Entries tagged as LG Prada 3.0

Now switching light bulbs to LED

So we're getting LED bulbs, too?

After successfully deploying LED lamps across the FPL lamp fixtures, I thought that the lamps installed in the traditional screw-in sockets should be replaced as well. Ever since these lamps started to go mainstream about 5 years ago, the price kept dropping and the choices kept on growing. This meant that it was a good time to make the move.

Comparing the various offerings on the market, I ultimately settled on the BEAM series of lightbulbs from Sigma LED (formerly Sunsea). They were among the brightest for the rated power, yet priced competitively. Both the 8W and 10W versions cost me about US$3.75 (KRW 4,500) per bulb.

The new versus the not-so-old lightbulbs: Sigma LED and Hankuk CFL

They were set to replace the 20W compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs made by Hankuk Lighting and installed throughout the house by default. Here is how they compare.

Name Type Dim. (mm) Power (W) Lum.Flux (lm)
Hankuk HKL-20-D-1 CFL E26 54βŒ€ x 161 20 1220
Sigma BEAM-10W LED E26 65βŒ€ x 122 10 1024
Sigma BEAM-8W LED E26 60βŒ€ x 108 8 744

The LED bulbs are shaped closer to the traditional incandescent bulbs, making them thicker and shorter than the CFL ones. Because of the larger diameter, some of the fixtures that were designed only with the CFL in mind may have trouble taking in the 10W ones. This is why I got 8W ones as a fallback.

Meanwhile, the spec comparison reveals a similar trend seen with the longer cousins. The LED bulbs meant to replace the CFL comes in at about half the power consumption and slightly lower total amount of light. I'll be checking if the reality reflects these numbers, of course.
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Switching home lighting from FPL to LED

Fluorescent light replacement LED lamps from TopLux - 14 in all

Having a smart meter giving real-time power consumption data provided a lot of insights for my home. The baseline load when everything is idle is about 80W, and the refrigerator running at full power adds 90W to that. So when I noticed that more than 300W were being used during the evening hours even with the TV turned off, I had to track down what the culprit was.

It turned out that the sole reason for this uptick was the lighting. Fluorescent lights in the living room and the study room were turned on for several hours every day and contributing much to the total consumption. Knowing that LED lights were more efficient and that the price has come down a lot recently, I decided to make some major investment.

Front and back of the LED lamp / comparison of the connector (back: LED / front: FPL)

As with a lot of apartments in Korea, the typical type of lighting installed was PL compact fluorescent lights, or FPL for short. It uses 4-pin 2G11 socket and has external ballast. Lots of replacement methods exist - lamp-only, ballast + lamp (socket is kept), or total replacement. As the lamp-only method is simplest by far and not much more expensive than replacing everything, the choice was obvious for me. I ordered the relevant LED lamps manufactured and sold by TopLux of Korea which were on sale - 23W version cost about KRW 21,000 (US$17.50) and 15W one, KRW 14,000 (US$11.70). Here is how they stack up with the existing FPL lamps.

Name Type Len. (mm) Power (W) Lum.Flux (lm)
Hyosun FPL45EX-D FPL 540 45 4060
TopLux FT23-57 LED 535 23 3400
Hyosun FPL32EX-D FPL 415 32 2600
TopLux FT18W-04-57A LED 415 15 2250

According to the specifications, the LED lamp consumes about half the power while putting out about 85% of total light, or luminous flux, compared to the similarly sized FPL counterpart. This is indeed quite an increase in efficiency if it delivers. Visually, one side of the lamp is taken up by a long heat sink and uses the same four-pin layout. The pins themselves are simply round, not dimpled in the middle like the FPL it's replacing, so I suppose it won't "hook in" quite as well.
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Seojun Smart Meter Review

Contents of the Seojun Smart Power & Charge Meter package:
stickers, smart meter, installation guide, and user manual

My home isn't particularly wasteful when it comes to electricity spending - it rarely exceeds 200kWh per month except for hot summer months. Still, I wanted to see the real-time usage to make further optimizations. After browsing through myriads of metering solutions, both domestic and abroad, I settled on a particular product sold by Seojun Electric.

Officially called "Smart Power & Charge Meter" model SJPM-B70 (I'll simply refer to it as "smart meter" hereafter), it connects to the main power line going through the primary circuit breaker inside the house. Once installed, it constantly measures and stores the power consumption data. This can then be accessed in real time by a smartphone via Bluetooth technology.

Current sensor and the power plug for the meter

The main thing going for this product is its cost and simplicity. It only costs KRW 42,000 (US$35) online, not much more than the power monitors you plug into an outlet. And you merely need to hook the sensor and the power plug into the right place to get it working - no further maintenance required. Instructions on how to do that are shown with diagrams in the included guide.

You also don't need to sign up for anything as the data stays in your house, fully under your control. As I don't need to have my consumption data shared and analyzed over the internet cloud, this was actually a plus for me. And in case you wanted to show that you have this smart meter installed, the package provides two blue stickers to let you do just that.
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Scored an NFC tag at an expo

Blank RFID card formatted to work as a tag
Blank RFID card formatted to work as a tag

Late last month, there was an RFID-themed expo called RFID/IoT World Congress 2013 in COEX. The entry badge happened to contain an RFID card that you could use to tag at a booth so the company running it could know that you visited. It turns out that the card is basically a blank RFID card. My contact info must have been paired to the card's serial number, and the terminals merely checked the number and pulled the paired contact data from a central database.

When I took it home and poked it around with the only NFC-enabled smartphone I have, LG Prada 3.0, the card was a generic MIFARE Ultralight card without any locks or data. These types of card can only contain 64 bytes of data, 48 of which is user-programmable, so it's apparently very limited and cheap. That seems to be a sensible choice for something to hand out to thousands of visitors.

Because it was initially unformatted, regular NFC apps on the phone refused to do anything with it. But with the NXP TagWriter app, I was able to format and write data into it at once. To test, I tried to program the URL of this website and its title into it. It ended up being 47 bytes total, and the card reserved 2 bytes for something else, so it went over the storage limit. I omitted the hyphen and I was able to write the data successfully. When I tag the phone with it, it would load this website.

Looks like I should try to find some cheap MIFARE Ultralight cards like this one and happily program all sorts of things to it.
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