Here at Provide Your Own, we are a big fan of LED lighting. Recent research has raised the alarm that LED lighting can cause retina damage. Is there any truth to this assertion? Can LEDs really be bad for your eyes, even causing blindness?
Fortunately for LED lovers, the answer is a resounding NO. When the facts are examined, if LEDs are bad for your eyes, then sunlight is at least ten times worse. Let’s first look at the basis for the assertion.
The Research Study
According to a sole news account:
The study found that LED radiation caused significant damage to human retinal pigment epithelial cells in vitro.
We irradiated naked retinal cells with intense light from LEDs in a petri dish and they didn’t do so well.
Keep in mind that damage would be done with any high intensity light. Have you stared into the sun lately? How about staring into lasers or high intensity LED flashlights? Think you might have some retina damage?
This research has not been peer reviewed, but is simply an account given by Dr Celia Sánchez Ramos. This fact does not invalid the research, but shows that we have absolutely no … Read the rest
Posted in Health, Tech
Tagged led lighting
Here at Provide Your Own, we love LED lighting. We also believe the best use of LED lighting is by making your own custom fixtures rather than going out to buy a manufactured light bulb.
An Italian company has the same idea. They have a product where you make your own LED desklamp from a pizza box. In the great spirit of open source, they even provide downloadable plans for cutting and folding your own.
Their version of the lamp uses only a 4″ LED strip for illumination. That comes out to about 60 lumens or the output of a 4 watt bulb. We recommend using at least a 12″ strip (cut into two 6″ pieces), which would provide about 180 lumens or 12 watts equivalent.
Here’s what you need to build your own:
For your convenience, we offer a complete kit (no soldering required) for only $24.95 (over 30% saving over buying the parts separately).
You don’t have to be limited to cardboard either. It is simple to repurpose an … Read the rest
Ethernet (your computer network) only uses 2 pairs of wires. Cat5 cable provides 4 pairs, leaving 2 pairs leftover. You can use those two extra pairs to transmit power (in small amounts) to power remote equipment such as another router, switch or a bridge.
This additional capability is not provided by default. This article provides clear instruction on setting up your own Power Over Ethernet (PoE) network, including making custom adapters for injecting & extracting the power.… Read the rest
Posted in Tech
Tagged home networking
My sister in-law has taken to washing her dishes by hand because her dishwasher no longer gets them clean. Millions of other Americans have had the same problem. Many have vainly replaced their dishwashers with new ones only to face the same problem. The problem is not your dishwasher. It is your dish-washing detergent. It has changed. It is not the same product it used to be. A vital ingredient is missing.
While you may have noticed the effects of this missing ingredient in your dishes, you may not be aware of the same problem with your clothes. That is because this vital ingredient was taken out of laundry detergents over twenty years ago. That is so long ago, that most of us just think clothes are supposed to be grungy after a few washings. I am old enough to remember clothes staying clean, but didn’t understand why they didn’t any more until recently.
The Missing Ingredient
The magical ingredient that is no longer present in commercial detergents is tri-sodium phosphate or TSP as it is commonly known. This natural ingredient is made from phosphate deposits primarily found in Florida.
In general, it acts as a detergent, but in the … Read the rest
Posted in Household
Circuit simulation is a great way to design and debug a circuit without spending all the time to prototype it. One problem in the past was the difficulty in setting up the simulation – picking models, etc.
A new simulator called PartSim changes all that. It is online, free, and drop-dead simple to use. It even links to Digikey parts and has some vendor parts available as well. It also has a nice schematic capture and even does diagramming.
Give it a try.… Read the rest
Sometimes you have a sapling or other type of woody perennial coming up where it is not wanted. Getting rid of them presents a problem because if you cut them down, they will just grow back again.
I have a few areas on my place where I haven’t been able to mow for a few years, and I haven’t known what to do because of this very problem. Short of tethering goats on the spot all summer, I found another means to getting rid of these perennial weeds.
This video demonstrates the solution:
- Cut the plant down as low as you can/want
- Immediately (within a minute) paint the cut with full strength (concentrated, not diluted) Round-Up.
I have considered trying this technique for some time, but haven’t. In the video, Greg asserts that it never fails him, whether the tree is large or small.
While I am not a big fan of using herbicides, a judicious application as indicated in the process seems both environmentally sound and safe.
A quick word about Round-Up. This is the brand name of the original product made by Monsanto. The patent recently expired, so now you can get a generic version from another company. … Read the rest
Posted in Household
Conspiracies abound – there is no doubt about it. The media propaganda delights in lampooning anyone who believes that men would conspire together to further their interest (at least men in government; everyone else is fair game). While I am very skeptical of anything coming from either the mainstream media, the pharma industry or government agencies, I don’t throw everything out either. Two examples come to mind – free energy inventions (including 100+ mpg carburetors) and the Apollo moon landing.
In the case of free energy inventions, when they clearly violate the known laws of physics, they must be viewed very skeptically. It doesn’t matter who believes in them, what fantastic story is told about how the auto manufacturers strong-armed them out of business (or the oil companies), or how realistic it appears, it is very, very, very likely to be a hoax. Human gullibility knows no bounds, nor does human ingenuity to fool and exploit it.
Houdini spent years debunking séances. James Randi does the same with charlatans today. By all means keep an open mind, but when something sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
In the case of the moon landing, just because the government … Read the rest
Posted in General, Tech
This fascinating video shows how lumber was harvested from giant redwood trees before the chainsaw.
Nowadays, some people get smug about how advanced we are. We might have some high-tech gadgets, but are we better for them, or worse? Looking at these fellows scaling a tree almost as fast as one can walk, and then to chop it down with an ax while suspended from its trunk is absolutely amazing.
Modern technology has not made us any better. In most cases, it simply removes the requirement of skill. Anyone can fell a tree with a chainsaw, but how many can fell in with a foot or two of precision as these guys could?
If we are to be more self-sufficient and less reliant on corporations and experts, we must learn new skills. Avoiding technology is not an advantage as some may think. What is important is not avoiding technology, but rather avoiding learning useful skills and relying on technology as a crutch.
We must be the master of technology, not its slave. Thoughts anyone?… Read the rest
Posted in Skills, Tech
Have you ever wondered how digital cameras detect faces? If you thought that computer vision was rocket science and too difficult, that notion is no longer true.
There is this wonderful open source library called OpenCV that runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android and now RaspberryPi. Sophisticated visual algorithms are no longer limited to only high performance desktop computers. Using either your smartphone or a RaspberryPi, you can embed image detection in everyday life.
To get started, download the software needed for your device. Here are some nice tutorials to get you up to speed on using it.
Anyone using OpenCV? What are you doing with it?… Read the rest
Posted in Tech
We are pleased to announce the grand opening of our online store. It is a store unlike any other – either online or brick and mortar. Reflecting the diversity of the ProvideYourOwn website, our goal is to provide the resources you may need in your quest to reclaim your life from big corporations, crummy products and boxed-in living.
Our initial offerings are just the beginning. In the weeks and months ahead, we plan to add even more resources to help you. Here is just a taste of what we currently offer as well as future solutions we have in mind:
LEDs & Lighting
Here at ProvideYourOwn, we think that LEDs are the greatest thing since sliced bread. We have written some already about their wonderfulness, and will continue to do so. While LEDs still excel as indicator lights, in the near future we will be seeing them lighting our homes, landscapes, providing festive decoration and even personal ornamentation.
As is so common with many consumer products these days, most LED products available are poorly designed; providing a woefully inadequate and sickly blueish light. This realm is one where you can provide your solution that is far superior.
A … Read the rest
Posted in General