What Are LED Lights, Anyway?

led lights

You’ve probably heard of LED lights. You may have even purchased them at some point. But whether you know it or not, you’ve definitely seen them.

Remember the twinkling Christmas sweatshirts? Yep…LED lights.

Or how about the icicle lights hanging from your neighbor’s eaves?

Even some bulbs and light tubes are made with LED lighting.

So, what the heck is it?



LED stands for light-emitting diodes. To put it simply, they are semiconductors that turn electricity into light with the use of electron movement (Okay, so maybe not so simple).

The LED light was invented in Russia in the 1920s, but the U.S. didn’t start using them until the 1960s. Texas Instruments was the first company to patent and sell LED lights in 1962. They were first used in IBM computers, replacing the tungsten bulbs previously used. Shortly after, they were used in calculators. Today they are used in small displays such as phones and media devices, and in large displays, such as TVs and computer screens.

Technology is evolving quickly for LEDs since they’ve been found to be the most efficient light source available. Today, you can even purchase LED light bulbs for your home.

So that’s the science and history of the LED, but…

Why do we use them at SnapPower?

There are definitely some advantages to using LED lighting, and we chose them for our SnapPower Guidelights for 7 main reasons:

 

1) LED lights are much more durable than other light sources.


2) LED lights are much more energy-efficient.



LED lights beat CFL lights in efficiency by 300%. But what about incandescent lights? LED beats those in efficiency by 1,000%.  Guidelights cost less than 10¢ a year to run. They also turn themselves on and off with an innovative light-detecting sensor, so they are not continuously consuming electricity. That’s about as efficient as a light can get!

3) LED lights last much longer than other lighting.



We’re talking 50,000 hours! That beats a 60-watt bulb by about 49,000 hours. Guidelights will last at least 25 years before starting to dim.

4) LED lights are non-toxic and mercury-free.



We care about the safety and health of the families who use our products!

5) LED lights don’t attract insects.



Since they don’t emit UV light like other light sources, the creepy crawlies don’t notice them.

6) LED lights don’t get hot.



You’ll never have to worry about your little ones burning their hands on the lights, because LED lights are made to draw heat away from the light source, usually with something called a heat sink. Incandescent and halogen bulbs, on the other hand, radiate heat to the surface.

7) LED lights are resistant to shock.



Did your TV blow out with the last lightning storm? Guidelights won’t!

See why we chose them for our products at SnapPower?

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We use LED lights in our Guidelights because we simply feel they are the best lighting solution for our products. At SnapPower, we care about more than making sales. We care about the safety, efficiency, affordability and innovation of our products.

15 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Electric Bill

reduceelectricbill

Is your electric bill so high sometimes that you feel like your family has to choose between groceries and lights for the month? You’re not alone. Many people get hit with high power bills once during the summer due to energy-sucking appliances like central air conditioning units.

You may not be ready to ditch the air, but there are some other ways you can make sure your home is as energy-efficient as possible.

1) Replace Outdoor Lights with Motion Detector Lights

Instead of leaving porch lights and security lights on all night, motion detector lights will instantly come on any time they detect movement.

2) Keep Doors and Windows Closed Tightly When Using Air Conditioning

If you remember your mom yelling at you to close the door when you were little, it’s because she was trying to conserve electricity and keep the house cooler. She probably followed up with “We’re not trying to cool off the whole neighborhood!”

3) Install Ceiling Fans in Every Room

Ceiling fans use much less energy than air conditioning units. Just remember to switch them off when you leave the room.

4) Set Your Refrigerator to Between 30° and 42° F

Because refrigerators run 24/7, regulating the temperature will save you some cash.

5) Replace Your Air Conditioning and Heating Filters Regularly

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Keeping appliances running efficiently will ensure they are using the least amount of energy possible.

6) Plug Electronics into Power Strips

This way you can turn all power strips off when electronics are not being used.

7) Wash with Cold Water

When possible, using cold water for your laundry saves energy by not using the hot water heater, and except for certain stains, most laundry will come out just as clean.

8) Set Your Water Heater on 120° F

water-thermostat

Most water heaters are automatically set to 140°. Making this minor adjustment conserves energy while still keeping water hot enough for hot showers and washing machines.

