Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


We have moved to http://blog.yaleappliance.com/ - same Yale blog only hosted on our platform, so please make sure to bookmark the new site.

We will leave the 1131 posts and four years for your review.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Induction vs Pro Cooking(Review/Demo/Rating)

Real Fast Article

I am a big induction fan. It is quite simply the best technology. You are probably sick of these posts. However, I was  watching Christina, the Viking staff chef, cook. In the Viking kitchen there is both pro gas and induction. Look at what she chose to use.

Now here is why:


1. Faster than gas, even professional gas

2. Instant simmer

3. Less residual heat = less venting

4. More child safe:

5. 90% efficient Vs 60% Gas Vs 55% electric

Read Our Induction Guide for features and power ratings of every manufacturer

Friend us on Face Book for a $200 for $100 Coupon ends June 18, 2012

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

4 Products To Consider

Have a peek at the 4 best values, until Presidents Day. Coincidentally, the top 4 have serious rebates...

1. Frigidaire FGHD2433KB - Why: This is a good dishwasher at $349. At $99 after rebates, this is a darn (add the adjective here) good dishwasher.

2. Bosch WFVC6450 - Why: Bosch may manufacture the best washer in the industry at 4.4 cubic foot, steam and eco-cycle. They are also not manufacturing laundry after 2011. This machine is now $449 after $500 in rebates...Rebates are more than the purchase price.

3. Electrolux EWFL65HTS and EMED65HTS - Why: It's last years, and at $1499 for the pair, it is approximately $1800 less than the 2011.....

4. JennAir Slide-Ins - Why: There are $200 rebates even though the brand has few competitors in this segment. Add a few more pieces and receive more rebates, a free dishwasher and the key to the JennAir corporate condo in Chicago.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Accent Lighting

I love hotels. Most great residential ideas emanate from commercial spaces, especially hotels. These flowers look pretty good in the Mandarin Oriental. The color is really vivid.

Now look up:

The flowers are bathed in halogen light delivered by a simple recessed light...This is very easy to do, btw.

Accent Lighting:

1. Track and recessed are the main products to use.

2. Bulbs are either halogen, low voltage or LED. The Kelvin or color rendering should be between 2700-3200.

3. Do not use incandescent. It renders too yellow.

4. If you are accenting art, use LED exclusively. LED does not project heat and will not discolor your artwork.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Small Kitchens

Boston is an interesting city. Some of this towns most expensive real estate does not have much square footage for kitchens. Most manufacturers do not produce smaller equipment due to limited demand.

Often times, consumers have to settle for basic, less featured equipment. Then again...

This kitchen is the best of what is available in smaller sizes, 27" Sub-Zero, 24" Viking, Miele 18" dishwasher.

Brands to consider:

Stove: Avanti, Viking

Refrigerator: SubZero, Blomberg, Fisher-Paykel(32"), Lehberr

Dishwasher: Monogram, Miele, Bosch, Frigidaire

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pro Vs Induction

Have a look between a Thermador 5 burner induction and a pro gas range top. Induction is magnetic heat, and Professional is high output gas.

Which one is better?

Boil: Induction is faster to a boil than Pro.

Simmer: Although the Thermador has the extra low intermittent simmer at only 150 BTU (average for gas is 500), induction is still better as it provides even lower and instantaneous simmering.

Efficiency: Induction is 90% efficient, and gas is 60%. 40% of all gas escapes through the sides of the burner. This creates more heat and requires more venting.

Curb Appeal: The impressive looking gas unit.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

LED Pendants

LED is the future of the industry. It is 90% efficient, lasts 20 years and uses much less electricity than incandescent. Then again, in a 100 watt incandescent, only 10 watts is actual light while the other 90% is heat, so the bar is not that high.

There are two ways to buy a LED pendant:

Way 1 is to buy a LED pendant...seems obvious that you would buy a pendant with the LED driver built into the housing. This is, however, less common.

Way 2 is to buy any low voltage pendant and place a LED light bulb inside. Like this bar inside the Mandalay Bay.

LED Pendants...How to and if you should buy:

1. If you are buying the bulb, you want the bulb to be rated at 2700-3200 Kelvins to produce desirable light. LED will render blueish if it is not rated as such.

2. You need special dimmers. Regular dimmers cannot dim a light source that low.

3. Is this task or decorative? If you are not using this light often, the ROI on LED will probably be almost nonexistent. It is better to use LED in light sources like recessed or track, which are more frequently used.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Vents have become more than just extractors of bad air, grease and smoke. They have become art pieces. Fortunately, they have also become much cheaper. What once was expensive has become much cheaper.

