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Buying the Right Light Bulb: Types, Wattage, Lumens & More

Meg Reinhardt

Light bulbs. Everyone uses them. And there are plenty of options when it comes to what kinds of light bulbs to use in your home or apartment. Read this guide to learn how to choose the right light bulbs for your home.

Do you want warm lighting or cool tones? What will you be using the light for? Reading? General illumination? Ambiance? Are you looking for a cool, vintage aesthetic, or will any ol’ light bulb do? We’ll answer those questions and more in this guide to light bulbs.

Light Bulb Basics: Wattage and Lumens

Two things to consider when choosing a light bulb are watts and lumens. A light bulb’s wattage measures how much energy it uses. Lumens, on the other hand, measure a light bulb’s brightness—the higher the value, the brighter the light.

Back when nearly all light bulbs were incandescent (prior to 2012, when this style began to be phased out of the marketplace in favor of more energy-efficient options), the only thing you had to consider was a light bulb’s wattage.

That’s why most options nowadays include both lumens and a “wattage equivalent” number. For reference, a standard 100-watt bulb produces about 1600 lumens of light.

Note: All light bulbs are now required by the FTC to carry a standard label that details the bulb’s brightness (lumens), energy use and cost, lifespan, light temperature, and wattage. The National Resources Defense Council has a handy pamphlet explaining the new labels.

Types of Light Bulbs

There are four main types of light bulbs that are commonly used in homes:

Incandescent Bulbs

Also known as Edison bulbs, incandescent bulbs are the traditional, filament light bulbs that most of us grew up with. Incandescent bulbs are incredibly energy inefficient—90 percent of the energy they use is turned into heat, not light—which both drives up electric bills and contributes to global warming (the more electricity used, the more carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere).

These old-fashioned light bulbs are being phased out in favor of more eco-friendly bulbs. Incandescent bulbs last only about a year with regular use, which is much shorter than any modern option.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs)

These are the light bulbs that look like a spiral tube. They’re about 50 to 80 percent more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and last 7 to 9 years. The downside? CFLs take a while to “warm up” to their full brightness, and they contain mercury (the other bulbs listed here do not), so you have to be careful when disposing of them.

Light Emitting Diode Bulbs (LEDs)

LEDs are the most energy efficient and versatile light bulbs available. LED bulbs can last anywhere from 9 to 22 years (sometimes longer), and are available in a variety of styles, from traditional “light bulb” shape, to funkier, vintage-inspired designs.

LED light bulbs are often more expensive than other varieties but given their lengthy lifespan and low energy consumption rates, they’re usually the more budget-friendly choice in the long run.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs are another type of filament-style bulb, similar to incandescent bulbs. They’re somewhat more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs but are nowhere close to CFLs or LEDs. Halogen bulbs usually only last about 1 to 3 years.

Light Bulb Temperature: Warm vs. Cool Lighting

When people describe the appearance of light as “warm” or “cool,” they’re referring to the light’s temperature. Temperature is measured on something called the Kelvin (K) scale, and most indoor lighting has a temperature between 2700K and 6500K.

Soft White/Warm White

At the lower end of the spectrum, from about 2700K to 3000K, you’ll find soft white lighting (also known as warm white). These are those cozy, yellowish tones that make a room feel welcoming and relaxing.

This is a great choice for bedrooms, living rooms, and other areas that you want to feel soft and inviting; it’s also perfect for table, floor, and pendant lamps. Light bulbs in this temperature range are most likely to replicate that old-school incandescent light feel.

Cool White/Bright White

Next is the 3100K-4500K range. Out of the yellow tones but not quite into the blue range, cool white lighting gives off a bright white light that makes for a more neutral atmosphere. This range is great for the kitchen, study, home office, garage, or anywhere you want light that’s vibrant but not harsh.


Light with a temperature of 4500K or more starts to get into the daylight territory. (For context, the sun at noon is between 5000K and 5500K). Light at this temperature has a bright, crisp, bluish appearance.

Daylight light shows off colors and details, and is great for reading, craft rooms and workshops, and accent lighting. Fun fact: Popular in workplaces, Daylight bulbs are thought to increase productivity.

Our Go-To Cabinet Hardware Placement + 60 Of Our Shoppable Favorites

Imagine this, you’ve just spent the last year or so working on your home renovation, putting in countless hours and (more importantly) money into the project. You’re in the final stages of the project which should be the easy part. Just needing to complete the finishing touches like installing your light fixtures, figuring out furniture placement, and placing your cabinetry hardware. Then you go to actually install said hardware and you think, but wait where should it go?? Emily always refers to hardware as the “jewelry” of the home, like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. Basically it should be fun, not stress-inducing. But this simple task can even make a pro stop and question themselves. So today we are here to give you all the rules on where to place your cabinet hardware, let you in on some tips and tricks, and tell when to throw all those rules out your kitchen window (and of course a roundup of all our go-to favorites).

For all you renters, or those who are just looking to update your kitchen without having to go into full-on demo mode, one of the easiest, cheapest, and most rewarding hacks is to simply swap out that dated hardware for something shiny and new (aka not from the 90s). Choosing the right style of hardware can truly transform the space. However is you are in a full-on reno, you have to ALSO think about things like placement because if it isn’t quite right something will inevitably feel a bit off.

There are some overall general rules to help get you started and avoid that “off feeling”. What are they you ask? It’s pretty simple, put knobs on your cabinet doors and pulls on your drawers. Done! Post over, you are all dismissed. But really, every kitchen and bathroom vanity is different so sometimes you need to set the rules aside and learn when and where to break them which I’ll show you plenty of past project examples below. An easy example is if you have a drawer with a smaller face (the width of the drawer front) then opt for a knob instead of a drawer pull so it doesn’t take up the entire width making it look crowded.

In the end, the following are just guidelines to make the process as stress-free as possible but if you have an idea you love it’s your kitchen/bathroom after all, so do what makes you happy!

The 3 Most Common Styles of Placement for Your Knobs

Traditional Placement

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: velinda’s tiny kitchen makeover takeover (with tons of smart storage hacks)

First up, the ‘Traditional Placement” which is actually one that EHD hasn’t really implemented a ton in past projects. BUT luckily Velinda showed us a great example of it in her tiny kitchen makeover. The trick is to completely center your knob vertically and horizontally to the face frame of your shaker style cabinet. This placement is great to use in a house that leans very traditional. However, as you can see by pairing this placement with a cleaner more modern micro knob like Velinda did it instantly makes the combo more modern. Very clever!

Hot Tip

Consider the diameter for your parameter: If you have a shaker style cabinet door, make sure to measure the width of the face frame (the vertical piece that sticks out from the rest of the door) to pick out the right diameter knob. Ideally, the knob’s diameter is small enough so that you can see some of the frame on either side so the knob.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: portland reveal: how the bathroom i was most nervous about turned out to be my favorite

Now although this example above may not technically fall within the “traditional placement guidelines,” it shows the same idea if your face frame is much more narrow in its width. Placing them approximately 1″ inward and down from the frame will give more of a traditional feel.

Classic Placement

photo by zeke ruelas  | from: traditional eclectic kitchen: the big reveal

The more “Classic Placement” is to center the middle of the knob to the edge of the face frame. If you choose to have your kitchen cabinet doors be a partial or full overlay like the example above rather than inset into the cabinet frame (see Velinda’s cabinets above) than this is a great choice since the hardware will be lower on the door face giving your eye some breathing room.

photo by ryan liebe | from: my powder room reveal

In Emily’s powder bath they choose a pendant drop pull (yes, yes technically not a knob) which if it was placed centered horizontally as well would’ve lined up awkwardly. So instead, she used the classic placement which looks great and speaks to the metal grate on the door face. Perfect!

