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What am I seeing?

Holding a mug close to my face, there is an interesting effect. It's not like other things and I can't duplicate it with other objects. [more inside]
posted by rahnefan on Jul 3, 2014 - 5 answers

Recommendations for cheap (__cheap__) notebook/laptop

I'd like to buy a small (10-12 inch screen) very inexpensive (sub-$300) notebook, to use for reading PDFs, taking notes, and very light coding (i.e. emacs and python). Any recommendations would be most welcome. [more inside]
posted by uninformative on Apr 21, 2014 - 16 answers

help me fix my three way… lamp.

we have a three way floor lamp (you know, the one that goes low, medium, high as far as light intensity, and requires the special bulb) in our bedroom. recently, the switch seems to have gone wonky, and only offers low, and, if we twist the knob only a certain amount, high. while we've learned the trick to make it work, and it's not like it's hard, i'm starting to get pretty annoyed with the fact that this isn't working anymore. it was not a crazy expensive lamp, but it also was not cheap, and i like that lamp, and i don't want a different one. i assume the problem is in the socket itself. can someone who hasn't tinkered with electronics since she was a teenager (and that was mostly to take stuff apart to see how it worked) but worked as a mac tech as an adult change out the socket pretty easily, or is this something i need to leave to the professionals?
posted by koroshiya on Feb 19, 2014 - 10 answers

Can I stretch out my light bulb?

I have a candelabra chandelier (E12) and I want to use LED bulbs in them. The problem is, the bases of the bulbs are so wide that they bottom out in the socket before the bulb's end pin can make contact with the bottom of the socket. The socket does not have a tab I can pull out, and the chandelier is made in a way that replacing the sockets does not seem very accessible. I have encountered this with two different brands of light bulbs, and looking around, it seems that it is a common problem with LED lights. So, I want to stretch out my light bulbs. [more inside]
posted by razdrez on Jan 13, 2014 - 14 answers

LED pattern light display

What are those things called / what should I search for to purchase one? [more inside]
posted by lulz on Jan 9, 2014 - 7 answers

Packing light

I've always packed light by taking a backpack on all trips and going carry-on only. But I'm going to be extensive international travel with a 35-liter backpack and want to know how to pack even lighter. Usually I only go on 1-week trips, and thus pack a shirt for every day, etc. How can I pack lighter? I've heard that Merino wool is a good material for shirts that can be worn a couple times before needing a wash. What are your tips and tricks?
posted by signondiego on Dec 17, 2013 - 20 answers

Help me change a light bulb in an old fixture

I need to change the light bulb in this older overhead light fixture (and others in the building like it). Problem is, I can't figure out how to get the glass down. [more inside]
posted by OHSnap on Nov 14, 2013 - 9 answers

Fun with LEDs

I want to start messing with LEDs; I have two (similar) projects in mind. I want a strip of multi-colored LEDs to respond to music. And second, inspired in part by this thread, I'm interested in learning about turning sound-responsive LEDs into a costume. I imagine those two projects are pretty similar, other than needing a portable power supply for the latter, right? So, can anyone help me figure out what I should get to start with? [more inside]
posted by inigo2 on Oct 28, 2013 - 10 answers

What light fixture is this?

Some enthusiastic home dance party moves caused me to shatter one of the glass lampshades on this light fixture. I'd like to replace the shade, but I have no idea what lamp's brand or model is. Do you? [more inside]
posted by esd on Oct 6, 2013 - 3 answers

Suggestions for a children's reading light with a timer?

Suggestions for a children's reading light with a timer? [more inside]
posted by banjo_and_the_pork on Sep 6, 2013 - 6 answers

Inexpensive desk lamp with adjustable brightness?

I'm looking for a nice, inexpensive task lamp to put on my desk at work. It should have adjustable brightness (low/high is fine) so that I can have either a little or a lot of light, as required. Free-standing, not clamp-on. $30 or less would be ideal. Help? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Apr 9, 2013 - 8 answers

Can you explain to me this shadow-line phenomenon in a photo?

