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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Lighting Accessories Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – MICTUNING 2Pcs 60″ White LED Cargo Truck Bed Light Strip Lamp Waterproof Lighting Kit with On-Off Switch Fuse 2-Way Splitter Cable for Jeep Pickup RV SUV and More
№2 – Emart 600W Photography Photo Video Portrait Studio Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit
№3 – Globe Electric Parker 5-Piece All-In-One Bath Set, Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish, 3-Light Vanity, Towel Bar, Towel Ring, Robe Hook, Toilet Paper Holder, 50192
Pros & Cons of LED Light
LED stands for light emitting diode, which are semiconductors that produce light when charged. LED bulbs have an average lifespan of over 50,000 hours, compared to a little over 1,000 for conventional incandescent bulbs. As a LED ages, the amount of light it gives off dissipates over time.
Pros & Cons of CFL Light
CFL stands for compact fluorescent lighting, which is simply a smaller version of a fluorescent tube. CFL bulbs contain a mercury vapor that lights when it is energized. Because CFLs contain mercury, they must be disposed of carefully, at designated drop-off site (Home Depot, Lowes, recycling centers, etc). An average CFL bulb should last 7,000 hours.
Pros & Cons of Incandescent Light
Incandescent light is an electric process that produces light with a wire filament that is heated to a high temperature by an electric current which runs through it. This is the type of lighting which was the standard in homes up until the 1990’s. Due to its poor energy efficiency, it is being replaced with the newer technology of LED and CFL bulbs. Incandescent bulbs last roughly 1,000 hours.
Pros & Cons of Halogen Light
Similar to incandescent light bulbs, halogen bulbs use a similar electric-filament technology with one important difference; with incandescents the filament degrades via evaporation over time whereas, with halogens, filament evaporation is prevented by a chemical process that redeposits metal vapor onto the filament, thereby extending its life. Halogen bulbs have a lifespan of roughly 3,000 hours.
Color Temperature & Lighting Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light. The temperature of light refers to its warmness or coolness, or hue. This temperature is measured using the Kelvin scale, which for most use ranges from 2,700°-7,500°K. Incandescent and halogen lighting are the most limited in the temperature range at 2,700°-3,000°K. LED and CFL have each expanded their color range to now offering warmer options. Most task lighting, however, benefits from cooler lighting options which include LED, full spectrum, and CFL.
Understanding Lumens & Brightness is a measurement of light output from a lamp, often called a tube or a bulb. All lamps are rated in lumens. For example, a 100-watt incandescent lamp produces about 1,600 lumens.
The distribution of light on a flat surface is called its illumination and is measured in footcandles. A footcandle of illumination is a lumen of light spread over a one square foot area.
The illumination needed varies according to the difficulty of a visual task. Ideal illumination is the minimum footcandles necessary to allow you to perform a task comfortably and efficiently without eyestrain or fatigue. According to the Illuminating Engineering Society, illumination of 30 to 50 footcandles is needed for most home and office work. Intricate and lengthy visual tasks — like sewing — require 200 to 500 footcandles.
1,000-1,400 Lumens is a commonly accepted range for most applications of task lighting. An average of 50 Lumens per square foot is a common measure. efficacy. Efficacy is the ratio of light output from a lamp to the electric power it uses and is measured in lumens per watt.
Demystifying LED Light
When comparing the raw lumen output of traditional lamps with the lumen output of many LED lamps, it may seem that LEDs deliver less light than the conventional counterparts. These comparisons, however, are inaccurate and misleading, since they fail to account for the amount of wasted light in conventional lighting.
Therefore, lumen output is a poor measure of the suitability of a lamp for a given task. The better measure is delivered light — how much light a fixture delivers to a surface, as measured in lux (lx) or footcandles (fc). You can make comparisons between conventional and LED lighting fixtures on the basis of delivered light, as it measures how much of a light source’s raw lumen output reaches a surface or area you are lighting.
Determining the amount of a conventional lamp’s raw lumen output reaches as area, you must discount any light lost in the fixture housing (at times over 30%), as well as the light lost as a result of shading, lensing, and filtering. Since incandescent and fluorescent lamps often emit light in many directions, you must also discount any light cast away from the target area.
Reading area or den
The reading area should have a bright task lamp. A bright desk lamp can prevent eye strain which is helpful in preventing eye damage in the long run. With bright task lamps in the reading area, you can keep headaches away. Thus, you will surely enjoy reading as well as other activities like writing letters or completing puzzles.
Your kitchen is another part of the home that requires task lighting. The dangerous nature of the activities you do in your kitchen is reason enough to get additional task lighting. More importantly, you need enough light to read recipes and to see the ingredients as they cook as well as other practical things. For kitchens, common task lighting fixtures are under cabinet lights that provide extra illumination to supplement the ambient light.
KC HiLiTES Daylighters
Probably the most well known, off-roading lights, KC HiLiTES Daylighters are long-range lights that use a traditional Hhalogen bulb and reflector setup to deliver bright light. Plus, you get those iconic smiley face light covers.
After lumens, the next concept you’ll want to understand is color temperature. Measured on the Kelvin scale, color temperature isn’t really a measure of heat. Instead, it’s a measure of the color that a light source produces, ranging from yellow on the low end of the scale to bluish on the high end, with whitish light in the middle.
An easy way to keep track of color temperature is to think of a flame: it starts out yellow and orange, but when it gets really hot, it turns blue. You could also think of color temperature in terms of the sun — low, yellowy color temperatures mimic the tone of light at sunrise or sunset, while hotter, more bluish-white color temperatures are more akin to daylight (sure enough, bulbs with color temperatures like these are commonly called “daylight” bulbs). This is also why a lot of people prefer high color temperatures during the day and lower color temperatures in the morning and evening.
Generally speaking, incandescents sit at the bottom of the scale with their yellow light, while CFLs and LEDs have long been thought to tend toward the high, bluish end of the spectrum. This has been a steady complaint about new lighting alternatives, as many people prefer the warm, familiar, low color temperature of incandescents. Manufacturers are listening, though, and in this case they heard consumers loud and clear, with more and more low-color-temperature CFL and LED options hitting the shelves. Don’t believe me? Take another look at those two paper lamps in the picture above, because they’re both CFL bulbs — from the same manufacturer, no less.
Sylvania often color codes its packaging. Blue indicates a hot, bluish color temperature, while the lighter shade indicates a white, more neutral light.
As you’re probably aware, light bulbs come in a fairly wide variety of shapes. Sure, it’s easy enough to tell a hardware store clerk that you want “one of those flamey-looking lights,” or “just a normal ol’ bulby light bulb,” but knowing the actual nomenclature might save you some time.
Are pricey candelabra LEDs a smart upgrade for your chandelier?
Let’s start with the base of the bulb, the part that screws in. In the US, the most common shape by far is E26, with the “E” standing for Edison and the “26” referring to the diameter of the base in millimeters. You might also see E2bulbs from time to time, which is the European standard. Those should still fit into common American fixtures, but keep in mind that voltage ratings are different in the two regions, with American bulbs rated for 120 volts compared to 220-240 volts in Europe. For smaller sockets, like you might find with a candelabra, you’ll want to look for an E1base.
As for the bulb itself, the typical shape that you’re probably used to is an A1bulb. Increase that number to A2or A23, and you’ve got the same shape, but bigger. Bulbs made to resemble flames are F-shaped, which is easy enough to remember, as are globes, which go by the letter G. If it’s a floodlight you want, you’ll want to look for “BR” (bulging reflector) or “PAR” (parabolic aluminized reflector). Those bulbs are designed to throw all their light in one direction only, which makes them useful for spot lighting, overhead lighting and the headlights in your car.
