Category: Green & Eco-friendly
Green & Eco-friendly
Pool Lighting Options - Part 4
Solar Pool Lighting
Solar pool lights are an eco-friendly way to light up your pool. They float on top of the water’s surface and have a solar panel that collects energy from the sun and charges a rechargeable battery located within the light. At night, the lights are automatically turned on via an electronic light sensor. Most solar pool lights use an LED bulb for energy efficiency and can last up to eight hours per solar charge.
Solar pool lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be a simple globe or disc shape, or look like frogs, lily pads, and even floating jellyfish. They also come in an array of different colors, and some can create multi-colored patterns of dancing light throughout the pool. Most solar pool lights are weighted to help keep them in one place; others float freely around the pool and come with a nylon anchor for when you want them to stay in a particular area. Some can also come with a stake, pole, or stand and be used for ...
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Homeowners: David and Elisa
Location: Castro Valley, Calif.
Project: Extend outdoor living space by adding a deck to existing concrete patio and resurfacing entire area with VAST® Composite Resurfacing Pavers
How they did it:
David first planned and built the framework for the new deck. He designed it so that the deck brings the home’s outdoor living area beyond the existing concrete patio and out to the hot tub. To create a cohesive look between the concrete patio and new deck, the couple decided to refinish the area (360 square feet) with the VAST® Composite Resurfacing Paver System they had seen at a home and garden show. “These pavers are low-profile so they could go on top of the old patio(no clearance problems). We could use them on the deck, too, for the unified look we wanted,” says Elisa. The pavers, which are made from 95 percent recycled materials, offer the look of brick pavers and are designed to cover old patios and decks for an easy renovation project.
To install the composite paver system, David first laid down the installation grids over the patio and deck frame. He started from the edge of the concrete patio and worked his way out to the new deck. He used glue to secure the grid sections to the concrete patio. On the new deck, David fastened rows of the grids to the decking boards with 1 1/2- inch decking screws.” He then laid pavers (4 x 8 x 1.75 inches) in a herringbone pattern, alternating among three different colors of pavers for a stylish effect. David did not have to rent a concrete saw. To cut grid sections and pavers to shape and size for the edges and corners of the installation, he used just a regular 10-inch miter saw.
“I liked that VAST’s installation grids make it easier to get good results,” says David. “You lay out the grid, insert the pavers, and the grid does the work of spacing and aligning them.” To finish the design, he used pavers of the same color in a basketweave pattern to create an attractive border.
“We could not have afforded to tear out the concrete part and build [an] all new [patio],” says Elisa. “In the end, we got a beautiful patio with a green product that’s easy to install and maintain.”
VAST® Composite Resurfacing Pavers are manufactured by VAST Enterprises, LLC (www.vastpavers.com), a materials science research and manufacturing company in Minneapolis, Minn. VAST composite masonry products are a patented blend of post-consumer recycled automobile tires and plastic containers. Since its founding in 2006, VAST has used more than five million pounds of recycled rubber and plastics to create their array of top quality products.
Photos courtesy of Vast Enterprises, LLC
If you have younger kids, filling up a baby pool or turning on the sprinkler can be a fun way to spend time outdoors while keeping kids cool. However, these activities can lead to a lot of excess water usage over the summer so follow these tips to stay eco-friendly and water-conscious:
- 1. If you need to water your lawn regularly, do it when kids want to go out and play in the sprinkler so you’re not wasting water or over-irrigating. Limit the amount of time you run the sprinkler and move it around the yard so all areas are properly irrigated. Also, check any restrictions your town may have on what time of day you’re permitted to water your lawn.
- 2. You can also invest in water-efficient rotary nozzles for your sprinklers. They break up the water into multi-trajectory, rotating streams that spray water more slowly and uniformly, using 20 percent less water, yet irrigating more effectively. They are also more resistant to wind, and some are made from recycled materials. Certain water providers even offer rebates for purchasing these water-conserving nozzles.
- 3. Since baby pools don’t have filters and don’t use chemically treated water, they need to be emptied and refilled every few days to stay clean. Make sure your baby pool is small enough that it won’t require much water to be enjoyed. When it’s time to empty it, pour the water onto plants that need it.
- 4. In addition to saving water, a good way to save energy is by turning down the AC when you and your family are playing outdoors or spending time in the pool. You may be out by the pool for several hours every day or on weekends, which means you can save on your electric bill.
Sundance Spas, an internationally recognized leader in the hot tub industry, has introduced its Elite Series, a new line of luxury spas that reduce energy consumption and deliver high-end hydro-massage features.
Designed from the ground up by the Sundance Spas’ engineering and product development team, the new Elite Series consists of the Constance™ and Victoria™ models that include exclusive improvements, such as impressive energy efficiency, a high-performance spa cover upgrade and a distinctive matching step for easy access.
“According to consumer research, energy efficiency is an important consideration for hot tub owners and for those in the market,” said Larry Ovalle, senior manager of product marketing at Sundance Spas. “For this reason, Sundance Spas is introducing the most energy-efficient spa designs in its class with these models. The insulating system builds upon the prestigious Sundance RigidBond™ construction and full foam insulation by adding an additional thermal layer.”
“We took the spa design one step further with premium features and sophisticated aesthetics such as a finished cabinetry look on the exterior of the units. We’re also offering an optional matching step and other amenities that perfect the spa experience,” said Ovalle. A new SunStrong™ hot tub cover further increases efficiency through the use of ultra-high-density foam while also delivering superior performance with an exterior made of highly durable Sunbrella® brand material.
Unique to both models is an optional VersaStep™, heavy-duty, color-coordinated steps with a handrail for easy spa access that also serve as a towel holder and built-in storage for towels, sunscreens and other accessories. Additionally, the Elite Series offers superior hydrotherapy with patented Fluidix™ jet technology; SMT™ leg jets in the lounge for a targeted calf and hamstring massage; a new cool down seat for easier access, safety and comfort; a low-profile foot dome with up to eight jets; and exterior lighting.
Constance™ and Victoria™ models are available in seven acrylic tub colors; two available cabinet colors; and two SunStrong™ insulated spa cover options.