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Jeffrey N. Fritz "Nikon Jeff" RSS Feed (Morgantown, West Virginia)
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Sylvania 79284 Value Non-Dimmable LED 5000K, 8.5W, 4-Pack
Sylvania 79284 Value Non-Dimmable LED 5000K, 8.5W, 4-Pack
Price: $14.39
4 used & new from $11.41

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Bulb at Reasonable Price--But Very White, May 3, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are a ton of LED bulbs manufactured in China being sold now on the U.S. market. They suffer from typical Chinese manufacturing quality control--meaning that some fail quickly while others operate successfully for many years. (No matter what the box might claim for the life span of the LEDs inside of the bulb, it's a crap shoot as to what lifespan you will get in any given LED bulb.) Despite carrying a well known U.S, manufacturing name, the Sylvania 79284 Value Non-Dimmable LEDs are also made in China. Therefore it is likely that same reliability issue holds as well for these bulbs--aside from their 11,000 hour rating.

One thing to note (for better or for worse) is that the Sylvania is a 5000K LED and that is very white. There are three primary types of color temperature for light bulbs:

Soft White (2700K – 3000K)
Bright White/Cool White (3500K – 4100K)
Daylight (5000K – 6500K).

The higher the Degrees Kelvin, the whiter (colder or bluer--depending on how you took at it) the color. 5000K is a very "cold" white and very far from the warmer colors of the Soft White bulbs that we are all familiar with using in the "good old inandescent days." (Again, cold being a color temperature and not a thermometer reading.) Is this a problem? Not necessarily. Some people, myself included, prefer a whiter light in our bulbs. However, this bulb will look weird in a pod lamp or series of lights unless all the bulbs are Sylvania 79284s or equivalent temperature. Please keep that in mind.

All-in-all, the Sylvania 79284 Value Non-Dimmable LED is a decent bulb available at a very reasonable price.


ErgotronHome Ergotron Home Lift24 Adjustable Height Laptop Stand (LIFT24 Silver)
ErgotronHome Ergotron Home Lift24 Adjustable Height Laptop Stand (LIFT24 Silver)
Price: $249.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Great Concept--Not So Great Execution of a Portable, Work Laptop Stand, May 1, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had high hopes for the Ergotron Home Lift24 Adjustable Height Laptop Stand. Unfortunately, the stand did not completely live up to my expectations.

For one thing, I wanted a platform that would allow me to stand as I work. The Ergotron Home Lift24 gave me this but not with the stability that I would have preferred. It tends to wobble more than I would prefer in a laptop stand.

For another thing I wanted a portable stand--one that could be used, say, in my studio and then carried to my work area as needed. The Ergotron Home Lift24 is portable, but it is also heavy and far more awkward to open and collapse that it should be. Plus you are dealing with glass in a portable stand--really Ergotron?

Basically, this is an instance of great idea, but not so great execution. The functionality that I needed is conceptually there, but the way that it is carried out leaves too much to be desired with the Ergotron Home Lift24.


Ortho Ant and Roach Killer, 16 oz
Ortho Ant and Roach Killer, 16 oz
Price: $10.38
7 used & new from $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Effective for Killing Ants (and Other Insects) but Not A Preventative Spray, April 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We noticed tiny little ants that were swarming around a window on the outside of our home. They have never gotten inside of our home--at least not yet. However, tiny ants swarming on the outside are likely not to stay there for long. They will find a small hole in the window frame and will soon join us in residing in our home. This is something that, obviously, we do not want.

I took a can of Ortho Ant and Roach Killer and sprayed the outer window ledge. It killed the ants instantly. (It also killed a spider who regretfully was in the wrong place at the wrong time-- no doubt looking for a small ant dinner.) The following day a few of the ants had returned, but in nowhere the numbers that they had been previously.

This wasn't a surprise or a disappointment. Ortho Ant and Roach Killer is a killing spray, not a preventive spray. In other words, it doesn't leave a residue that will kill future ant visitors to our window sill. There are other products that do that. However, an occasional spray will likely keep the ant population down.

On the other hand, Ortho Ant and Roach Killer is effective against those nasty Stink Bugs that are so prevalent in our part of the country. It may be handy in dealing when them when they invade our home during the summer and fall.


BenQ WiT LED Desk Lamp with Dimmable, Warm/Cool White Light Best for Designer, Office, Gaming, Browsing, Working and Reading, Silver
BenQ WiT LED Desk Lamp with Dimmable, Warm/Cool White Light Best for Designer, Office, Gaming, Browsing, Working and Reading, Silver
Price: $299.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A Capable But Pricy Desk Lamp with a Poorly Engineered Base Holding Mechanism, April 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The BenQ WiT is a lovely looking, but large LED desk lamp. It will take up considerable real estate on your desk. In return, you will get a modern looking lamp with touch on and off that also offers a wide lighting field and a constantly adjustable intensity. Very nice indeed!

The biggest Achilles heal of the lamp is a poor engineering and design decision to attach the lamp to the heavy base with an undersized Phillips head screw. This tiny screw is the only thing holding the base to the lamp arm. The tendency is to lift up the lamp by the arm and not the base. When that happens, if the base isn't tight enough, it will fall off. For you are lucky, it won't fall on your foot!