Your automated-lighting options
It used to be that if you wanted your lights to turn on and off automatically, then you had to rely on a cheap wall socket timer, the kind you might use to control a Christmas tree. These days, with a modest boom in smart lighting currently under way, it’s easier than ever to dive into the sort of advanced automation controls that can make any home feel modern and futuristic. Use the right devices, and you’ll be able to control your lights in all sorts of creative ways, and make your life a little bit easier in the process.
The most obvious way to get started with smart lighting is with the bulbs themselves. You’ve got plenty of intelligent options from brands both big and small, and to find the one that’s best for you, you’re going to need to understand what sets them apart.
Connect with these 3IFTTT-friendly smart devices (pictures)
The first thing to look at is how the bulbs communicate with you. Some offer direct connections with your smart phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which makes setup as simple as screwing the thing in and following in-app pairing instructions.
Others transmit using a distinct frequency like ZigBee or Z-Wave. Bulbs like those might be a better fit for bigger smart home setups, as it’s typically a little easier to sync them up with things like motion detectors and smart locks. Setup can be slightly more advanced, as you’ll need a separate hub or gateway device capable of translating that distinct frequency into a Wi-Fi signal your router can comprehend.
Some smart bulbs come with their own gateway. Others, like the Cree Connected LED, require a third-party control device, like the Wink Hub.
If you’re looking for a little more color in your life, then be sure and take a look at a product like the Philips Hue Starter Kit. Aside from being fully automatable via a mobile app and control hub, the Hue LED bulbs are capable of on-demand color changes. Just pull out your phone, select one of millions of possible shades, and the light will match it. And if you’re into voice control, Hue bulbs hit the compatibility trifecta — they’ll work with Siri, Alexa, and the Google Assistant.
Because Philips opened its lighting controls to third-party developers, you’ll also find lots of fun novelty uses for Hue bulbs, like changing the color of your lights in rhythm with whatever music you’re playing. There’s even an app that’ll sync your Hue lights up with certain TV programming.
Hue lights are also directly compatible with the popular web service IFTTT, with recipes already available that will change the color of your lights to match the weather, or to signal a touchdown from your favorite football team, or even to indicate when your stocks are doing well.
It’s what’s known as a prime lens, one that doesn’t zoom at all. The magnification it captures is close to what the human eye naturally sees, so as big as something is in your normal vision, that’s about the size it’ll be in the photo. Prime lenses are also good tools to get you more comfortable with your gear, since they require you to think a bit more about framing and moving yourself around — zoom with your feet, as the saying goes.
The converse is also true. If you are too far away from your subject, their features become compressed in appearance. I find this look far more attractive than the big nose look and often prefer to use longer focal lengths for my people subjects (celebrities often prefer this look as well) but be aware of what is happening in your images. Being too far from your subject makes communication difficult. Physical obstacles (such as a wall) can also inhibit the use of longer focal length lenses.
Conventional teaching is that the 85-135mm focal length range is ideal for portrait photography.
HD PENTAX DA 70mm F2.Limited
The HD PENTAX DA 70mm F2.Limited offers a medium-telephoto perspective and its extensive range of apertures makes it ideal for many applications including portrait, landscape and still-life photography. The focal length means that it is perfect for things like concerts in small venues. With an overall length of only 2.6cm, this highly portable lens offers high-performance optics with edge-to-edge sharpness, and depth of field control
Short Telephoto Lenses
The workhorses of many photographers bags, the short telephoto can be used for group shots, wide angle landscapes, weddings, and even for some sports. While they don’t get as much attention as the big telephotos do, they earn their keep by being sharp and usable in less then ideal situations.
With ultra-to medium-telephoto coverage, this versatile lens can be used in a wide variety of applications including landscape, snapshots and portraits. The tightly sealed, weather-resistant and dust-resistant construction enhances durability for use in both rainy and dusty conditions, making it a perfect companion for the weather-resistant PENTAX DSLR bodies like the Pentax K-50 and K-II.
HD PENTAX-D FA★ 70-200mm F2.8ED DC AW
One of Pentax’s most anticipated lenses, the HD PENTAX-DFA★ 70-200mm F2.8ED DC AW lens offers outstanding performance in the mid to telephoto zoom focal range. It really is a much needed addition to the Pentax lineup with the launch of their full frame K-1. The lens will significantly enhance sporting (when attached to a Pentax K-II or another crop body), portraiture and wildlife photography in any weather environment.
All In One Telephoto Lens
They may not be as sharp or as fast focusing and some of the primes or sports lenses but these all in one lenses offer unparalleled versatility. If you are going on a trip with no room to pack extra lenses, these are the ones you want. They are great for exploring a city with or for going out with your family and not knowing what to expect on your walk. It’s a lens that every photographer will want to have in their bag
An all-in-one zoom for APS-C cameras, the Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.DC MACRO HSM Contemporary Lens provides users of Pentax K-mount cameras with an extremely versatile focal length equivalent of 27-450mm.
Long Telephoto Lenses
If you are shooting sports or wildlife, you need a long lens. Starting at 300mm and going up to 450mm’s, these lenses get you close to the action no matter where you are standing. smc PENTAX DA 55-300mm F4-5.ED
With its wide coverage over medium- to super-telephoto ranges, the smc PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.ED is perfect for a wide range of telephoto applications, including portraits, sports and landscapes. Incorporating two ED (extra-low dispersion) optical elements, it offers superb optical performance, with minimal chromatic aberrations over the entire zoom range.
The advantage to the 55-300mm is its huge zoom, which is something that a lot of photographers who are new to SLRs miss from the point-and-shoot days. If you had a 20x zoom on your pocket camera, the 3x on a kit lens feels a bit anemic. Throwing the 70-300mm lens on the front of your camera gives you that reach you miss, and is fantastic for sports photography, wildlife and all sorts of touristy stuff (like capturing landmarks from a distance.)
HD PENTAX- D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.ED DC AW
The HD PENTAX- D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.ED DC AW is the longest zoom amongst all PENTAX lenses. With its 3-times zoom ratio, capturing a variety of distant objects is made easy. Along with impressive mid to super telephoto capabilities, the HD PENTAX- D FA150-450mm lens offers outstanding operability at an affordable price. Your photography will not be jeopardized due to unforeseen weather with high build quality, and weather-resistant construction. With a total of 2seals throughout its body, changes in the weather will not be an issue during your outdoor photography. Focusing on your subject has never been easier with the all-new Preset Button, developed to record a focus point and save it.
Wide Angle Lens
In photography a wide-angle lens refers to a lens whose focal length is substantially smaller than the focal length of a normal lens for a given film plane. This type of lens allows more of the scene to be included in the photograph, which is useful in architectural, interior and landscape photography where the photographer may not be able to move farther from the scene to photograph it.
Another use is where the photographer wishes to emphasize the difference in size or distance between objects in the foreground and the background; nearby objects appear very large and objects at a moderate distance appear small and far away.
For the purpose, there are a couple of options available for Pentax users. Each have their own strengths.
The official definition of a macro lens is that it should be able to reproduce a life-sized image of an object on the recording medium – in this case the image sensor. True macro lenses offer a magnification factor of 1.0x or 1:at its closest focus setting. Fit one of these lenses to a DSLR like the Pentax K-II, and a standard postage stamp will fill the whole frame. That might not sound particularly impressive, but when you consider that the 24Mp sensor in cameras like enable very large format prints, the potential for creating massive enlargements from shots of tiny objects is really quite astonishing. smc PENTAX-D FA Macro 100mm F2.WR
The smc PENTAX-D FA Macro 100mm F2.WR lens is designed for digital and film SLR cameras. It utilizes curvature and positioning of optical elements to virtually eliminate flare and ghosting for clear, high-quality images. Achieving life-size (1:1) magnification, it features our acclaimed multi-layer coating to lower surface reflection, reduce ultraviolet rays, and deliver clear, high-contrast images. PENTAX SP (Super Protect) coating keeps the elements at bay, while the Quick-Shift Focus System allows for instant switching from auto to manual focus. The aluminum construction with weather resistant seals offers excellent reliability in damp, inclement conditions. At 100mm, it is long enough that you can stand back a bit and not have to crouch to get all of the shots you want.
