For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Category Archives: Household

So You Want to Build a Smart Garage? Start With These Gadgets.

Smart Garage

Not all people who want to start making their houses smart remember to include their garage. But you, you’re smart to know that your garage is one of the weakest spots in your home. Your garage door is probably the most-used door to your house. It’s just fitting to secure it too, along with your front door.

So, let’s start? Here are the recommended gadgets that you should have when making your garage smart.

Garage Door Controllers

This is the obvious must-have. Garage door controllers like the Chamberlain MyQ System let you control and monitor your garage door from your smartphone. It’s pretty nifty, especially if you’re the type who always seem to forget whether you have left your garage door open or not. You don’t need to drive all the way back home, just take your phone out and check.

Automated Lighting Systems

Your garage door may automatically open up and let you in when you arrive, but how can you park safely when it’s dark in there? Make sure you follow up by installing smart lighting fixtures in your garage. The popular choice is always Philips Hue bulbs; they’re super powerful too. But, there are cheaper alternatives which function just fine like the Ashia Light which is equipped with motion sensors.

Smart Tools

Your garage is also the home of your big tools, right? If you want to multitask and avoid wasting time by looking for a misplaced tool, you can invest in smart tools like Black and Decker’s drill. You can use your phone to locate it, lock or unlock it, and operate it. It even has a port which can charge up your phone.

These are just a few of the recommended gadgets that we think are worthy to sit in your smart garage. We actually have a lot more. Check them out below.

[Things You Need to Make Your Dumb Garage “Smart”]

Why Smart Sprinklers Are Surprisingly Practical

Smart Sprinklers

What?! Smart sprinklers? Uhm, no thanks.

If you think you’d rather water your plant the old school way than waste money, bandwidth allocation, and time in setting one up, wait. Smart sprinklers can be totally convenient and heaven-sent for the right people. Here are the reasons why.

They’re really good for the environment.

If you live in California or somewhere else where drought’s a serious porblem, you may be very water-conscious. Having a smart sprinkler can help as they manage your water usage. They’re usually connected to the Internet and they keep tabs on the weather. When it’s going to rain, there’s no sprinkling for that day. Most smart sprinklers claim that they can save up to 50% of outdoor water usage.

They can help plant-loving people who don’t have the green thumb.

Oh, this is my tribe. I love plants, but sometimes they just die on me. With a smart sprinkler like Parrot Smart, I am certain I can be a good plant mom. Parrot Smart monitors the amount of sun your plant receives, the fertizlier in the soil, and even your plant’s temperature. You can check the app for coaching and some tips. There are also simpler sensors like PlantLink which alerts you whenever your plant needs some watering.

They’re really helpful, especially for travelers.

If you travel all the time and you always come home to a dying or dead plant, you can turn to GreenIQ’s Irrigation Controller, Rachio, RainMachine or Blossom. These are some of the most complete smart sprinkler systems which can follow a watering schedule, rely on weather forecasts, and can be remotely monitored and adjusted through an app. Most of these sprinklers let you divide your yard into sections if you have various plants with different water requirements.

Smart sprinklers were not made just because. They actually do have a purpose. Yes, they are the “I never knew I need you until I met you” kind of tech.

[Check which smart sprinkler suits your needs]

Would You Like To Own These Weird, But Smart Gadgets?

Weird Smart Gadgets

If you’re a tech geek, you must have had your favorite new gadgets from CES 2017. I also have mine and those weird, but really cool gadgets always get stuck in my head.

We are not new to these types of innovation. In fact, we’re used to it and even excited about this type because they’re unique, funny, and practical, in some cases. Here’s a roundup of my favorite types.

For the kitchen

We’ll start with everyone’s favorite part of the house, the kitchen. You can find a lot of gadgets that will help you cook, keep your food fresh, and your kitchen clean. Did you know that there’s a robot that can cook up to 2,000 dishes? There’s even an advanced wine storage which keeps your wine fresh for 30 days (no need to cork, uncork).

