If you would like to receive Trudy's latest article through your email, please enter your email at the bottom of this page and click "SUBSCRIBE".

Lights that Save you Money

  • , by Trudy Chuoke Trudy Chuoke

Levitron makes a great occupancy detector switch that will turn on the lights in a room and then turn them off when it detects motion.  They are easy to install if you have a general working knowledge and a healthy respect for electricity.  My dad used to laugh about the time he put a screwdriver to a breaker box and melted the screwdriver down to the handle.  He never did his own electrical after that.  But I think anyone can screw in a lightbulb.


What kind of light bulb can save you money by turning it on and off with just motion in a room?  Feit makes a motion-activated bulb.  I really wanted these bulbs, but they are not in the Do It Best warehouse.  I had seen these bulbs at an Ace store in my hometown and I bought one.  I took it home and put it in my lamp by my bed.  I have a standard builder home, and extra light switches that turn on lamps just do not exist.  So, when I walk into my bedroom, it is dark.  I could easily step on a dog treat, or dog toy on my way to the light.  But after I installed the bulb, I could walk simply steps into the room and the light would come on illuminating any obstacles and hazards.  It has not disappointed me. 


But at a hardware show I had a chance to buy them from a different vendor with non-stock items. When I ordered the ones for the stores, they had updated the bulb from when I bought my original bulb.  Now the bulb has three different color temperatures.  With a small switch on the side of the bulb the brightness and color can go from soft white to cool white to daylight.  So, depending on the light that you need you can customize the bulb.


This bulb can also be used in damp locations.  So, you can install it on your front porch if it is covered.  It is a great safety practice to have light on around the house.  It just says someone is home.    And since it is only activated with motion, it does not stay on all day or all night.  Which will save you money.  My original bulb is four years old and expect it to last many more years. 


Once I placed that first bulb, I was like a squirrel placing them around the house.  The lamp in the back bedroom that no one goes in.  The lamp in the back of the study.  These bulbs are just so convenient, and I never have to walk into a dark room.  They retail for about $20, and I do believe they will save you money.  Just remember to turn off the light in the one in your bedroom when you go to sleep.    


Now to the email….


Question:  We have a crack in the bedroom that shows up every summer when it gets so dry.  I use spackling and it stays fine until the next dry spell.  Is there something that might last longer?

Answer:  There used to be a product called Good-bye Cracks, but they discontinued it years ago, well during Covid.   Now there is a new product called Alex Flex which is a flexible spackling.  Apply with a putty knife and one coat is enough for small cracks.  Anything over one-eighth of an inch will require a second coat.  Sand between coats and let dry for an hour.  It is cured and paintable after that.  Great question!


Question:  I bought a home, and no one noticed that the lock on the sliding glass door was broken.  Right now, I just put a dowel rod in the track, but I do not like always having to bend down to open the door.  Do you know of a lock that can be installed?

Answer:  National makes a sliding door latch, and that is what I use on my door.  Part of it is installed on the door frame and part of it is installed on the door.  You will need an electric drill and a metal bit to go through the door.  It comes with screws; however, I bought longer screws to go into the studs in the door frame.  It should be around $15 – which is way cheaper than replacing the door. 


Blog posts

  • , by Trudy Chuoke Author Article title

    Read more 

  • , by Trudy Chuoke Author Article title

    Read more 

  • , by Trudy Chuoke Author Article title

    Read more 

© 2024 Johnnie Chuoke's Home and Hardware, Powered by Shopify

    • American Express
    • Discover
    • Mastercard
    • Shop Pay
    • Visa


    Forgot your password?

    Don't have an account yet?
    Create account