Modern Placement

photo by zeke ruelas | from: modern deco kitchen reveal

Last up, The “Modern Placement” which has been heavily used throughout our EHD projects. With this, you align the bottom (on upper cabinets) or the top (on base cabinets) to the edge of the face frame. This is one that you will want to measure more than twice before drilling a hole through your probably expensive cabinet door since the exact placement will be determined by your knob diameter instead of measuring (read: eyeballing) it on the face frame. A foolproof solution is to either make a cardboard template or you can get a cheap standard template since the hole is determined by your knob diameter. I also love this full tutorial by our friends over at Young House Love.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: portland reveal: creating the dreamiest of master bathrooms

Looking back to the master bath in the Portland House, I think that since the knobs were small in size it could’ve also looked great in the Traditional style as well but then again I wasn’t there when they were deciding on the placement so maybe it visually felt too far away from the pulls. This is why it’s a good idea to employ a friend to hold your hardware in different locations so you can step back and see how it looks overall. Just remember to buy them a drink after or they have to be a really good friend.

And if you still don’t see the subtle difference between the three, here is a full infographic to give you more of a visual aid and maybe save it for later a date (ahem, Pinterest, ahem)…

You might be thinking by now (or earlier) these rules all sound great but what if I don’t have shaker cabinets and instead just a flat panel, what then?? Well, in the Mountain House Kitchen we decided to place them about 1.5″ from the top of the door and 1″ inward. This is a bit closer than the 2-3″ standard recommendation because we took a few things into consideration. The knobs that we choose were micro which was more modern with a lower profile. Also, the cabinets were inset meaning the door faces were a bit lower than average so you could visually get away with them being a 1/2″ higher up.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: it’s finally here: the reveal of the mountain house kitchen

While we are already on the subject another design dilemma that we ran into in the Mountain House was where to align hardware of different sizes on the same wall. As you can see above there are 2 different size handles on our cabinets so we started with the pulls on the glass cabinets which were placed 8″ from the bottom of the door to the bottom of the hardware. Then we aligned the rest and centered the larger fridge appliance pull since it was a couple of inches longer.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: all the what’s, why’s & how much’s of the portland kitchen (+ big reveal)

Latches are like the cousin to the knob. You may not see them often but when you do then the whole family is back together again. For the Portland kitchen, we decided to place them 4 – 5″ from the bottom of the face frame, there is some wiggle room with these as they work better higher up than a knob.

Now Where to Place Your Drawer Pulls

photo by zeke ruelas | from: traditional eclectic kitchen: the big reveal

The placement of your drawer pull all really depends on the style of the pull itself. There are many options to choose from but the most popular are: bar pulls, bin pulls, finger pulls, ring or drop-handle pulls & recessed pulls. The example above used bin or sometimes referred to as cup pulls, typically you will want to center them vertically and horizontally to a drawer face.

photo by zeke ruelas | from: the casa soria kitchen reveal (+ 5 things i would have done differently if it were my kitchen)

If you have a drawer that is 24″ or wider you can split the drawer into thirds and double up on your hardware centering them in the left and right portions of the drawer. Orlando has a great example of this in his parent’s kitchen renovation, he already had a few styles of hardware mixed throughout so instead of adding another size he kept it streamlined and doubled up on the wider drawers.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: all the what’s, why’s & how much’s of the portland kitchen (+ big reveal)

Although, this more traditional approach can mean that you are now spending twice the amount of your hardware budget. For a more modern and hopefully budget-friendly approach you can find wider pulls like the ones we used in the Portland Kitchen.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: it’s finally here: the reveal of the mountain house kitchen

Or use a longer finger pull instead and center it along the top of your drawer. Do note that sometimes with finger pulls you may need to have your contractor make a divot along the top so the drawer sits flush to your hardware like we did above. Otherwise, your drawer won’t shut:) Thanks again to our patient GC, Jeff Malcolm.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: it’s finally here: the reveal of the mountain house kitchen

When it comes to integrated (panel-ready) appliances don’t forget about the all-important appliance pulls. You could probably get away with a regular pull on some appliances like we did with the ice machine but ones that are heavier like the fridge drawers require hardware that is very strong and made to last.

If you are one to skip over all my jibber jabber (I don’t blame you) to get on with your morning and just want the spark notes version of the post then we have all the info below, enjoy!

Some Rule Exceptions

I have to admit that I love when designers take a risk and break all the rules like the kitchen below and it just WORKS.

photo by david tsay | from: styled: secrets for arranging rooms, from tabletops to bookshelves

It seems so simple to use the same exact style and size hardware throughout but this had to have taken some forethought to make sure it would not only work functionally but visually as well for each cabinet. Bravo! To be fair this is the kitchen of Schoolhouse Electric owner, Brian Faherty so he knows what he’s doing:)

Other Exceptions (Bathroom Edition)

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: moto reveal: emily bowser’s 32-square-foot bathroom is packed with small space hacks

I think you can generally follow the rules above when it comes to bathroom vanities but sometimes they just need to be adjusted and end up looking really good. Or you might buy a vanity that has pre-drilled holes for your hardware so the decision will be made for you. Above, Emily B. opted for two knobs instead of pulls which was the right call in her tiny main bath, saving on space and a little money.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: mountain house reveal: the upstairs guest bath that used to be a closet

In the upstairs guest bath of the Mountain house we decided that two micro knobs was the right choice instead of mixing up styles. But as you can see neither are in their “correct” location. Why? Well, it would’ve looked a bit strange had we not aligned them to one another since they are on the same unit.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: mountain house reveal: the riskiest bathroom i designed—with a “how i’m feeling now” update

For the kid’s bath in the Mountain House, the wood hardware was such a contrast to the white and those square knobs would’ve looked too crowded higher up so instead we again opted to align them to the drawer pulls.

Ok now that we have ALL of that covered, let’s shop a little huh?

1. Rectangular Cast Brass | 2. Brushed Brass | 3. Brunswick | 4. Classic Hardware 6″ | 5. ENERYDA | 6. The “Morrison” | 7. Massey | 8. Larkin | 9. Luna | 10. Mission | 11. Wood Drawer | 12. Card File

1. Brass Center to Center Finger Pull | 2. Ledge | 3. Center to Center Finger Cabinet Pull | 4. Bravo | 5. Large Drawer Edge Pull | 6. Dina

1. BAGGANÄS | 2. Knurled | 3. Link | 4. BORGHAMN | 5. Black Beech | 6. Elroy | 7. Deep Gold | 8. Mission | 9. Modern Solid Brass Gold | 10. NYDALA | 11. Brass Backplate | 12. Beckett | 13. Walnut Beech/Brass | 14. Mills Pull | 15. Large Massey

1. Dish | 2. Trask | 3. Boulevard | 4. Vernon Mushroom | 5. Cassidy | 6. T-Bar | 7. Brass BAGGANÄS | 8. White Marble Notched Cylinder | 9. Mid-century Modern Cabinet Wood | 10. Bark Aster Marble Ball | 11. Black BAGGANÄS | 12. Knurled | 13. Solid Brass Round | 14. Tolson | 15. Sprocket

1. Pacific | 2. Kennaston| 3. Serene | 4. Knurled | 5. Bremen | 6. Brass Mackinaw | 7. West Slope | 8. Kane | 9. Brixton | 10. Wood Mackinaw |11. Edgecliff | 12. Victoria Falls

If you still have questions about where to place your hardware in your own home that is completely understandable. This is meant to act as a guide but not the end all be all rule. Do what you think will work best visually (and functionally). If you are still stumped then come on over and join our EHD Insider Community and share your own space, there are plenty of people (including the EHD team) that will be more than happy to give our two cents about your conundrum. See you over there or I’ll talk all things hardware with you in the comments below!

Opening Photo Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: All the What’s, Why’s & How Much’s of the Portland Kitchen (+ Big Reveal)

The post Our Go-To Cabinet Hardware Placement + 60 Of Our Shoppable Favorites appeared first on Emily Henderson.

The Link Up: Emily’s Kid’s Favorite New Show, A Sara-Approved Flan Recipe, & An Article By A Beloved EHD Alum

design by black lacquer design | home of nicole byer | photo by nate cook | via lonny

Happy Sunday ladies and gents. Hope you are staying cool and safe. Today we have a short and sweet link up for you so let’s get right to it, shall we?

First up, today’s home tour is home of the hilarious comedian Nicole Byer and as you can see her style is as vibrant and wonderful as she is. If you don’t know Nicole you should. You can watch some of her stand up on Comedians of the world, listen to her podcast, Why Won’t You Date Me, OR watch her as the host on Nailed It! (a Henderson household TV staple).