Although the lamp has a clearly illustrated warning attached to the base about just this--it is much too easy to under tighten such a tiny screw. BenQ would we well advised to find a better, more reliable manner of attaching the lamp and its arm to the base.

Other than this concern, the BenQ WiT LED Desk Lamp, although pricy, is a capable and flexible addition to your workspace.


Safavieh Dream Collection Tranquility Spring Mattress, 8-Inch/Full, White and Navy
Safavieh Dream Collection Tranquility Spring Mattress, 8-Inch/Full, White and Navy
Price: $270.43
6 used & new from $270.43

4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy But Decent Mattress--Arrives All Rolled Up, April 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Years ago we replaced our trusty, old bed with a new (it was new then) Sleigh Bed. Our old bed went into our second floor guest bedroom.

Old frames tend to hold up over time, but not so old mattresses. Eventuality, we began to feel badly about our company having to sleep on such an old, worn out mattress. The Safavieh Dream Collection Tranquility seemed like a good replacement to us, so we requested it.

The first thing that we noticed upon the mattress' arrival was that it was shipped all rolled up. It wouldn't seem to be a wise thing to coil up a spring-based mattress, but that's exactly what Safavieh did. They are the manufacturer, so I suppose that they know best.

The second thing that we noticed is that this is one heavy mattress. I mean, really, really heavy. We had to ask our adult son to come over to the house and help us haul the mattress up to the second floor.

The mattress is good looking with pretty blue stripping. But, then, who actually looks at mattresses? They are generally covered entirely by sheets. Still It is nice to know that there is a decent looking mattress under those sheets!

As for comfort and fit, we have only a few complaints. The mattress seems a bit mushy at the edges. This presents is no problem with sleeping, but I wouldn't recommend sitting on the edge of the bed. Our guests tell us that the Safavieh Dream Collection Tranquility is a significant improvement over our old mattress and is very comfortable. There isn't much more that we could have asked or expected.


Brother MFC-J985DW Work Smart All-in-One with INKvestment Cartridges
Brother MFC-J985DW Work Smart All-in-One with INKvestment Cartridges
Offered by Galactics
Price: $220.60
10 used & new from $199.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Finally--An All-In-One Printer That Cuts Customers A Break on Ink, April 28, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If they wanted to, printer manufacturers could easily give away their printers for free. The profit margins on these devices are quite thin. Rather, the profits are found in selling the inks--and we pay a King's ransom for the cartridges.

Brother, no stranger to the printing business, is willing to cut their customers a break. The ink that they sell lasts longer (up to 2400 black ink printed pages and up to 1200 color pages according to the manufacturer.) Hence they describe their cartridges with a "INKvestment Cartridges" moniker. Brother figures that it will take you two years to run out of ink under "normal use." Your mileage may vary---greatly!

When you do require replacement cartridges, they will set you back about $56 (based on the total of all ink cartridges at current Amazon prices.) By comparison, the Canon MG7700 that we previously used required a far more frequent cartridge set replacement that costs $52 (using the same cost basis.) Brother does not explain how they accomplished the miracle of longer lasting print. I guess that we have to take their word that they did.

Our otherwise nifty Canon MG-7700 was removed and replaced with the Brother printer primarily because it was Apple hostile. (Not that this is entirely Canon's fault.) There are two trays in the MG-7700. One is for standard sized (8.5" x 11" paper) the other is for smaller photo paper. The photo paper is tray 1 and the standard paper fits in tray 2. Apple devices (iPads and iPhones) only want to print to tray 1. Since Canon has these two trays reversed, so to speak, it's a nightmare to print from Apple devices. (Just google this issue, you will find many, many frustrated comments.)

The Brother MFC-J985DW has no such Apple issue as there is only one tray. Therefore, there is little for Apple's iDevices to contend with as they attempt to print. In fact, AirPrint worked perfectly from the get-go with absolutely no extra configuration required on either the printer or on our iPads.

There are many things to like about the Brother MFC-J985DW and a few things that are not as pleasing. The printer's color touch screen is tiny and hard to read--especially as compared to the MG-7700's large, glorious screen. There is no image in the Quick Start guide showing you the printer and where its various connections are located. At first I assumed that the MFC-J985DW was wireless LAN accessed only as there was no visible Ethernet port or USB port to be found anywhere on the printer's case. After some investigation, I found that lifting up the entire platen gives access to both of these ports. Yes, there is an illustration on the side showing the port locations for these ports--but it also is hard to find and even harder to understand.

The printer has a small sized paper tray, but don't they all? Hey printer manufacturers--please find a way to include trays that contain more than a handful of sheets!

The MFC-J985DW helpfully offered to print out instructions during its configuration. That sounded great, but what actually came out looked like a 1970s terminal screen print. Not very helpful. On the other hand, as I already have stated, there was virtually nothing to configuring the iPads that we own to print. Configuring our Mac Mini was nearly as easy. It only required a driver download and installing the printer in the System Preferences. I assume that PC setup would not be significantly more involved.

