Sunday (05-January-2014) — New Jersey

Technology: LED Lights and TV Interference.

Several months ago I started replacing some of the incandescent and compact fluorescent lights (CFL) lights in my house with LED lights. The LED lights are still relatively expensive, but the price is starting to come down. In addition there are now some more choices in the color (soft white, cool white, daylight, warm white) of the LED lights. The LED lights do use less power and are supposed to have a longer lifetime. Note that when the CFL lights came out, they also claimed to have a longer lifetime than  incandescent lights – however I have had several CFL lights fail. I also like that the LED lights come to full power instantly vs. the warm-up delay with the CFL lights.  I purchased several different brands for testing and have been relatively satisfied. So all is good — sort of….

LED Light Bulb -- TV Interference. There is no identification markings on this light bulb. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 32 mm f/1.2 lens (ISO 160, 32 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec) pop-up flash -1.0EV. (David J Mathre)
LED Light Bulb — TV Interference. There is no identification markings on this light bulb. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 32 mm f/1.2 lens (ISO 160, 32 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec) pop-up flash -1.0EV. (David J Mathre)

I live about half way between the New York City and Philadelphia TV transmitters, so with a high-gain TV antenna in my attic I am able to receive over the air high-definition digital TV signals from both markets. Some times when the seasons and temperatures change I have to tweak the alignment of the antenna and re-tighten the antenna cable connections. I was really looking forward to the season premiere of Downton Abby, but the signal from WHYY in Philadelphia was getting scrambled. Trying to realign the antenna didn’t help. I did notice that the interference was only happening on stations that broadcast in the lower (what used to be VHF) frequencies. I about gave up, and figured that I would have to wait until the NJ PBS stations rebroadcast Downton Abby two weeks later. I turned the lights in my office off, and was going to go bed and read a book. Normally, I turn the TV off first (before the room lights) but didn’t this time. As soon as I turned the lights off the reception for WHYY was crystal clear. Turn the lights back on, and the interference reappears. What is going on????

I did a search on Google, and found several references to LED lights causing radio and TV interference. Apparently, some of the cheaper LED lights do not have sufficient shielding for the electronics converting the AC voltage to DC needed to power the LEDs. Bottom line, make sure that the LED lights you purchase are rated for low radio frequency interference. Some do have FCC markings, this one didn’t have any identifying information. I wonder if it is even UL tested/approved???? None of the other LED lights that I have been testing cause radio or TV interference.

Three-Years Ago (04-January-2011) — Argentina

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 9: Hosteria El Pilar and Perito Moreno Glacier.

I got up early for one final view of Mount Fitz Roy at dawn but it was hidden behind the orange clouds. Still a dramatic panorama. Before leaving, I got more colorful lupine flower images.  After a long drive, we arrived at Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park.

Patagonia Dawn Panorama from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Composite of 5 image taken with a Nikon D3s and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 400, 50 mm, f/4) using Kolor AutoPano Giga Pro. Unfortunately Fitzroy is hidden in the orange clouds. (David J Mathre)
Patagonia Dawn Panorama from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Composite of 5 image taken with a Nikon D3s and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 400, 50 mm, f/4) using Kolor AutoPano Giga Pro. Unfortunately Fitzroy is hidden in the orange clouds. (David J Mathre)
Lupines at Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina - Patagonia. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 400, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Lupines at Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina – Patagonia. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 400, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/22, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/22, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

Friday (03-January-2014) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Snow Play in New Jersey.

It started snowing last night, and was still snowing when I got up. The temperature stayed cold enough to keep the snow as a very fine, light powder. The high winds kept the snow from building up on the tree limbs. Several of my trolls went out to play in the snow — reminding them of their home in Norway.  Later in the day I dug my car out and made a path from the house to the street. Not too much of a problem since the snow was so light.

