Enhance your backyard lighting to LED the practical way

Among the list of last dumb things in your smart home might be your outdoor lighting. If you need a smart outdoor lighting system for your outdoors, you could cobble together an array of smart home lighting items from various makers or use items from one brand, such as the Philips Hue outdoor line. But I suggest a different route: Upgrade the bulbs in your current outdoor fixtures to LED and use an outdoor plug adapter to make your garden lights part of your home control tech. You won’t get all the bells and whistles possible, but if you can do without nightclub color scenes or speakers built into lights, you’ll enjoy the results of my cheap and straightforward upgrade.

Bulb type

The very first thing to determine is what type of LED bulbs will fit the sockets in your fixtures. Get rid of your current bulbs and inspect the base: It will most likely be a bayonet, bipin or wedge.
Bipin bulbs are particularly popular and come in a wide variety of sizes that look nearly the same. The key differentiator is the spacing between the pins. A G4 bipin has 4mm spacing, a G5.3 has 5.3mm spacing, and so on.

Bulb brightness

We’re all used to showing bulb brightness by wattage, but that’s merely a misnomer baked in tradition. Wattage tells you how much energy a bulb uses, not how much light it puts out, though the two are at least directionally related.
As you pull each incandescent bulb from your garden lights, try to read the wattage rating printed on it. Then shop for LED bulbs whose wattage is guaranteed as equivalent. For example, you may find that a 1.5-watt LED bulb promises to replace an 11-watt incandescent bulb while delivering as much or more light, so much greater is LED’s efficiency.


4 Predictions About The Self-Storage Business

Tech startups that aim to interrupt present industries must know identifying industry trends and understand where the industry is moving. For my company, that industry is self storage, consisting of small facility operators as well as a handful of large players that dominate the market.

Regardless of being a established industry, self storage is experiencing innovations and growth that continue to make it a worthwhile investment and an interesting area to do business.

As the creator of a peer-to-peer storage marketplace in the U.S., here are my 4 forecasts about the trajectory of the self storage industry in the coming years.

1. While requirements continues to increase, it will be outpaced in the short term by new supply.

Ever-increasing demand growth is a fact of the self storage industry. Up until now, supply has left up with demand, with over 90% occupancy rates being typical since 2015, according to the 2019 Self Storage Almanac from Mini Storage Messenger.

As for instance baby boomers get started on to downsize, the need for storage units is expected to increase. Additionally, while some believe millennials will use storage less than previous generations, data from Marcus & Millichap’s “2018 U.S. Self Storage Investment Forecast” suggests they will continue the demand trend as they still, although slightly later in life, are forming families and accumulating material possessions.

In order to complement this growing need, real estate financial investment trusts (REITs) have poured an enormous amount of capital into constructing hundreds of thousands of new square footage. In 2011, only $241 million was spent on mini-storage facility construction. That number has increased every year, and in 2018, nearly $5 billion was spent on new facilities, per U.S. Census Bureau data on private construction spending.

Nevertheless, industry analysts fear that this glut of new storage facilities will demand in the short term, causing a decline in the decade-long high returns enjoyed by some of the largest players in the industry, including Public Storage and Extra Space Storage. Increased supply may result in lower unit leasing prices as storage operators contend to fill their units.

2. While this increased supply may temporarily halt rental price increases, many cities around the nation will continue moving to restrict or slow new self storage construction.

Putting a cap on supply growth while demand continues to increase will significantly increase rental prices in the medium to long term.

In New York, for example, the city recently signed a zoning freeze into law. Now, that it takes two years just to get the special permission to build. The decision cited a lack of space, displacement of companies that produce high-quality jobs and a negative impact on the aesthetics of the city for the enactment of the law. In addition, storage facilities may not provide the same amount of sales tax and other revenue as alternative commercial or industrial construction.

New York joins other major cities, including San Francisco, Miami and Charleston, that have similar restrictions, with others likely to follow. I’ve also learned that several smaller cities intend to cap storage facility construction. While storage operators are attempting to adapt by building more attractive facilities with smaller footprints, the burden of paying for these improvements will still fall on storage unit tenants.


Pink eye in toddlers: Everything you need to understand

Pink eye, which doctors call conjunctivitis, is irritation and redness in the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is the clear membrane that outlines the front of the eye and eyelids.

Pink eye is more common among toddlers and younger children, who may wipe their eyes and transmit infections to other kids at preschool, daycare, or on the playground.

Infections, allergies, and toxins, such as sand or chemicals, can cause pink eye. However, viral and bacterial infections are the culprits in most cases.