From Emily: My kids LOVE The Big Flower Fight. Charlie was particularly obsessed and we went through it in a week!

From Sara: I’ve found a new favorite food blog and I’m obsessed with this flan recipe. I love flan. I’m a flan fan you could say. But I’d never made it myself. This was my first attempt and it came out PERFECT. It was thick, creamy, and perfectly custard-y (oh and it was super easy).

Have you seen Carmeon Hamilton’s new home office space? It’s a coworking dream and the light fixture is INCREDIBLE.

Speaking of Carmeon (and Shavonda because she also spoke on this topic), she wanted to point out that while the outpouring of support of small Black-owned businesses is great… it also has the potential to be very harmful. Why? Well since so many businesses have sold out of their stock, they are having to temporarily shut down for restocking. While that might not sound like a bad thing, it’s not great for business. Gradual growth is always more sustainable. So this has the potential to do more harm with customers being frustrated due to long ship times and stock availability. This entire issue is yet another product of racial systemic injustice. SO what can we do to support for the long haul?? Here three easy tips she and Shavonda recommended:

  • Turn on Instagram notifications for your favorite brand to get alerts for new stock and info. Who doesn’t love getting the inside scoop first??
  • Sign up for brand newsletters
  • Buy a gift certificate if available

From Mallory: This AMAZING artist has some gorgeous prints and is doing 15% off with code BLM15. I bought this one and it’s arriving tomorrow…I can’t wait to see it!! 

From Julie: The other day as I was doing my daily Instagram scroll my thumb suddenly stopped on @reno_notebook’s post, it was of @raven_smith‘s bedroom where he had painted 3 different colors to test out for the space. But I honestly loved how it looks as is and am very tempted to try it out in a space of my own for the future. Check out the post cause it’s swoon-worthy! 

In case you missed our shout out on Emily’s instastory, Arlyn wrote a beautiful piece on what it was like to decide to change jobs, have a quickie wedding (of a 5-year engagement), and move across the country in a matter of six weeks (and how she feels about it now).

From Jess: I’m not usually one for cooking shows BUT I started to watching Crazy Delicious and was pretty amazed. It’s magical, a bit corny but so visually inspiring. I also decided to try The Big Flower Fight (a floral design competitive show). Again, INSANE creations and really gets those creative juices flowing. And boy o boy am I excited to happy cry this weekend watching Say I Do. See? I’m using my time suuuper wisely.

Also from Jess: Henry is an awesome subscription mask company that is Black-owned, the masks are made in LA and with every mask purchased one is donated to frontline workers or people in need. They also have kid-sized masks! Basically this a no brainer since WE ALL NEED TO WEAR MASKS and having enough is important.

From Ryann: One of the best Netflix original series I’ve seen in a long time is #blackAF. My boyfriend started watching it this week while I was in the other room and once I heard him laughing out loud multiple times I knew it was going to be GOOD. I saw a tweet describing it as “Blackish meets Curb Your Enthusiasm” which is 100% accurate. If you’ve been looking for a new show to binge, look no further!!

In case you are wanting a more product-focused post head to our July 4th sale roundup for all of the deals:)

Also, if you think we are done talking about the EHD Insider Community you would be wrong. It has truly been SO FUN and amazing to have all the members be so involved. The advice has been insanely good! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should. Why not? It’s free for the first two weeks:)

Again, hope you all had a nice weekend and stayed safe:) See you tomorrow xx

Opener Image Credit: Design by Black Lacquer Design | Home of Nicole Byer | Photo by Nate Cook | Via Lonny

The post The Link Up: Emily’s Kid’s Favorite New Show, A Sara-Approved Flan Recipe, & An Article By A Beloved EHD Alum appeared first on Emily Henderson.

EHD’s Favorite Comfortable Everyday Sneakers That Are Also Really Cute

Every day I take my dog on three walks. One in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one right before bed. Before Covid-19 times, the only other frequent walkers in the neighborhood were fellow dog owners. This makes sense because before I rescued my dog, Gus, I rarely took a stroll around the neighborhood just because. BUT THAT WAS BEFORE. Now, I rarely step outside without seeing at least 10 people out and about. There’s usually a couple walking around, a family of 5 either taking a stroll, riding bikes, or simply hanging out outside. It’s actually wonderful and makes me feel more apart of my community than ever before. I suddenly have this shared experience with everyone around me and even though we might be strangers, we have this knowledge that we are going through the same exact thing. It’s quite heartwarming in the most morbid way. Whew, 2020 is bizarre/scary.

I think people are walking more and generally just trying to get out of the house, so cute but comfy sneakers are a hot commodity. I’ve been a fan of the comfortable/practical but stylish sneakers for a while now and it is actually quite hard for me to wear any other shoe other than my Nike Cortez’s or Daybreaks (I’ll put it this way, my boots and mules have not seen the light of day in months). So, I rounded up the EHD team and asked them to share their go-to sneakers. I hope if you’ve been searching for a post like this that you will finally find the sneakers for you. I also hope you will share your favorites below so I can expand my collection:) But first, here are the ones we love:

From Emily: Slip-on Vans: Obviously these are classic, but make any boring outfit look intentionally casual and cool (not ANY, but you get the idea). I throw these on 3 times a day and the more they are worn they better they are.

From Emily: Vince Sneakers: Now if I want to get “fancier” with a bit of a lift, these Vince are still awesome and not heavy, but I guess I just like how they edge up the basics. They are kinda splurgy though and I’m sure there are good, more affordable options out there.

From Emily: Nike Wildhorse 6: I LOVE these. We do far more hiking and running along trails than I ever thought I would do. So it felt time to invest in some that have great grip but are lightweight (not hiking boots). I love these colors and feel like a real athlete when I wear them. Brian has them in black, too.

From Ryann: Nike Classic Cortez Sneakers: I never knew I was a sneaker person until these entered my life. My boyfriend Rocky insisted they would be a great addition to my wardrobe but I sort of didn’t believe him (which was silly, because he has great taste). Shortly after I got them I started wearing them almost every day and now they are a huge staple in my wardrobe. I love wearing these with vintage Levi’s and a plain white tee with dainty gold jewelry. Oh, and they are really comfortable and have great arch support.

From Ryann: Nike Daybreak Sneakers: These are my favorite shoes that I own. I love the colors (I have the yellow, tan suede, and red combo) and they go with so many outfits. They are way more versatile than you’d think and unbelievably comfortable. The rubber outsole gives a little bounce so whenever I am wearing them I am tempted to just start running around. I truly cannot recommend them enough.

From Mallory: Charlton Sneaker: So Nordstrom has been having some hot sales the last few months, so I bought a pair of these Topshop sneakers back in February (the exact ones I got are out of stock) and I’ve been wearing them ALL THE TIME. I’ve been eyeballing these for a few weeks now too and I think they’re super cute, fashionable, and go with everything so I’m planning to order. Plus they’re trendy but aren’t as big and clunky as dad shoes (TBT to the ones I wore in this post)…10/10 recommend. The Topshop shoes, not the dad shoes:)

From Mallory: Platform Trace: I bought these sneakers a few years ago and they were stolen out of the trunk of my car. They were probably stolen because they were THAT GOOD you guys. I originally had them in like a suede pink and then replaced them with this suede green. The moral of the story is 1. Lock your car 2. Platform suede tennies are the jam (and clearly everyone thinks so) and 3. These are $30 but were originally $90 so hit that hot deal!!

From Sara: Slip on Platform: These are my favorite sneakers! The platform makes them look just a little edgy and cool, but they’re just as comfortable and easy to wear as the originals. I wear them with literally everything.

So those are our tried and trues but here are some more that we really love the look of.

1. Veja Suede Olive Black Rust Sole | 2. Stan Smith Shoes | 3. UA Vans Classic Slip-On | 4. Mark Cox Tennis Sneakers | 5. Gradient Sneakers | 6. V-10 Sneaker | 7. Air Force 1 | 8. Attica Trainer | 9. Gills Platform Slip-On Sneaker | 10. Reese Printed Sneakers | 11. Leather Nautico Sneakers | 12. Black Solid Sneaker | 13. Old Skool Sneaker | 14. The Court Sneaker | 15. Nike Cortez ’72 Shoedog Q (Swoosh)

Okay, that is all from us. Have you been opting for cute but comfortable shoes lately? And if so, what are your favorites?? Tell me everything. xx

The post EHD’s Favorite Comfortable Everyday Sneakers That Are Also Really Cute appeared first on Emily Henderson.