9) Clean the Coils Behind Your Fridge

Dusty coils keep your refrigerator from running efficiently, using more energy.

10) Fill Your Freezer

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A freezer will run longer trying to cool empty space.

11) Wash Full Loads of Laundry

Running fewer loads will of course conserve electricity, not to mention, water.

12) Run the Dryer Only as Long as Needed

There are now many options available for dryers that detect moisture and shut down when clothing is dry. But if you’re not ready to make that investment, checking the dryer periodically to avoid over-drying will help to keep costs down.

13) Turn off the Dishwasher After the Wash Cycle

Allow your dishes to air dry.

14) Cook Out More Often in the Summer

Avoid using the oven as much as possible to avoid kicking your air conditioner into higher gear, and to avoid using the electricity of the appliance.

15) Install SnapPower Guidelights on all Your Electrical Outlets

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SnapPower Guidelights cost about 10¢ a year to run, while still providing functional lighting to find your way around after dark.

Conserving electricity doesn’t have to be difficult. By making a few minor changes, you can drastically reduce your monthly bill. At SnapPower, we strive to create products that not only make life easier, but save you money as well!

 

5 Surprising Negative Health Effects of Over-Illumination

over-illumination pic

Illuminating a room with just the right accent lamps, natural light and functional lighting is the number one key to a beautiful interior. And no one can argue the mental and emotional benefits of getting a good dose of vitamin D from a day in the sun.

But did you know that getti

ng too much unnatural light can actually have some pretty serious adverse health effects?

Over-exposure to unnatural light, or “over-illumination,” has been linked to such ailments as headaches, hypertension, fatigue, and anxiety.

Yikes! So, how is that possible?

Let’s take a look:

1) Headaches Caused by Over-Illumination

It’s probably not a surprise to you that headaches can be caused by over-exposure to light. People who experience migraines know this all too well. When exposed to too much unnatural light, especially bright fluorescents, photosensitive cells in the eye trigger over-stimulation in the brain. Even though there are other factors that can trigger migraines, remaining exposed to bright lights will almost always intensify the pain.

2) Hypertension Caused by Over-Illumination

Too much light, especially at inappropriate times of the day disrupts your circadian rhythms, as well as melatonin production. Both of these unbalances can lead to high blood pressure, as well as a slew of other health problems.

3) Insomnia Caused by Over-Illumination

Over-exposure to unnatural lighting is one of the main causes for insomnia, for a couple of reasons. First of all, an interruption in production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, can make it difficult for you to get your beauty sleep. Secondly, because of the over-stimulation bright lights cause in the brain, shutting it down to a relaxing state can be nearly impossible.

4) Fatigue Caused by Over-Illumination

Fatigue is basically a symptom of stress going on inside your body. The fact that exposure to too much light can cause chaos inside the body contributes to the symptoms of fatigue you may feel throughout the day. When both your circadian rhythms and melatonin balances are off, your fatigue could be severe. Not to mention the fact that you could be missing some much needed sleep due to insomnia!

5) Anxiety Caused by Over-Illumination

As stated above, over-exposure to unnatural light sources can cause hormone imbalances and disrupted heart rhythms. Along with fatigue and insomnia, your body and mind can experience severe anxiety.

Simple Solutions

The solutions are simple:

  • Turn the lights off during the day, at times when natural light is available.
  • Use dim light sources at night, such as SnapPower Guidelights. These will provide functionality in dark rooms and hallways without over-lighting the space.
  • Steer clear of fluorescent lighting in the home whenever possible.
  • Use low-wattage light bulbs in most light sources.

In order to understand the adverse health effects of over-exposure to light, you must first understand how hormone balance, sleep patterns, relaxation, and healthy heart rhythms are all intertwined. To disrupt even one aspect of your body’s environment can have an adverse effect on the others.

Keeping your body balanced is the key to a healthy physical and emotional state. Don’t let something that’s easily remedied keep you from experiencing the life you deserve!