Pink eye usually clears up by itself, but some people need treatment. Other conditions may mimic symptoms of pink eye, so anyone suffering from persistent or bothersome eye irritation should consider seeing an eye doctor for advice and diagnosis.
Symptoms of pink eye include:

  • dry, itchy, red eyes
  • watery eyes
  • frequent blinking
  • a feeling of something stuck in the eye
  • light sensitivity
  • puffy eyelids
  • discharge from red, irritated-looking eyes
  • In some cases, pink eye can be painful.

Sometimes, toddlers cannot express their signs or symptoms clearly, so moms and dads and carers should check whether the child is:

  • avoiding bright lights
  • frequently covering their eyes
  • rubbing their eyes
  • crying often or having more tantrums
  • having trouble concentrating
  • squinting
  • Is red eye contagious?

Pink eye is contagious when a microbial or viral infection causes symptoms. And yet, infections do not really create all forms of pink eye. Sometimes, allergies or eye irritation can cause pink eye.

Parents and carers of toddlers with pink eye should believe the child is contagious and keep them home from daycare or school, particularly if they have a fever or are not feeling well. Some doctors, as well as some schools and daycares, recommend that students stay home until their pink eye symptoms have resolved.

Generally in most cases, pink eye due to illness remains contagious for as long as a person still has symptoms. In accordance to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), bacterial pink eye usually lasts about five to 10 days and often clears up faster with antibiotics. Viral pink eye can last as for instance long as 14 times, though that it usually improves much sooner. Viral pink eye will not respond to antibiotics.


Just what is the ideal fence product to survive the heat?

Is Your Fence Under the Weather?
If you are like other homeowners, you likely take your fence for granted. This means until you see a area or two buckling, warping, or leaning to one side. Those are all symptoms of a wood fence dealing with the brutal effects of a hot climate.

You love the sunlight because you can escape back to the cool conditioned air of your home or office. A fence isn’t so lucky. Hot conditions can have a significant negative impact on a fence.

For illustration, a fence subjected to the components can suffer all of the above but also may deteriorate quickly. Wood fences are especially vulnerable to heat because they expand.

It isn’t only wood fencing that bear the load of the sun and heat. Any fence made of a non-weatherproof material can sustain when left exposed and under the weather.

Needs for a Weatherproof Fence
If you’re installing a fence inside a hot, sunny climate and expect it to thrive, look for these three factors when shopping for fence material:

  • Heat-Resistant
  • Doesn’t Expand
  • Water-Resistant

You don’t need a fence that gets so hot you or your children can’t touch it without getting burned. Also, look for a material that doesn’t absorb water when it rains. Finally, you don’t want a made of a material which expands when it gets hot.

As you’ll see later in this posting, wood may not really be the ideal option for a fence because it doesn’t pass any of these three tests.

Your Fence and the Heat of the Sun
A fence constructed from a product like wood that grows in hot conditions, may wear out faster and suffer damage. Heat can additionally cause warping, which may divide the boards from the fasteners.

We already know how much you enjoy basking in the sunlight a beautiful summer day. Your fence, and yet, can degrade or lose its color when exposed towards ultraviolet (UV) rays.

When buying for a new fence, appearance for materials made to withstand the heat of the sun. A popular fence material for warm environments is vinyl. Stick with us and we’ll talk about why.


Tips for evaluating lenders and loan estimates

Strategies to get a lower rate
Acquiring a low refinance rate is both an art and a science.

Certain strategies work, and some don’t. Every single situation is different, and the stakes are extreme.

Sure, rates are hovering near 3-year lows, but that doesn’t mean loan providers will just give you their best possible deal and call it a day.

In many cases, you have to poke and device for your best rate.

And, how do you do that?

Together with the right knowledge, you can approach your lender with confidence, knowing how to contrast one offer with another, and even use one offer against the other.

Prepared to get the best mortgage refinance rates? Here’s how.
Make certain your credit and debt are in check
To have the best rate from any loan provider, you should have a good credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio. In 2018, credit scores and DTIs were the two primary reasons why loan providers denied refinance applications.

Loan providers offer the best rates to borrowers who have a track record of paying their bills on time and managing their debt.

Therefore, you’ll want to make sure ones financial house is in order by checking ones credit report’s accuracy and calculating your DTI before you start shopping for the lowest refinance rates.

