spills. Cons: Pricey compared to a free standing range as it costs about $500 versus a similarly priced freestanding range

Free Standing: Defined as controls on the back. Better and more varied prices than a slide-in, but the back can be considered an eyesore in more upscale kitchens

Friday, March 27, 2009

Light A Bath

Quick post today....There are three places you truly need light:

1. The kitchen
2. Your favorite reading spot
3. The bathroom

Think about it: You turn the lights off when you are watching television.

Lets light a bath properly:

Best idea : Two sconces on either side about 65-67 inches off the ground for cross illumination. Best idea for shaving and applying makeup.

Second place tie:

Lights over the mirror.

Recessed on either side of the sink (for, you guessed it...cross illumination)

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Do Something Different

Appliances are like math. They follow predesignated spaces based on cabinetry. A refrigerator, for example, fits a 30, 33 or 36 inch cabinet. Stoves are 30 inch and dushwashers are 24.

Lighting can be conceivably anything. Larger islands and eclectic furnishings allow for customization. In other words, your place can look unique.

With new lights from Vermont, China and Poland, you can look pretty unique...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

$299 for a Decent (But Not The Best Dishwasher)

Lets look at a Frigidaire dishwasher...

The Frigidaire has every possible cycle and an attractive price of $449 as its claim to fame. The racks, plastic tank and loadability could be better, but I would still rate it a solid 6.2 out of 10. Definitely worth the money, but I still like Bosch and KitchenAid better.

Starting April 1, however, this unit is $299 after $150 in rebates(33% off)...little different story.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

4 Ways to Improve EnergyStar

Channel 5 was in the store, and did an expose on EnergyStar(TV does add 10-15 pounds, have a look below). First I like EnergyStar. They have created awareness to saving money through lower energy costs:

Here is a plan for improvement in my opinion

1. Standards should be a moving target. Products should continue to improve efficiency to be called EnergyStar

2. Manufacturers should publish regional costs

3. The products should be tested at full operating power

4. No legacy products allowed. In other words, products should not be EnergyStar simply because they have improved over last year

Cut and paste...


Friday, March 20, 2009

The Next Thing?

If you want to know what will be hot in lighting, look at new upscale restaurants. Typically, they will look to an interesting product to create an impression. Eventually, it will be adapted for the residential market.

If my theory is right, then this will be the next "thing" in decorative lighting...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Against The Wall

For new readers, The Yale Blog is about simple ways to save money. You do not have to buy a SubZero or Viking to have a great kitchen...That has been the substance of my posts lately.

In lighting, once again, you can change the environment completely with just a few inexpensive light fixtures.

But what if you are a lighting store and you want to change the environment with a sellable product....You buy art....lighted art, that is....The pictures are actually fluorescent, so the people in front of the pics won't fry with incandescent heat

Have a look...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quick Question

As I am still in Miami and woefully unprepared for a post, the following is a quick question...

Which costs more to operate?

This 75 watt bulb

Or this 26 cubic foot refrigerator?

The bulb...in fact replacing a 10 year old refrigerator will save you $110 per year.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fad or Fashion

You are looking at the Schonbek line of modern crystal called Geometrix. In my opinion, this was the brilliant introduction in the history of lighting. Geometrix basically thrust Schonbek into the contemporary market for crystal, which was huge.

And guess what, Swaroski, the huge crystal company, purchased Schonbek soon thereafter. Unfortunately, lighting can be traditional or a fashion item.

Have a look...

How would you feel if you were the owner Swaroski crsytal right about now...For the people buying pendants, consider this a cautionary tale.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Going to Miami

Thats right. I will be shuttered in a classroom learning Email for 4 days, so I can apply that little bit of know how into relevant marketing campaigns. I actually like email, subscribers have first shot of anything special.

Lets look at a range...

The Frigidaire GLEFZ384: Convection, five burners and stainless steel at a decent price of $759. The closest competitor is $200 more expensive which is reason Frigidaire is growing during a recession.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Semi Flush

Ah The semi flush aka the industry term for not quite hanging and not quite flush. Now, you probably place a flush (an obvious term for a fixture close to the ceiling) fixture in the bedrooms, kitchens, etc.

