LEDs

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1424

Kano's fun new Pixel Kit lets kids learning coding through bright, moving LED lights. They can build their own games, animations, and art. Kano says: Open the box, pop out the pieces. Buttons, board, battery, and more. Build the Pixel Kit step by step, page by page, just like Lego. Connect to your computer and download the Kano App. Step-by-step challenges show you how to learn code. Connect blocks and see the effects instantly. Simple for beginners, expansive for experts. Build your own games. Create characters, make them run and jump. Add logic and scoreboards.

Can I repair my TV screen?

TV

Episode 1414

Heidi from Escondido, CA

Heidi got an old TV set for free, but she can't see the screen very well. Leo says that's probably because the LED backlight has died, and it would probably cost as much to fix as to just buy a new one. She could go into the settings and play with the monitor settings, as it could be just an adjustment. TVs are largely disposable now, though.

Bill calls in to say that if she needs to repair the TV, he recommends ARC TV in Burbank. They repair TVs of all ages.

Can I leave my TVs on?

Episode 1381

Monica from California

Monica wants to know if she should turn off her TV when she leaves the room or can she leave them on as she moves from room to room? Leo says that TVs use a lot of power. LCDs use the least amount, though. It's about the same as a light bulb. So it's OK power wise. It won't hurt the TV at all since they're rated for over 50,000 hours each.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1307

Scott says that the consumer industry has decided not to go all in on OLED, rather they will continue to focus on LCD TVs. LCDs are getting better, even approaching OLED. Sony's Z series is one such series. Scott says that the backlight in the Z series has independent LED backlights that get dimmed separately for precision control. Scott says that they are the brightest on the market and the HDR footage he's seen is remarkable, with incredible detail at extreme ends of the dynamic range. But they aren't cheap. They're around $8,000 to 10,000 for up to 65".

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1305

This week's gadget is the Cree LED 60w replacement LightBulb. It weighs 1 1/2 ounces. Can be put inside small fixtures, and some models are connected to the Internet so you can turn it on remotely. Only $8 a piece or 12 for $60. . They use 11.5 watts to equal a 60 watt bulb replacement. There is also a Cree Connected Soft White (2700K) LED available. Cree bulbs are only at Home Depot and on Amazon.

Cree Connected are each under $15.00 on Amazon.

http://amzn.to/29KiIEJ

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1253

Scott Wilkinson is back from CES and put 26 miles on his feet. There, he saw a new backlighting technology for LCD TVs. Instead of a white LED backlight, they use blue LEDs and a film emdedded with tiny spheres, called quantum dots, which absorb the blue photos and re-emit another color with precision. The result is the combination of red/green/blue, which equals white. It's almost as accurate as laser.

How can I fix my laptop screen?

Episode 1238

Romano from New Jersey

When Romano turns on his laptop, he can't see anything. The screen is black. Leo says that if Romano can still barely see an image, that means that the backlight has burned out. Older laptops used a florescent backlight and they can die over time. The down side is that by the time it burns out, the laptop is usually so old that it's not worth spending the money to fix. But Romano's laptop is only three years old. If it's not the backlight, it could be the inverter. One place to look for fixing stuff is iFixit.com.

How can I stop my LED bulbs from interfering with my radio?

Episode 1237

JC from Sherman Oaks, CA

JC upgraded all his lights in his home with LEDs and now he's having issues with radio reception on his AM transistor radio. Leo says not all LEDs emit RF interference, but some do. And in theory, all of them shouldn't because it's illegal. But that doesn't change the fact that it happens, mostly in cheaper varieties.