Keep in mind that the most less than ideal credit score or above-average DTI doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from a mortgage refinance — but it means you won’t be able to get the best rates and maximize your savings.
Compare multiple loan quotes
You can get as many mortgage refinance quotes as you want. But regrettably, many borrowers only get 1 quote or apply with one lender.

By requesting a quote from just 1 lender, you could be making thousands — if not tens of thousands of dollars — in savings behind.

Thankfully, the web makes it easy to obtain quotes from multiple lenders.

But here’s in the kicker: you can’t simply get multiple quotes. You must show the quotes to the another lenders.

Possibilities are that higher quotes will come down. Lenders will lower their rate and/or fees to keep your business. Smart shoppers come out on top when they use multiple quotes to their benefit.


5 Tricks For How To Effectively Co-Parent With A Harmful Ex

1. Accept what you can’t change and control what you can
When dealing with child custody issues you will by no means be able to change your co-parent. No matter how much they need to change (in your opinion), that work belongs to your ex.

What you can and must control are your own life and responses.

If you are co-parenting with a difficult ex, you know your buttons are likely to get pushed. You will require a steady temperament and resolved composure in order to maintain your dedication to great parenting.

2. Acknowledge the dynamic and how it plays out
How does the interaction with your ex go from zero to 90 in the course of a breath? Are there identifiable patterns to your communication? Do you have fears that get triggered? Are those fears based on reality and logic?

What can you do to disrupt an harmful dynamic and steer it in a direction that empowers and protects you?

Remember, the children and your integrity and sanity are non-negotiables. And the only person you can control is yourself.

3. Set new boundaries
Again, this is really about you and how you are going to engage (or not) with your ex.

Do not allow yourself to be baited. Take defensiveness and emotional reactions off the table. Set time parameters for communication, and stand by them.

Limit the means of communication. For example, you don’t text them but only use e-mail and a parenting portal. (Talking Parents is a free option for both avoiding disputes and documenting communication between co-parents.)

You may also want to consider blocking your ex from your social media.

It will be up to you to stand by your boundaries when your ex challenges your resolve.

4. Don’t respond immediately
So much of co-parenting with a difficult ex is about not engaging. Of course, you will have to engage on behalf of your children. But you do have the power and right to choose when and how you engage.

If your ex says or writes something that causes an immediate dump of adrenaline into your system, take a breath and step back. Do your “reacting” in your own mind or when you’re venting with a friend. Do your “responding” once you are calm.

And sleep on your response. Choose a doable ‘delay time’ for responding to anything other than emergencies. You’re not on-call for your ex.

5. Do not react to everything
Just because your co-parent pushes your buttons in order to lure you into engaging doesn’t mean you have to engage.

Stay focused on what co-parenting is about: parenting. It’s not about hashing out your unfinished marital discord or diminishing one another.

Respond to communication about the children. Let the rest go or add it to a happy hour vent session with a trusted friend.


Professional tips to prevent plumbing problems

As the Bay Area’s rainy season techniques, using preventive measures before plumbing issues explode can be a great money saver in the long run for homeowners. After all, no one wants to call a plumber in the middle of the night, on a weekend or a holiday, or while hosting an elegant soiree.

Whether it’s cleaning out the pipes before a household gathering, checking your home’s water pressure level, or replacing an older, inefficient hot water heater, the friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of San Francisco and surrounding areas have a fix for your plumbing problems.

“Now is a great time to take care of your pipelines before they wreak havoc,’’ said Stan Pomichter, co-owner with wife, Michelle. “Preventive maintenance is less costly in the long run along with the inconvenience that comes with a plumbing problem that could have been avoided.

“We advocate our drain-cleaning service earlier the rainy season,” he said. “The storm drains go into the sewer and no one wants that to back up in to the house — or the kitchen lines to be backed up during your holiday dinner or special occasion.”

Homeowners should also consider replacing existing hot water heaters, particularly those more than six to eight years old, he said, to

According to business experts, waiting too long to replace a failing water tank can result in costly water damage to a home with the average cost of $4,444 per incident after the deductible is paid.

“An older system will get rustic, sediment can come through the pipelines and hot water can be slower to come out,” Stan said.

“More importantly, today’s hot water heaters are a more efficient option such as tankless water systems, which will cost homeowners less money to operate while providing plenty of hot water on demand.”

Nearly seventy percent of all water heater problems result in a slow leak or a sudden burst. Mr. Rooter Plumbing can assess your current water heater condition and make the best recommendations for your needs and offers hot water tank system replacement among their many services, along with one of the best guarantees in the business.