45 July 4th Sales We Are Planning to Shop (Or At Least Heavily Window Shop) THIS WEEKEND

HI EVERYONE! Happy weekend. When I normally think about July 4th, I think about fireworks. (I also think about drinking AC Slaters — is that just a Delaware thing? — at the Grotto’s down in Rehoboth Beach, but that’s a discussion for a different post.) This July 4th is different though, because y’all, for the first time in my life, I just want a break from fireworks.

Is this happening in your town, too? Who is lighting them off at all hours of the day and night?! (Is it you?!) If it’s not happening in your city, it’s probably because my neighbors have hoarded the entire United States stockpile. Come on over for a nightly show! (Maybe I can wave at you from my window and we can watch together!

LA has also just rolled back some openings and banned gatherings of people who don’t live together, so we’re fully back in quarantine limbo over here. I’ll be spending this long weekend alone, in my apartment, forcing members of the EHD Community to help me with my design agonies, and online window shopping (my favorite hobby!). To that end, to aid you in your online sleuthing, I’ve pulled together a list of the best sales going down across the internet for July 4th.

It’s admittedly a weird time to be thinking about shopping, but these are the best deals we’re going to see until Labor Day…so if you need something, this is the weekend to grab it. Finish that outdoor space (or start, if you’re a procrastinator), nab a pair of house shoes (unfortunately, the Birks that commenters raved about are not on sale), or just spend an hour filling up a dream cart at Madewell and laughing when you see how much money everything would actually cost (this is my actual hobby and it’s fun, if not a little depressing). ANYWAY, let’s get to it…


photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: sara’s living room & dining room reveal

A quick pitstop first! So many products from our recent roundups are on sale and there’s not enough room to link all the things we love in this post.

If you’re in the market for boring things Em loves, sconces, ceiling fans, outdoor furniture, outdoor decor and accessories, coffee tables, bar stools, storage pieces, or — you guessed it — even more practical things that Em loves, click through to see all the EHD-recommended options before checking the rest of this post out. There’s a good chance your favorite may be on sale this weekend! OK, NOW WE CAN START.


Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: Take an extra 15% off select items
Our Picks: This dusty pink and purple geometric rug (under $300 for a 9′ x 12′ before discount!), these faux-leather stools, this elegant and bold end table


Dates: Through Tuesday, 7/7
Deal: 15% off storewide, 20% off orders over $1,999, 25% off orders over $2,999, 30% off orders over $3,999. Free delivery on every order.
Our Picks: This perfect apartment-sized sofa, this English-roll arm sofa


Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: Up to 40% off over 200 items
Our Picks: This low, modern coffee table, this soft coral bench with cool legs (that we’re currently eyeing for an EHD project!)

Bed, Bath & Beyond

Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: Up to 50% off select furniture, kitchen, decor, and outdoor
Our Picks: This iconic Kitchenaid mixer, this Dyson stick vacuum with a 5-star rating, and scroll through the Le Creuset page for all their sale picks

Boll & Branch

Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: Free beach towel with $150 order
Our Picks: This quiet but textured and graphic duvet cover set, this waffle blanket that’s EHD-tested and approved

photo by veronica crawford | from: our bedroom update (also how I feel about having a tv in the bedroom)


Dates: Through Wednesday 7/8
Deal: 15% off with free US shipping
Our Picks: This new summer linen collection in green, this go-to duvet insert (Em’s favorite), this weighted comforter (I bought this full price and have never slept better)


Dates: Through Monday, 7/6
Deal: Up to 30% off outdoor accessories, up to 40% off outdoor furniture, up to 30% off guest room/office essentials and sofas/sectionals
Our Picks: This coffee table that could honestly also work indoors, this under $300 minimalist sun lounge chair, this long and simple gray outdoor sofa

Crate & Barrel

Dates: Through Monday, 7/6
Deal: Up to 30% off select items, with up to 40% off select outdoor planters, pillows, furniture, and entertaining essentials
Our Picks: This under-$60 runner perfect for entryways, this timeliness linen double-drum pendant light

The Container Store

Dates: Through Sunday, 8/16
Deal: Up to 30% off customer favorites
Our Picks: This set of 40 blush velvet hangers for $25 (other neutrals are available if pink’s not your thing), this fridge organizer starter kit, the Poppin desk collection (for keeping that WFH space organized, bright, and modern)

Design Within Reach

Dates: Through Tuesday, 7/7
Deal: Up to 60% off on select items, plus free shipping
Our Picks: These modern house numbers to update your curb appeal, this vertically stacked bookcase


Dates: Through Wednesday, 7/15
Deal: Up to 60% off on select items, plus free shipping
Our Picks: These reusable glass straws, this eclectic pleated lamp we used in our Small/Cool project, this happy and portable end table

Industry West

Dates: Through Sunday, 7/12
Deal: 25% off site-wide
Code: JULY4
Our Picks: This kidney-shaped boucle ottoman, this bright and adjustable bar stool, this classic, minimalist, Scandi coffee table

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: jess’ small space makeover takeover

Jayson Home

Dates: Through Sunday, 8/2
Deal: Up to 75% off select items
Our Picks: This mint vintage rug (if this is sold out, it’s because I bought it after linking it up! It’s so good), this woven leather and teak loveseat, this scalloped and ceramic pendant

Lulu and Georgia

Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: 20% off site-wide
Our Picks: Obviously Ginny Macdonald’s collection, this light wood end table, this rust rug by Sarah Sherman Samuel

McGee & Co.

Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: Take 20% off select lighting
Our Picks: This timeless and classic sconce, this industrial-cool pendant, this traditional lantern

Our Place

Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: Take $30 off the Always Pan
Our Picks: Obviously, this pan (we’re all getting them per Sara’s recommendation — current color breakdown on team EHD is 4 sage, 1 char, 2 spice)


Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: Up to 70% off select items plus free shipping
Our Picks: This jute rug that’s perfect for layering, these 6′ cordless outdoor blinds

Pom Pom at Home

Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: 20% off site-wide plus free shipping for orders over $49
Our Picks: This hand-woven baby blue striped rug, this body pillow that doubles as a lumbar (and is Em’s favorite!)

Pottery Barn

Dates: Through Monday, 7/6
Deal: 10% off orders over $100, 15% off orders over $250, 20% off orders over $500, and 25% off orders over $1,500
Our Picks: This breezy linen throw blanket, this 16-piece black stoneware dinnerware set, this concrete umbrella base (it’s in the details, folks)

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: all the what’s, why’s, and how much’s of the portland kitchen


Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: 20% off site-wide
Our Picks: This oil-rubbed bronze cabinet finger pull (and all the rest of the cabinet hardware), this minimal ceiling fan, EHD’s go-to mantel mirror

Rugs USA

Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: Up to 75% off in-house rugs
Our Picks: This wool-braided area rug, this tile-striped rug in a classic EHD blue

Saatchi Art

Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: 10% off all originals, 15% off originals over $1,500
Code: REDWHITEBLUE10 and REDWHITEBLUE15, respectively
Our Picks: You can’t really recommend art, but you can get a well-priced original painting here (although if anyone would like to Venmo me twelve thousand dollars, I could probably use this in my MOTO)


Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: 15% off all fans and hardware
Our Picks: This solid brass non-telescoping curtain rod and hardware setup, this sleek and minimalist ceiling fan, this modern globe doorknob

Serena & Lily

Dates: Through Tuesday 7/7
Deal: Special pricing (as marked) on all outdoor
Our Picks: This outdoor daybed (remind anyone else of Birdie’s nursery?), this indoor/outdoor rug, this charming and glamorous striped and scalloped umbrella

St. Frank

Dates: Through Monday, 7/6
Deal: 25% off printed pillows, plus free shipping for orders over $100
Our Picks: This blush Kuba cloth lumbar pillow, this overstuffed indigo pillow

Sur La Table

Dates: Through Sunday, 7/6
Deal: Up to 60% off select items
Our Picks: This Staub all-day pan with a perfect rating, these $15 popsicle molds shaped like sea creatures (what kid doesn’t want to eat a homemade popsicle shaped like a whale? I’m an adult who wants the arctic-themed set)

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how target’s fall threshold collection nails the “updated classic” trend


Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: Save up to 25% off furniture, plus an extra 15% off indoor furniture
Code: SAVE15
Our Picks: This timeless set of 2 windsor dining chairs, this cute and compact blue end table, here’s all the umbrellas on sale (we hear your calls for shade!)

Tuft & Needle

Dates: Through Tuesday, 7/7
Deal: Spend $800, save $150; spend $1200, save $250
Our Picks: Team EHD is split between The Mint and The Hybrid


Dates: Through Saturday, 7/4
Deal: Up to 70% off select items
Our Picks: This highly-rated $300 daybed that looks high-end, this Kelly Clarkson (!) office chair that works for your old-man library vibe, this thin entry console table

West Elm

Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: 20% off furniture, 25% off everything else
Our Picks: This modern round hanging mirror, this sustainably-sourced, organic-shaped, full-length mirror, this on-trend, and beautiful velvet chair

Williams Sonoma

Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: Up to 65% off select items, plus free shipping for orders over $49
Our Picks: This ice cream maker (because if you’re stuck at home this summer, why not pick up a new skill?), this classic chef’s knife, this $99 air fryer

World Market

Dates: Through Monday, 7/27
Deal: Up to 50% off site-wide
Our Picks: This happy sloth doormat (it’s fun :)), this indoor/outdoor rug, this $7 jade bath towel that looks way more expensive than it is


photo by veronica crawford | from: my favorite affordable spring dresses (all with pockets)

Alo Yoga

Dates: Through Tuesday, 7/7
Deal: Up to 50% off select items
Our Picks: This classic high-waisted black moto legging, this dusted plum funnel-necked pullover (great for burrowing inside!) with cute mesh detailing


Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: 20% off orders over $200
Our Picks: This simple and modest sleeveless color-blocked dress, this keep-forever striped t-shirt dress, this comfortable wide-leg cotton jumpsuit

Farm Rio

Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: 15% off plus free shipping
Code: SUMMER15

J. Crew

Dates: Through Tuesday, 7/7
Deal: 50% off full-priced styles, plus extra 70% off 3+ sale styles
Our Picks: This lobster-print sweater (classic J. Crew!), these linen-blend shorts that won’t ride up, this pleated midi-skirt

photo by veronica crawford | from: this one pair of shorts worked on all of our bodies (+ all the other options we reviewed & loved)

Lou & Grey

Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: Take 30% off select items, plus an extra 50% off sale
Our Picks: These lightweight joggers, these wide-legged comfy pants, this sweatpant/trouser hybrid


Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: Up to 40% off select styles
Our Picks: Our all-time favorite pull-on shorts, this classic striped t-shirt, these drapey paper-bag pants


Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: Up to 40% off select items
Our Picks: These trail running shoes (as seen on Em!), these go-to running shorts, this one-piece sports bra (my 36Fs can vouch, and plus, no inserts come out in the wash!)


Dates: Through Monday, 7/6
Deal: Up to 40% off select items, but take an extra 20% off with our exclusive code
Our Picks: This slide sandal, this open-toed mule (I own and love), this closed-toe mule (again, own and love), this D’orsay oxford (we all own a variant of this and love it)

from: night to day lounge wear – our new wfh uniforms


Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: Up to 60% off select items
Our Picks: This printed workout legging (with pockets!), this high-impact graphic clutch with a removable strap, this simple and comfortable knit maxi dress

Parker Clay

Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: 25% off site-wide
Our Picks: This signature tote, this leather backpack, this timeless carry-all


Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: 25% off site-wide or a free gift with a $150 purchase
Our Picks: The whole PCA Skin collection, anything from The Ordinary, anything from Olaplex


Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: 40% off site-wide (excluding basics)
Our Picks: This sleep set (15% of proceeds go to Girls Inc, Black Girl Ventures, and In Her Shoes)! And you thought you were gonna make it through quarantine without a tie-dye jumpsuit? Not if we have anything to say about it. This top, this bottom


Dates: Through Sunday, 7/5
Deal: Take an extra 15% off select sale items
Our Picks: This white blouse, these sweet-tea colored cropped pants, this swingy cropped jacket (all from an EHD favorite brand, The Great!)

WE MADE IT THROUGH ANOTHER SALE ROUNDUP, FOLKS. Thanks for sticking with me. And if you’re a small business owner, feel free to drop your own promotional details below. Have a safe weekend, okay?

Opening Photo Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Two Reveals, One Post: The Portland Outdoor Living Spaces and A Lot of Styling Tips

The post 45 July 4th Sales We Are Planning to Shop (Or At Least Heavily Window Shop) THIS WEEKEND appeared first on Emily Henderson.

Alder Home Security 2020 Review

Adobe Licensed

Thinking about choosing Alder Home Security to protect your home? Our Alder Home Security review will help you learn more about packages and pricing before you invest.

Alder Home Security is a home security provider focused on simplicity. Its easy-to-use control panel and effortless setup process makes it simple for anyone to install their own system. Alder Home Security’s equipment options are equally as uncomplicated and cover situations like flood and medical emergencies. Alder Home Security also doesn’t require credit checks before signing a contract—and its three-second response time is especially impressive.

If you’re looking for an easy home security system, you might be considering making a call to Alder Home Security. But with so many competitors, is this really the right choice for your family? Keep reading this review to help you decide if Alder Home Security is the best home security option for you.

Pros and Cons of Alder Home Security

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of choosing Alder Home Security.

Alder Home Security Plans

Unlike most home security companies, Alder security systems don’t come in a one-size-fits-all package. Instead, a representative will work with you directly to help you choose devices that fit the size and needs of your home.

Some of the equipment you might want to use to make up your Alder Home Security package may include the following:

  • A touch screen panel to control your system
  • Indoor and outdoor security cameras
  • Door and window motion detectors
  • Smart smoke detectors able to detect carbon monoxide

Alder Equipment

In addition to standard home security equipment, you can add any of the following items to your custom package:

  • Medical alert button—Perfect for seniors who live alone, the medical alert button will contact the Alder emergency monitoring center when pressed.
  • Flood and freeze detectors—The flood and freeze detector will alert you if it detects any kind of water overflowing in your home. Most people put their detectors near sinks, appliances that use water, and major piping in their basement.
  • Doorbell camera—Alder’s doorbell allows you to view a livestream of what’s going on at your door, speak to visitors, and receive notifications when someone arrives (for example, when a package gets delivered).

All Alder Home Security equipment comes with a 12-month limited warranty. Customers can also purchase the Limited Lifetime Extended Warranty for an additional $3.00 a month. This extended warranty guarantees a repair or replacement whenever a piece stops working for the life of your contract.

Alder Home Security Cost

Monthly monitoring prices from Alder begin at $39.99 per month, and you must sign an initial three-year contract to get started. Equipment pricing and additional information on monitoring expenses aren’t currently available online through Alder’s website.

To learn more about what you’ll pay for your Alder Home Security system, contact a sales representative by calling 855-535-4955.

Alder Security Reviews

Alder Home Security is currently not accredited with the Better Business Bureau and maintains a B- rating from the BBB. Customers who had a positive experience with Alder Home Security praised the professionalism and friendliness of the company’s sales and installation team:

“Ronneil (representative) was awesome! Very respectful, great customer service skills, and knows the company very well. Maddy (installer) she was great! It didn’t take her long to install the equipment. She also knows the equipment very well. She was able to explain it to me without leaving any details out.” — Shomanika Y. on 10/26/2017

Customers who reported a negative experience with Alder Home Security complained about the company’s difficult-to-cancel contracts and made allegations regarding questionable sales tactics:

“This company conducted door to door solicitation to the elderly, specifically an early stage Alzheimer’s patient. Now that the daughter has taken over her financials, they won’t cancel the 5-year contract of which was signed after diagnosis. They keep lying saying that they need more documentation but now won’t answer communications and keep taking money via the auto payment.” — Willie M. on 09/30/2017

Our Conclusion

If you’re the type of homeowner who prefers a “set it and forget it” home security system without all of the bells and whistles, an easy-to-master Alder system might be right for you. The company’s generous 12-month warranty can also be a draw for budget-conscious homeowners.