Turn Your Spare Room into a Modern Guest Retreat

guest retreat

Wouldn’t it be nice if the next time your family came to visit, you could impress them with a luxury room with all the modern conveniences of the high-end hotels? If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that it’s often the small unique touches that give a room that certain clean luxury look you love. The problem is most of us don’t know how to add those little touches or assume they’re out of our price range. But that’s not the case. You can update a room on any budget with a few minor changes and some inexpensive products.

Ready to update your tired and gloomy guestroom?

Let’s get started!

Remove the Clutter

The first thing you’ll need to do is remove any unnecessary and obtrusive furnishings and décor. Because while a comfy chair in the corner adds a nice touch, a loveseat, chair and rocker are much too cluttered for a room you want to streamline. The same goes for dressers and chests. One of each is fine for a large space, but for a smaller room, you may need to downsize.

Choose Your Furniture Style

For the modern, streamlined appearance you might see in a hotel, most of your furnishings should be sleek and fairly simple. However, having one “stand-out” piece of furniture, such as a large four-poster bed can be quite appealing as long as there are no other large, ornate pieces of furniture competing for attention.

If you do have too many ornate pieces of furniture, consider downsizing something. For example, if you’d like to keep your large decorative armoire in the room, consider removing an overbearing headboard and footboard from the bed and adding a simple padded headboard or a large painting to the wall.

Choose Your Bedding

hilton

For hotel-type luxury bedding, try “Googling” hotel room photos. The common theme is all-white bedding, with some accents to add pops of color. Some hotels even have websites where you can purchase the bedding they use. But if their linens are a bit pricey for your budget, try finding similar products online at places like Overstock, and even Target and Wal-Mart.

The Small Stuff

Remember when we mentioned that it’s the small stuff that makes the difference? This is where you’ll see your room really come to life.

 

  • Color

 

The color scheme for your guestroom should include no more than 3 complementary colors. Varying shades of the same color work great if you have trouble narrowing it down.

 

  • Walls

 

Choose a neutral shade such as gray, taupe or brown. A medium to dark wall color will lend a high-end feel to any room.

 

  • Windows

 

To really finish off the hotel feel, blackout curtains are your best bet. Choose a curtain color that is no more than 2 shades lighter than the wall color you choose.

 

  • Lighting

 

There should be plenty of accent lighting available, both for convenience and ambiance. Simple, matching lamps should be placed on bedside tables. If there is a desk in the room, a complementary desk lamp should be used. And a floor lamp should be used if you choose to have a reading area or armchair.

To take your look to the next level and give it a sleek and modern appeal, add accent lights, such as SnapPower Guidelights close to the doorway, in the guest bathroom and in the connecting hallway.

Add the Finishing Touches

Add some finishing touches in the color scheme you chose, such as throw pillows and a bed runner.

Install some high-end novelties, such as an iPhone dock and some SnapPower USB chargers on both sides of the bed.

Warning: Your guests will be so impressed with your innovative touches and luxury accommodations, you may never get them to leave!

 

How to Create the Perfect Home Theater for $600

design and furniture in modern home theatre

How to Create the Perfect Home Theater for $600

Most of us would love to have a home theater – a room where we can create a fun atmosphere for entertaining guests in front of a big screen. If that’s you, you may be thinking it’s something you can only have when you win the lottery and buy that big house you’ve been dreaming of.

But what if we told you that you can turn an ordinary spare room, basement, or guest room into a fun theater room that will make your friends green with envy, all for much less than you think?

Sound intriguing?

Let’s find out how!

The Movie Room

For the best acoustics, the room you choose for your home theater should be carpeted, small and have ceilings no more than 8 feet high. If the room you have available doesn’t fit the criteria, you can still make it work. Just know you may need to make some adjustments or spend more on sound equipment to get the sound quality you want.

Once you’ve chosen your theater room, you will want to choose a medium to dark paint color to paint your walls. You will also want to paint your ceilings either the same color or a complementary shade that is also medium to dark. The purpose of this is to make sure there are no bright surfaces in the room to reflect light.

If you prefer a neutral color scheme, you might like something like Behr’s Swiss Brown.

brown paint

 

Or if you’re a little more adventurous, something like January Garnet is a great choice.

paint red

Whatever color you choose, just make sure you purchase a flat paint. Satin or gloss paint will reflect even the smallest amount of light and diminish the effect of the darkened room.

