Thursday, December 18, 2014

Product review: The Hoon Outdoor LED Solar Spotlight


The first night I put out this spot light it stayed on for 5 hours. However starting with a second night when it had to be recharged by the sun it does produce light for about 2 hours. The spot light is located in the area that gets sun just about all day, but I live in New England and it is fall so the sun so it is not the best conditions for the solar light. However, my other solar lights are doing better under the same conditions.

This is a photo sensitive spot light, which turns on when it is dark outside. The light is pretty bright at about 5 feet distance. I have it lighting a sign with the house number. However, if I put it across the walk it does not light the sign well enough (10-12 feet away). For curiosity I pointed it up at 25 foot flag pole we have and the light on the flag was very faint.

I like the design of the spotlight. I can adjust the angle of the solar panel and the angle of the spotlight independently. The light is waterproof, we had a few rain storms since I installed it and the light continued to function the next day. It has three settings low light, bright light, and off. The difference between bright and low setting is not big, so I am using it on low setting so it would last longer. But other than the first night I am not getting more than 2 hours light out of it.

The light has entire plastic construction (stake, pole, body). There is one metal screw that adjusts the angle of the solar panel. Plastics do not last a long time when they are exposed to the sun continuously. I have had a number of plastic solar lights and typically I get only 2 seasons out of them.

If you need a light for short period of time at short distance this is a reasonably priced spot light that will meet those needs. If you need to light a larger area or for a longer period of time this is not the right spot light.

You can find this solar spotlight on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Product review: 6 Watt B35 LOHAS® E12 LED Chandelier Light Bulbs--60W Incandescent Replacement


This bulb has the look and shape of an incandescent decorative bulb but it has a 6W LED filament. The rating says that it replaces a 60 watt incandescent. In attached video you side by side photos of the same light fixture with a 60 watt incandescent candle lights and visually the bulbs seem to generate similar amount of light. I think the LED light is a little bright but it could because it is made out of clear glass where as my original candle lights are frosted.

This bulb comes on instantly. The length of the bulb is 4" and the width is 1.38" (when measured at the widest part). One of the photos in the video has it next to an incandescent bulb and you can see that is slightly longer than 60W incandescent candle light, but it fit my fixture and looks good. The color of the light soft 3200 Kelvin and is quite similar to incandescent 60 watt bulb that I am using in my fixture.

This bulb has LEDs mounted in circle so the it produces light in all directions.

♦ 2 oz
♦ 4" long overall
♦ 3.5" above the socket
♦ not dimmable

This light produced omnidirectional light so it lights better than I expected and looks pretty similar to the good ol' incandescent.

You can find this bulb on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Product review: Eparé Egg Cracker/Topper Set


There are lots of different ways to top an egg this gadget adds another option. This little device drops a guillotine on the egg to crack and behead the shell in a perfect circle. It takes a little practice to develop the perfect touch. As you see in video sometimes the egg shells is removed perfectly and lifted by the topper, and sometimes it scores the shell and leaves it on the egg and it is necessary to remove it separately using a knife.

The instruction recommend not to wash the egg topper in the dish washer. The manual also contains a warning that the edges are sharp and to take caution while washing the egg topper not to cut your fingers. I wash the egg topper with a small brush that can get inside of the topper.

The set include two egg holders, two egg spoons, and one topper. The entire set is made out stainless steel. The only down side to egg holders being metal that if you like your boiled eggs hot, the holders get hot as well. My ceramic egg holders don't have the same issue. But the matching holders look good in the beheading ceremony! It is a nice set and a perfect gift for an egg lover who has everything.

You can find this egg cracker on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, December 12, 2014

Product review: Axgio PowerSlot L6U Desktop Wall USB Charger


♦ size: 2.5"W x 2.5"L x 3.25"H
♦ weight: 6.45 oz
♦ number of ports: 6

This wall charger does not work well in a wall outlet. It is bulky and heavy and it fell out of the wall outlet on several occasions. It is better used on an extension strip so that the charger can be plugged in with the prongs down.

This charger is designed for input AC100-240V and can work in US as well as internationally. It comes with a removable US plug. It would have been really nice if it had multiple plugs so an American buyer could use this plug while travelling.

This charger has 6 ports. Two of the ports are labelled as 1A outlets, the remaining 4 outlets are paired together and provide shared 2.4A between each 2 outlets in the pair. What does all this labelling mean in practice? To answer this question I used a current monitor abd checked how much power each port on this charger provides to my devices. I use a Android Phone for each optimal charge is 1A / 5V, and iPad Mini for which the optimal charge is 1.70A / 5V. I test all my chargers this way using the same charging cables, running the same apps while charging, and starting all tests at same charge level of the phone to account for non-linear charging. This allows me to compare the performance of different chargers to each other keeping everything else constant.

I tested each device on each port one device at a time, as well as with several devices charging at the same time, especially using those shared power ports. I am including detailed results below. For those who are interested in a quick summary I found this charged worked with both devices but charged both at slightly below optimal rate.

