toyuugo 3D Remote Control LED Moon Light

I have tried several earlier generation moon lights, similar to this one in that they are 3D printed and are supposedly correctly mapped from a real image of the moon but this new 15cm diameter 3D printed Moonlight from toyuugo offers several handy features the others lack.

The lamp arrived nicely presented in an attractive box with all the information you need to know to operate the moon printed on it. Inside is the moon lamp itself, a short USB to the micro-USB charging cable, the wooden stand in two parts, and a credit card sized remote control.

The first thing to do is to assemble the stand and although you only need to push two pegs into two holes this can be rather tricky first time. Once assembled the moon just sits on top and is securely held in place. On the underside of the moon is a small off/on switch and a micro-USB charging port – a nice advance from the non-standard plugs used on the older models. Switch the moon off and plug it in to charge and when ready the moon will change in colour from a dim red to green.

To operate it you can use the 24 button soft key remote which allows a range of colours, fade modes and five dimming levels to be selected. Alternatively, you can just lightly pat the moon itself to scroll through the principle colours. Many of the older rivals are battery only and have to be switched off and plugged in to charge during which time the lamp will not work. This one you can leave plugged in all the time.

The light looks great both at night as a light and during the day as a room feature and can be left plugged in continuously. The light is bright but dimmable and offers 16 colours in various combinations and fading patterns.

For the £21.99 price, this is an advance on the old-style rivals and well worth the slightly extra cost.
More Info and Purchase

Unisun B22 6W Light Bulbs – 2 Set

As lighting technology progresses not only are old-style bulbs being replaced but first-generation LED bulbs are now being superseded by new style bulbs such as this new set from Unisun, which are smaller, brighter and less expensive than the before.

Each of these LED bulbs is equivalent to an old-style 40w bulb but is just 50 x 96 mm in size and weighing in at just 30g, smaller, lighter and more robust than the earlier models and also offering not just a full range of controllable colours but also a warm white preset, dimmable white light, timer and daily auto-off preset. They look small, neat and discreet and will not dominate any table lamp or housing into which they are fitted.

The credit card sized remotes – there are two, one for each bulb – allow a full range of control for the light output and colour but also allow each bulb to be set to turn off or on at a set time each day and to turn off after a set period. The remotes take one CR2 battery each which are preinstalled and easily be replaced.

The bulbs are compact, neat and seem well made and robust. They are come pre locked to each bulb and are simple and intuitive to use, although a large and well written User Guide is included. They are designed for use as desk or table lamps and at 6w each is perfectly bright enough for this but for general room lighting look elsewhere.

For the £10.49 for the pair, this is a very decent buy.

More Info and Purchase

Victure Smart Video Doorbell VD300

This new budget-priced alternative to the Big Name video doorbells offers all the features you need: good quality 1080p video, live streaming, two-way audio, motion detection etc. It serves perfectly well as a video intercom and home security camera.

Included in the low key but attractive box are a wall mounting kit, 16gb micro-SD card, USB charger, an external USB powered chimer and a well written and easy to read User Guide. Build quality seems fine and the unit is rated as IP65 waterproof, which means it should be fine in all UK weather. All you need to set it up is here in the box and you should be able to get it up and working in just a few minutes.

Setting it up is easy enough using either of the two methods offered by the CloudEdge app which has to be registered with an email address before use. When configuring it make sure your phone is connected to a 2.4ghz network and is using the Doorbell hotspot method make sure that your phone has not defaulted back to the home network. Also, during my tests with this method I found that the doorbell had already connected in the background to my home wife before the connection wizard had completed, so check for this if you have a problem. When connected correctly you will get a steady blue light on the doorbell status LED ring.

Once connected the doorbell can be powered either by the two supplied 18650 rechargeable batteries or using a mains adapter kit, sold separately. I would advise using the adapter kit if possible as heavy use of the device will wear the batteries down although they can be charged through USB without needing to remove them from the case.

Video and audio quality are excellent and the delay between ringing the doorbell and the chime ringing is low with an alert message popping up on your phone screen almost as fast. The app records all events and will record pictures and images both to the app itself and the supplied 16gb micro-SD card inside the unit. You can also have a two-way conversation with no need to press a Talk button. The only real criticism I have is the lack of integration with Alexa, Google Home and IFTTT.