Window Dressing

The next thing you will want to choose is your window covering. Blackout curtains can be purchased fairly inexpensively from a number of stores. If you want the complete movie theater look, you can even find red velvet curtains for your windows and the sides of your movie screen. But these from Wal-Mart work great and look fantastic with most wall colors.

curtains

Theater Seating

While there are many high-end home theater seating options, you don’t have to break the bank to get the commercial theater feel you are trying to achieve. Placing a few inexpensive recliners in the room is an economical way to get the same look.

seating

Depending on your budget and the size of your family, however, you might opt for an affordable sectional or even bean bags!

Movie Screen

If you don’t already have a big-screen to spare for the movie room, an economic option is a projector and screen combo. There are hundreds of options and price ranges for both products, so it’s not difficult to find some to fit even the smallest budget.

This option on Amazon is under $25 and covers a 10’ area. You will probably never need a larger screen than that!

screen

Projectors also vary greatly in price, but even the cheaper projectors will serve the purpose. For a more streamlined look, buy a projector that can be mounted to the ceiling.

projector

Theater Lighting

No home theater is complete without some subtle pathway lighting. SnapPower Guidelights are the perfect lighting solution for any home theater. Costing around $15 each, they are the most economical lighting solution you can buy without sacrificing the aesthetics of the room.

Easily install these covers on every electrical outlet in the room for a sleek and modern pathway glow. Because they automatically light up as soon as the lights are dim, you won’t have to set up complicated lighting systems every time you use your theater room!

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Final Cost of Project

Based on a 10×10 room with one window, using the products recommended here, your final project costs will be $613.31.

  • 3 gallons paint: $71.88
  • 2 blackout curtain panels: $50.48
  • 3 recliners: $379.66
  • 10’ Projector Screen: $24.41
  • Projector: $44.88
  • 3 Pack SnapPower Guidelights: $42

Who would’ve guessed you could create such a fun and modern movie theater in your own home for around $600? At SnapPower, we are always looking for innovative ways to improve your home and your lifestyle!

From Eyesore to Chic: Replacing Your Outlet Covers to Make a Statement

From Eyesore To Chic-

old-electrical-outlet-wall-damaged-due-to-years-service-58094424There’s just no getting around it – electrical outlets are necessary pieces of your home’s construction. But let’s face it…they don’t exactly add pizzazz to the look of the room. In fact, if anything, they distract from the flow of the color scheme. And if convenience is a factor, there’s at least one outlet on every wall.

You probably didn’t think twice about your outlets until it was time to choose your paint colors or wallpaper. Then all of a sudden, these little eyesores are a bit of a nuisance. If you chose white covers, they stood out like a sore thumb against any other color you chose to paint your wall. And brown or black covers look dated even if they blend well.

Haven’t given it much thought? Look around the room you’re sitting in now. How many outlets do you see? Yes, they’re functional.

Functional but uninteresting.

Remember the 70s, when Grandma covered all the outlet covers with wallpaper to blend into the walls? Hiding outlets is not a new problem.

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A New Era in Outlet Covers

The solution is not to eliminate your technology, but instead to streamline it. Give it a makeover that adds appeal and extra functionality to already existing fixtures.

SnapPower provides your solution. We have taken pride in adding innovation to simple, commonly used products.

Take for example our Guidelights. Making the nightlight obsolete, these handy little outlet covers house a simple row of LED lights that turn themselves on automatically when the room darkens.

A New Era In Outlet Covers

Replace your existing covers with Guidelights in places like hallways, under cabinets, bathrooms and children’s rooms. Anywhere a nightlight could be used for convenience is a great place to add these covers. The sleek, simple design adds a modern touch that blends in with any décor, and adds a subtle glow to dreary spaces.

But what about spaces where you’d rather not have the extra light, like your own bedroom?

We’ve got you covered there too. For your other outlets, why not try our charger coverplates.

This product was designed for the most efficient use of space. These outlet covers, with designs just as sleek and simple as the Guidelights, utilize the space at the bottom of the outlet to discreetly house a functional USB port to charge any smart phone or device.

