Move over Halogen, LED is taking over

LED Lighting is the wave of the future. We will get back to that later in this post. Right now, we have to say something about the replacement décor rings and glass lenses for Halogen lights. For years, Eclectic-ware has been offering replacement parts for the products that we offer. Items that are available from the manufacturers, we have supplied. We never forced anyone to buy a new under cabinet light when they could just replace the décor ring or glass lens and make their lights look new again.

A few years ago, Hera decided to discontinue their H11 light (EH11 and AH11). This is one of their oldest lights going back to the 1990’s. It was a very popular premium halogen light used on boats also. Germany continued to make them, but Hera in the US did not stock them or show them in their catalog. Yet, Hera did bring them in to the US per our request so that we could still offer them to our customers. Last year, Germany decided to stop making them. As of the date of this post, we have just under one dozen left in our stock (June 2016 = all gone). The white, black, gold, and chrome décor ring and frosted and clear glass lenses for this light were also discontinued. Our stock is winding down on those. The glass lenses are actually all gone. But we discovered something when trying one of the Xenon glass lenses in the back of the DR series décor rings for the H11 lights.

Halogen light replacement rings and lenses

The EH11 replacement rings with the Xenon glass lenses

Shown in this first picture above, are the X-GLFR lenses laid in the backside of the DRWH, DRBL, and DRGO replacement rings. The lens fits between the two tabs on the inside diameter of the ring. The lens does NOT snap into the tabs and thus lock in place like the GLFR and GLCL lenses did. For two reasons: a) It is just a bit smaller in diameter, and b) It is thicker. The GLFR lenses were very thin. And if you just need replacement rings and your existing lenses are not broken, RE-USE your lenses. No reason to spend money on something you do not need because you already have them.

EH11 replacement decor rings

Replacement décor rings and glass lenses for EH11 lights.

The X-GLFR lens, because it is a bit smaller has some shifting room side to side. It fits really nicely between the tabs and does not shift that direction, but the other way, it can move side to side about 3/32″. So if used in your house, it would be fine if just set in the ring and then reattached to the light. But if on a boat, that will rock with the waves, the lens will move side to side and you may hear it do so. It will not fall out, but I think it is advisable to insert it with a few drops of super glue. It will make it permanent to that ring, but it will keep it from shifting. And the lenses do lay nice and flat within the lower ridge circle of the décor rings. Select this link to go directly to our Hera replacement parts page. (As of June 2016, we are almost out of this lens.)

Hera EH11 light replacement lens

The light looks the same with the Xenon lens subbed out for the EH11 lens.

When the décor ring is reattached to the light with the X-GLFR lens, it looks the same. You will not detect a difference. This is a short term solution for anyone needing replacement lenses right now. Unfortunately, the Xenon lights and replacement parts for them have also been recently discontinued. So our supply on the Xenon lenses will last a little while, but not indefinitely. Thus, Halogen and Xenon will have to step down and make way for LED Lighting.

LED Lights. Hera has created many. LED is pronounced L-E-D, not lead. It means Light Emitting Diode. LED Lighting is very energy conscious. A 3-watt LED light is the equivalent to a 20 watt halogen. Just the other day, someone mentioned to us how much of a drain the halogen lights are to the battery on his boat. If you have 10 of the 20-watt halogen lights in your cabin, that is 200 watts of power used while they are on. If you had 10 of the 3-watt LED lights, that is 30 watts used. A considerable difference – per hour.

Hera Lighting’s LED line up offers many selections. Two we really want to point out are the R55-LED light, a 3-watt. And the KB12-LED light, just 1.6 watts each. These two LED lights are awesome replacements for the EH11 light we talked about above. Now the LED lights are a 24 volt system, thus you have to make arrangements for that, especially on a boat feeding your lights directly with 12 volt DC. You will need to use the Hera LED power drivers from the AC on your boat to power the 24 volt low voltage LED lights. If using in your home, you will use the 24 volt LED power drivers and remove your old 12 volt halogen transformers. The nice thing about the R55-LED and KB12-LED is that they are designed to fit into the same 2-1/8″ dia. hole that Hera’s EH11 and E1 lights fit into. The KB12 halogen light also fits in the 2-1/8″ diameter hole. So far, the KB12 halogen light is still being produced. But as LED continued to expand, one day, all halogen lights could become a thing of the past.

Special note for boat owners running cabin lights directly from your 12 volt DC.  Check out the Loox 2020 12-volt LED lights that we now offer.  It is a great direct substitute for the Hera E1 and H11 lights.