I feel like I understand a thing or two about light, but I can't figure out how/why this particular phenomenon happens. This photo I took shows a shadow line cast by my bank (on the right) that seems to just hang in the air. [more inside]
posted by heyho on Jan 26, 2013 - 16 answers

Looking for theatre plays with important light prop

I'm looking for major theatrical plays, set no later than 1950, that feature a lamp, flashlight, or other luminous prop as important to the story. If possible, please summarize the prop's usage including where in the story the prop is used. Thanks in advance!
posted by landonmoon on Nov 12, 2012 - 10 answers

Light up her life: find an LED version of a 40W incandescent

Looking for a LED light that gives an equivalent brightness and spectrum as a 40W incandescent. Can you help me? [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Aug 25, 2012 - 9 answers

Super light, super small mosquito tent, available in Australia?

What is the smallest, lightest mosquito tent available in Australia (or to be shipped to Australia within three weeks for a non-ridiculous price)? [more inside]
posted by lollusc on May 30, 2012 - 8 answers

Did a plane have me in its headlights?

Did a plane have me in its headlights? [more inside]
posted by MustardTent on Apr 2, 2012 - 8 answers

E-reader Reading Light Recommendations

Looking for recommendations for a reading light for an e-reader. [more inside]
posted by backwards guitar on Dec 30, 2011 - 7 answers

Show me the light

I've been invited to a Solstice party. The invitation says, "Please come with a symbol of light, wrapped to give away, and something to read about light, original or found." Nothing is popping into my head except a candle... and I already know someone bringing a candle. Ideas? Ideas for readings? I could do a Google search for either thing, but I'd be overwhelmed with results, I think. (And maybe there is a way to wrap the gift that goes along with the theme?)
posted by trillian on Dec 2, 2011 - 53 answers

Brighten up my cans, please

How can I brighten up the recessed "can" lights in my kitchen? [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt on Nov 13, 2011 - 13 answers

How do I run 20ish LEDs with a LED Driver built to run 1 large LED ?

I want to drive 20ish LEDs, should I run them as series or parallel and why ? [more inside]
posted by 70klicks on Jun 20, 2011 - 8 answers

Eat X, not Y

Recommend versions of my favorite foods, or alternatives to them, that are healthful, low-calorie, and nonetheless tasty. [more inside]
posted by foursentences on Jun 9, 2011 - 26 answers

How to calculate the cost of LED lighting.

How to calculate the cost of LED lighting. Or... renting my apartment, LED lights, energy conservation and fiscal sense. Please help me! [more inside]
posted by gen on May 9, 2011 - 13 answers

What was that strange light and sound board I played with when drunk/bjork?

Sound and light board with 4-5 smooth objects - which objects are on the board and where changes the sounds and lights, including light from some of the objects ... what is this thing and where can I get one? [more inside]
posted by unclezeb on Apr 5, 2011 - 10 answers

Help me paint some boring lightshades. Please?

What sort of paint should I use to decorate white fabric pendant lightshades? [more inside]
posted by Pallas Athena on Mar 6, 2011 - 2 answers

You shall not... forget the light on.

I want to convert a wall switch into a door switch (for a wardrobe light). Is this easily feasible? [more inside]
posted by ddaavviidd on Feb 16, 2011 - 5 answers

Custom LED lights without burning down the house

I've been looking around at lighting options for my bedroom, and my geeky self decided that custom LED strip lighting would be awesome. Then I read previous AskMe's and want to make sure I can do this without burning down my house! Questions and a search for the easy way inside! [more inside]
posted by Mister Fabulous on Feb 9, 2011 - 4 answers

Pilot light help?

Pilot light help. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear on Jan 29, 2011 - 11 answers

How many times can you split power from a light socket?

How many y-socket adapters can you string together into a single light bulb socket? [more inside]
posted by ish__ on Dec 28, 2010 - 12 answers

Help me find the right CFLs for my outdoor light?

Help me figure out if compact fluorescents are the right lights for my outdoor light fixture? Difficulty: the fixture is on an electric eye, the weather gets really cold in the winter, and the lights will be oriented vertically (with the sockets on the bottom). [more inside]
posted by fremen on Dec 17, 2010 - 17 answers

I don't get this... how can light have momentum?

How can light have momentum? [more inside]
posted by dougrayrankin on Dec 13, 2010 - 9 answers

What can you tell me about these old ceiling light fixtures?

What can you tell me about these old ceiling light fixtures? [more inside]
posted by SNACKeR on Nov 21, 2010 - 5 answers

What causes laser source speckle patterns, and why do they remain constant even if the observer moves?

