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Category Archives: Household

What You’ll Love About the Sense Sleep Tracker 2nd Generation

 Sense Sleep Tracker 2nd Generation

Sense is one of the tech Cinderella stories that was brought to life through Kickstarter. It’s this modern-looking ball that you place on your beside table to analyze your sleep.

It’s also one of the popular and well-received creations that it has already launched a newer model this year. Here’s what you’ll love about the Sense 2nd Gen.

Your favorite features, retained

It’s still the sleep-tracking ball the we have come to adore. No trackers to wear, just a tiny button to attach to your pillow. You’ll wake up to insights about your sleep — quality of sleep, disturbances, environment conditions, and the likes.

Now works with voice control

Staring at your smartphone screen before sleeping ain’t healthy. The 2nd geWith voice control, you can deal with bedtime rituals without looking at your smartphone. Just say “Sense, wake me up at 8 am.” or ask “Sense, how is my sleep last night?” and you’re good.

More sensors, more capabilities

The old sense measures light, tempertaure, humidity, noise, and air quality, but the 2nd generation can measure more. It can analyze UV levels, light temperature, barometric pressure, and volatile organic compounds, all of which can affect your sleep too.

Plus, it can now integrate with your other smart home gadgets like the Nest thermostat and Philips Hue Lights. Ask Sense to dim the lights or to start warming the room just before you wake up.

Longer battery life

The battery of the first pill, which is the sensor that you attach to your pillow, lasts for about a year. The new one can last up to over 2 times longer.

These improvements are just going to make us love Sense more, right?

[More about Sense 2nd Gen]

3 Reasons Why the Philips Lightstrip Makes a Better Home Decor

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Philips Hue Lights have been smart home favorites because they’re easy-to-use and they make your home beautiful in a click of a switch (or at the command of your voice)!

The lightstrips are the variety which is the most interesting because you can play with light in ways that you can never do with the good old bulbs. We’ve rounded up a few reasons why you’ll want to have the Philips Lightstrips as your home decor from now on.

They give your home an instant (sometimes, unconventional) makeover.

A little light here and there and your home will look like a set from a sci-fi movie or, if done elegantly, a cozy space from a posh hotel. A neon blue light outline underneath your bed. Color wash on your walls. Lit-up stairs for home parties.

The magnitude of a lightstrip’s effect is huge, yet the effort that it takes in installing one is nothing to worry about.

It also doesn’t matter what your current decor or home style is. The lightstrips is capable of projecting over 16 million colors and a thousand shades of white.

They’re low maintenance.

First, the lights are LEDs. We all know how efficient and long-lasting they are. They consume little power and can last for as long as 50,000 hours or 5.7 years. That is, if you left them on for the whole 24 hours. They can even last longer if you use them for a few hours per day.

When it comes to cleaning, all you need is just a cloth to get the dust off. Compare cleaning the lightstrips to a chandelier or an intricate piece of furniture. You get the picture, right?

Functionality-wise, they deliver.

The Philip Lighstrips ain’t just pretty to look at. They can be smart too. Switch them on remotely before you get home or ask Siri to set them to a party mood. You can even make them pulse with the beat. Or create an IFTTT recipe to flash your football team’s colors everytime they score.

There you have it. For convenience and effortless style, it’s wise go for the Philips Lightstrips. We also got more ideas on how to use it at your own home.

[Browse Ideas on How to Use the Philips Lightstrips]

3 Totally Lit Smart Bulbs That Work With IFTTT

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The easiest way for anybody to get started with building a smart home is through the lights. They’re the easiest to setup and some don’t even need a hub — just the bulbs, a decent Wi-Fi connection, and your smartphone.

To take your lighting a little further, you can turn to IFTTT (If This, Then That) for no-sweat integration. You can set schedules, dim the lights automatically, and switch them on a couple of minutes before you get home. Here are 3 totally lit smart bulbs that have ready-to-use IFTTT recipes for you to use.

Philips Hue

We’re starting with the most popular bulbs, the Hue. The IFTTT recipes for Hue include turning the lights on/off at certain times, during sunsets or when you get home; switching the colors to blue when it rains outside; making the colors loop when you feel like it, and dimming down the lights.

WeMo Lights

You can find practical recipes on IFTTT for WeMo like switching the bulbs on and off when you get home or when it’s raining outside or track the bulb’s energy usage in your Google Drive. But there are fun uses too! You can make the bulb dim a little bit when you get an email from your SO or get notified of your favorite football team’s score with your WeMo bulbs.

LIFX Bulbs

LIFX probably has the most number of available IFTTT recipes online and they range from practical to smart-home interactive to the unnecessary, but charming.

As expected, there are recipes that turn on the lights on/off when you arrive/leave, fade the lights so you wake up gently in the morning, and flash the lights when your doorbell rings. Then, there are fun recipes which make the bulbs blink when you’re mentioned on Twitter or Facebook. Or recipes that make the bulb flash your team’s colors everytime they score!