However, if you’re the type of homeowner who enjoys the freedom of a month-to-month contract or who likes to compare prices online before they make a commitment, Alder Home Security might not be right for you.

Still not sure about Alder Home Security? Take a look at our quick comparison chart to see how they stack up against competing home security providers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Alder Home Security

Are there warranties on Alder Home Security devices?

Alder Home Security offers a limited 12-month warranty on all of its equipment. Alder also offers a Limited Lifetime Equipment warranty for an additional $3.00 per month, which extends your warranty to the full period during which you have a service contract with Alder.

Is there a trial period with Alder Home Security?

Alder Home Security offers a 30-day trial period for its home security systems.

How do I discontinue Alder Home Security?

Cancelling your Alder Home Security contract can be a hassle. To cancel your contract, you must call Alder’s customer service department no less than 30 days before you want to cancel your service. Most negative customer testimonials mention a lengthy cancellation process, so be sure that you’re comfortable with Alder’s pricing before you buy.

Our Home Security Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:

  • Number of systems (5)
  • Special features (10)
  • Installation options (5)
  • Connectivity and smart home automation (15)
  • Pricing (15)
  • Contract period (5)
  • Warranty (15)
  • Trial period (15)
  • Usability (5)
  • Trustworthiness (10)

Our team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing out products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.

Best Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights


Adding outdoor motion sensor lights to your home can enhance your home’s safety and prevent burglars from breaking in. Read our guide to the best outdoor motion sensor lights to help you choose the right ones for your home.

No one wants to think about the possibility that their home might be targeted for a burglary or intrusion in the middle of the night. Installing outdoor security lights with motion sensor detection can instantly scare away a thief before they get to your front door. Outdoor motion sensor lights can also help you be more aware as a homeowner, prevent injuries, and scare away animals.

With so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right outdoor motion sensor lights for your home. That’s where the This Old House Reviews team comes in. Our complete guide to outdoor motion lights will help you determine which products provide the best home security for your property.

Top 3 Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

It’s never been easier to find powerful, energy efficient, and motion-activated lights online. Here are three of our favorite models.

The Hyperikon LED outdoor light is an IP65 waterproof floodlight that produces some of the most powerful outdoor lighting in the industry. With 1,800 lumen bulbs and a motion sensor that can detect movement up to 40 feet, the Hyperikon provides excellent protection and detection for a single home. The light’s dual-headed design extends the light’s functionality even further, and each head has a cap range of motion of 350 degrees, allowing you to adjust the light to put more motion detection where you need it.

One of the biggest benefits of the Hyperikon LED light is that it’s suitable for all temperatures. The light has been tested in temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a very rainy part of the country, you’ll love the light’s IP65 rating, which confirms that the light is dust-tight and can withstand even the harshest weather situations.

The Heath Zenith Motion-Sensing Security Light may be great for customers looking for a more stylish way to protect their home. The oil-rubbed bronze design and lantern style can blend well with any type of home decor and aesthetic and the finishing protects the interior light and helps the security light to withstand moderate weather conditions.

While the Heath Zenith Security Light does offer a great design, its functionality is equally as powerful. The light can detect motion up to 30 feet and the lantern features a 150-degree motion sensor, which makes it perfect for both small front door areas and large, open backyard spaces.

The Heath Zenith Security Light uses one 60 watt bulb, which isn’t included with the security light itself. The Heath Zenith light is also one of the only options we’ve seen that’s Energy Star certified, which means that it can be more cost-effective and better for the environment than competing security lights. Additionally, the light has been built with a photocell that determines the difference between night and day and will only activate during the evening hours.

If you’re familiar with Amazon, you might already have a Ring home security system for your property. But did you know that the company also offers a wide range of additional accessories that can enhance your home security?

The Ring Floodlight Camera doubles as both a security camera and an outdoor motion detection light. The light streams the exterior of your home when activated in 1080HD and illuminates your yard with 1,800 lumens, which is one of the more powerful lights we’ve seen. In addition to video and lighting, the Ring Floodlight can also sound a loud alarm remotely.

Read more: Ring Security System Review

Home SecurityRing

What to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Motion Sensor Light

Picking the ideal outdoor motion sensor light is not always easy. With hundreds of lighting options available online, choosing the right product can be tough. Here are a few factors to consider before choosing the best outdoor lighting option for you.

  • The range that each outdoor motion sensor light can detect movement (larger yards may require more sensors or sensors with a wider range)
  • How bright the light will be when it kicks on
  • The options you have for powering your outdoor lights (some lights may need a direct power connection, while motion-activated LED lights and LED bulbs often use a small batter for power)
  • How the light will look outside
  • How easy the installation process is and how much time you’ll need to devote to installation
  • What type of bulb the light will have and how often you’ll need to change it

Benefits of Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

When you want to make the outside area of your home or business as safe as possible, one of the best options on the market is outdoor motion sensor lights. These lights provide increased safety from falls, give you more flexibility when performing outdoor tasks like taking out the garbage, and can deter potential intruders.

There are several reasons that both homeowners and business owners add outdoor motion sensor lights to the outside of their property, including:

  • Enhanced safety—Outdoor lights that come with motion sensors will automatically turn on when someone passes by them. This means fewer slips and falls, plus an easier time moving around objects that could lead to an injury.
  • Crime deterrence—Outdoor security lights put a literal spotlight on potential intruders’ activity, which is often enough to get them to leave and not return.
  • Animal prevention—Deer can cause problems in your garden and other damage around your property. Lights with motion detection provide a humane and harmless way to scare animals away from dusk to dawn.
  • Improved lighting in dark areas—By adding simple outdoor motion sensor lights, stairways and backyards can become easily lit without permanently installed lighting fixtures.
  • Affordability—By only having a light turn on when it’s essential, the cost of the light is minimal. Outdoor motion sensor lights are on for very short periods of time, which can extend their energy efficiency. Because there are no ongoing battery expenses with these lights, installing solar lights outdoors can be an even more affordable way to light your property.

Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

How do motion sensor lights work?

Once motion sensor lights are installed, they only turn on when triggered due to the motion sensor on the front of the light. When some type of movement passes in front of the light, it triggers the light to turn on. Most lights won’t trigger during the day, so you’ll likely only have light at night.

What lightbulb is best for outdoor motion sensor lights?

The actual light bulb and wattage that’s best for an outdoor motion sensor light will depend on the outdoor motion sensor light you go with. When it comes to the type of bulb, most experts recommend that you use LED lights. White and bright LED lights use very little battery power, which allows them to last longer.

Do motion sensor lights deter burglars?

Most burglars choose to target homes during the night, when they believe that the family isn’t home or is asleep and won’t notice their activity. Adding outdoor motion sensor lights makes it much more difficult for the burglar to remain hidden. When the light is triggered, burglars may leave the property in fear of being caught.

How much area should my motion sensor light cover?

Outdoor motion sensor lights can cover a wide range of spaces; some may only illuminate a small space, such as a stairwell, while others have a much wider range, illuminating larger spaces like your backyard. For the most effective coverage, outdoor motion sensor lights should cover between 75 and 100 square feet of the area when lit.

Can my motion sensor lights work year round?

Yes, motion sensor lights work in all seasons and can help you detect burglars no matter the layout of your home or yard. If you live in an area that regularly experiences extreme temperatures (like the South in the summer), you may want to pay special attention to the temperatures the light has been tested in to ensure that it won’t be hindered by the temperature.

Best Smart Locks 2020 Review

August Home

A smart lock provides an extra layer of security when building an automated smart home security system. Whether you lose your keys often, have multiple family members or service providers that need access to your home, or want the security and peace of mind knowing that your home is secure when you leave the house, a smart lock is a purchase you may want to consider.

A smart lock allows you to bypass traditional key locks by wirelessly syncing with a mobile app that will let you lock and unlock your door when you aren’t home. Many smart locks are voice-activated and touch-activated or have a number keypad that allows you to enter a specific code to unlock the door without needing a key.