As the name suggests, these threaded filters are designed to protect the front element of your lens from all manner of scrapes, as well as from dust, dirt, moisture and fingerprints. Because they are essentially just clear glass, they don’t have any discernible effect on the amount of light entering the lens (and therefore they don’t affect exposure time).
The rule of thumb here should be, as ever, buy the best that you can afford. Remember, the light will have to pass through the filter before travelling through the lens and onto the camera sensor, so the higher the quality of that glass, the better. Realistically, this equates to ensuring you get the sharpest pictures possible.
Ok, so these aren’t actually filters, but it’s worth mentioning a couple of accessories which come handy when using filters. First of all, filters are no good if they are dirty, so make sure you keep them perfectly clean (free from dust, fingerprints etc) right up until the time you need to attach them to the front of your lens. Dedicated pouches and sleeves are available, complete with soft, no-scratch lining. Secondly, for those occasions when you do get a mark on them, be sure to have a soft, lens-friendly cloth to hand to gently remove the offending smudge.
You need a Screen Protector
The title of this section says it all, you NEED a screen protector. While the Nintendo Switch’s screen may be beautiful to look at, on the surface it is only made of durable plastic. The screen was designed to not shatter on impact, which is a handy feature to have. However with added flexibility there is always a trade off for hardness. As such, the Nintendo Switch’s screen is VERY easy to scratch whether in docked mode, in a carrying case or just laying on the couch where you might accidentally sit on it. Lets take a look at the first accessory you should buy for your Nintendo Switch.
Modern screen protectors use one of two materials, either tempered glass or a plastic film. Here a Nintendo Switch Accessory we 100% recommend that you use the tempered glass option. It is far more scratch resistant than the plastic film variety and much easier to apply. Plus various types of coatings can be applied to it making the tempered glass screen protectors, water, fingerprint and skin oil resistant. New designs even allow for a liquid free installation that doesn’t require squeegees to apply.
Based on our reviews of the Best Nintendo Switch Screen Protectors if you want a a great choice that is loaded with features we’d recommend you grab the amFilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector.
Want to increase your Nintendo Switch’s battery life? Get a Portable Charger
The Nintendo Switch has a stellar built in battery that can last for hours, even playing intense games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However even the strongest of batteries will eventually run out during long road trips or an extremely boring day at school or office. Based on our testing we’ve found that the Nintendo Switch can last anywhere from 2.5-hours depending on how graphically intense of a game your playing. This is right in line with what Nintendo claimed the battery life would be. That’s why another key Nintendo Switch Accessory you should pick up is a powerful portable charger that is capable of charging the Nintendo Switch while playing. Let take a look at what makes for the best Nintendo Switch portable charger.
The first and most important factor you should look for when buying a power bank for your Nintendo Switch is the battery capacity. As a reference the Switch itself have a battery capacity of 4,310mAh, which is quite large compared to most phones and smaller portable devices. You’ll want to buy a portable charger that can fully charge your Nintendo Switch multiple times without needed to be charged itself. We’d recommend a battery size of at least 20,000mAh as a minimum when looking for the right power bank.
A few other items should be taken into consideration as well, the number of available USB ports and the overall size of the unit. You want at least two ports available on the power bank to ensure you can charge multiple devices at the same time. You’ll also want the power bank to be small enough that it is easily carried around. After all it is supposed to be a PORTABLE charger.
Our portable charger recommendation – RavPower 26800MaH Power Bank (PD USB)
So we just told you everything you need to go out and buy the perfect Nintendo Switch portable charger. If you want you can go ahead and take a look at some of the Best Ninendo Switch Portable Chargers we have reviewed or just read below for our top choice.
If your looking for the best Nintendo Switch portable charger it is by far RAVPower 26,800mAh Power Bank. This 26,8000mAh power bank has significant battery capacity and is very lightweight giving it a great portability factor. As with most chargers the larger the battery size the bigger the physical dimensions of the unit are, coming at at just 6.81″ long and 3.19″ wide this charger has a modest footprint, but should still be able to fit into larger pockets for when your on the go. As with the Anker offering the four indicator lights on the top make it easy to quickly see how much juice your portable charger has left.
In terms of Nintendo Switch performance, we hooked it up while playing The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. During our tests we found it would charge 22% of the Switch’s battery every hour while gaming. Not bad for something that only weighs 13.4oz. When the Nintendo Switch is in sleep mode the RAVPower Portable Charger is able to charge the switch from 0%-100% in a little under two hours. So, you will even exceed the rapid charging of the Anker PowerCore+ 20100, plus you’ll be able to get a little more playtime overall with the slightly larger battery capacity of the RAVPower unit. Another advantage to this portable charger is that is charges fully in 4.hours, meaning you won’t have to wait the extra 6-hours more that most charges of this class required to fully power up.
The RAVPower Portable Charger comes standard with two 2.4A iSmart USB ports and one incredibly powerful USB type C port, meaning you’ll be able to quick charge all you devices at once and not risk getting lost on the streets because your GPS died while you were busy gaming the hours away in the foreign country. One of the only downsides to this portable charger is the price, being the most expensive of the three units we tested, it is clearly not a budget option. Keep in mind however, that although this is the high end offering it has a clear lead when it come to all the required power to charge the Nintendo Switch during long gaming sessions. Overall this is the Best Nintendo Switch portable charger on the market and will let your Nintendo Switch run for many hours past when its internal battery would have died.
Picking up this portable charger should be an easy choice as it has extremely high power capacity, the newest power distribution technology, and is reliable without a fault. This portable charger is in high demand at the moment so if you need one right away and it’s not in stock the Anker PowerCore+ 20100 is also a great option.
The best way to carry and protect your Switch is with a Dedicated Case
The Nintendo Switch is built as a portable console, but unfortunately that means it was not designed in a heavy armor casing to protect it against scratches, scuffs and drops. Previously we mentioned that you should purchase a screen protector as a basic form protection. However, if your constantly on the go, a dedicated case would be a worthwhile investment to go along with your AmFilm Screen Protector.
When looking for the best Nintendo Switch case there are a few things to be aware of, the first of which is the case design. There are two types to choose from, hard shell and soft shell cases. Just like the name suggested the hard shell cases don’t flex when placed in a backpack or stuffed into a bag, whereas the soft shell cases are a tad more portable and flex to fit confined spaces. With the Nintendo Switch being such an expensive piece of equipment we’d recommend you go with the hard shell case as it provides superior protection in every case, no pun intended. While you are sacrificing weight and possibly pack-ability, the peace of mind we get with a hard shell case far outweighs the disadvantages. Our recommendation for a great case is the Butterfox Hard Carrying Case, we go into more detail about it in the next section.
Another key factor for cases is, of course, available and accessible storage space. There is no point in having a lot of space available if you can’t use it. An ideal portable case for day use would have the following storage features; – At least storage slots for game cartridges – Zipper pocket for miscellaneous cables, chargers and SD cards – Well designed main Nintendo Switch pocket
For the main Nintendo Switch pocket your also looking for substantial padding and a tight fit with no jiggle. You want your case to be able to keep you switch untouched if dropped from three or four feet up. A padded screen cover is also a notable feature, which is standard on almost any Switch case.
How to use a Pistol Mounted Light
The way that you use a tactical handgun light is very very important. You need to know that wherever you are pointing that flashlight, you are also pointing a deadly weapon. You should only use a pistol mounted light in a situation that you would already have a pistol out. You should only be using a handgun light when you are identifying threats when you are using your gun or searching a building in a situation that you know is a possible tactical situation. Many want to use a pistol lights for home defense, but a home defense handgun light should only be used if you are certain that there is an intruder and you are ready to fully defend your home.