You can get any of these bulbs, but in case you want the bulbs with the most number of available IFTTT integrations (the LIFX bulbs), you can get one at a $15 discount with the code LIFX15.

[Get $15 Off on LIFX Color Bulb]

How to Spot the Best Robot Vacuum Deals This Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Best Robotic Vacuum Black Friday adn Cyber Monday Deals

If you are on the fence about robotic vacuum cleaners, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the push that you need. There are really steep deals on this tech line because they’re well-loved. Who wouldn’t love a little robot doing all the dirty job for you?

Before you go randomly picking which robotic vacuum is the best one for you, here are some tips:

There are budget-friendly ones.

If budget seems a bit tight, you can score decent varieties under $200 which has the basic functions like automated scheduling and cleaning settings. Good canditates for these include the ILIFE V3, Rollibot BL100, and Infinuvo QQ-2.

Know how you’re going to use it.

Like a responsible adult, ask yourself first what’s your purpose of buying a vaccum. Got furry friends who constantly shed? The iRoomba 860 has special extractors which prevent the machine from clogging. Got a pool to clean? The iRobot Mirra will save you costs on professional pool cleanings.

Notice the features and compare the price difference.

Take for instance the iRoomba 980 and the 960. The first one runs up to 120 minutes and has a carpet boost feature. The 960 only runs for 75 minutes and lacks the carpet boost feature. Sounds like the iRoomba 980 is a better buy, right? But if you’re living in a small apartment with absolutely no carpets to clean, go for the iRobot 960 and save yourself the extra $200.

You still have time to do your research and know which robotic vacuum will cater you best.

[Which Robotic Vacuum is Right For You?]

3 Smart Light Bulbs That Are As Awesome As (But Cheaper Than) the Philips Hue

Smart LED Bulbs

When it comes to color-changing bulbs, the Philips Hue bulbs stand out. There’s no denying in that, but they can be awfully expensive. Also, you need the Hue bridge to control them as part of your smart home automation. If you’re not willing to spend a lot, but still wanted reliable and automation-ready light bulbs, here are some Philips Hue alternatives for you.

For seamless integration into your existing smart home

GE Link Wireless A19 Smart Connected LED Light Bulb

GE Link LED Bulb

 

The one which doesn’t need a hub
LIFX Color 1000 A19 Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb

LIFX Multicolor and dimmable bulbs

 

Lights which also play music
Pulse Dimmable LED Light
SengledPulse Dimmable LED Light with Wireless Bluetooth Speakers

Hope this has shed some light on what smart bulbs you would shop for next!

[Explore More Smart Light Bulbs Options]

Our Top 3 Best Blenders

Blendtec 725

It’s easy to assume that all blenders are pretty much the same thing – you stick stuff in, you turn them on, you hold them for dear life until they’re finished. However, from the motor power to the blade assembly, there’s a surprising amount of different between blender models. Do you want a powerful blender for green smoothies? Then you need to know what you are getting – and why some features are better than others.

To help out, we’ve collected some candidates for the best blender for green smoothies and other challenging recipes. Take a look at what makes these models special and why we chose them!Continue Reading

UNICEF’s Landmine Awareness Campaign Would Certainly Get My Attention

UNICEF Landmine Awareness Campaign (Images courtesy Ads of the World)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s impossible to really grasp the fear that people living in war-torn areas have to deal with, particularly when it comes to those parts of the world that are left littered with land mines when a war is over. But UNICEF’s landmine sticker campaign certainly drives home the point of how easy it is to miss them. Distributed in front of UNICEF information booths, the adhesive side of the stickers are printed with a design that matches the surface on which they’re placed, so that people step on them without realizing they’re there. And when they go to remove the sticker from their shoe, they discover the image of a landmine on the other side reminding them that in many parts of the world there’s the genuine risk of stepping on something that’s far less innocuous than a sticker.

[ Ads of the World – Unicef: Landmine stickers ] VIA [ I New Idea ]

Smart Meters Coming Sooner Than You Might Expect

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By Gilberto J Perera

This guest post was written by Gilberto who is the main article contributor for Laptoplogic.com, where you can find the latest laptop reviews.

How would you like to set your thermostat at home while you’re at the office? Wouldn’t it be nice if you forgot to turn off your water heater for a two week vacation and you were able to log on to an online portal and turn it off? How about using an energy management system for your home that charges when electricity is the cheapest and avoids the peaks where electric costs are higher? These are all scenarios that will be possible in the next 5-10 years as utilities move towards Smart Grids. The days of a mechanical meter and a visit from a meter reader are slowly approaching to an end.

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Kodak Announces S730 Digital Frame

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By Shane McGlaun

I like digital photo frames and each time someone comes to my house that doesn’t own a digital frame, they leave wanting one. With digital frames, I can display images of the kids and other events without having to print off gobs of pictures and find a place to put the pictures on my wall.

Kodak has announced a new digital photo frame called the Easyshare S730, but has left out some important details about the device. The import bits missing are exactly how large the screen of the frame is and what the frame looks like. Pricing for the frame will be $139 and it will ship in September.

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