We just launched a web-based tool called “Seaside” that gives direct access to ocean data buoys from around the world. Click on the map to get live ocean temperature and wave information. Data is provided by NOAA and other scientific organizations. Some buoys have more data available than others. Check it out:
LED bulbs are a long-term investment that will help you save big on energy costs. Most brands boast 15-20 years of life. Great! When I recently bought a bulb and happily installed it into my bathroom vanity, my excitement quickly faded to disappointment when I realized that the bulb buzzed! It looked great, but the very audible constant buzz really bothered me. Do I really want to listen to that for the next 20 years?
It turns out that lots of poorly engineered LED bulbs emit a constant annoying buzz, but this is something you’ll never know by reading the package. How was I supposed to know when I picked it off the shelf that it was going to buzz at me ever time I turned it on? Unacceptable.
Another common problem for LED bulbs is a delay when you first turn them on. You walk into a dark closet and hit the light switch, but the light hesitates a half second before turning on. This is especially annoying for spaces where you only intend to stay a few moments. This is another important detail you want to know about a bulb before spending your next two decades with it… but again… you won’t be able to tell by reading the box. You can easily measure delay with an oscilloscope or a high-speed camera.
In case you don’t trust our ears, here’s an example of what LED buzz looks like. This is a plot of the sound frequency content with the bulb turned on. The plot should be flat from 0 to 20 kHz. Notice the area circled in red? That’s very bad.
The good news is that there IS a way to measure the buzz and delay. To make your LED bulb shopping easier, we’ve tested the LED bulbs below and share our findings.
TCP Globe RLG255W27KND3 (3-pack) 2700k
Buzz: -19dB at 11-13 kHz. This is VERY annoying.
The buzzing on this bulb was worse than any other tested. The 3-pack is available on Amazon for about $19, but don’t buy it unless you don’t mind your vanity constantly buzzing at you.
Utilitech Globe 2700k
Delay: 500 ms
The color is nice and and it’s completely silent, but the half second delay is something you should avoid. You might be able to find it on Amazon, but we don’t recommend it!
FEIT BR30DM65/LED/6 (2-pack) 2700k
A great bulb with nice color from FEIT at a great price. No delay and on buzz. Available from Amazon in a 2-pack for about $20.
FEIT BPOM60/830/LED 2700k
Delay: 30 ms. Barely noticeable.
Buzz: -20dB at 17-19 kHz. Barely noticeable.
The 30ms delay isn’t anything to get worked up about by itself. To hear the buzz you have to put your ear fairly close to it. Most people won’t be bothered by either of these flaws. Available from Amazon for about $8.
Philips 8.5A19/LED/827 2700k
A great A19 bulb with zero delay and zero buzz. Available from Amazon in a 2-pack for about $13.
Have the automatic door locks stopped working… especially when it’s hot? Three of the four power door locks on my 2008 Chevy Malibu LT got worse and worse over time until they completely quit. Turns out these parts are known to frequently fail when hot. Unfortunately, the door latch, door lock mechanism, solenoid, and cable are all a single assembly. I paid about $125 for each of the three assemblies. Once you figure out how to remove the door panel and pony up for the new latch assemblies, the job is fairly simple and doing it yourself will save you a lot of cash.
Here are links to the replacement door latches for the 2008-2012 Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura 2007-2009 models.
Our new app is the fastest, lightest, and most accurate way to get live ocean temperature readings for around the world. Powered by data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) extensive ocean buoy network and other scientific organizations, the app gives you up-to-date temperature, wave height, wind, and other information quickly and easily. Tide tables are available for most of the United States. Automatically choose the buoy closest to your location, grab one from the map, or choose from a list.
Make sure you check the water before hitting the beach, diving, or planning a vacation. It’s powerful, free, and uses virtually no data.
Currently, buoy information is available for these locations: