We all wish there was a fairy that could come and do our housework while we sleep or while we are working and we see robot vacuum cleaners advertised even in our local leading supermarket. Yet, we are still reluctant to buy one! We all question is a robot vacuum and mop cleaner worth it?
We think so and here are a few reasons why:
Easy to use and store
A Robotic vacuum cleaner is normally much smaller than a traditional one making it much easier to store, particularly in small homes or apartments with limited storage space.
The Smart vacuum cleaner is also easier to carry from room to room.
They are also cordless, self-charging and smart: they go to the docking station to recharge after completing the work or when their battery is low.
Nowadays, we are busier than ever, working full time and with weekends packed with activities.
The smart vacuum cleaner hoovering floors for you every day can save you one of two hours a week. For people who are strapped for time, just this fact makes the purchase worth it.
They can detect different floor types
With its smart technology, the robotic vacuum and mop can identify changes in the surface underneath and make adjustments. It can clean tiles, wooden floors and carpets, even high pile carpets. It is also great in house with pets as hair is not a problem.
Robot vacuums cleaners are really Smart: they feature anti-collision and anti-fall sensors. With sensors and a protective buffer, they can not only prevent themselves from damage but also can avoid damaging the furniture.
They can also detect walls, pets and stairs and will automatically turn around when they come across one. However, it is good to remember to keep any surface clear of small objects. The brushes will entangle small items and this eventually will cause damage to your robot cleaner.
With smart technology we can control the robot vacuum remotely via a smart phone. All we need to do is download the associated app that makes it possible to navigate your smart device, even if we are not at home.
For those of us who love everything techie, surely this smart techology make the robot vacuum worth it!
No hard place to reach
A Smart robot vacuum is usually round and low profile. This allows the robot cleaner to reach tight places, such as under the couch and under the bed.
The fact that robot vacuums are round might give the idea that they cannot reach corners, but they do. The edge sweeping brushes extend beyond the circumference of the main robot vacuum and allow it to pull in dirt from corners as well as along walls.
Smart Robot vacuums come with HEPA filters (High-efficiency particulate air filters). They reduce airborne triggers, such as dust and allergen particles.
The robot vacuums capture the particles and do not release them back into the air.
People have the perception that smart robot vacuums are pricey. They are not. The smart robot cleaners can be scheduled to work when we wish and over time, the robot “learns” the layout of your home so that its performance becomes more efficient.
On top of that they require little maintenance.
Are power banks allowed on planes? Here we have a look at how power banks work and if we are allowed to carry on planes, either in checked in luggage or hand luggage.
It is a fact that we are all using technology for both pleasure and work. However, sometimes the battery life of the device is not enough, and we may find ourselves in situations where wall plug in charging is not readily available. The handiest solution is to be always prepared and have a fully charged power bank at the ready.
A power bank, in basic terms, is a battery that supplies power to your device in order to restore its charge. Power banks come in several colours and shapes and are available with various capacities. The capacity of a power bank is measured in mAh (milliamp hours) which is a unit of measurement used specifically for batteries. A battery that has a higher mAh will have more power and battery life.
How do power banks work?
Power banks work by transferring power through a USB port, via a built-in Lithium-ion batteries, and can charge up multiple devices. Power banks are compatible with any device that can be plugged into a USB port.
More advanced models are fitted with QI technology and can charge wirelessly.
Power banks receive their charging power through a dedicated input socket. The fastest charging route is when it is plugged into a socket on the wall. It can also be charged by inserting the cable into the USB port of your home computer or laptop. Some TVs also have USB ports which you can connect your cable to and charge your power bank.
What devices can I charge with my power bank?
Power banks can charge phones, PCs (with USB Type-C ports), tablets, speakers, earphones, wristbands, watches, and other electronic devices. The charging specifications and whether your power bank is fast at recharging your device will depend on the powerbank you choose and its power output.
Are powerbanks allowed on planes?