Hoods that were $999-1499 are now $699-899...

Blower packs for wood hoods with decent CFM are now less than $1000...

How to Vent:

1. Straight duct runs outside are ideal. Turns within the duct greatly reduce efficiency.

2. Recirculating is less ideal, as the heat does not escape.

3. Pro gas cooking requires a minimum of 600 CFM and the depth of the hoods should be a minimum of 24 inches to capture smoke.

4. Inside grills require 1200 CFM at a minimum.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Yale Home Show, Best Of Boston 2011, AMEX

When I started at Yale, we participated in the Bayside Home Show. Then, we upgraded the showroom about 13 years ago, and the thought was: Why not bring people here? The industry is forever evolving, so now you can compare 6 different brands with actual chefs using the products. We have a good line up this year: Jason Santos of Hell's Kitchen and Andy Husbands of Tremont647 to mention a few plus a few guys you should definitely see: Billy Strynkowski of Cooking Light Magazine and Steve Shipley of Johnson and Wales. If you want more information or want to register for our gift card giveaway, see our Home Show page or you can subscribe to our newsletter.

Yale is Best of Boston Home 2011. We have won that award every year there has been the category. We were Best of Yelp and AngiesList as well. Have to admit, I am a little proud as these are not paid awards.

We now accept American Express. Why do merchants have an aversion to this mode of payment. Simple. It is more expensive than the other cards by 50(.005)basis points. It doesn't sound like much but it adds up quickly.

However, you have to weigh that versus people who only use that card. The AMEX rep thinks its everyone. Being a Visa cardholder, I have my doubts. Certainly worth an experiment...

Monday, February 07, 2011

Things You Learn in The Snow

I spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning shoveling the Yale Warehouse in Mansfield. It's about 89,000 square feet, so it is not that easy. But there are lessons in the snow.

1. Had 20 volunteers to help. I am lucky insofar as we have been able to attract some really decent character people. Then again, I have zero prayer in delivering great customer service without great people.

2. Titan Rigging rules. If you live in Boston, these guys can crane anything in seemingly the most dangerous places.

3. Have a dryer with a sneaker rack. You can place your soaked footware in the dryer without the sneakers "kicking" the dryer open in the spin or creating a deafening noise.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Return Of Crystal

I know what you are thinking...my Grandma had this. It is true, some crystal is old fashioned and rather stodgy, but most of it is not. Crystal has evolved over the years to be more colorful and contemporary.

Most residential trends start either from Europe or from commercial spaces (my theory). Have a look at crystal in different applications...

How to buy Crystal (not even sure anymore)

1. Quality of crystal is important. Higher lead content means better sparkle

2. There are three types of crystal: Legacy, Heritage and Strauss is the best, and most expensive

Friday, February 04, 2011

A Blog Extra

I actually just returned from a business trip in Dallas and Vegas. Love my home base, but still you see different things travelling....Here is a blog extra of different oddities. Hope you enjoy:

Marko The Magician (watch this)

The Ball Bearing Couch

The $5,000 rag Chair

Thursday, February 03, 2011

New Lighting

Every January we travel to Dallas for the lighting show to see the latest and greatest. The Mart has changed greatly since I started years ago. Many of the great domestic lines are out of business or now manufacture in China (who decided manufacturing in the US was bad?).

Still in a vast ocean, there is bound to be a few pearls. Here are the highlights...

We write a monthly newsletter about lighting trends and design. Click here if you are interested in joining.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Open Today

Commute was actually easier than normal. Our outlet will also be re-opened tomorrow after a renovation project. Looks good for an outlet.

Mass Save Strikes Again

Thats right, there is another 2 million dollars in energy rebates to be distributed in June. Last April, we wrote a newsletter, blogged, provided the qualifying models. Overall it was pretty decent until the state system shut down on day 1. Blogging and emailing is good, but not real time.

Thus, we shall anticipate another shut down or misunderstanding, and inform you by text and twitter, so you can proactively react in seconds.

So, go here and sign up for Mass Save Info if you are interested...

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

LED Chandeliers

I saw the best chandelier in my career last week in Las Vegas. Have a look:

Nice, isnt it. This is Baccarat crystal, which we do not sell. I like the crystal, but this is completely powered by LED, which is 90% more efficient and has a lamp life of 17-20 years. The cost is over $60,000.

Fortuntely, LED is arriving for the rest of us in chandeliers by April at a cost starting at a pedestrian $500-700. Have sneak peak of the future...

BTW, if you truly want to save money with LED, start with recessed lights. There is a much better ROI and will usually pay for themselves in less than 3 years. To date I have saved 40% on my electric bill and have not replaced one bulb in 3 years (and dont expect too).

