Monday, 13 October 2014

4 Wireless Power Outlet Reviews | Wifi & App Controlled Switches & Plugs

Searching for Remote Controlled Power Outlets? WiFi is the Answer

Someone monitors their outlets on the go.
Monitoring Power on the Go
Photo Credit: Belkin
Remember the days of the 'clap' light? Clap twice to turn it on and off? 

It was pretty cool technology at the time, but it invariably led to rage when the clapper wouldn't respond. 

Thankfully, we've come a long way since then. With so many devices around the house, it's easy to forget something. That's why a good wireless power outlet can make your life simpler and more economical.

This article is written to review some wifi controlled power outlets, and we'll only be covering the 'best of the best'. For each item I'll be outlining a few things: the pertinent features, any 'need to know' cons, and of course how user friendly it is.

Sound interesting? I hope so!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

5 Good, Energy Efficient Infrared Heaters: Reviews for 2014

What is the Best Infrared Heater for the Money?

Photo Credit: Pete
As the temperature dips, we look for ways to stay comfortable. Energy isn't free, and heat is one of the biggest power drains.

Aside from collecting firewood, what can we do to lower that power bill?

A recent innovation is infrared heat. It is capable of high temperatures and almost instantaneous warmth, and it has been used for applications ranging from drying paint to cooking food.

Infrared heaters also happen to be exception for keeping warm. They come in various formats, but they share a few similar traits: on demand heat with high efficiency. They range from spot heat to units capable of warming an entire floor.

They come in all shapes and sizes, and selecting one from the many options can be intimidating. This article highlights and reviews some good infrared heaters, including quartz and heat lamp styles.

Ready to save some cash this winter? Keep on reading.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Review: The Nest Learning Thermostat (2nd Generation)

Nest Learning Thermostat: A Smart, Energy Saving Revelation

Photo Credit: Nest
I'm constantly berating my wife for leaving the heat on. The fact is, our current heating systems are costly, inefficient, and prone to human error.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, space heating now accounts for 41.5% of household energy costs. Cutting that usage, even by a little, can save you a significant amount of money.

Enter the Nest Learning Thermostat, a well reviewed and smart little gadget that doesn't just let you program your temperature settings, it learns how you use your home and heats it accordingly.

Want to learn a little more about it?

Monday, 6 October 2014

4 Good Soldering Iron Stations for Electronics | Reviews & Tips

What's the Best Soldering Station for the Money?

A soldering project in action.
Photo Credit: Albertas Agejevas
Any electronics or gadget junkie worth their salt needs a good quality soldering iron station. They make the task of repairing and modifying electronics so much easier. 

Whether you like messing around with Arduino boards and gizmos like the Raspberry Pi, or just want to do some basic repairs, they're wonderful to have on hand. 

But there's a problem.

Most of our electronics come from overseas. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but certain items tend to have questionable build quality. Portable soldering iron stations are in that category.

I hate wasting money, and I assume that you do too! I'm writing this piece so that you won't have to 'roll the dice' on a kit. I'll be offering several soldering station reviews, including digital, temperature controlled, portable and basic models. 

What you won't see on this list: cheap junk that breaks easily. I'll be focusing only on items that will make a hobbyist or professional proud.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Top 6 LED Desk Lamps: Good, Eye-Friendly Picks

Reviews: LED Desk Lights & Lamps for 2014

Photo Credit: dixieroadrash
Having struggled along with a myriad of cheap lamps my whole life, the discovery of eye-friendly LEDs was a revelation. 

They offer a versatility and light quality that standard incandescents and fluorescents just can't touch. They're cheap, safe and incredibly economic. 

Got your attention now?

This article is written to review a few of the best LED desk lamps and lights. I'll be judging each one on merit of the following criteria: light quality, features, ease of use and price tag. 

To make this list, each pick has to score pretty well in all four of those categories. Price wise, they're a step up from what you're probably used to, but if you'll bear with me I'll explain why a good LED desk lamp is worth its weight in gold (figuratively, of course!)

Friday, 3 October 2014

4 Energy Saving Tips: Lower Your Home Power Bill

Cut Your Energy Use With These Simple Steps

Electricity is an expense that can really eat into your wallet each month. Saving cash where you can is important, and we spend an unnecessary amount on energy for no good reason.
So what's the answer? A couple of simple, affordable upgrades can offer a huge benefit.

Here's the key: replace the hungriest power drains in your house with more efficient alternatives. 

Once that's done, you'll notice a marked improvement in your energy bill each month.

Not sure where to start? Here are a couple of simple suggestions to cut your energy costs without spending a fortune to begin with.