The Brother MFC-J985DW is a nifty, well thought out all-in-one device. (Yes, it does scanning, faxing, copying and all that other "all-in-one" stuff.) The extra long ink life is yet to be confirmed. Check back with me in two years and I'll let you know whether my original starter cartridges are still there--or if the Brother MFC-J985DW is still our primary network printer.


Design Toscano Peaceful Presence Angel Sitter Garden Statue
Design Toscano Peaceful Presence Angel Sitter Garden Statue
Price: $183.95
2 used & new from $183.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Well Made Statue Adding Class to Our Patio, April 14, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Peaceful Presence Angel Sitter Garden Statue is one of a series of garden statues offered by Design Toscano. The statue is classy, well made, looks beautiful, and, amazingly, can sit stably most anywhere. Currently, it is adding a bit of class to our patio.

The statue arrived in a large box, well padded by styrofoam. In fact, the styrofoam packing is my only criticism. It breaks off during shipment attaching itself in little flakes all of the status. When you remove the statue from its plastic bag, those styrofoam flakes stay on the statue.

That's not a big enough complaint to deduct a star, and certainly not enough to detract from our enjoyment of the Design Toscano Peaceful Presence Angel Sitter Garden Statue.


Electrolux ELJB56B8PS Expressionist Blender, Stainless Steel
Electrolux ELJB56B8PS Expressionist Blender, Stainless Steel
Price: $149.99
4 used & new from $119.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sleek Looking, Capable Blender, April 12, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Electrolux is better known (at least to me) as a vacuum cleaner manufacturer. They aren't as well known in the kitchen as say, Cusinart, Hamilton Beach or Oster. However, after using the Electrolux ELJB56B8PS Expressionist Blender to prepare our smoothies all I can say is, "Welcome to our kitchen, Electrolux!"

The Electrolux Expressionist Blender is a sleek looking appliance with a stainless steel base. It has a thick glass canister that is easier to clean than many of our other blenders. (Yes, we've accumulated a few over time.) It crushed ice without problem or complaint and the smoothy came out, well, smooth.

The Electrolux Expressionist Blender doesn't jump through as many fancy hoops as some other blenders, but what it does it does very well.


DII 100% Polyester, Spill proof,  Machine Washable, Zipper Tablecloth for Outdoor Use With Umbrella Covered Tables, 60" Round, Warm Summer Stripe, Seats 4 People
DII 100% Polyester, Spill proof, Machine Washable, Zipper Tablecloth for Outdoor Use With Umbrella Covered Tables, 60" Round, Warm Summer Stripe, Seats 4 People
Price: $19.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Looking Outdoor Tablecloth That is Soft to the Touch, April 12, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I will be honest. (Isn't that what Amazon expects from us in our reviews?) When I requested the DII Outdoor Zipper Tablecloth, I expected a cheap, plastic, watch-it-rip outdoor table cover. What I received instead was a durable-looking, good looking outdoor table cover. It feels soft to the touch and does a perfect job covering our outdoor metal circular table.

Now we need to see just how durable it is. How will it hold up under regular use and over the spring and summer weather? If it holds up, than there is no question that the DII 100% Polyester, Spill proof, Machine Washable, Zipper Tablecloth will be a winner.


Triangle Bulbs T95133-6-VA, LED 60 Watt Equivalent Soft White (3000K) Light Bulb, 6 Pack
Triangle Bulbs T95133-6-VA, LED 60 Watt Equivalent Soft White (3000K) Light Bulb, 6 Pack
Price: $18.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Tends to Yellowish Color, But With Good Dispersion and Great Energy Efficiency, April 11, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Triangle Bulbs T95133-6-VA LED bulbs are described as "60 Watt Equivalent Soft White (3000K.)" If you compare them with some other LED bulbs, you will find them to be on the yellowish side. (Technically warm tends to red while cool tends to blue.) They are soft white in comparison to soft white incandescent bulbs, so I assume that this enables them to be labeled in that manner.

These bulbs are non-dimmable, so be sure not to use them in circuits where you have dimmers installed They also can't be used with the type sensors that turn lights on when someone enters the room. However, the bulbs are plenty bright (800 lumens) and have a decent dispersion angle. They carry an estimated life of 22.8 years (based on three-hours of usage per day.) But more on this in a moment. In terms of energy efficiency, they draw 9-watts. In comparison to an equivalent incandescent bulb (60-watts) and an equivalent CFL (11-watts) they are very economical to operate.

Now, a word about LED bulb life. Speaking generally, many, if not most, of these LED bulbs are manufactured in China. As such, they are thrown together typically with low quality control. Although it's hard to confirm this, the lifespan listed on LED bulbs likely refers to the individual LED lamps inside of the bulb--not to the entire bulb. I suspect that to be the case because we have seen a number of these so-called "long-life" LEDs fail within a year or two (sometimes sooner.) The electronics inside of the bulb fail, the bases separate from the bulb and the glue holding the lenses in place loosens. We've experienced all these failures and we are not particularly rough in our treatment of our LED bulbs.

Still, with their reported long-life, low power consumption, higher environmental safety (especially compare to the chemically laced CFLs) and continually lower prices, these Triangle Bulbs might well be a good buy for your home.


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