Pistol Mounted Light vs. Handheld Flashlight
This is a question that I hear all of the time: Should I have a pistol mounted light or a handheld flashlight? The answer is that you need both. There are pros and cons to both: The biggest pro is that when you identify a threat, you have it at gunpoint. The biggest con is that when you are looking for a threat, everything you point at is at gunpoint. This is a serious safety problem!
SureFire X300 Ultra
When you are talking about the best pistol light, Surefire lights are definitely going to be at the top of the list because their lights are almost impossible to beat. Every Surefire light we have ever examined has the highest build quality, which when your life is on the line you want nothing less than the best. The Surefire X300 is like many other Surefire lights, it is quite powerful and pretty much indestructible. The light itself is made from high-strength aerospace aluminum with Mil-Spec anodizing and is O-ring and gasket sealed to make it weatherproof.
The X300 Ultra features a new mounting system that allows you to quickly and securely mount the light to a handgun or long gun. The new mounting system is a T-slot mounting system with a tightening screw and a T-slot mounting rail. Both Picatinny and Universal crossbar wedges come with the pistol flashlight to make securing the light pretty much foolproof.
The X300 comes with two high-energy CR123A batteries that will last for one and a half hours before needing to be replaced. The batteries that come with the light have a year shelf life. These two batteries are strong enough to emit 600 lumens with the high performance LED. The LED provides a white light that is focused by a TIR lens. The TIR lens provides a high intensity beam that gives users an extended range, as well as enough surround light so you can keep your peripheral vision in close quarters.
Activation is done via a new and improved ambidextrous switch, which is now wider and shorter than before. The switch is located at the rear of the light’s body and requires one finger for operation. The X300 Ultra can also be activated remotely via the optional DG grip for handguns and the XT tape switches for long guns. Read our full Surefire X300 Ultra Review.
Streamlight comes in at a close second to Surefire when it comes to manufacturing the best glock light, between the two there is almost a monopoly in the handgun lights division. A perfect example of their top quality pistol light is the Streamlight TLR-HL that is made from machined aluminum with a black anodized finish. It is also sealed, which allows it to obtain an IPX7, so it can be used in all types of weather. The light comes in flat dark earth brown, flat dark earth, and black and is constructed to fit in all light bearing holsters.
The TLR-HL is designed to mount directly to any handgun that comes equipped with Glock-style rails. The light can also be mounted to Picatinny rails. The pistol light attaches easily and securely to the rails with no need for tools or putting your hand in front of the muzzle. If you wish to mount the TLR-HL to a long gun Streamlight does make a mounting kit, but it must be purchased separately. The kit includes a thumb screw, mounting clips, remote pressure switch, and a “safe off” door switch in addition to two CR123A batteries.
The TLR-HL uses two CR123A batteries to power the CLED for up to 1.7hours. The CLed can emit up to 800 lumens that has a peak beam intensity of 15,000 candelas. The beam can reach up to 800 feet, plus with the use of a TIR lens the concentrated beam also provides perfect peripheral illumination. The TLR-HL features an ambidextrous switch that is used to provide power to the light, as well as enable and disable the programmable strobe.
If you look at our table of the best pistol flashlights, you can’t help but notice that majority of the lights are SureFire or Streamlight. The reason for this is that these two companies manufacture the highest quality pistol flashlights in the market. When your life is on the line, you don’t want an inferior product that might fail. The only exception that we have found in our search for the best pistol lights is the Inforce APL, which we have to say is considered to be of very high quality.
The Inforce APL requires a single CR123A battery to emit 200 lumens of white light from its LED for a period of one and a half hours. For users who prefer paddle style switches versus toggle switches, the Inforce APL offers ambidextrous paddle switches that provides you total control using the pointing motion of your finger. The integrated mounting system is compatible with Universal and Picatinny rails and the new screw is more secure than the old flip lever mount. The light also comes with a shut-off feature that allows you to deactivate the switches for transporting purposes.
SureFire X400 Ultra Red
If you are looking for the best pistol flashlight that provides white light for illumination as well as a red laser light for aiming purposes, the SureFire X400 Ultra Red is the perfect light for you. The combination of white light and laser aiming capabilities makes this light the perfect choice for close to medium range activities, plus being made by SureFire you know you can depend on the light to work when you need it the most. Like many other SureFire models, the X400 Ultra is made from high strength aerospace aluminum with a Mil-Spec hard anodized coating and is O-ring and gasket sealed to keep out moisture and dust.
The five milliwatt laser sight is located just below the primary light on the X400 Ultra. In this model the laser emits a high-visibility red laser beam. The beam can be adjusted and features Nylock screws that are made to withstand various strengths of recoil. What this means for you is you won’t have to re-zero the laser every time you fire a round. The LED emits up to 600 lumens of white light using a TIR lens to provide a tight beam with enough surrounding light for your peripheral vision. The 500 lumens are plenty bright enough to blind a potential attacker and will last for 1.7hours using two CR123A batteries.
The X400 Ultra is activated via an ambidextrous switch that is located towards the rear of the light. The switch is operated using a single finger. Simply press the switch to turn on momentary activation or flip the switch for constant on. The light features a separate switch at the back of the light that allows you to choose between white light only, laser light only, combination of lights, or to deactivate the light entirely.
The X400 Ultra can be attached to either a handgun or long gun with Universal or Picatinny rails quickly and securely thanks to its T-Lock mounting system. Adapter mounts can also be purchased separately for handguns that are non-railed.
If you are looking for a lightweight pistol light that fits compact and subcompact handguns, the Streamlight TLR-is the perfect choice. Made from an impact resistant polymer with an anodized aluminum face cap and a Borofloat high temperature glass lens, the TLR-is one of the more durable lights on the market. The TLR-might not be one of the newer lights on the market, but it uses CLED technology to emit up to 12lumens with a single CRlithium battery. The TLR-also features a 640-660 nM red laser for aiming accuracy.
The TLR-comes with a key kit to fit a variety of different weapons, including full sized handguns as long as they have rails. The rail clamp is used to quickly and safely attach and detach the pistol light from the side of the weapon. The design allows you to snap the light one with one hand without ever having to put your hands in the front of the muzzle even if you are tighten it.
The light is controlled via an ambidextrous switch that provides you with the ability to select between momentary and constant on. The TLR-also features a mode selector switch that allows you to choose LED only, laser only, or both laser and LED. The laser can be zeroed in via a windage and elevation adjustment screw to ensure proper aim is achieved. Read our full Streamlight TLR-Review.
SureFire X400 Ultra Green
With the SureFire X400 Ultra Green pistol light, I am not going to go into a lot of detail about the lights features because it offers the same thing as the SureFire X400 Ultra Red. The only difference between the two lights is the five milliwatt laser sight. With this light, the laser is a 50nM high visibility green laser beam rather than the red. Both lights offer the Nylock screws to help with adjustments, both offer 600 lumens of white light illumination, and both lights offer the ambidextrous switch that requires one finger operation. Like the X400 Ultra Red, the Ultra Green can fit on both handguns and long guns, its T-mounting system fits Picatinny and Universal rails, plus adapter kits are sold separately for non-railed guns.
Streamlight TLR-HL G
The first thing that I want to mention in regards to the Streamlight TLR-HL G is that just like the original TLR-HL model it is listed as a budget light, but the price is not going to be as low as you expected. We include the TLR-HL G as a budget model because it is quite a bit cheaper than the SureFire models, but it is still a pricey light when you compare it to other brands. As we mentioned before we stick with the SureFire and Streamlight brands as the best pistol lights because they are the highest quality pistol lights available in the industry today. Time and time again Streamlight, along with SureFire have proven that their lights can be counted on not to fail in a life or death situation.