Replace your regular outlet covers with charger outlet covers in places where you would normally charge your devices, such as countertops, offices, and bedrooms. Placing charger covers in several rooms of the home gives you the convenience of plugging in your device during any activity while keeping the outlets completely free and functional.

In Conclusion

SnapPower products were created with you in mind. The homeowner who loves the functionality of modern conveniences that don’t distract from the look and feel of the home.

Best of all, the charger covers and Guidelights are extremely energy efficient and require no wires or batteries to operate. They run on the existing electrical current and are easy to install.

You’ll be amazed at the transformative effect these inexpensive products will have on your interior. The cost to replace your outlet covers is a small investment and will turn your eyesores into chic additions to your decor.

SnapPower Product Photos

Can you spot the night light?

Can You Spot The Night Light? [VIDEO]

If you are a first time visitor, you may have a hard time finding the world’s first invisible night light.

Take the test! See how you fast you can find the night light in this recent product demo video:

The SnapPower Guidelight is the first of it’s kind. Get yours at SnapPower.com.

How To Choose Ambient Lighting For Every Room

SnapPower Ambient Lighting for every room

Lighting is an important and often overlooked factor in the décor of the modern home. While basic lighting meets the needs for functionality, ambient lighting adds a sense of depth and warmth to an otherwise unimpressive room. Not to mention, bright overhead lights might be too severe for nighttime activities such as TV-watching or dining.


There are several ways to achieve an ambient balance in any room, but how do you know which lights to choose and which areas to place them?

Choosing Lighting Locations

The first thing you need to do in choosing your ambient lighting locations is to assess your room after dark. Turn on as few lights as you can without losing visibility and take note of any areas of the room you’d like accented.


These areas might include:


  • Reading areas
  • Artwork
  • Pathways
  • Additional seating areas
  • Plants
  • Side tables
  • Bookshelves
  • Coffee tables
  • Fireplaces

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When choosing your locations, keep balance in mind. Illuminating just one corner in a large living area, for example, will draw the eye to that location and throw the room off balance. On the other hand, lighting every corner is possibly too harsh and detracts from the desired mood you are trying to create.


One way to achieve balance would be lighting a corner reading area at the front of the room and adding a table lamp toward the back of the room. Or accenting a piece of art on one wall and adding pathway lighting such as SnapPower Guidelights along the opposite wall, perhaps leading to the hallway.

Choosing Lighting Types

Once you’ve chosen the areas you’d like additional lighting in, you’ll need to decide which types of lighting will work best for your needs. Keep in mind the size of the fixtures needed as well as the amount of light it will provide. For example, if you decide to add lighting to a reading nook, you will need some sort of overhead or side lighting. So a floor lamp, table lamp or pendant light might work best.


A few types of accent lighting might include:


  • Lamps
  • Track lights
  • Nightlights
  • Recessed lights

Choosing Complementary Ambient Lighting

Your accent lighting pieces should be treated as part of the decor and chosen to complement your existing furnishings. The best fixtures for most situations are subtle pieces that let the light itself become part of the overall look.


When choosing lamps, it’s often best to choose shades in neutral tones that coordinate with your design colors. Also keep in mind, the darker colored shades will filter the light more than lighter shades, creating a dimmer appearance. Decide which effect you are going for when making color choices.

If metals are part of the lighting pieces, try to match the finish to existing fixtures. For instance, if you have a gold chandelier hanging in the foyer, don’t choose silver or copper lamps to accent the entry table unless a more eclectic look is what you’re intentionally trying to achieve.

Lighting Intensity

An often overlooked factor in installing lighting is bulb wattage. Are you using the accent lighting for functionality, such as over a reading chair, or are hoping to subtly light the family room for warmth and personality? Nothing ruins a look more than a glaring 100-watt bulb in a small lamp meant as a subtle table accent.


For subtle lighting throughout the entire home that creates ambience as well as functionality, install SnapPower Guidelights over your electrical outlets. These smart little lights emit a warm glow and turn themselves on automatically when the lighting dims.

Wrapping it Up

Most of us spend a lot of time and money picking just the right décor for our homes, but often overlook the lighting aspects of the room. Adding ambient lighting to every room will enhance your interiors, giving your décor that warmth and personality it’s otherwise missing.