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Quick Comparison

Look at this GE Cafe slide-in...

It was state of the art when first introduced 4 years ago, and why not? It has 5 burners, convection, as well as a second oven. At $2500, it seems like a competitive price for such a well designed and styled range. But can you buy smarter? Maybe...

Electrolux: Nicer range. Induction technology is faster to boil and simmer and Electrolux has an intuitive control panel with any kind of mode. But at $3300 plus, it should be better. So how about something better for less dough...

Frigidaire: Not exactly better, but at $1800+, this range has two induction burners, convection and a warming drawer. So you add induction, but remove the second oven from Cafe, as well as $700.

Frigidaire also has additional incentives for packages.


While Pat is logging in 10 days of posts, there are some pricing updates for this industry. First Bosch was incredibly aggressive in January. 10% of these interlocking rebates expire today.

Electrolux, Whirlpool and GE have announced a 8.8% increase starting in March. Bosch is expected to announce a similar increase this week(that would be an 18% difference between March and January).

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Big Mistake

The introduction of the Maytag Neptune was the biggest mistake in the history of this industry. It was on the forefront of front-loading, energy-saving technology. It was even marketed properly and was introduced at Radio City in New York.

Only problem was a 60% fail rate. That they didn't address the issue was the real tipping point for consumers depending on their heritage of reliability. Four years later, Maytag ceased to exist as an independent company with thousands of jobs lost in Iowa.

Flash forward 10 years, Bosch has recently announced that they will no longer be in the laundry business.

Unlike Maytag, this is a great machine marketed and distributed poorly. They cited competition from the Korean companies as the reason. Currently, at $549, their machine sells for $100-250 cheaper with much better reliability. The real reason may very well be Bosch's lack of market penetration in box stores, especially Sears. Thus, they cannot derive volume needed to maintain a factory.

So, do you as a consumer knowingly buy a machine which will be discontinued in 2011? Only if it is good and cheap...and right now Bosch is both.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Bad Twin

Have a look at KitchenAid's new range...

This is actually an old range. It was first marketed by Maytag and was called the Gemini, for two ovens. As history has shown, nothing designed by Maytag between 1995-2001 was any good. In fact, their new products; the wide by side refrigerator, the infamous Neptune and to a lesser degree the Gemini were instrumental in Maytag's destruction and sale to Whirlpool.

Some people will say, "two ovens are a great idea!" To that, I say...look again.

Oven is way too low...Better design is oven on top with the smaller lower oven below

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shake, Rattle.....

I am now on the road with techs every once in awhile. Lets say it has been enlightening...

Here is a problem. Customer complaint of shaking in her front load.

You should expect some vibration, because the front load spins out 3 times faster than a top load. The faster spin dries the clothes so there is less time and energy spent in the dryer. This is a great benefit to front loading machines

However, most floors cannot handle this type of vibration, so the unit will shake.

Detergents are another issue. If you do not use HE detergents, the suds sensor will deactivate the machine...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shopping For A Light

It's tough wading through 4,000 plus lights to choose the right one. Decorative lighting doesn't light the room.

The task element, like recessed and track, are the backbone and decorative is the jewelry. So pick what you like; any size, shape or texture. Take this light for example...

You wouldn't think of placing it in a real estate office, would you?

This is the Tri State Realty group.....WWW.TriStateRealtyGroup.com

Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't Do This

You can't see in this kitchen, have a look.

Now look at the culprit...

This is a great system by Juno called Trac-12. Unfortunately, it is designed for under the cabinets, not for the main task lighting. Yes, there are 6 track heads, but they only acommodate 5-10 watts a piece. That is not enough especially in a dark kitchen

The solution: Buy regular track...This kitchen can be illuminated for less than $100.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A New Kitchen

Wolf vs Viking, etc, etc.....You can still buy very good, functional, aesthetically pleasing and well featured items at a budget....Have a look at the video.

Kitchen is pretty nice, isn't it. She renovated it with us 6 years ago with Frigidaire Professional appliances.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Happened To Steam Appliances

Look at this KitchenAid wall oven...

It has a steam setting, but you would not know that (they probably don't). Steam has not developed a following amongst manufacturers who don't understand it and the general public who don't want to pay the premium for the feature.

It's a shame. Steam is the healthiest way to cook. Instead of baking out nutrients, you are adding steam to contain them. You can even bake brownies in a steam oven.

The two best products:

Miele...their Masterchef controls prompt you for everything, so it is easy.

Gaggenau...The pioneers of steam cooking. They even have a direct water feed into the oven.