For hobbyists

Whether you love golf or b-ball or fishing, most likely, there’s a wearable or gadget for that. If you like fishing, there’s this little ball that you can throw into the water and you can use the app to view a 3D real-time image of what’s under your boat. It’s pretty nifty, but wouldn’t it be creepy if you see a moving creature that you don’t recognize? Also, there’s Vinci, the headphones with AI that can record your jam if you’re into singing. Yes, she’s smart like Alexa.

For healthcare

The tech healthcare industry is rising and along with it comes wearables which can zap you out of your bad habit. It has something to do with your brain making you more aware that you’re doing it. And then there’s this wearable which tracks your menstrual flow. No, you don’t have to put a wire or an electronic down there. You just have to use special tampons which you need to connect to a wearable.

Mind blown? If you want to know more about these gadgets, you can check them out below.

[Learn more about these weird gadgets]

3 Of the Best Chef Knifes Perfect for Gift Giving

So you know a chef or someone who spends a whole lot of time in the kitchen, and you want to get them a chef’s knife. Not just any knife, but a real chef’s knife, one of the very best that will last for years and be at home even in even the fanciest restaurant. But you don’t know much about knives – where will you begin? It’s a good thing we’ve got a list of the best chef knives of 2016 for you to peek at!

Continue Reading

Got pets and kids? Check Out These 3 Air Purifiers to Keep Your Home’s Air Clean

Top Air Purifiers

An air purifier does what your air conditioning and vacuuming can’t do – take the extra step to remove all possible particles from the air in your house. Whether your vacuum cleaner is kicking up a little bit too much dust from your carpet, or you need to get rid of as many allergens as possible for an asthma condition, these beauties can help out. If you’re looking for the best air purifiers of 2017, then we’ve got the list you need to see!

These standalone models (as opposed to units installed in your HVAC system) tend to work best when placed in a large living room or bedroom where they have access to the most air. We tend to prefer “mechanical” air purifiers, which use physical filters to “strain” the air and remove the smallest particles possible. Of course, that’s only a small part of the story, so let’s take a look at our top picks and the features that set them apart.

Honeywell HPA300 – $194

Top Air Purifiers

Honeywell’s slim and affordable model is an excellent air filtration device for those who have never had a purifier before and want to try one out. Not only is the price reasonable, but it comes with several different filtration options which can clean the air in a room up to 5 times each hour. In addition to HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration to remove even extra-small particles, this model also has a carbon filter, which can help remove annoying smells. It comes with plenty of different modes and timers too, allowing you to set the speed and schedule when the air purifiers will come on so you don’t have to remember every single day.

Perhaps best of all, the unit also provide on-screen filter replacement reminders. Since a dirty filter will both slow down a purifier and ruin its primary objective, these replacement reminders are important – and useful!

Note: Always pay close attention to the size ratings for models like these. This Honeywell is designed for rooms around 465 square feet, a great size for a bedroom or a similar space. However, keep in mind that air purifiers do make a little noise (thankfully, these newer models are pretty quiet) so make sure you can sleep with one in the room.

HealthMate Standard HM-400 – $539

Here’s a big jump in price for a much larger, more powerful air purifier, designed for buyers who know what they’re doing and want a system that can handle air throughout the house more easily…as long as it fits in the budget.

This filter is also an excellent pick for the health conscious. It has four different stages, which doesn’t make it the fastest purifier around, but certainly one of the most thorough for those who really need certain particles gone. The first two stages remove large and medium-sized particles as a warm up. The third stage is a 15-pound filter of activated carbon and zeolite to take care of odors – a very effective way of removing smoke or cooking smells from an area. The fourth stage is a certified HEPA filter that removes most particles that are larger than 0.3 microns for a final cleaning.

With 360-degree intake, you’ll want to keep this model away from walls to increase its efficiency. It has three speed settings based on your goals, but all three are very effective. In fact, this model can make an excellent commercial option for businesses or contractors if necessary.