The Streamlight TLR-HL G is quite similar to the TLR-HL. The biggest difference between the two lights is the TLR-HL G comes with a 510-530 nM direct drive green laser. The other difference between the two is the runtime off the two CR123A batteries. The TLR-HL G has a shorter runtime because it only lasts for about one and a half hours when used in tactical situations. If you are using the green laser, you will see an average runtime of 1hours. One of the great things about the green laser option is it gives you a highly visible green light that is ideal for long range targeting.
The TLR-HL G is much like the TLR-HL models in the fact that it provides 800 lumens of white light in a wide beam pattern. They both feature ambidextrous switches for one finger operation, both have a user programmable strobe, and the rail clamp system is designed to make it safe and easy to attach or detach the light from your handgun.
The Streamlight TLR-G and the Streamlight TLR-are pretty close to being the same pistol light. They have more similarities than they do differences. Just like the TLR-the TLR-G offers users an ambidextrous switch for one finger operation. It also offers a rail clamp that allows it to be quickly and safely attached or detached from the side of the weapon rather than having to put your hands in front of the muzzle. The TLR-G has a Borofloat high-temperature glass lens and can be used on compact and sub-compact weapons.
Now let’s take a moment to look at how the TLR-G differs from the original TLR-The biggest difference is the high visible 510-530 nM green aiming laser. This laser is perfect for long range targeting. The other difference is the TLR-G only offers 11lumens of white illumination, which is a little less than the original model but still plenty bright enough to enable you to safely clear a room. The TLR-G also comes equipped with a mode selector switch that allows users to choose between LED only, laser only, and laser and LED. Laser only mode runs for four hours, LED only runs for 1.7hours, and the LED and laser mode runs for 1.2hours off a single CRbattery.
The Streamlight TLR-is one of the newest products being offered by Streamlight. The TLR-is the perfect pistol light for the smallest handguns, as well as sub-compact handguns. The TLR-comes with a universal kit that comes complete with six housings that are compatible with over 1plus subcompact handguns. The kit also comes with a light/laser module. The housing is countered so that it safely and securely attaches to the trigger guard. The light also comes with a cover that is easy to attach or remove.
The light itself features a CLED that offers users 100 lumens of white light as well as a 640-660nM red laser light for long target aiming. The TLR-uses two CR1/3N batteries to provide 1hours of laser only use and one hour of LED or laser and LED use. Unlike other lights, the light doesn’t have to be removed from the handgun to replace the batteries. Even better is the laser sight requires no adjustment after a battery change.
The ambidextrous switch is a push button style on both sides of the light. The switch can be used to access the three different modes available on this model. Each of the three modes also offer a 10-minute auto shut off feature to help conserve battery life. The laser/light module is made for backward and forward compatibility. The TLR-is made from high durable, impact resistant polymer allowing it to withstand impacts up to about three feet and an IPX-rating.
Aimkon HiLight P5S
The most important thing you have to know about this pistol light is that it is not one you want to rely on if you are in a life or death situation. If you are purchasing a pistol light that you want to be assured won’t fail when you need it most, you want to go with one of the above mentioned lights. The Aimkon HiLight P5S should only be used on airsoft style guns, paintball guns, or if you are just doing a little target shooting at the range. In other words, this pistol light is the best one if you plan to use it more like a toy than a serious pistol light.
The Aimkon HiLight P5S is a subcompact pistol light that also offers a red laser for aiming purposes. The P5S offers users 400 lumens via a CREE XM-LLED. With this pistol light you can choose between constant on and strobe mode. This pistol light will fit majority of subcompact and full sized pistols with rails. The light uses a quick release mount to attach to the weapon. The P5S comes with a CRlithium battery and a one year warranty.
Samsung’s Galaxy SEdge has a resolution of 6MP (as opposed to 12MP on the Galaxy S6), but uses a larger sensor and larger pixels to absorb more light. best smartphone cameras also have more sophisticated software features, such capturing images using the front and back cameras simultaneously, or erasing stray subjects from the frame.
Apple iPhone has over other smartphones is that there are many iPhone lens kits that will help you get more out of that phone’s camera.
Pros: Easily share images and videos over cellular and Wi-Fi networks; no need to bring an extra camera; huge number of photo apps let you tweak you images and share them on social networks.
Cons: Image quality is at best on par with an entry-level point-and-shoot camera’s; tiny image sensors tend to produce digital grain — aka “noise” — in low-light images; small built-in lenses, for the most part, don’t offer any optical zoom.Key Features: Connectivity; convenience; sharing; burst (rapid) shot and panorama modes; image stabilization on some models.
Key Accessories: Phone cases; photo apps; add-on lenses, grips and tripods in some cases.
With their small interchangeable lenses, mirrorless cameras (also known as compact system and micro four thirds) are designed to combine the portability of a point and shoot or bridge camera with the superior image quality of a larger DSLR. Unlike DSLRs, these models don’t use a mirror-based optical viewfinder system — allowing them to be smaller. Currently, our top pick is the Sony Alpha a6300, but we have other favorite mirrorless cameras for beginners and pros
Pros: Close to DSLR-level image quality in smaller camera bodies with smaller lenses; without the “mirror-slap” of a DSLR, mirrorless cameras are quieter and more inconspicuous; no mirror means fewer moving parts to break.
Cons: Limited lens options; slower performance — particularly autofocus — compared with DSLRs; expensive.
Key Features: Small interchangeable lenses; small camera bodies; larger sensor than point-and-shoot and bridge cameras.
Key Accessories: External flash; external electronic viewfinder; protective case.
In basic terms, aperture is the size of the opening in a lens. In advanced cameras, such as digital SLRs, mirrorless compact system cameras and even many point-and-shoot models, the photographer can manually set the aperture to control the amount of light that reaches the imaging sensor. Look for lenses with a larger maximum aperture — which are inversely expressed with a lower number, such as f/2.or f/1.They let more light hit the sensor, so you can shoot brighter, sharper images in dark conditions. They also blur the background in portraits, bringing attention to the subject’s face.
Focal length describes how close a lens can make a subject appear. Zoom lenses provide variable focal length, from wide-angle shots to close-ups. Focal length is specified in millimeters — such as with a 70mm-200mm telephoto zoom lens — or by a magnification factor, such as 5x, 10x or 20x. Some lenses, called “primes,” have a fixed focal length, such as 35mm or 50mm. While less flexible, prime lenses typically produce better image quality and are less expensive than zooms. A good prime lens is generally capable of a larger aperture.
ISO speed, a standard used to denote film sensitivity, has carried over to digital cameras. The higher you set the ISO, the more effective the camera is at capturing images in low light without a flash. All things being equal, a larger sensor — with larger pixels — is capable of better image quality at a higher ISO. However, there is a trade-off: The higher you set the sensitivity, the greater the distortion, or “noise,” which shows up as graininess in a photo.
A maximum ISO capability of 6400 or greater will allow you to capture images in dim conditions inside and out, but the amount of noise will depend on the size and quality of the sensor and the ability of the camera’s image processor to clean up images.
The shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter is open in a camera. The faster the shutter speed, the more clearly a moving object can be captured. Shutter speed settings are typically measured in tenths or hundredths of a second. Cameras capable of faster shutter speeds are better for freezing action, so if you like sports photography, you want a camera that can shoot at 1/500 of second and faster. The best DSLRs are capable of shooting at 1/8,000, which is nice if you photograph car racing, but it’s faster than most photographers probably need.
Once a luxury feature, the ability to record HD video at up to 1080p is now common in everything from smartphone cameras to DSLRs. In fact, Ultra HD (or 4K, which is 3840 x 2160 pixels) video is now starting to appear in smartphones, though it has yet to show up in many larger cameras.