Airlines do not allow power banks in the cargo luggage as they are a safety concern. Power banks are essentially batteries that utilise lithium cells. Lithium batteries can combust on occasion, and are therefore not allowed for cargo transport, as part of air-transport regulations.
An IATA (International Air Transport Association) document, for the ”Transport of Lithium Metal and Lithium Ion Batteries Revised for the 2017 Regulations”, states the following about carrying power banks:
”(Power banks) are portable devices designed to be able to charge consumer devices such as mobile phones and tablets. For the purposes of this guidance document and the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, power banks are to be classified as batteries and must be assigned to UN 3480, lithium ion batteries, or UN 3090, lithium metal batteries, as applicable. For carriage by passengers, power banks are considered spare batteries and must be individually protected from short-circuit and carried in carry-on baggage only.”
How Many WH (Watt Hours) does my powerbank store?
In addition to the above, there is also a restriction on the WH (Watt Hours) that the power bank can store. The rules are as follows:
If the rated power is less than 100Wh, power banks can be carried without approval; if you would like to carry power banks with the power between 100Wh and 160Wh, you will need approval of air carrier. However, each passenger carry no more than two power banks.
So, does that mean I can bring my 10000 mAh in my hand luggage? Here is the formula to calculate if your power bank is within the stated limit:
Milliamp Hours x Voltage/1000 = Watt Hours
(MAH) X (V) /1000 = (WH)
Normally powerbanks output voltage is 5V, therefore you are safe with your 10,000mAh battery:
10000 (mAh) X 5 (V) /1000=50 WH
Maybe, make sure that the mAh is clearly visible on the powerbank to avoid misunderstandings.
In this blog we explain what smart wall sockets are and find out if they are worth the investment. Most of us have wi-fi in the house, if no other reason to keep children and young adults entertained and happy. So, why not make the most of it and transform your home into a smart home with smart wall sockets?
What are smart wall sockets?
A smart wall socket looks just like an ordinary socket but it connects to your home wi-fi and turns any appliance that is plugged into it, into a smart appliance. This means that it can be controlled even if you are not at home. In addition, you can schedule the appliance to turn on or off automatically at set times of the day. The same way a traditional timer would. You can do all this very simply through an app on your phone.
How do Smart wall sockets work?
Smart wall sockets work via an app that you download on your smartphone or tablet. The app is free and the manufacturer will inform you of the details. More advanced models are compatible also with voice assistants. So you can ask Alexa or Google Home to turn your appliance on or off.
You can use smart wall sockets to get all your smart devices working. You can do this, even if they are not produced by the same manufacturer. For example, you could switch on a table lamp and then turn on the washing machine.
This is possible because the smart wall socket, that gives power to the lamp and the washing machine, is connected to the wi-fi. Your phone, tablet or voice activated speaker sends instructions to the smart wall socket using the wi-fi network.
Other features of smart wall sockets
Smart wall sockets are available in different models. In the market, there are single smart wall sockets, where you can plug in one appliance or device.
Other models are double and can take two appliances at the same time, whereas other offer the added feature of having also USB ports.
Are smart wall sockets worth it?
We think so! Apart from the fact that it is extremely cool to be able to talk to your house and having it respond with actions, smart wall sockets are a great addition to your home if you are looking to save money on your energy bill. By utilizing the scheduling feature of your smart wall socket app, you can schedule your lights, for instance, to come on during times of the day when you are home, avoiding waste of energy when you are not there. You could also switch off the TVs and game consoles in the household, rather than having them on stand by during the night.
Smart wall sockets are worth it also for keeping your home safer from fire hazards. If you use heat-powered items daily, like a hair straightener or an iron, plugging those into a smart wall socket, gives you the ability to turn them off remotely from your phone. So, in case you get to work and realize that in your rush to get out the door you left it on, your smart wall socket allows you to switch it off remotely.
Smart wireless chargers are good and safe! We love the idea of being able to just set our smartphone or tablet on a wireless charger. It eliminates the hassle of having to look for a cable to connect your smart device.
Despite their convenience, some of us are still reluctant to adopt the items. In this blog, we answer a few questions hoping that it will make it easier for potential users to understand the technology.
In order to be able to use smart wireless chargers, your smartphone or tablet must be Qi compatible. All of the major mobile phone companies support it. Apple iPhone now boast wireless charging on its latest models, and Samsung has already featured the technology for some time.
Wireless charging works through the concept of electromagnetic induction between two devices. Once placed on the wireless charger, your device starts to send a regular test signal to the wireless charger to check for compatibility.
Once the device and charger confirm their compatibility, the charging through induction begins. While charging, the phone or tablet and the charger must remain in contact. They both switch into standby mode when the battery reaches a full charge. Also, the Qi charger base activates and transfers energy only when you place a compatible device on it. So they use a little less power.
Wireless chargers do emit EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) radiation, , but the average induction wireless charger creates a field no more dangerous than radio waves. It isn’t strong enough to have any effect on the human body. If anything, plugging in and unplugging a cable is more dangerous. There’s an ever so slight chance it could fray and shock you. By contrast, induction hardware can be safely encased in thick plastic and still work. This technology has long been used with electric toothbrushes: the units can remain sealed and waterproof.
Therefore, there is nothing to worry about.
For the most part, your smart wireless charger will work fine with a case. You don’t need to have direct contact between the phone or tablet and the wireless pad to initiate charging, so having a few millimeters (max 5mm) between your device and the charger isn’t going to stop the process. Avoid thick or metal cases, if you can, alternatively remove the cover while using the smart wireless charger.
Not entirely true. Chances of your smartphone or tablet getting damaged are high if you use a low-quality wireless charger.
Good quality wireless chargers are built to prevent damage to the phone or tablet while in use. As we mentioned before, both the device and the smart wireless chargers have built in technology that allows them to go into stand by mode once the battery is fully charged.
In addition, by continually topping up the battery during the day and not letting your device battery dip below 50%, you will actually increase the lifespan of your battery.
Proper lighting is essential in our everyday life. We thought it would be an interesting exercise to have a look at what features are found in the best LED work lights.
Because LED work lights come in a wide range of shape and sizes suitable for every job, they are always a popular option for supplementary task lighting.
In our opinion, the best LED work lights are:
Take for instance carpenters, plumbers and other trades people, they are required to operate on different sites, sometimes on a daily basis. Consequently, the fact that their work light is compact and portable is an important feature.
Trade people, who are often required to work on sites where electricity is not yet connected, find a rechargeable work light particularly useful. Sometimes, they find themselves working in small spaces and it can be awkward if not impossible to bring in a generator to power lights.
Using a cordless LED work light has the advantage in the fact that there are – as the word explains – no cords, therefore eliminating the annoying problem of tangling with other cables.
It also makes it much easier carrying the work light to different locations.
Energy efficient and cost effective
LED bulbs are incredibly energy efficient as they require much less wattage than the CFL or incandescent counterparts. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, LED bulb typically use about 25%-80% less energy.
Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting. LED bulbs can last up to 25% longer, saving the hassle of purchasing new bulbs every few months.
The best LED work floodlights come with smart features such as:
All the features described above will make a LED floodlight a great work light, thus enabling the lights to be useful in a range of scenarios:
In this blog, we have a look for the best desk lamp for your home-office or study area.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, working and studying from home has become a necessity. In relation to the work environment, this trend is set to continue with companies offering the option of working from home to some of their employees.
It is therefore important to choose a good desk lamp to make our tasks easier. But what are the things that make a great desk lamp?
We have identified some characteristics to look out for when choosing a desk lamp:
Good for your eyes
A desk lamp is designed to illuminate your work or study area in order to reduce eye strain and the symptoms that go with it. In addition, a good desk lamp can increase mood and production.
There is no evidence that bad lighting will affect your vision, but there is substantial evidence that poor lighting will have short term affects like headaches and eye strain.
You can avoid this by having the right amount of illumination evenly spread across your work area. A common range for task lighting is 800 – 1400 lumens.
The best desk lamps come with dimmer switches that will allow you to choose among three different settings. They also have an eye protection feature producing flicker free lighting.
The most advanced models come with auto-dimming mode to detect the ambient and adjust automatically to give you the best possible brightness level for your work environment.
A handy feature you can find in a desk lamp, is the adjustable head. This offers you the ability to shine the light directly and precisely on to you work surface.
Multifunctional and sleek design
If you are restricted in the space you can devote to your home study or work space, you should consider a multifunctional desk lamp.
There are models that have a built in rechargeable battery that can come handy when you have access to only one socket.
The advantage is that you will be able to charge the desk lamp when you are not working, therefore leaving the important single socket for your computer or lap top.
Another useful feature is the wireless charger. If you have mobile phone compatible with wireless charging technology, then you can charge you phone while working.
If you are strapped for space, maybe a desk lamp which folds away is also worth considering.
Last, but not least, you want your desk lamp to add a touch of design to your desk. In the market there are models for all tastes: modern and sleek shapes, classic and traditional as well as industrial designs.
The LED bulbs used in the modern desk lamps, offer significant advantages over incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.
LED desk lamps have a big energy savings advantage over older technologies. They use far less power than incandescent bulbs, and they even beat fluorescents.
Every kilowatt-hour counts. Over weeks, months and years, a highly-efficient LED light on your office or study desk can make a difference in your bills.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have an incredible lifespan. With no filaments and little heat, they last at least 20 times longer than an incandescent.
They don’t burn out, they simply get dimmer. High quality LED desk lamps can last for decades!
For the best desk lamp for your home-office or study area see:
What are smart video doorbells?
Smart video doorbells are also referred to as doorbell cameras. They alert the homeowner when a visitor arrives at the door. The items do so by sending a notification to a chosen smartphone or another selected electronic device.
They activate when someone presses the button of the doorbell, or in more technologically advanced models, when the doorbell senses a visitor with its built-in motion sensors.
How do doorbell cameras work?
Doorbell cameras connect to your device via Wi-fi. Smart doorbells record video whenever someone rings the bell or comes within range.
They capture digital high-definition colour videos and some models feature advanced video technology which allows to obtain clear pictures at night. Gone are the days of grainy black and white videos on tapes!
Video doorbells and apps
The difference between old and new technology is not only reflected in image quality and recording format, but also in the way it connects with the homeowners. Doorbell cameras can integrate with Android or Apple devices via apps that the manufacturers have developed for the products.
When a visitor activates the smart doorbell, it sends an alert to your app. This makes possible for you to view a live stream of what is happening at your door. Many models have built-in speakers and microphones, allowing you to interact with your visitor, whether you are in the house or not.
Doorbell cameras and footage storage
Most video doorbells allow you to retrieve video footage recorded either by accessing the SD card, or cloud storage.
It is important to point out that brands which offer cloud storage options, come with a subscription charge. These charges start at €3.00 per month, but they can go as high to €10.00 per month, depending on how many days you require the recordings to be maintained.
Are doorbell cameras worth it?
People install smart doorbells for different reasons:
Whatever the reason, smart video doorbells are becoming ever more popular. They are affordable and easy to install, but more than anything else, they give homeowners peace of mind in the belief that the devices can discourage troubles at their home.
This is not a question that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Without getting too technical, UV radiation falls into three categories depending on its wavelength: UVA, UVB and UVC. The shorter the wavelength, the more energetic the radiation, and the more harmful it can be.
The UV Lights used as sanitizers fall into the UVC category. The great news is that yes, they can kill germs and viruses, including the Coronavirus.