The Evolution of the Nightlight

Throughout the centuries, lighting has been somewhat of a human fascination. As early as 70,000 BC, people were coming up with ways to light up their cave interiors using animal fat and moss. Of course, there is an obvious necessity for indoor lighting, but nowadays, the aesthetics of the lighting is just as important as the functionality.


What we know as a night light today has come a long way.

Shell Lamps

 

“Lamp” is used loosely in this instance. The earliest lighting was basically moss, or any other dry, flammable substance available placed in a shell or hollowed out stone and lit on fire.

Oil Lamps


Oil lamps were probably the first lighting product created for convenience. The first oil lamps were made out of clay or stone and shaped a little like a lamp you might rub expecting a genie to pop out. Imagine how advanced these oils seemed to people who had been lighting moss on fire for centuries!


Oil Lamp

Candles


The first candles were made out of substances like tallow (fat). The oldest candles that remain originated in China from about 200 BC, but they are thought to have been invented as early as 2,000 BC. They probably weren’t associated with the pleasant scents we have today, and were used strictly out of necessity for nighttime lighting.

Kerosene Lamps


Kerosene lamps were thought to have been invented as early as 900 BC, but would be used for many centuries afterward. The more modern version along with the glass hurricane chimney we are familiar with would be invented much later. These are still used in some parts of the world where electricity is not available.

Gas Lighting


In the early 1800s, inventors began experimenting with gas lighting, even forming the first gas company in 1813.

Electric Lighting


Very soon after gas lighting was introduced, electric lighting took the stage. In 1841, arc lighting was used experimentally to light Paris, and in 1856, a glass-blower confined the electric lighting to a glass tube, inventing what we know today as a light bulb.


Oil Lamp

Nightlights


The nightlight, as we know it, was invented in the 1960s for the purpose of giving the inventor’s children a sense of security.


Today, we use nightlights for the same purpose. But we also use them for functionality for other reasons. Lighting a hallway at night, for example, is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Keeping your guests from tripping over the hall table can be a great reason to find ways to light common pathways.

Guidelights


This is where SnapPower Guidelights come in. Guidelights are easy to install outlet covers that illuminate the area from the bottom of the cover, leaving the outlets completely free for other uses. The remarkable technology creates a modern ambience of gentle light that uses sensors to “knows” when to turn itself on.


These genius little creations can serve as nightlights for the children or simple guides as the name suggests for common areas. Installing them under counters, for example, provides the perfect amount of lighting to turn the coffee pot on in the morning without flipping the light switches on.


Guidelights are the most modern form of a nightlight you will find. There’s no longer a need for a bulky nightlight that takes up your entire outlet, and that you have to plug in or remember to turn on every night. Taking up literally no space on your wall, the SnapPower guidelight is the ultimate solution to all your nightlight needs.


Visit us today to learn about our innovative products! You’ll be glad you did!


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_lighting_technology

2016 Parade Of Products Winner

The Parade of Products, or POP as it’s known, is a competition that occurs during the largest homebuilding trade show on the West Coast, PCBC, and is a celebration of the most inventive new product solutions of the past year. The new ideas and products on display at the show, and especially those selected as POP winners, represent the fruits of labor of some of the most innovative minds in the home building world.

 

A panel of industry judges consisting of builders, engineers, designers, journalists, and architects rated the products based on innovation, practical application, and design, and, for 2016, came up with a list of 20 winners that embodied those qualities the best.

 

From built-in ovens and remote controlled toilets to clear vinyl retractable screens and bamboo-based wall systems, the winning products run the gamut of what a builder may hammer, caulk, or install on a daily basis.

 

Here is what POP said about the SnapPower Guidelight that was selected as the 2016 POP Winner:

 

“The SnapPower Guidelight looks like most other wall outlets but has LED lights installed on the bottom. Two metal prongs use less than $.10 per year of electricity from the outlet to power them. A photo sensor in the Guidelight turns it on when the surrounding area is dark and off when light. It comes in several colors and styles. The easy-to-install and energy-efficient design safely transforms the outlet coverplate into a convenient night light and it requires no wires or batteries.”