For the £84.99 price, this is a very decent alternative to the more costly Big Name market leaders.

More Info and Purchase

Inglenook Coal Scuttle & Fire Shovel

This scuttle and shovel set is a good buy for just £18.99 including delivery from Amazon. It seems well made and is attractively designed.

We have a solid fuel Rayburn stove that does the hot water, central heating and much of the cooking for the house but it needs regular fueling with compressed pellets of smokeless fuel stored in a bunker outside. For years we just used a bucket to bring the fuel in but when it finally failed it was decided to replace it with something a bit less ugly.

The set arrived in a cardboard box, badly punctured and dented but the contents, well protected in layers of bubble wrap were fine. No instructions, care advice, or paperwork was included but then operating a scuttle and shovel is hardly rocket science.

The Amazon listing at one point claims it is made from cast iron and then that it is made from Galvanised Steel. It is far too light and the metal too thin to be cast iron but Galvanised Steel is probably right. The handles on the scuttle have a chrome effect but also seem to be steel. Build quality seems fine although the metal is rather thin. So far after a few weeks of use, it is showing minimal signs of wear but I wonder in what shape it will be a year from now.

The scuttle does the job although getting the fuel into the Rayburn can be tricky as you have to swing the scuttle back and let gravity and momentum transfer the pellets to the fire. This is an issue with the Rayburn rather than the scuttle and those with open fires should have no problems, although a strong arm is needed to lift and upend the scuttle.

It is better looking than most of the rivals I have seen and appears no less robust. If you use a coal scuttle you will also be using a shovel and so the addition of the shovel is a nice touch and at 5″ it is exactly the right size to feed the scuttle with.

For the budget price, this fireside set seems a pretty good buy.
More Info and Purchase

TECKIN 5m 150 LED RGB 5050 Light Strip

Coloured lights are no longer just for Christmas and this kit from TECKIN can be used in a variety of ways around the home. It contains all you need to get going and allows for room for expansion later. This latest generation kit is a marked step upwards from the older ones.

In the attractive but low product box was a single 5M 150 LED light strip complete with plugs either end, UK power supply, 24 key infrared remote control, two female to female 4-pin adapters and a small but informative User Guide. The User Guide is indicative just how far these kits have developed as it is well written, nicely printed and easy to read. I include a scan of it in my unboxing video.

All you need is included here. There is no need to buy anything more unless you plan to expand the unit with more LED strips which can be daisy-chained onto this one and powered from the same PSU. Older kits had large external junction box controller but this new era kit incorporates this into the strip itself whilst the connectors are larger, easier to fit and less fiddly.

To use the kit with the single strip included then simply plug the output from the mains power adapter directly into the end of the light strip. You can cut the LED strip to length being careful to cut with scissors along the indicated points found every 100mm on the strip. You can cut the strip into smaller sections and join it together using the supplied connectors, again a great advance on old-style units and making it far easier to run the strip around corners or stair treads. The strip is sticky-backed and can easily be mounted in place. Remove the battery protector plastic strip from the remote control and connect the mains plug. Listed at being IP44 water-resistant it should be OK for use in sheltered areas of the garden or patio.

The fitted LED strips if discreetly mounted can be left in place for future festive occasions, otherwise, they can be carefully removed and returned to the box ready for future use. As with all LED strips over time the sticky surface will come loose and so for long time use a more permanent clip mounting method should be found.

Everything you need from a simple lighting kit is included here and at a very attractive price too at £15.99. All it lacks is direct Alexa/Google Home integration but suitable power sockets are available which allow voice control to turn the strip off an on and incorporate it into smart home routines. It is attractively presented and would make a great buy for the connected home.

More Info and Purchase

1byone Smart Bluetooth Body Fat Scales

Traditionally bathroom scales were big and heavy, even the high tech digital ones, and so I was very interested to try this new lightweight model from 1byone , particularly so with the current Amazon price of just £29.99, a bargain compared to rival units from Polar, Fitbit etc.

The scales arrived attractively packaged in an attractive and rather stylish box free from the gaudy packaging and plastics often associated with high imported tech goods. Inside the box were the bathroom scales, two sets of three AAA batteries, a tape measure, and two well written and easy to read User Guides in good English. I include a scan of the concise User Guide on the end of my unboxing video.