We know this first-hand! Westpharma laboratory in Dublin 15 independently tested our products.
The experiment consisted in exposing a large quantity of human skin organisms to our UVC light technology for 5, 10 and 15 seconds. We also compared the results against cleaning a surface, contaminated with the same sample bacteria, with antibacterial cleaning agents. The report read as follows:
“As can be seen in the photo, excellent results were obtained. A sample was also tested using IPA as a cleaning method to compare it to the results achieved using the dinfection lamp/wand and as can be seen again in the photo below, results are outstanding.”
Dangers associated with UVC Light technology
But are UVC Lights sanitisers safe to use at home, at school or in the office?
The advice is the same as if using any other appliance. Use UVC lamps only for the their specified purpose and always follow the instructions on the information leaflet. Here are the dangers of UVC lights:
Applications of UVC lights lamps
So, now that we are aware of the dangers and how to avoid them, we explore how we can use them in our everyday life.
Due to their ease of use, low cost and outstanding results, our UVC sanitiser lamps are perfect for the home, office or classrooms. They cover up to 60m2 with a wavelength of 185-253 NM and 360° sterilization function.
They kill bacteria, mites and viruses, come with inbuilt radar sensor and remote- control functionality. The lamp has a 10 second delay action, to allow the person to exit the room before starting use. At the same time, it has the ability to stop if the radar sensor detects human or pet presence.
After sterilization, ventilate for 20-30 minutes. You are now ready to use the room in the knowledge that you are entering a Coronavirus free environment.
We also offer a UVC sanitizing wand, a hand held UVC light.
It gives a 99.9% bactericidal rate with no harmful chemicals, comes with a 3000mA rechargeable battery and quickly kills all kinds of common germs, including Coronavirus. Very affordable, it guarantees you peace of mind at your desk, or using your keyboard, or driving your car.
Both this items have endless applications for home use, in the office, in a classrom or school, in your car or bus and wherever else you want to keep yourself and your loved ones safe!
Since Smart robot vacuums and floor cleaners were introduced to the market at the beginning of this century, they have become more and more popular with millions of units being sold worldwide. This trend is expected to continue, thanks to the steady development in technology.
House chores are not pleasant tasks: they can be laborious and tedious. Furthermore, nowadays, people are busier than ever, with most families having two parents working full time. Therefore, it is of benefit considering the potential time saving advantage that a Smart Robot Vacuum can bring to your life: even saving an hour or two per week makes the cost of these devices worth it for many who struggle to find the time.
Suitable for difference surfaces
The robotic vacuum is a smart device in many respects: it is able to identify changes in the surface underneath and make adjustments whether the floor is tiled, wooden or carpeted, always resulting in great cleaning.
Smart Robot vacuums come with HEPA filters (High-efficiency particulate air filters) therefore reducing airborne triggers, such as dust and allergen particles which are captured and not released back into the air.
No hard place to reach
A Smart robot vacuum is round in shape and low profile, allowing the device in tight places, such as under the couch and under the bed.
Easy to use and store
A Robotic vacuum cleaner is normally much smaller than a traditional one making it much easier to store, particularly in small homes or apartments with limited storage space. The Smart device is also easier to carry from room to room. Robotic vacuums are also cordless and self-charging. They go to the docking station to recharge themselves after completing the work or when their battery is low.
Stair safe and anti-collision
Smart robot vacuums feature anti-collision and anti-fall sensors that protect your belongings – including animals – and your robot from accidental damage. With sensors and a protective buffer, it can not only prevent itself from being damaged but also can avoid damaging the furniture. It can also detect walls and stairs and will automatically turn around when it comes across either one. However, it is good to remember to keep any surface clear of small objects that can become entangled in the brushes that eventually might cause damage to your smart device.
Despite the perception that Smart robot vacuums are pricey, they are much cheaper than housekeepers and require little maintenance. The smart devices are also cost efficient as they can be programmed to clean exactly when needed.