Samsung Nexus phone:
Port 1: 1.02A / 5.14V (excellent)
Port 2: 0.92A / 5.14V
Port 3: 0.89A / 5.14V (below optimal)
Port 4: 0.94A / 5.14V
Port 5: 0.94A / 5.14V
Port 6: 0.88A / 5.14V (below optimal)

(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
Port 1: 1.23A / 5.13V (ok)
Port 2: 1.26A / 5.14V (ok)
Port 3: 0.92A / 5.14V (below optimal)
Port 4: 1.15A / 5.13V
Port 5: 1.12A / 5.14V
Port 6: 0.93A / 5.14V (below optimal)
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

Test on 2.4A shared ports (port 3 and port 4)
Nexus phone (port 5): 0.81A / 5.14V (slightly less when it was charged alone)
iPad Mini (port 4): 1.22A / 5.13V (slightly more than when charged alone)

I've done quite a bit of testing for this charger. The charger works and was able to charge multiple devices at once. However it is not among the fasterst chargers on the market, and it is not a "smart" charger that provides an optimal charge for any device on any port. The design is bulky and does not work well as a wall charger because it does not stay in the outlet. If the package included a set of international plugs I would have given me a reason to prefer it to some other charger which is not designed to work internationally. As it stands now it is okay, it works but has some short comings.

You can find this wall charger on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Product review: YOOBAO 31W 4-Port Desktop USB Charger


This unassuming looking charger works very well. It charged 4 mobile devices (2 tablets and 2 phones) at full AC rate and remains cool while doing it.

♦ The charger size: 4.875" x 3.25" x 1.125"
♦ The charger weight: 6.75 oz
♦ The AC cord length: 56"

I measured the chargers performance when it was charging 4 devices at the same time as well as one at a time. I used both an Apple device and an Android device and saw that both worked at very good rate. The Android devices work at optimal rate on all 4 ports and iPad Mini worked at at optimal rate on the two 2A ports and below optimal on the two 1A ports (this is expected, as Apple devices need more than 1A to charge at full rate). I am including the detailed current monitor readings below for those who like to see the technical details.

➨ Test results
✔ Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone (the only device charging)
Port 1: 1.03A/5.07V
Port 2: 1.03A/5.06V
Port 3: 1.03A/5.07V
Port 4: 1.02A/5.07V

✔ Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone (with 3 other devices charging)
✔ iPad Mini (the only device charging)
Port 1: 0.93A/5.08V
Port 2: 0.92A/5.08V
Port 3: 1.32A/5.08V
Port 4: 1.34A/5.09V

✔ iPad Mini (with 3 other devices charging)

To summarize this charger did well charging my 4 devices at the same time. It perform at optimal rate for Android devices on all ports. It worked well on 2A ports with iPad Mini.

You can find this charging station on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, December 8, 2014

Product review: Yubi Power Desktop Power Charging Station - 2 USB Ports and 3 AC Outlets


This charging station has a 47" inch AC cable, 2 USB ports, and 3 grounded AC ports. The station has a retractable tray stand for the phone. The tray is a bit sticky at first, so it takes a little force to open it for the first few times. The tray is on the opposite side from the AC outlets. I include the video of opening it in my video. The charging station size is 4.625" wide x 3" tall and 3.375" front to back when the tray is extended, and 2.75" front to back with the tray retracted.

Two AC outlet are positions close to each and accept regular size plugs, one is spaced out enough to accept a large plug. However a battery charger such as SONY Eneloop does not fit because there is no enough room to extend beyond the outlet.

I measured the performance of the 4 USB ports. I used both an Apple device and an Adroid device. I tested each device when it was the only one charging on each of the ports, as both of them charging at the same time. Both devices worked, the performance for my iPad Mini was very good, but the performs for my Android phone was below optimal. I am including the detailed current monitor readings below for those who like to see the technical details.

➨ Test results
✔ Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone (the only device charging)
Port 1: 0.89A / 4.95V
Port 2: 0.87A / 4.95V

✔ iPad Mini (the only device charging)
Port 1: 1.43A / 4.95V
Port 2: 1.42A / 4.90V

✔ iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone at the same time
Nexus phone - Port 4: 0.79A / 4.95V
iPad Mini - Port 3: 1.59A / 4.95V
Nexus phone - Port 3: 0.76A / 4.95V
iPad Mini - Port 4: 0.95A / 4.95V

To summarize I like that the charging stations combines USB and AC ports without an additional charger. However, USB ports on this charging station did not perform as well as the other chargers for more Android phone. If you have Apple devices this is a no brainer good charger. If you have an Android devices it is not as clear cut. The decision here is between the convenience of having a charging station and relatively slower speed of charging. I am using this charger to charge the speakers attached to my TV rather than to charge my phone and I always can use a couple of extra AC outlets near the TV. Because the phone holder is retractable it does not take up any room when it is not used.

You can find this charge station on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Product review: Samergy Bladeless Fan - 14 Inch


I love this fan! It blow air evenly (not in puffs like a regular fan) and the noise it makes is uniform not changeable like a fan with blades.

The air comes from a circular tube mounted on a pedestal that houses the motor. The "bladeless" name is a bit of the misnomer. There are no visible blades but the fan does have blades hidden inside of the base. There is a small internal fan that pulls air into the base and the motor pushes it into oval and through the slits of the oval. When the air escapes from the slits in the oval the air behind the oval is pulled through the oval as well and this increases the amount of air that the fan pushes forward. This fan works on this basic law of physics, the fluid dynamics. Pretty cool!

The fan is 22" tall, and the oval is 14.5" top to bottom. The fan comes with a remote control which allows me to turn it on and off, increase and decrease the air flow, make oscilate side to side, and turn on LEDs at the bottom of the base. I captured all these options in the attached video.

The fan is not silent the the noise is white nose because it is very regular. I am light sleeper and find it less noticeable than the noise of a regular fan with blade which generates noise that is less steady.

You can find this fan on Amazon by following this link

Ali Julia review ★★★★★