Selecting pet care while you travel this particular season

Cats and dogs are an integral part of our lives! They need special care, obedience training, and attention because they thrive and respond differently than humans. Every pet owner really loves their dogs. And yet, there might come a time when you might have to leave them briefly because you need to take a trip or have to address an emergency at work or family. The obvious thing to think about is how to carry them with you. The pet hotels are different than regular hotels who today function under a no-pets policy.
Also, it is integral to know that pet travel might cost you a couple of additional dollars. Hence, leaving them at a safe spot might be the best alternative. It may possibly become challenging to depend on a friend or next-door neighbor as they might have other tasks to attend. Plus, not everyone is an professional at pet care. Here you can opt-in for a dog boarding service close to your locality. Right now, you can browse online for service providers that specialize in embarkation for dogs and choose accordingly.
You can opt-in for two choices
The kennels
Does your pet dog need expert hands? If yes, then you can depend on the dog boarding kennels. Several pet owners have realized the facilities that dog boarding kennels offer for the pets. Hence, even before you visit the closest kennel, as around. Your buddies or vet might have a couple of suggestions for you. This is always better to get in touch together with more than a person service provider to choose a kennel service. The website providers operate in the way to make the kennels secure and safe. Your pet will feel at home with the dog boarding services.
The in-home dog boarding
This is essential to know that a pet dog might feel anxious staying in a small and enclosed area. Hence, crate-free dog boarding is the ideal choice for such pet owners. Here the working staffs usually have a pet-friendly mindset and take good worry of the anxious and restless dogs.


Useful and Gorgeous Backyard Fence Ideas

A fence is a convenient way to protect your backyard landscaping from creatures and set it apart from the rest of your backyard. However backyard fences can also pretty up your floral bed or vegetable garden. Get encouraged by these gardening fence suggestions, which integrate eye-catching materials and even enchanting gates that will warmly welcome visitors to your plot of land.

Contemporary Black Fence

This black fence adds a touch of contemporary flair to an otherwise classic vegetable gardening on a california horse farm. In addition, the fence and added chicken wire holds out the farm’s many, numerous animals—95 and counting!

Vintage White Archway

The mix of vibrant annuals and perennials add pops of color to this old-fashioned white picket fence, complete with a lovely white archway that directs guests to the front door.

A Garden and Fence in One

We believe this is a brilliant idea, especially if you’re short on space: Make your fence a part of your garden utilizing a shelf and a lineup of small and tall container plants.
You can keep your fencing completely traditional by using traditional wooden rails, a look that has withstood the test of time. This kitchen area garden at a New York retreat spotlights raised beds edged with Belgian block stone, pairing nicely with the tried-and-true fence.
This thriving garden belonging to painter Donna Krakovitz is overflowing with organic greens, poplars, herbs, and heirloom varieties—all contained within a simple yet sturdy wooden fence that’s sure to stand up to the elements.


Helping to make gift wrap renewable

Some customers are dropping wrapping altogether. In a survey released last month, half of U.S. respondents said they will give holiday presents without wrapping this season to avoid using paper, according to Accenture, a consulting firm. Nearly two-thirds said they would gladly receive gifts without gift wrapping.

Below are some wrapping and recycling ideas:

Choose reusable gift wrap: Papers that contain foil, plastic coating, cellophane and glitter are not recyclable, according to the American Forest and Paper Association. The association says a general rule of thumb is to crumble up the paper; if it stays in a tight ball, it’s paper-based and can be recycled. Kula, Hawaii-based Wrappily uses old printing presses to print designs on recyclable newsprint. A three-sheet set of their paper is $10. Hallmark sells a set of four rolls — 35.2 feet in total — for $14.99. Paper Source says its stone paper can be recycled; it costs $9.95 for a 10-foot roll.

Wrap with fabric: An ancient craft in Japan is gaining converts elsewhere. Ten Thousand Villages, a fair-trade retail chain, sells gift wrap made from saris that are recycled by artisans in Bangladesh. The company says sales have been growing steadily since the wraps were introduced in 2013; so far this year, sales are up 20 percent over 2018. The 26-square-inch wrap sells for $12.99.

Recycle it all: New Jersey-based recycling company TerraCycle promises to recycle everything — including ribbons, bows, tissue paper and wrapping paper with glitter — in its Gift Zero Waste Box. The company sends customers an empty package with a paid return tag; once it’s full of gift wrap, customers send it back. TerraCycle says it has processes for even hard-to-recycle products like ribbon, which it uses for insulation or melts into plastic pellets. A medium box is the most popular size for family gatherings; it costs $147.