Coway AP-1512HH – $230

This Coway model has a bit of a different design for those who like purifiers with more technology and eco-saving capabilities. It, too, has four stages of filtration, although they are different from the HealthMate stages: There’s a pre-filter, a carbon filter, a true HEPA filter, and then a “vital ION” filter. That ion filter is an interesting addition: It uses an ionized plate to attract particles – much like static – and trap them on the surface, an extra type of filtration that works well for larger, non-organic particles.

There’s also Energy Star features that can help you save money – and the time you may spend fiddling with settings. The auto mode is particularly useful, since it adjusts air flow speed based on how many particles the unit is pulling out of the air. If the unit goes for 30 minutes without detecting many particles, then it will shut off to conserve energy.

Why You Need a Smart Video Doorbell Right Now

vivint-doorbell-camera-installed-front-door-700x467

You may think that a smart video doorbell is a little too much, but nah it’s exactly what modern families need right now. With home invasion arising, you can stay safe and avoid one with a smart video doorbell. Here’s how it can help you and your family.

It gives you security and convenience

The primary purpose of video doorbells is to keep you safe by knowing who is at the door. Smart doorbells can do this with matching convenience. You can see and talk to your visitor on your smartphone when you’re too lazy (or scared) to go to the door. You can do the same thing even if you’re in the office or out on a vacation too.

Don’t worry, most smart doorbells only have a one-way camera so you can keep your privacy and you don’t give away your location. Other doorbells like the Ring Pro has motion sensors, which when trigerred can capture video in HD.

It makes a great tandem with other smart home devices

This is probably one of the best things about smart video doorbells. They can communicate to your other smart security devices to reinforce home security. Our classic example is the August Doorlock and Video Doorbell. You can open the door for your visitor right on your smartphone when you need to.

Another combo is the smart video doorbell with the front porch light. You can program your doorbell with motion sensor and your smart light through IFTTT or you can get the Zmodo Torch Pro, which is a smart video doorbell and a porch light in one.

It lessens the chances of package theft

Package theft is becoming a major concern for most homeowners, especially during the Holiday season when the gift delivery volume is quite high. With a smart video doorbell that can work with your doorlock (like August), you can keep your packages secure by asking the delivery guy to leave the package inside your house instead of just leaving it at your door.

Smart video doorbells actually offer more than convenience and sassy technology; it’s actually helpful in a real big way.

[Read the Best Smart WiFi Doorbells for 2017]

Give the New Year an Epic Welcome With These Smart Technology

Give the New Year an Epic Welcome With These Smart Technology

Saying goodbye to a year that was and embracing a new one for all its new potential calls for a grand celebration. It’s a milestone that almost everyone on earth is looking forward to.

When the alcohol starts to flow and with everybody going crazy, it’s highly likely that give in to the moment and end up tending a hangover and finding lost keys on January first.

Smart tech is here to help you prep up so you’ll have a fun New Year’s Eve and an easy, carefree morning after.

Fancy up the mood 

People usually start with low energy during parties, but you can ease everyone in (especially if friends of friends are coming along and not everybody know each other) by setting up the mood first. Dim the lights and let your Philips Hue do its thing: popping colors of fun everywhere! And don’t forget to fill the room with music. There are fancy speakers which can double as conversation starters like the Crazybaby Levitating Speaker and the Yantouch Diamond Speaker and Light.

Break the ice

In breaking the ice, there’s nothing more effective than alcohol. It loosens up even the most uptight person in the room. Nope, you don’t need to hire a bartender this time. He needs to party too. Quickly chill a bottle of wine that you have just bought the last minute with Waring Wine Chiller. Or get the Somabar or the Smart Bartending to mix your favorite cocktails the whole night through.

Keep memories 

There’s nothing more disappointing than realizing you have no memory or battery when taking the most important pictutes. Make sure this doesn’t happen again by having a full-charged power bank with you. And in case your friends forget to charge theirs, be safe and bring the Juno Powerbank with 13,000mAh. It’s powerful enough to charge a couple of smartphones a couple of times.