With a variety of smart lock options available, it can be challenging to determine which product is right for you. Read on to learn more about the best smart locks on the market and which will help improve overall home security.

What Is a Smart Door Lock?

A smart door lock is a device that allows you to remotely manage the locking and unlocking of your front door via a mobile app or keypad. This type of lock typically replaces a traditional key with a keypad so that you can control the deadbolt lock with a unique pin or mobile app.

Some smart door locks can just be set to lock at specific times, while others can integrate with smart home devices, unlocking your door and turning on your smart lights simultaneously. Smart door locks are also programmable and can come with temporary pins for family, friends, house keepers, and other guests.

How to Install a Smart Door Lock

Some smart door locks are easier to install than others, and some work better for renters that can’t replace a deadbolt. Here’s how to install a smart door lock by type of lock.

Smart door lock that fits over an existing deadbolt

An example of this type of lock is the August Smart Lock that can fit over an interior existing deadbolt and will continue to let you use existing keys if the battery or Wi-Fi connection dies.

  1. Using a screwdriver, remove the interior latch hardware for the deadbolt.
  2. Select the correct mounting plate and correct adaptor.
  3. Attach the smart lock.
  4. Sync your mobile app to the smart lock so that you can remotely lock and unlock your deadbolt.

Smart door lock that replaces an existing deadbolt

An example of this smart lock is the Yale lock that can replace an existing deadbolt and its hardware.

  1. Using a screwdriver, remove the existing deadbolt and hardware.
  2. Install the new deadbolt.
  3. Install the strike plate on the interior.
  4. Install the keypad on the outside of the door.
  5. Install the mounting plate.
  6. Install the lock.
  7. Pair the mobile app to the smart lock so that you can remotely lock and unlock your smart lock.
Home SecurityAugust Home

What to Consider Before Buying a Smart Door Lock

Before buying a smart lock, consider factors such as price, installation, and smart home automation.

  • Price—Some basic smart home locks cost around $100, while more expensive locks with features like voice commands, push and email notifications, and tamper alarms will cost between $200–$300.
  • Installation—If you’re renting, you may want to consider a simple install that works with the existing door deadbolt, as it’s easier to install and uninstall this type of lock.
  • Smart home automation—Consider other smart home devices that you want to pair to your smart home lock. For example, August and Schlage offer locks that work with Apple HomeKit, while Z-Wave and Zigbee locks will sync up with control hubs like SmartThings, Wink, and Piper.

Best Smart Door Locks

Here’s a breakdown of some of the key features we have found with the smart locks we have recommended above.

August Smart Lock Pro + Connect

The Smart Lock Pro + Connect is the third generation of this version of smart lock and connect bundle. This lock offers a DoorSense open and close function and WiFi connectivity. The newest version of the August Smart Lock is slimmer, and its low profile allows you to fit the lock over your interior existing deadbolt while keeping a traditional thumb-turn lock to lock and unlock your front door.

This smart lock is a great option for renters and those who don’t want to replace their entire deadbolt set up. Users can manage the smart lock with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and the August mobile app, HomeKit, Z-Wave, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Those wanting an easy-to-install, relatively inexpensive smart home lock that works with existing deadbolts and has wireless connectivity to lock and unlock the door would benefit from the August Smart Lock + Pro Connect.

Yale Assure Lock SL Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt

The Yale Assure Lock SL Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt boasts a sleek design with numerous metal finishes to finish the look of your front door with a keyless lock and black onyx touchscreen. The Yale smart lock replaces an existing deadbolt and works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. For an additional cost, you can purchase modules for Zigbee or Z-Wave.

The Yale Smart Lock allows you to lock the door behind you with a simple touch of the keypad and is a great option for homeowners who are willing to replace their entire deadbolt lock and replace it with a simple touchpad interface. There’s not a battery backup for this lock, so if you lose power or WiFi, you’ll need to use a 9V battery to touch the contacts to the bottom of the touchpad to get enough power to unlock and open your door.

Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt

The Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt is not only a smart lock, it’s an addition to your home security alarm system. This smart lock comes equipped with a siren alarm that will sound when someone tries to break into your home. It’s a combination of a manual, keycode, and remote-controlled lock, providing users with numerous options to ensure their home is locked and protected.

Schlage works with a variety of smart home hubs like Amazon Key service, which allows for Amazon deliveries to be placed inside your home, Ring, Alexa, and Google Assistant. There currently isn’t integration with Apple’s HomeKit. You can also use the Schlage mobile app to control your smart lock. This is a great option for someone who wants a variety of arming options to secure their home, with the added security of a built-in alarm.

Frequently Asked Questions About Smart Door Locks

What are the benefits of a smart door lock?

A smart door lock is beneficial for someone who loses or misplaces their keys frequently, for those who need to set individual pins for friends, family, or home caregivers, for those who want additional security, and for those who want to add another layer to their smart home automation.

How do smart door locks work?

A smart door lock device locks and unlocks the door’s deadbolt by a numeric pin entered onto the keypad, via wireless control from a mobile app or by physical key.

What types of smart door locks exist?

There are smart locks that integrate and use existing deadbolts, and there are those that replace the entire deadbolt locking system. Some have keypads, while others operate only with a mobile app.

How much do smart locks cost?

Smart locks start at $100 and can cost up to $300 depending on the setup and accessories you need. There are no monthly fees associated with the use of a mobile app for smart locks—the cost is solely from the hardware and installation.

Are smart door locks safe?

Yes, but there are some ways you can make them even safer. Never share your individual pin with others, lock down your home WiFi, and consider installing a lock with a built-in alarm.

How to Install Hardwood Floors

Nat Rea

Go from subfloor to breathtaking in as little as a day. Follow this guide for installing hardwood floors in your home.

Hardwood floors are beautiful, last a lifetime, and are easy to install. With no special tools, you can go from subfloor to breathtaking in as little as a day. Before we get started with how to install hardwood floors, let’s cover a few basics.

Hardwood vs. Laminate Wood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is solid wood, cut from the tree. The three most popular wood choices include oak, walnut, and hickory, although maple and cherry are sought after as well.

Laminate “wood” flooring consists of several layers of material laminated together to resemble real wood—an underlayment, a composite wood-fiber core, a high-resolution woodgrain photograph, and a clear protective sealer that resists scratches and fading.

While laminate flooring has come a long way as far as durability and appearance are concerned, it’s not solid wood and isn’t installed in the same manner.

Tips for Installing Hardwood Flooring:

  • Hardwood floors should be installed over ¾-inch plywood on or above grade—not in a basement and never directly on concrete.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • To determine the amount of flooring you’ll need, multiply the length times the width of the room to get the square footage, then add 10 percent for waste and damaged boards.
  • Install hardwood floors perpendicular to the floor joists, parallel to the longest wall, leaving a ¾-inch expansion gap around the perimeter.
  • Join the ends of the boards over a floor joist, where possible, avoiding joints that form an H. Keep joints that line up at least two rows apart.
  • Before starting, calculate the width the last row will be. If it will be less than an inch, cut the width of the first row in half.

Steps for Installing Hardwood Floors:

Ready to transform your space with new hardwood flooring? Follow these instructions on the installation of wood floors.

Acclimate the Flooring

  • Let flooring acclimate to the room temperature and humidity for three to five days prior to installation. That’s a good time to lay the boards from several cases out on the floor and mix them up to vary the shades and lengths. (Cases tend to be all the same shade.) Arrange them in the way you’ll install them.
  • Now’s also a good time to check for damaged or warped pieces. Don’t throw them away; they may come in handy later.
  • After the boards have acclimated, choose the straightest ones for the first 2 rows.

Prepare Your Subfloor

  • Remove old flooring and any residue. Remove carpet strips and baseboards. Vacuum.
  • Old flooring materials may be made of asbestos. If you’re unsure, consult with a professional.