Troll out Skiing in my Backyard. Winter in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 58 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 900, 58 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 7 and Nik Color Efex 4. (David J Mathre)
Troll out Skiing in my Backyard. Winter in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 58 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 900, 58 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 7 and Nik Color Efex 4. (David J Mathre)
Trolls Playing in the Snow. Winter in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 58 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 2200, 58 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 7. (David J Mathre)
Trolls Playing in the Snow. Winter in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 58 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 2200, 58 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 7. (David J Mathre)

Three-Years Ago (03-January-2011) — Argentina

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 8: Hosteria El Pilar.

We stayed several days at Hosteria El Pilar near El Chaltén in Argentina.  With the constant wind and extreme weather, the trees in Patagonia take on some unique shapes. After a long hike, there was a rainbow visible from the back porch at the Hosteria.

Tree in Patagonia taken during a hike to Mirador and Laguna Torre from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 70 mm, f/4.5, 1/800 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tree in Patagonia taken during a hike to Mirador and Laguna Torre from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 70 mm, f/4.5, 1/800 sec). (David J Mathre)
If a Tree in Patagonia is Attacked by a Magellanic Woodpecker Did Anyone Hear It? Hike from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten to El Mirador and Laguna Torre. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/4, 1/50 sec). (David J Mathre)
If a Tree in Patagonia is Attacked by a Magellanic Woodpecker Did Anyone Hear It? Hike from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten to El Mirador and Laguna Torre. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/4, 1/50 sec). (David J Mathre)
Remains of a Tree Struck by Lightning in Patagonia. Hike from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten to El Mirador and Laguna Torre. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/11, 1/8 sec). Day 7 of a Photography workshop in Patagonia workshop with Thom Hogan. . (David J Mathre)
Remains of a Tree Struck by Lightning in Patagonia. Hike from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten to El Mirador and Laguna Torre. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/11, 1/8 sec). (David J Mathre)
Hike to El Mirador and Laguna Torre in Patagonia from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec). (David J Mathre)
Hike to El Mirador and Laguna Torre in Patagonia from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec). (David J Mathre)
Two Horses Grazing under a Rainbow in the Backyard of Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina - Patagonia. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 800, 50 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)
Two Horses Grazing under a Rainbow in the Backyard of Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina – Patagonia. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 800, 50 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)

 

Three-Years Ago (02-January-2011) — Argentina

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 7: Hosteria El Pilar.

We stayed several days at Hosteria El Pilar near El Chaltén in Argentina. I start with an image of a bee hovering near a pink lupine. While reviewing other images from the day, I found several of Mount Fitz Roy at dawn and dusk. There were no clouds in the morning, but at sunset a very unique and colorful cloud developed while we were eating dinner. Desert had to wait until the show was over.

Bee Approaching a Pink Lupine in Patagonia. Hosteria El Pilar, El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (David J Mathre)
Bee Approaching a Pink Lupine in Patagonia. Hosteria El Pilar, El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (David J Mathre)
Patagonia Dawn from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 82 mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec). (David J Mathre)
Patagonia Dawn from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 82 mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec). (David J Mathre)
Reflection of Fitzroy in the Morning with a Horse. Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 400, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/25 sec). Patagonia workshop with Thom Hogan, Day 7. (David J Mathre)
Reflection of Fitzroy in the Morning with a Horse. Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 400, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/25 sec). Patagonia workshop with Thom Hogan, Day 7. (David J Mathre)
Patagonia Dawn and Reflection from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 16-35 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/8, 2.5 sec). (David J Mathre)
Patagonia Dawn and Reflection from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 16-35 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/8, 2.5 sec). (David J Mathre)
Silhouette of Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia at Dusk with Glowing Orange Clouds from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Leica D-Lux 5 camera (ISO 80, 19.2 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec) (David J Mathre)
Silhouette of Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia at Dusk with Glowing Orange Clouds from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Leica D-Lux 5 camera (ISO 80, 19.2 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec) (David J Mathre)