If you have normal to tall ceilings consider the semi flush, because it provides ambient lighting on the ceiling whereas the flush piece cannot..

Ambient along with accent, decorative and accent lighting is Part of a proper lighting plan.

Have a look, my friends...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

LED And Me

I decided to replace my incandescent recessed with LED. If you have regular 6 inch cans, you can just replace the trim piece (decorative piece) without touching the housing (electrical part). Its simple replacement.

Is it worth the expense?

Maybe. First the LED is 12 watts versus the 75 incandescent, so I will save on my electric bill. Secondly, LED generates no heat versus 300 degrees for incandescent, so I will save on my AC bills in the summer. Lastly, I will never change a light bulb ever again since the bulbs have a 20 year life.

Have a look...

LED trims are about $110 each. From a cost/benefit analysis, it will be hard to determine the payback for replacement. For new construction, especially people looking at more upscale trims, LED is certainly a better option.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Depth Charge

You are about to buy a new set of laundry...Probably place it in a closet upstairs. Thats smart. Checked for vibration, etc. Checked the dimensions as well...Very smart.

You have it covered except for one small, yet crucial detail....the duct. If you are turning the vent, you need to add 5 inches in depth.

There are two solutions to your issue if you now find yourself needing more depth.

Bosch condensation requires no ducting as it turns steam into water which is then drained through washer.

Electrolux has a great solution: They notched the back, so it is actually just 31 inches.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Laundry Poll

I have become a surveying fool...The laundry poll is the most interesting thus far. Lets look at the top two manufacturers by your votes, Whirlpool and Maytag.

What is the difference? Answer: Nothing

Have a look...

Maytag is produced on the same platform as Whirlpool. The Whirlpool Duet/Maytag Epic is actually a very good machine. Now buy the cheaper one.

Friday, March 06, 2009

More New Stuff

Nationally, the lighting business is in deep peril as it closely relates to the housing industry. Build a house and you need lights. Yale has always been niched to homeowners rather than large scale developers...Simply because large scale tract development does not really exist in our prime trade area of Massachusetts/Rhode Island (thankfully).

For people actually remodeling, with less overall demand, newer products are much faster to the market. Newer products, like buildings, are usually planned 3 years previous...3 years ago, lighting companies were optimistic, and todays lighting really reflects this..There are lots of natural materials, colors and interesting shades.

One grand statement about lighting: there is no cheaper way to change your environment and the look of a space than by replacing a few lights...Most of the new lights are between $150-300.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Not Now

Look at this Bosch Kitchen...

I have always liked this line. Its different. Bosch is nice looking upper middle products, but dont buy it now...On the 15th of March, the rebates jump from $400 to $700.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The End of 0% Financing

Yesterday GE Credit Corp (GECAF) announced the end of 0% financing. GECAF along with CITI and Wells Fargo are the underwriters of 0% promotions.

Here is how it worked:

The underwriters would charge the merchant typically 5-7% of the purchase and loan you the proceeds for a year. If you paid it back, fine. If you did not, they would charge you interest at a higher rate.

It worked for the underwriters, because you would offer your house as security, and we all had excess equity in our homes.

In the present economy, we have an uncertain employment environment and declining equity in our homes....And GECAF has a delinquency rate of 60%. Remember this was once good (more interest), now its bad, because some consumers do not have the funds and equity to justify the original loan.

GECAF at one time contributed 30% of GEs corporate profits ...Hence the reason for the current $8 stock price.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


This LED light fixture from Juno is now available (original post February 12.)

Guess what, it uses a ton less electricity, has a 20 year lamp life and emits zero heat.

No driver (LED transformer) needed, simple to install and casts a white light.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Snow Day

We have the day off today due to weather. I am loathe to close for any reason, but it seemed rough at 5 am. Usually we are open during blizzards and everyone will give me the silent treatment for a day or so. Although group indignation is a great time to finish work (no interruptions), days off are fun in any season.

So tomorrow, you can expect the same appliance/lighting related posts including laundry (the poll is not arbritrary), and a few of my faves you should not buy for a couple of weeks.

Until then enjoy your day off.