Build quality seems fine and although it still strikes me as odd to have bathroom scales made from plastic I must say that this model seems robust and well made enough to withstand the knocks and bangs of daily life. In the past I have struggled to get inside the battery compartment on some scales I have used but not so here as it can almost be done single-handed.

Once the device is unpacked and the batteries inserted the first thing to do is to download and install the iOS or Android app “1byone Health” to your phone. The scale will then automatically push each new measurement to the app which will then track your weight, BMI, Body Fat, Muscle Mass, Visceral Fat, Body Water, Bone Mass and BMR and can interface seamlessly with Apple Health, Google Fit, and Fitbit.

To use the scales, which should be positioned on a hard and flat surface, just step on them and wait for the large LED display to blink three times as it confirms the measurement. It can now be entered using Bluetooth into the 1byone app. The with four onboard sensors, accurate to 0.1kg/0.2lb you can track weights up to 400 lb /180 kg. It is an easy matter to auto recalibrate the scales by simply stepping off and on them. The scale works fine and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the readings which mirror those on my old unit. The data will also be passed on seamlessly to any other connected apps you may use.

This is an attractively designed, entry-level bathroom scale, that works well and is simple to use and gives you access to a multiple online app-based health monitoring systems.

More info and purchase

Littlelf WiFi Home Security Camera

This excellent 720p security camera from Littlelf is easy to configure and simple to use and has some features seldom found for the low to mid-range price. The all-purpose security camera is typical of the new generation of home security devices. It is budget-priced but high spec with better than average 720p resolution, cloud storage, SD card storage, in-app alerts, two-way audio, motion tracking. It is simple to configure, easy to operate, and works well.

The camera arrived in an attractive and well designed branded product box. Inside was the camera itself, a wall/ceiling bracket, UK plug power supply, wall mounting kit, USB to micro-USB cable, cleaning cloth and a well-written User Guide. The build quality seems good throughout and although the camera is quite large it is well made and looks impressive and rather upscale.

On the front of the camera are the camera lens and an infrared 11 Piece LED setup, call button and a microphone. Easily overlooked are the Reset Button and SD card slot on the rear of the camera along with the micro-USB power input port and Ethernet socket. On the underside of the base, there is the interface for the supplied mounting bracket or a standard tripod. There is no interface for an external alarm system. The camera is powered by a USB adaptor and so can work with any standard phone charger if the one supplied is unavailable. I was pleased to see that unlike with some rivals, a standard USB to micro-USB cable is used.

Setting the camera can be done either wirelessly or using an Ethernet cable (not supplied). I failed to connect using wifi due, I suspect, to my phone being on a dual 5/2.4g network but connecting over Ethernet was almost instantaneous. The only downside was having to register the LittleElf app before setup. Once connected the camera was fast and responsive with a range of options available through the extensive settings. There is no need for a wifi hotspot network generated by the camera, a hit or miss method still used by many older devices.

You can use the app to configure the camera in detail including alert triggers, SD card formatting and motion detection. Captured video and stills can be downloaded to both the phone and the camera micro-SD card.

The most notable features of this device are the ability to call the phone app from the camera using the front panel button, and the Alexa/Google Home voice control. It is a pity however than an external speaker and microphone cannot be connected and neither can third party alarm systems. There is support for Amazon Alexa using the PuwellCloud Skill and Google Home allowing for voice control and display on a connected TV or other screens.

Picture and audio quality is excellent and the live streaming fast and responsive. I have to say that it looks better on camera screen than it does from the app captured file. The camera offers full Pan, Zoom and Tilt control through the app. As my video shows there was very little latency between the phone and camera Pan and Tilt movements. This was better than I have found using some cameras costing several times the price.

If you want a good quality and easy to use security camera or baby monitor and at a very reasonable price and with a well above average feature list then this would be an excellent buy.

The Good
Great price
iOs and Android apps
Alexa/Google Home Skill
Two-way audio
Calls From Camera
Good build quality
Pan and tilt control in-app
Night Vision
Motion detection
In-app alerts
SD Card Slot

The Bad
No Audio out socket
No Audio In socket
No 5Ghz network support
The app needs to be registered

More Info and Purchase