Eclectic-ware is not just a retailor of products. We actually learn about our products and offer design and technical assistance. We have over 18 years experience with the Hera Lighting brand. And we still remember their old lights that are long gone. The LED lights come in various strengths and sizes. The spotlights come in 1.2 watt accent lights, to 3 or 4 watt under cabinet lights, to 7.5 watt high power under cabinet lights and display lights. The linear LED lights in shorter lengths are just a couple of watts to longer lengths in the 18 or more watt range. And you might be thinking, 7.5 watts, that is not much. How bright will it be? LED is not like our understanding of incandescent lighting. It is way different. The 15 watt ELite-LED lights I have put in my own home throw about the same light as a 100 watt incandescent bulb. And very little heat. So having the lights on is not jacking up my AC expense, nor my electric bill. Most of the LED lights will cost a bit more in the beginning, but the savings comes over time. Many are rated for 50,000 hours. In retrospect, that EH11 light uses a 4,000 hour halogen bulb, you will have gone through 12 bulb changes in 50,000 hours. So with halogen, you buy the light and buy 12 bulbs over the course of 10 to 20 years. With LED, you install the light and not change any bulbs.  There are many benefits.

Within the Hera Lighting section of our web site, we have 24 web pages showing their various LED light systems. For under cabinet, display, and commercial uses. When you are ready, visit that section of our web site. We can help with your kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom lighting needs that pertain to cabinet or furniture lighting. And for boat owners, we have solutions for you too….

Ceramic Bathroom Hardware

AC Products ceramic bathroom hardware is made in the USA. We like giving a plug to products that we offer that are born in America. So that is one great thing about this hardware. The next, is the colors. There are several different series of ceramic pieces that AC Products offers. The Stylish 700 Series, the most extensive, has approx. 40 selections – ALL of which are available in about 100+ colors each.

ceramic bathroom hardware stylish 700 series

A great collection of ceramic bathroom hardware

You will find a few differently styled soap dishes. Three sizes of corner shelves, the jumbo coming with or without a hook beneath it. A matching vanity soap dish and toothbrush holder. Some recessed items such as the 3 shower caddies, recessed soap dish, and recessed toilet paper holder. There is a surface mount toilet paper holder, a robe hook, the towel ring which has been cited for retirement, but we still have some. And then the popular ceramic towel bar. And not just in one size and one color. The towel bar posts are all the same size, but you have a choice of 4 bar lengths, of which you can alter any of them shorter. The bar can come in white or clear, you can choose that too. And you have a choice of 4 mounting methods – and then all of that in 100+ ceramic colors. So the model 730 towel bar technically can come in 3200 different combinations. Don’t ask us to show you a picture of every combination, not gonna happen. It is not our objective to bore you. But it is our objective to offer solutions. Not everyone is using white, bone or biscuit ceramic tile. Some people want a grey-tone soap dish or corner shelves for their shower. The next guy may want a blue tone, and the girl next door may want a Wild Rose colored shower caddy. The 700 Series is awesome for choices. And about those mounting methods. There are 5 to choose from.

Ceramic bathroom hardware moutning methods

The various mounting methods for ceramic bath hardware

The most popular mounting method is thin-set. What thin-set means is that the hardware piece is generally glued to the backer board using the same adhesive that the tiles use. And you must have an opening in the tile for it to fit into. Most pieces are sized to fit into a 4×4 opening, but that is not uniform for all pieces, especially a few of the larger items. Some people call thin-set “recessed”, that is not correct. Yes, the protrusion on the back will recess into the tile depth, generally 1/4″ to 5/16″. The definition for recessed, as you can see in the picture above is that it fits into the wall 3 or more inches. The recessed TP holder shown needs 3-5/8″ of depth to fit in the wall – into a 6×6 opening. The mud set item shown above can be considered semi-recessed. It does not require as deep of an opening to fit into. You must have 1-1/4″ or more. And it is called mud set because professionals prefer to create a mud pack and push the piece in place and that is how they mount it. It can be mounted with adhesive also if you choose.

The two other mounting methods, flat back and clip on have their specific purposes. Flat back was created as a simple solution for repairs or afterthoughts. Flat back can be mounted to ANY flat wall surface. It can go over tile, it can glue directly to sheetrock or backer board. It can glue onto a wood or paneling style wall. We do not promote it being glued directly to drywall, that is not considered best practice. For normal drywall mounting, on a smooth unblemished surface, use the clip on mount. The mounting clip will secure to the drywall using screws and drywall anchors, then the towel bars, soap dishes, and surface mount TP holder slide down over the tapered clip and wedge themselves in place. For more detailed explanations about the 5 mounting methods, please visit that link.

The other AC Products collections: Series 500, 800, and 900, can be viewed on our web site. There is a lot to see and we are not going to try to cram any more into this blog post. You can view a ton of data, a lot of colors, and other helpful information on our web site. And again, AC Products bath hardware is made in America, right here in Ohio. Quality craftsmanship and very nicely designed hardware….