Intelligent navigation system
The Smart robot vacuum “learns” the layout of your home over time so that its performance becomes more efficient.
It is possible to control the Smart robot vacuum remotely via your smart phone, downloading the associated app, therefore making it possible to navigate your smart device, even if not at home.
LED strip lighting is popular among many Architects and Lighting Designers as they are energy efficient and offer a great range of colour options and brightness. The biggest advantage is how easy they are to install. Their flexibility, low-profile and helpful accessories make them the most popular LED strip for the at home DIY types. With these LED strips, a homeowner can design like a professional.
This LED Strip Guide will help newcomers chose they right LED strip lights and how to use them.
Cutting LED strips is very simple thanks to the cut lines along the strips. At each cut point there is a black line with copper solder pads that sit on each side. The copper solder pads make it possible for each strip to be joined even after being cut. This makes it possible to connect LED strips together or connect the strip in a different area of your home.
Flexible LED strip with Adhesive
The LED strips have an adhesive backing for simple mounting options. The low profile, flexible strip has a peel-off backing which exposes the adhesive, making for a simple peel-and-stick install.
LED Strip Density = Brightness
The density of an LED light strip means how many LEDs are in a set area. For LED flex strips, density is measured in ‘LEDs per Meter’. The Standard Density strip has 30 LEDs/M whereas the High-Density has 60 LEDs/M. A higher density strip equates to a higher quality, brighter light.
Different projects require certain amount of brightness to achieve their purpose. My advice would be to always go for the brighter option and make sure the kit comes with a dimmer. Below is a helpful guide on Lumen requirements:
LED strip colour depends on personal preference. RGB LED strips are a good option for those that like some variety and colour effects. RGB strip lights are colour changing strips that are great for accent lighting all around the home. They use red, green and blue diodes so that they can be mixed to create many different colours.
Was the plan to run all the strips together in a long run? If your total length needed is over the maximum run length of the strip, then you will need to run parallel wires from your power source to the separate strips. Sometimes you will want to power strips coming from different directions into one common power supply. In this instance you will already be running parallel wires.
Connecting LED strips
Connecting strips will be necessary for any strip project. We have some helpful information on to complete any LED strip connection.
How to Connect LED Strips without soldering: Click Strip Connectors work great for connecting strips end to end, running gaps in between LED strips or running around tight corners.
The easiest way to connect two LED strips together is to use a LED light strip connecting clip. Two LED strips can be joined with each other using a male to male clip. Hippo Buckle light strip connector lets you connect two LED strips with each other easily. This connector has space for LED light strip on each of its two ends. You simply have to install one end of your strip to the hippo buckle connector to connect two strips together. The ‘buckle’ on the connector keeps the strips in place once installed.
You can use these connectors to connect two strips together or even connect your LED strip to the power supply. In either case, these connectors help you extend the distance your LED light strips can cover effectively. You can use this connector to connect single colour and RGB LED lights strips together.
While hippo clips are great for connecting individual LED light strips with each other, they don’t have enough space to connect parallel LED tapes to each other. That is where this larger solder-free LED strips lights connector comes in to play. It has enough space to connect multiple LED strips with each other.
You can use this connector to connect single colour and RGB LED ribbon lights together. It is also compatible with dimmable LED strip lights. Plastic clips keep the LED strips in place and the connection secure.
Your project might require your LED light strips to go around a corner or an unusual shape. That is where the solder-free LED wire connectors come in handy. These wire connectors have clips on both ends so you can use them to connect two LED light strips with each other. They are great for extending the length of your LED light strips.
The wire connector is a great way to cover corners and other areas of your space where you don’t need light. This is because these wires don’t have LEDs mounted on them. They can only be used to extend the length of the strips. You can connect both single colour and RGB LED tape lights with each other.
Follow the instructions on our video and start creating!