Why doesn't the speckle pattern that you see around the source of a laser change when you move your head, and what causes the pattern? [more inside]
posted by Bugbread on Nov 14, 2010 - 3 answers

Laptop please

One dead laptop, means time to go shopping. Help me askmetafilter.....again. [more inside]
posted by WickedPissah on Sep 8, 2010 - 10 answers

I need a way for people to get my attention while I am wearing heaphones.

How to attract the attention of a be-headphoned person in a cube across an aisle facing away from the entrance without touching them? Ideally this would be inexpensive and not require any hardwiring. [more inside]
posted by winna on Aug 19, 2010 - 32 answers

I will call it "my cell"

I'm thinking of renting a room with no windows! Yes/No? [more inside]
posted by niccolo on Jul 13, 2010 - 40 answers

How do I open this light fixture?

How do I change the lightbulb inside this light fixture? It has no obvious fasteners or screws. I tried twisting it, but it's not really budging in a reassuring way. I'm staying at a rented beach house, and I am extremely leery of using undue force. [more inside]
posted by popechunk on Jul 11, 2010 - 5 answers

Explain this so I can sleep

What just scared the crap out of me? Hallway light went on for about 15 seconds, then off, and is now burnt out. [more inside]
posted by itesser on Apr 8, 2010 - 19 answers

Looking for a Tall Clamp Lamp

I'm redesigning my workspace and starting with the lighting. I'm looking for suggestions for tall lamps that I can clamp onto my table and have shades that would cover large/high watt CFLs. [more inside]
posted by palionex on Feb 17, 2010 - 2 answers

Last thing I need is more car trouble...

Why did my Subaru outback lose power steering on this rainy night? [more inside]
posted by special-k on Oct 13, 2009 - 15 answers

Options for a small & cheap Mac laptop?

What are my options for a cheap, small Mac laptop? [more inside]
posted by attercoppe on Oct 2, 2009 - 25 answers

Too bad I don't have a vintage cat...

What should I do with this awesome vintage cat carrier? [more inside]
posted by kathrineg on Sep 7, 2009 - 10 answers

WHERE ARE THE TRITIUM SPHERES?!?!

Who regularly sells 10-18mm tritium spheres (pictured at bottom), and where can I buy them reliably? [more inside]
posted by Phyltre on Aug 14, 2009 - 14 answers

Does one 200 watt bulb put out as much or more light than ten 20 watt bulbs?

Does one 200 watt bulb put out as much or more light than ten 20 watt bulbs? [more inside]
posted by leemajors on Aug 14, 2009 - 23 answers

What do you call the sun shining through clouds?

What is the term for the depiction in art of the sun's rays shining through or behind clouds? This phenomenon. Sometimes believed to be a form of theophany. Wikipedia has an article about it, but I can't remember the name to look it up. Thank you.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Jul 30, 2009 - 14 answers

Light switch making popping noise.

Calling all MeFi electricians: why does my light switch make a popping noise, and will it kill me? [more inside]
posted by feathermeat on Jul 1, 2009 - 12 answers

[Insert obligatory lightbulb joke]

Three of our lights have burned out, and it's about time I replaced them. Thing is, I have no idea where to start. [more inside]
posted by robcorr on Feb 21, 2009 - 4 answers

Is the mechanic ripping me off?

What would you charge to diagnose a check engine light and replace the thermostat in a 2003 Toyota Highlander? [more inside]
posted by fogster on Dec 30, 2008 - 13 answers

Chiaroscuro to the extreme.

What are some great examples of paintings that make dramatic use of light and shadow? [more inside]
posted by Neilopolis on Nov 2, 2008 - 25 answers

Why are incandescent lights white?

Why does an incandescent light bulb have an broad, continuous spectra when viewed with a spectrometer? Why doesn't it have some lines like a sodium lamp? I guess I'm asking why photons come off of a black body and why are their wavelengths spread out. Bonus points for clarity and accessibility of the answers.
posted by bdc34 on Oct 7, 2008 - 5 answers

Can horses die after seeing too much?

I once saw/heard something on horses that were used underground in (coal?) mines... the reference was short and was phrased as something like this "... it's like those horses used in the (coal?) mines, they are underground in the dark for so long (years?) that when they are brought up from the mines and get to see far away into the horizon they die of shock." [more inside]
posted by MrBCID on Apr 7, 2007 - 12 answers

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