Frame rates vary, including 60p (i.e. 60 frames per second) for smooth video of fast action, 24fps for a film-like look and even 240fps (in the iPhone 6s) for playing back footage in slow motion.
Some cameras offer built-in GPS to geotag your photos. After your shots are geotagged with latitude and longitude, you can import them into mapping software — such as in Apple’s iPhoto — and the images will pop up on a digital map over the location where they were shot.
The most recognisable type of bulb, and the easiest to replace. Let’s say you have a standard 60W incandescent bulb which you use to light your lounge and replace it with a 12W Verbatim LED bulb. This is overkill, if anything, as the replacement will be noticeably brighter (producing 1,100 lumens – the equivalent of a 77W incandescent bulb and representing 8percent energy saving).
Using some average figures – 15p per kWh of electricity – you’ll save around £per year.
They’re said to last for 25,000 hours – the same as the Verbatim – and you’ll break even in roughly two years.
There are various types of incandescent bulb. The common version – in the photo above – is an E2screw, but it can also have a traditional bayonet fitting. Most LED bulbs offer a choice of either fitting.
You may also have R50 spotlight bulbs (also known as SES or E14) in ceiling light fittings. These are fairly widely available as LED versions.
However, using the same SES / E1screw fitting are many ‘candle’ bulbs. Again, these are easily available in LED.
All of these are inefficient and can be replaced with LEDs. Halogen spotlights are perhaps the worst culprits as although they use less power than incandescent bulbs, they’re rarely used singly. Typically there will be up to six or eight per room, and if each is a 35W lamp, that’s between 200 and 300W. Halogens are notoriously inefficient, such that you can buy ‘energy-efficient’ halogen bulbs, but even these save only around a third.
Halogens come in two main types: GU(mains voltage) and MR1(low voltage – 12V). Just because some are low voltage doesn’t mean they use less power. They don’t.
Don’t forget your outdoor lighting. Halogen floodlights – which have lamps which consume between 120 and 500 watts – can be replaced with 10- or 20W LED versions for around £to £20 per light: you replace the entire light fitting. This 10W model costs only £9.9from Toolstation.
Colour temperature is crucial: most people prefer the warm white, which is very similar to halogen, rather than the ‘cold’ bluish tint of white or cool-white LEDs. Look out for the actual colour temperature in Kelvin: 2700-3000K is a good warm white. Higher values, say 5000K or 6000K will look cooler. If you want a whiter look, be careful as you can end up with a very clinical look.
You also need to look at brightness, measured in lumens. Try to find out how many lumens your current halogen lamps produce, and match or exceed that. Some cheap LED bulbs produce as little as 120lm, but you’ll probably find you need 350-400lm to provide the same light output as your existing bulbs.
Next up is beam angle. This determines the spread of light the bulb produces. A narrower angle means light will be concentrated on a smaller area, like a spotlight. A larger angle is better for lighting a larger area, but don’t forget this means it could appear dimmer overall. For replacing Halogen downlights, look for a beam angle of around 40 degrees. Incadescent replacements should have a much larger beam angle, say 140 degrees.
CRI is another spec you should see (if you don’t, it’s worth asking for the CRI figure). Here’s why: CRI stands for Colour Rendering Index and is a measure of the light quality from 0 to 100. In other words, the CRI score tells you if objects appear the correct colour when lit using that bulb. Incandescent bulbs had a brilliant CRI, but not so with fluorescent tubes. If you want to avoid bad-looking lighting, it’s crucial to go for LEDs with a high CRI.
Not all LEDs use the same technology. Cheaper bulbs will tend to use multiple SMD (surface-mount device) LEDs, but newer or more expensive ones will use COB – chip on-board LEDs.
COB offers a higher light output per watt, and tends to be used in smaller bulbs such as MR1COB isn’t necessarily better than SMD, though. It depends on the form factor of the bulbs you’re buying and your priorities in terms of budget.
If you are replacing low-voltage halogen bulbs, there are no guarantees that LEDs will work on your particular transformers which may require a minimum power draw to work properly. If the draw is too low from your super-efficient LED bulbs, they may flicker or not work at all. In this case, you would need to either replace the transformers with proper LED drivers, or change the fittings from MR1to mains-voltage GUfittings and buy GULED bulbs instead. Fittings are cheap, and it may be cheaper to go down this route than buy an LED driver for each MR1bulb.
Anker Ultra Slim four-port USB hub
It’s slim enough to fit into your sleeve, laptop bag, or even your pocket, but deliver 5Gbps transfer speeds for whatever peripherals you connect. If you plan on setting up temporary workstations wherever you go, this accessory is invaluable.
The front end of the monolight consists of three key components: flash tube, modeling lamp, and reflector. Monolights are largely designed with user-replaceable flash tubes. The flash tube supplied may be UV (color)-corrected to neutralize color balance–this type of flash tube may also be an optional replacement. Color temperature of the flash tube may range from 5000-6000K and still be considered “daylight-balanced.”
Many economical monolights only use a 60 or 100w modeling lamp, very often a household incandescent bulb, which does a poor job in bright ambient light. Halogen is more efficient. Ideally the modeling lamp should track the output of the flash to give you a truer sense of the lighting and contrast. That’s called proportional modeling, or tracking. The modeling light normally dims or quenches momentarily when the flash pops so that it doesn’t affect exposure or color balance (a low-wattage lamp should not be a concern).
While a select few monolights come with a permanently attached reflector, most are sold with a removable dish. The basic reflector usually accommodates the shaft of an umbrella. There are other options, especially useful when employing multiple lights. For instance, you might want to use a background reflector (to throw a graduated wash of light on a backdrop) or a conical snoot (for spotlighting or as a hairlight). When using a typical reflector, you usually have the option of adding a honeycomb grid (for a different degree of spotlighting) or barn doors (which control spill or concentrate the light over a specific area of the set). Many pros prefer to use black wrap (pliable metal sheets commercially sold under the name Cinefoil) in place of a snoot or barn doors or even as an adjunct, to further control the light. It wraps around the metal reflector and is held in place with gaffer’s tape. Other options include a softbox, which requires an adapter (“speed”) ring. Keep in mind that popular third-party softbox manufacturers may not support every monolight out there and you may have to choose from a limited selection. If you anticipate using fancy accessories, choose a monolight accordingly.
The back panel is where the AC cord usually plugs in and where the controls are often found (rarely on a side panel). The most critical function is the power variator, which adjusts flash output. Better, more robust units provide light ratio control that is continuous (stepless) or incremental in 1/stops, within a five-stop range, or better still six stops (down to 1/3power) or more. Also note that, with rare exception, lowering flash output affects color balance, producing a cooler (bluer) light. However, reducing power also dramatically shortens flash duration and recycling times, which more than makes up for any color shift.
Now, here’s where modern technology steps in. We are increasingly seeing digital circuitry replacing mechanical parts. Microprocessor circuitry often translates into more reliably repeatable output from shot to shot. Of equal importance, normally when powering down to a lower output level, you have to manually pop the strobe to “dump” the accumulated charge built up by the capacitors. Digital units should dump that excess charge automatically. This way you won’t accidentally overexpose the next shot–which might be the one with the best facial expression in a portrait shoot.
Many monolights support a 6v (or less) triggering voltage (verify before purchase), making them safe to use with any popular D-SLR via the camera’s X-sync terminal (where applicable)–using the supplied sync cord. Some cameras also support higher voltages. That said, an easy way around sync voltage concerns–and one increasingly employed, especially when there is no X-sync terminal on the camera to begin with–is to remotely trigger the strobe. A camera’s built-in flash can be used to trigger a monolight (via a built-in photocell). While doubtful that this tiny flash will affect exposure, you might want to watch for undue reflections off the subject. And of course the camera must be set to a suitable flash X-sync setting and set to Manual Exposure mode (use a flash meter or the camera histogram and/or evaluate the image on a computer monitor).