And for the perfect New Year’s Eve selfie even in low light, get your selfie lights ready! You can go for the Cynux spotlight that’s clippable on your smartphone or the light stick that can cover more area for a groufie.

Keep safe

Don’t drink and drive. A car crash or being temporarily detained isn’t exactly a great start for the year. So, bring a portable breath analyzer with you. Check on yourself and your friends too. Wait until you’re sober before you hit the road.

Have a breezy morning

All the late-night partying might give you temporary memory loss. You might find yourself tensed the moment you wake up because you can’t find your car keys or your wallet or whatever. Attach a Tile on your valuables so you’ll know where they are when you can’t seem to find them.
And, of course, help yourself to a cup of coffee the moment you wakeup. Make your smart coffee maker brew a cup or carafe. Waking up to the smell of coffee will be the perfect way to start the first day of the new year.

Have a blast this New Year’s Eve and an even happier day ahead!

[New Year’s Eve Tech Gadgets To Help You Celebrate]

 

Building a Smart Home? Start With These Easy Gadgets.

So you’re thinking of making your house smart? Great decision! Going smart will give you convenience and peace of mind. It will also give you more time to spend on things that actually matter.

For new smart home converts, we always encourage you to start with light and simple automation. Easy always does it. Get a thorough primer of what it’s like to have a smart home without the hardcore installation first.

In fact, we have compiled a list of easy products which can easily transform your house into a smart one. Here are some.

Light switches

You can still keep your old “dumb” switch. Just place the Switchmate Smart Light Switch on top of it and you can already control it on your smartphone. It uses magnetic forces to attach and is ready to use. You can also replace your “dumb” switch with Wi-Fi switches from WeMo and TP-Link if you like.

Smart sockets

As for making your lights smart, use the smart sockets from Emberlight, iDevices, and LampChamp. Just plug in your “dumb” incandescent, CFL or LED bulbs into these sockets and viola, you got yourself an instant automated lighting system.

Smart plugs 

Smart plugs are smart home staples that turn almost all your electronic devices smart! Just plug in your lamp, TV, hair iron (which you always forget to turn off before you go) or any other devices and schedule their switching times on your smartphone.

Sounds easy, right? Converting your home into a smart one is not that complicated. Don’t be too overwhelmed. Join the smart home revolution easily with our suggested devices above.

Want to know more details about these products?

[Learn More About These Smart Wireless Solutions Products]

Smart Products Are Not Just For Us — They’re For Our Pets Too!

61ze00qsr2l-_sl1000_

Come on humans, our fur babies only deserve the best! Let us not deprive them of the cool benefits of using smart products.

When we think about it, they do need these things because: 1.) We leave them at home alone and sad on most days. 2.) They’re the superstars in our lives and we can’t bear to see them sad, don’t we?

Why don’t you get your pets a little smart something this Christmas? Here are some cool pet gift ideas.

Cameras That Dispenses Treats

Aside from keeping you connected with your dog during your lunch breaks at work, pet cameras like the Petzi Treat Cam can dispense treats to your pets when you’re away. Keep them happy and watch them catch the treats. Snap a photo for memories too.

Fitness Trackers

Surprised? See, it’s not only you who need Fitbit. Track your pet’s health and make sure that they get enough exercise by making them wear FitBark. You can easily share the data with your vet so you can keep them at their top shape.

Smart Toys That Keep Them Active

During playtime, I bet it’s you who always run out of breath first. Well, there are smart toys that can let your pets play to their hearts’ content! The Petcube comes with a laser pointer which you can program. Another one is iFetch; it lets your dog play catch the whole day if they want to. These toys are best if you want to keep your dogs active, but you lack the time to regularly walk or play with them.

Give your pets any of these smart products and get a lick!

[Browse smart toys for your pets]