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New decor products and new light bulbs update

New Decor Products

Red begonias in a red vase (or pot)
www.gettyimages.com

The Heavenly Scented Evergreen Gardenia is an air freshener that comes in a golden sparkle ceramic container that's about 7 inches tall and wide; plant care information is included. Retail price is $59.95. For more info, log in at the website www.jacksonandperkins.com or call 800-292-4769.

The Green Cycler is a clean, odorless kitchen countertop solution that turns kitchen scraps into 'black gold' for the garden within days instead of weeks and months. The price ranges from $$99 to $139. Visit www.thegreencycler.com or call 855-432-6866.

Love flower arrangements, but flower arranging isn't your strong point? The Easy Arranger (from The Gardener's Workshop) is just what you need. An elegant hand-woven wire grid is placed on top of a vase and gently pressed down around the outer edge. Each petal of the crown then serves as a compartment for a stem and guides the user to a perfect placement. Add flowers between the wires to make flowers stay where you want them. The grids are bendable, decorative and re-usable come in 5, 6 and 8-inch diameter sizes and can be used over a variety of vases and other containers. For more info, check out www.shoptgw.com or call 888-977-7159.

Did You Know That.....

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, your home's interior is often more polluted than the outside, because toxic fumes are generated when we cook and clean.
But certain houseplants (like ficuses) can effectively reduce home levels of pollutants (even cancer-causing ones like formaldehyde and benzene).
And of course, they add instant beauty to any room!

New Light Bulbs Update

As of Jan. 1st, the new light bulbs officially became law; as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, new lighting standards were enacted, intended to make light bulbs more efficient. And this past New Year's Day marked the phraseout of the traditional 40 and 60-watt bulbs, the third step in the change. Step one, in 2012, was the phraseout of 100-watt bulbs; 2013 marked the elimination of the 75-watt bulbs (second step).

The new law doesn't affect all incandescent light bulbs, just the regular ones that were used most commonly in the home (exemptions include: three-way bulbs, 150-watt bulbs and bulbs with narrower candlebra bases that's often used in chandeliers.

Consumers now have three basic choices: compact fluorescents (long-lasting, use little energy and somewhat inexpensive. These are the ones with the bit of mercury.), LEDs (can last for decades, use even less energy than the abovementioned CFLs, but are still a bit expensive) and the halogen bulbs (most like the old incandescent light bulbs, but don't last as long as the first two, or save as much electricity).

Which one is a good fit for you?

  • Read the label carefully.
  • Know the terms. For example, lumens measure a bulb's brightness and Kelvin is the scale used to measure color temperature (how warm or cool the light appears). Want the light of the traditional incandescent bulb? Look for a color temperature of 2,700 Kelvin.
  • Look for the Energy Star logo, particularly if shopping for CFL or LED bulbs. The logo is not only for energy savings; it also indicates certain industry standards.
  • Look over and read (re-read if needed) the entire package the light bulb

To Replace:

60-watt bulb-800 lumens

40-watt bulb-450 lumens

75-watt bulb-1,100 lumens

100-watt bulb-1,600 lumens

Sources: “Gifts For Gardeners” by Kathy Van Mullekom-McClatchy Newspapers-The (Sunday) Vindicator, Dec. 15, 2013, “Three Months To Healthy”by Melinda Wenner Moyer-Parade magazine, October 13, 2013 and "Light Bulb Law"-McClatchy Newspapers-The (Sunday) Vindicator, Dec. 29, 2013