Even if you use a sync cable between the camera and monolight, the addition of other monolights makes the use of additional wiring impractical. Either way, the monolights may provide alternative choices to hard wiring. Besides photocell activation, the monolight may offer infrared or radio remote triggering. Even where the infrared or radio receiver is built-in, the transmitter is still an optional component. Of course, you can always buy a transmitter and receiver set separately.
Other Features To Look For
Size and weight are often an issue and directly related to output (within a product line). Hence, think twice before splurging on a 1000 ws monolight, and consider all that heft when packaged in a two- or three-light kit. For a home studio, I’ve found that a 300 ws unit is surprisingly versatile. The ws (watt-second) rating (or joules) defines the stored energy available to a studio flash unit, regardless of the attached reflector, umbrella, softbox, or other light modifier, just as a 60w incandescent bulb is 60 watts regardless of the fixture used, in contrast to a guide number, which is affected by all these factors.
While it makes little or no difference what the monolight’s housing is made of (metal or plastic), fan cooling is often expected in heavy-duty and higher-powered units. If you don’t expect to run the lights mercilessly, air-cooled units should be fine. For that matter, overheat protection is a worthwhile safety feature. And there are too many other subtleties that set one monolight apart from another for us to discuss here–ask your photo dealer about these.
Clearly, the more expensive units are more robust and more versatile, with a broader range of high-tech features and high-powered accessories. But you don’t need to spend a lot to achieve good results. Consider what you’ll be shooting and how often, and how demanding each photo shoot will be–and then invest wisely in a monolight system that will go the distance with you.
A non-standard downrod is used when the ceiling height is greater than feet. See our downrod sizing guide to determine which length you will need for your ceiling height.
A sloped application is intended for room where the ceiling slants at 3degrees or higher. The fan installs into the ceiling with the use of an adapter, like this Modern Fan sloped ceiling adapter.
Lastly, look for a ceiling fan with a blade span that matches the room’s square footage and height. If you choose a fan that is too small for the space, it will struggle to move air. If you choose a fan that is too large for the space, not only will be off putting, but it will waste too much energy.
Sizing Tips: Here are some additional dimensions to consider when you buy a ceiling fan a new ceiling fan.
CEILING FAN LIGHTS
To add lighting or not to add lighting, that is the question. Choosing a ceiling fan with lighting is a matter of personal preference. If you plan to install the fan in a space with good natural lighting or sufficient light fixtures, buy a ceiling fan without a light kit.
If the space could use a boost of general lighting, choose a ceiling fan with a light kit. Today’s fans offer a range of lighting sources, including halogen, fluorescent, and LEDs.
Fluorescent light sources use 7percent less energy than incandescent light sources and have an average lifespan of 10,000 hours. Ceiling fans with CFL bulbs emit cool or warm lighting.
LED light sources consume very little energy and have an average lifespan of 50,000 hours. These ceiling fans with energy-efficient bulbs emit cool or warm lighting.
Antique Ceiling Fan Designs
Antique and vintage style ceiling fans complement traditional and vintage home decors. They often feature decorative filigree and scrollwork on the motor housing and blade brackets. Many light kits include a warm globe light. To achieve a vintage-inspired look, buy a ceiling fan that features an antique-style and pair it with American Empire furniture, floral prints and textiles, and warm brass and copper finishes. A warm pastel palette ties the space together.
Contemporary Ceiling Fans
Contemporary ceiling fans are a great addition to any modern and transitional space. The modern style ceiling fans feature clean lines, smooth metallic finishes, and minimal adornment. Buy a ceiling fan with a contemporary feel and pair it with casual contemporary furniture (avoid wood carving and adornments), natural textiles such as cotton, linen or wool, and chrome, nickel or stainless steel hardware. A bold color palette and geometric accents bring the look together.
Rustic Ceiling Fans
Rustic ceiling fans pair well with country, mission and western interiors. These rustic-inspired ceiling fans feature straight lines and dark wood finishes with homespun accents. To achieve this look, buy a ceiling fan with a rustic look and pair it with lodge-style furniture, checkered or striped prints, handmade accents, such as baskets, carved wooden bowls, and pottery, and hand-forged metal accents. Soft, muted colors, rough hewn wood and hand-forged metal accents round out this look.
Tropical Ceiling fans
Tropical ceiling fans complement coastal, island, and nautical home interiors. The island-inspired fans feature bamboo, natural palm leaf, and rattan blades with distressed wood finishes. To achieve this look, buy a ceiling fan with a tropical feel and pair it with rattan furniture, bright colors and natural patterns, tropical flowers and plants, and handcrafted items.
CEILING FAN EFFICIENCY & AIRFLOW
The motor is the heart of any ceiling fan, and it determines the airflow and efficiency of your ceiling fan. You don’t have to have to be an electrical engineer to understand a fan motor, but it’s the most important part of any fan. Consider the factors below the next time you buy a ceiling fan:
High airflow ceiling fans circulate more air and consume less energy than standard fans. These fans are ideal for garages, warehouses, and outdoor spaces, such as your patio and porch. When you buy a ceiling fan with high airflow you get an added bonus: high-airflow fans are known to drive away mosquitoes and other backyard pests.
Ceiling Fans with Remote Control
The handheld remote control offers the most convenience of all the fan control options. The lightweight and portable control operated within a 30 to 50-foot range, making it ideal for high ceiling fans and hard to reach places. Handheld remote control ceiling fans are also ideal for bedrooms.
The fan speed wall control option allows you to operate the fan speed, direction and lighting with the press of a button. The stationary remote has a range up to 40 feet, making it ideal for families with kids. A wall control is ideal for kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms and multipurpose rooms.
External Chargers and Batteries
My first suggestion is to buy an external charger and extra batteries. Sure, you can always plug the cord that came with your camera into an electrical outlet to charge your camera battery, but it’s pretty hard to shoot with your camera plugged into the wall.
External Battery Packs
Need to run your camera longer without A/C power? Check out these external battery pack options:
Tether Tools Case Relay Camera Power System is the first infinite hot-swappable power source for time-lapse photography, power-hungry LiveView shooting or video production. It offers uninterruptible power to most DSLR and Mirrorless cameras via any common USB 5V power pack or wall power.
Here are a few inexpensive wired intervalometers that will work with Sony a6000, a6300, a6500:
For complete lists of APS-C and fullframe E-mount lenses compatible with a6000 and a6300, please see: • Ultimate Guide to APS E-Mount Lenses for Sony APS-C Mirrorless Cameras • Ultimate Guide to Fullframe E-Mount FE Lenses for Sony Mirrorless Cameras
Your camera came with a strap. It might be exactly your style, but if it’s not, you have lots of options. There’s no camera accessory we come in closer contact with than the strap. You can find virtually any strap your heart desires online, so if you’re in the mood for a hot-pink ostrich-leather camera strap, you’ll probably find it.
But if your prefer a cross-body sling strap, BlackRapid Metro Sling Camera Strap may be the ticket.
I like to travel with my photo gear, and typically my travel involves flying. This means that all my camera equipment will be traveling in the cabin with me, not in the luggage compartment. I can’t emphasize this enough: Do not pack your camera in your checked luggage! Thousands of cameras, lenses, and accessories are lost or stolen from checked luggage every year. The best way to ensure that it doesn’t happen to you is to bring your equipment onboard and place it in the overhead storage. I like to bring my laptop as well, so I have found a couple of backpack camera storage systems that allow me to fit a camera body, several lenses, some accessories, my laptop, and even some snacks into one backpack-style bag that still fits in any overhead compartment.