Install the Boards

  • The first and last rows of the room have to be nailed through the face of the board. (If you have no experience, screwing these rows will make them easier to remove, if necessary.) All other rows will be nailed through the tongue. If you’re not using a flooring nailer, drill 1/32-inch diameter holes 1/2-inch from the grooved edge to prevent splitting.
  • Lay the first board on the line you snapped, groove toward wall. Set ¾-inch spacers for the expansion gap along the length and at the end between the board and the wall.
  • Drive flooring nails through the pre-drilled holes.
  • Tap the next board in place using a tapping block and mallet. Nail in place.
  • Countersink all the nails.
  • When you get to the end, cut the board to fit (face side up on the saw), remembering to leave the ¾-inch expansion gap.
  • Now, blind nail at a 45-degree angle along the tongue edge at every floor joist down the length of the row.
  • To start the second row, push the groove of the board onto the tongue of the first row and tap together with a tapping block. Continue down the row, remembering to stagger the joints by at least 6 inches. When the row is done, blind nail in place.
  • Continue installing the rest of the boards, remembering to stagger the joints, maintain the expansion gaps, and mix boards from different boxes.
  • At this point, you’ll have the room to use a floor nailer. Position it to drive the nail through the tongue and tap with a mallet. Adjust the air pressure on the nailer if necessary, to countersink the nails.
  • Use a jigsaw to cut around any vents or jogs, like a fireplace hearth, to fit the boards.
  • Face-nail the last two rows along the tongue side. You won’t have the room to continue using the flooring nailer, so remember to drill 1/32-inch diameter pilot holes, ½ inch from the edge, to prevent splitting.
  • You may need to cut the length of the boards to fit in the last row. Remember to leave the ¾-inch expansion gap. Use a pull bar to click the boards together. Then, face nail.
  • To finish, cut the excess underlayment and sand and stain if necessary. Then, fill the nail holes with matching wood putty and replace the baseboards and shoe molding to cover the expansion gap.
  • Finally, add the thresholds for a complete installation.

Tools & Materials:

Cox Home Security 2020 Review

Adobe Licensed

For customers of Cox cable and internet service, the addition of a Cox home security system can provide you with peace of mind that your home is protected. In this review, we highlight Cox services and packages and break down the basics of choosing a Cox home security system for your home.

If you’ve been searching for a home security system, especially one that highlights and uses smart technologies, Cox Homelife Security has probably popped up in your search results. Known for its highly automated security systems, a Cox Communications security system can provide you with the ability to remotely control and monitor your home from anywhere.

If you’re already a Cox customer and utilize cable and internet service, you can add Cox Homelife automation for a reduced rate. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of Cox and determine if Cox is the best home security system for you.

Pros and Cons of Cox Home Security

Here are some pros and cons of a Cox home security system:

Cox Home Security Packages

To sign up for a Cox Homelife plan, you must be an existing residential customer with a current subscription to one or more Cox video, internet, or phone services. Here’s an overview of both plans.

Smart Home Automation

This package allows homeowners to build their own smart home and monitor their home from anywhere. Security cameras and motion sensors send notifications to the Cox Homelife mobile app, providing real-time alerts. The app also allows users to control lighting, view a live video feed, engage smart lock, control temperature, and control other devices plugged into the smart outlet.

Here’s what’s included in a Smart Home package:

  • HD Video Security Camera and Smart LED Bulb
  • Door/window sensor and motion sensor
  • Smart door lock, smart outlet, and smart thermostat

Smart Home Automation packages start at $29.99 per month, plus initial equipment costs. Pricing excludes charges for existing Cox services. Additional one-time charges, activation fees, and monthly equipment fees may apply.

Smart Home Automation and Monitored Security

This package includes all the equipment and flexibility of managing your smart home with the addition of 24/7 monitored security. This plan includes additional automated security devices which can be controlled by the Homelife Control Panel.

Here’s what’s included in this package:

  • All smart home features, plus 24/7 professional monitoring and the Homelife Control Panel
  • Wireless keypad, smoke and heat detector, and carbon monoxide sensor
  • Glass break sensor, leak/flood sensor, and security signs

Plan pricing starts at $54.99 per month, plus initial equipment costs, and excludes charges for existing Cox services. Additional one-time charges, activation fees, and monthly equipment fees may apply.

Optional Cox Homelife Equipment

Cox Homelife offers a variety of additional equipment customers can purchase and add on to their packages. Some of these items include:

  • HD video camera
  • Door and window sensors
  • Homelife Control Panel
  • Motion sensors
  • Homelife wireless keypad
  • Glass break sensors
  • Water/flood sensor
  • Monitored smoke-heat detector
  • Monitored carbon monoxide detector
  • Additional smart LED light bulbs
  • Smart door lock
  • Smart plug
  • Smart thermostat

Cox Home Security Cost

Cox Homelife ranges from $29.99 to $54.99 a month when bundled with a Cox internet or cable package. There’s an initial equipment and install fee of $100–$200 depending on the package you choose. Additionally, video monitoring is $14.99 per month for one camera, or $24.99 for four cameras. Note: there’s an additional fee for equipment service plan insurance.

How Does Cox Homelife Work?

Cox is a broadband and entertainment company that provides service in 18 states across the United States. Cox recently entered the home security arena by offering its current and new subscribers access to home security monitoring through one of their two packages. By doing this, Cox offers Homelife customers more savings and the simplicity of having just one bill for internet, cable, and home security.

Cox Homelife builds its capabilities on smart home monitoring and allows you to build on existing smart home devices you may already have installed in your home. By installing and linking smart home options, you can monitor different areas of your home while also remotely controlling lights, temperature, door locks. With some packages, users have the ability to monitor a live video stream.

Cox Homelife also provides users with app access that allows you to self-monitor your home, or you can sign up for 24/7 external professional monitoring. HomeLife includes professional installation of the system for a fee to ensure all devices are set up and working correctly.

Cox Customer Service

Customer service can be reached through the Cox app by calling 1-800-234-3993 during normal business hours, via 24/7 online chat on the Cox website, or through a Cox store for in-person help.

Cox Home Security Reviews

Cox Communications is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), has an A+ rating, and has been in business for 55 years. As with any top-rated home security company, Cox has a mix of positive and negative reviews.

Here are a few Trustpilot reviews from Cox customers:

Help me lower my rates, but they always raise them with no notice.” — CS on 11/15/2019

I’ve had Cox for a couple years and have watched the rates increase and for mediocre performance. I’m now switching to a different provider and saving about $80.00 a month. The internet speed will be significantly faster too. It’s always a pain to switch but I can’t wait to no longer be a Cox customer.” — Sidra Carys on 7/27/2018

Our Conclusion

The This Old House Reviews team gives Cox Home Security an 8.9/10. Though Cox provides basic home security packages at relatively low pricing, the company has received some negative customer feedback concerning raising rates with no prior notice. Additionally, you can only opt into a Cox home security package if you’re a current Cox customer.

If you’re not a current Cox customer or are unsure whether Cox is right for you, compare the company to other top-rated home security providers below.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cox Home Security

What smart home devices are available with Cox Homelife?

Cox Homelife offers a variety of smart devices that can be connected to your system, including HD cameras, smart door locks, smart LED light bulbs, smart plugs, and more.

Is my privacy safe with Cox?

Cox Homelife relies on a private, secure LocalArea Network (LAN) and ZigBee technology to provide monitoring. Additionally, each system is equipped with a unique Homelife security router, adding an additional layer of security to protect your devices and your privacy.

How do you control Cox Homelife features?

You can control your Cox Homelife features through the mobile app and touchscreen control panel. The mobile app allows you to set and disarm your system, view camera feeds, and manage your smart home devices. The control panel allows users to do all of this with the extra benefit of communicating with emergency response teams.

Which is better: Cox or ADT?

The Cox Homelife system is a better option for current Cox subscribers in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Kansas, and Virginia, as it gives current subscribers the option to bundle superior home security coverage at a fraction of the cost. However, if you’re not a Cox customer, an ADT home security system may be a better option.

How much does it cost to cancel Cox Home Security?

Customers can cancel their contracts within 30 days or they’ll have to pay an undisclosed termination fee. If you leased security equipment from Cox, you can return it to any Cox retail store or you can schedule a Cox technician to come pick up the equipment after you cancel for $20.

Our Home Security Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:

  • Number of systems (5)
  • Special features (10)
  • Installation options (5)
  • Connectivity and smart home automation (15)
  • Pricing (15)
  • Contract period (5)
  • Warranty (15)
  • Trial period (15)
  • Usability (5)
  • Trustworthiness (10)

Our team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing out products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.