Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A New Way to Light Your Desk

As it stands now, incandescent light bulbs are dinosaurs. Long ago, we realized that they wasted too much energy and we found cost-efficient alternatives that conserve both money and electricity. For all but specialized purposes, those are gradually becoming extinct, and not a moment too soon.

However, the popular alternative hasn't captured our hearts the way we'd expect. While the compact fluorescent bulb uses less energy and lasts longer, we're still hesitant to call it the better bulb. It's hard to love that awkward spiral shape. The light quality can be inconsistent from bulb to bulb, with some models suffering from a flicker that can be annoying even when your eyes don't register it. While developments have been made to improve the quality, we're simple creatures that prefer natural light, which incandescents have always done a better job replicating. Add to that the uncomfortable traces of mercury inside every CFL and the brief delay before they turn on, and there is something lacking in the technology.

So while CFLs continue their valiant effort to earn our love, LED technology is swooping in and stand to become a viable new option. LEDs have been around for a while, but have always been resigned to specialty functions since individual bulbs are weaker and can't shine light in all directions. That's beginning to change, since the small bulbs can be combined into an array that can shine in all directions while using less energy and lasting much longer than even CFLs, which themselves can last eight times longer than incandescents. Best of all, LED lights don't flicker and the light quality already surpasses florescents.

LED bulbs in products such as flashlights have been around for years, and standard light bulb equivalents are now available. It's also emerging in the office world with products like 3M's new task lights. These use anywhere from 12 to 42 lights in their array (depending on the model), have an adjustable head and are polarized to reduce glare. 

 Glare Difference With 3M Task Lights

In all but the most basic model, lights can be brightened and dimmed (another shortcoming of florescents). In a place like the desk where concentration is so important, why have anything but reliable, flexible and quality light shining it?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Promoting Business with Avery Labels

Avery labels are a juggernaut in the office supply world. Everybody knows how easy it is to find a template for your labels, create your design and print it out on your inkjet or laser printer. Most of the time, these labels are for mailing or shipping. Sometimes they're multipurpose labels that differ only in function and size, not in shape. A few stragglers might even be creating custom labels for CDs and DVDs, assuming anyone still burns CDs and DVDs.

Nothing wrong with taking care of the essentials, but it only scratches the surface of all the opportunities Avery presents for creating custom content. Small businesses looking to create custom printing for splashy presentations, promotional campaigns or giveaways may think they have two options- overpay a printing company or keep dreaming. Avery has cards, labels and templates that take all of these and make them just as easy to create as a typical shipping label.

With a unique texture and an arched side, think of how much a presentation would stand out. How about ovals on brochures? Square labels of any size are great for adding QR codes to materials. For giveaways, use these labels on bottles, bags or boxes, perhaps with custom tags attached.

For reaching out to new customers, print your own door hangers that include tearaway cards that may include coupons or contact information. Avery also makes brochuretemplates with the same tearaway features. And again, all of these have downloadable templates and designs on avery.com.