One of great advantages of Sony E-mount cameras is that you can travel with your photo gear without it weighing you down. So you don’t want the bag you carry it in to weigh you down either. Fortunately, there are a few great options that won’t weigh down your shoulder—or your wallet.
Sony acameras use the new multi-interface hot shoe, which allows the camera to be paired with many new accessories for stills and video production. Sony currently makes four flashes that fit directly into the multi-interface shoe: HVL-F20M, HVL-F32M, HVL-F43M and HVL-F60M.
Sony HVL-F20M, HVL-F32M, HVL-F43M and HVL-F60M flashes add power and flexibility to your flash photography.
The weight of your tripod will probably determine whether or not you will actually carry it along with you farther than the parking lot. Many different types of materials are used in tripods today. The lightest is carbon fiber, which is probably the most expensive as well. More than likely, you should consider an aluminum tripod that is sturdy and that has a weight rating that is suitable for your camera and lenses.
Make sure that the tripod extends to a height that is tall enough to allow you to shoot from a comfortable standing position. Nothing ruins a good shoot like a sore back. Taller tripods need to be sturdier to maintain a rigid base for your camera. You will also want to consider how low the tripod can go. If you want to do macro work of low-level subjects such as flowers, you will need to lower the tripod fairly close to the ground. Many new tripods have leg supports and center column mechanisms that allow you to spread the legs very wide and get the camera low to the ground.
If you want to eliminate the camera noise that comes with recording sound with your camera, you should consider using an external microphone. You can have much more control over the quality of the audio because you are using a device whose sole purpose is to record audio. There is a growing market of microphones for mirrorless and DSLR cameras, including mics with hot shoe adapters that allow you to mount the mic to the camera so you can record without having to worry about holding the external microphone.
Constructed from high-quality aluminum alloy and stainless steel, the Handheld Camera Cage Rig Kit from Tilta is designed specifically for the Sony a6000, a6300, and a6500 cameras. The fully enclosed unibody rig is constructed from one piece of CNC Machined aluminum. The active cooling system provides heat exchange for the camera (requires 1VDC power source to operate).
The Manfrotto Compact is a good choice if you’re just starting out. There are three models to choose from – Light, Action, Advanced – each offering different features around a base tripod, designed so you have no excuses to leave your three-legged friend behind. At just 800gr and 39cm when folded, the Compact Light is Manfrotto’s most portable solution ever, a tripod which will be a good companion for a smaller compact camera, a mirrorless device or an entry level DSLR with a medium lens.
While the Light model only extends to 131cm, the Advanced version takes your camera up to 167cm and offers an Advanced Ball Head, which is the perfect match for your DSLR camera with standard zoom lens and high-level CSCs. In between the two models is the Action, extending to 155cm, offering a special head that is good for both photography and video.
Manfrotto’s Compact series is a good starting point to discover tripods. Choosing which model to buy might not be easy, so let me give you a suggestion: if you’re starting with a compact camera but think you’ll move over to bigger cameras, buy the Action or Advanced mode, if you’re willing to carry the extra weight. If you know that a Smartphone or a compact will be your camera all the time, then the Compact Light is a good choice.
Many advanced and professional photographers choose a similar set up: the Manfrotto 05with a X-PRO 3-Way Head. The 05is available in carbon fiber versions providing extra camera stability and maximum transportability, thanks to increased rigidity and reduced weight, or in aluminium, which may be a more logical choice if you do not carry your tripod around many times. For reference, the carbon version of the section tripod weighs 70.5oz (2000 g) while the aluminium version goes up to 88.1oz (2500 g). This is for the tripod alone, without the head.
The 05series has some features that make it a versatile companion for your adventures, either in the studio or on location. The center column extends vertically but can also be used horizontally, opening a wide range of framing and shooting possibilities, and of which can be done with the camera attached. The Quick Power Lock levers responsible for blocking and unblocking each leg section are easy to open and close, even with gloves on. With just one hand, they allow for the fast and precise setting of the individual height of each leg.
Furthermore, the 05allows each leg to be independently and solidly set to any of the preset angles, again allowing considerable positioning freedom. From close to the ground, all the way up to its full extension, this is a working tool that will never let you down.
A rotating bubble level on top and an Easy Link connector, which allows using photo or video accessories on an extending arm or bracket, make this tripod a must have accessory if you are after a versatile support for your gear. To better support your camera, nothing beats the 3-Way Head added to the 05The X-PRO 3-Way Head is a unique head with retractable levers, which make it ultra-compact. The levers, when extended, allow for fine control of the head’s position, and the tripod also features new friction controls on the portrait and tilt axes, to help balance the weight of camera equipment. This ensures fine framing adjustments can be made with the locking knobs open, only locking everything down once the shot is ready.
The 05is available with and sections, a difference that is worth mentioning. While many may prefer the section, as it is usually said to be more stable and less prone to mechanical problems, there is one advantage to the section: with the legs folded the tripod has 21.2in (5cm) against 24.in (6cm). Obviously, the lower section has a smaller diameter, which may – according to some – introduce less stability, but the tripod’s length may still be an important factor when packing your gear. This is also a travel tripod, if you’re willing to carry it, and is a great support for landscape photography with either a DSLR or a CSC camera, as well as when you’re using long lenses.
It does not matter how many tripods you have, there will always be a time when a single leg will be all you need. A monopod is a great solution and the XPRO Monopod+, in aluminium and with section legs, is your best choice. A professional monopod, designed so it supports long lenses, this product is ideal for sports and nature photographers. The XPRO Monopod inherited features of the 190 and 05collections of tripods and offers the same Quick Power Lock (QPL) system that strongly locks the lever on the flat face of the tube, reducing unwanted jerky movements. Paired with a photo monopod head 234RC on top, it reaches a maximum height of 180cm, making it one of the best platforms for when you need a fast and versatile support to carry along.
Contributing to the 475B’s stability is the center brace system, which can be operated in a symmetric or asymmetric way. This allows for a fast positioning of all the legs with the same spread or, if needed, individual setting of the angle for each leg, something that may be desirable when you need to reduce the tripod’s footprint. The telescopic center braces offer two “click stop” positions that allow you to find the position for the legs.
Although you can use different tripods for video, sometimes even going for a compromise, if you’re both a photographer and videographer, or if you’re into professional video, you may need a different kind of tripod. It is time, then, to look at the Manfrotto MVK502AM-1, a traditional 2-stage, aluminium twin-tube video tripod that has professional features, yet is designed to be intuitive, user-friendly option that is suited to lightweight applications.
The Professional Fluid Video System/Aluminium/Telescopic Twin Leg, as it is referenced in Manfrotto’s catalog, is a professional fluid video system named MVK502AM-and comprised of the fluid video head (75mm half ball) MVH502A and the telescopic twin leg tripod MVT502AM.
The MVH502A is designed for use with HDSLR cameras and latest interchangeable lens cameras. It offers professional features, such as high-performance variable fluidity and a counterbalance setting, designed to match the weight of the most popular cameras and their accessories, such as external monitors, lights or microphones. Featuring two Easy Link connectors for placement of an external monitor, alongside other equipment, the head has a pre-set counterbalance of 4kg (8.lbs), but is able to support equipment of up to 7kg (15.lbs).
The tripod supporting the head, with the reference of Manfrotto MVT502AM, has telescopic aluminium legs for improved compactness and reduced weight; its innovative ellipse-profile tubing with redesigned leg locking collars gives it excellent levels of rigidity and stability. Featuring a Variable Fluid Drag System on PAN and TILT movements, counterbalance system on TILT movement, a sliding plate for the fastest camera connection and set up and leveling bubble for easy setup, the tripod comes with a rubber strap to ensure easier, safer transport, as well as coming supplied with a padded carrying bag.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Lighting Accessories wisely! Good luck!
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