Boomile 1.8M USB RGB LED Light Strip

I wanted to experiment with a backlight behind my TV and this budget-priced kit contained all I need and seemed a good way to go. I was not disappointed.

Contained in the simple and eco-friendly box was the LED strip itself, credit card type remote control and a brief User Guide. I append the well printed and easy to read User Guide to my unboxing video.

The 3M sticky backed strip consists of four LED sections with detachable cables between each strip. The idea is that each strip is for one side of the TV with the cables making it easier to go around the corners. The strips can be cut to length if needed every three LED’s along the printed cut lines. The strip is powered by a standard USB connector although no power adaptor is supplied. The remote control uses a watch type battery (remember to remove the clear film contact protector!) and does not need to be paired with the strip.

Fitting the kit is easy but take care not to mount the LED strips too close to the edge of the TV to avoid the cables projecting over the edge of the TV. It took me just a couple of minutes to get it up and running. The only problem I can foresee is that the strip may come unstuck with time but we will have to wait and see about that.

The final effect is excellent although it does tend to illuminate all the junk and cabling normally hidden away in the darkness behind the TV! For the price, this is an excellent little kit and contains all you need to backlight your TV, Monitor, or alcove.

The Good
Good price
Good build quality
Easy to fit
Four section LED strip
Even illumination

The Bad
Cheap remote control
No USB adaptor

More info and purchase

Adoric Stainless Steel Silicone Tip Kitchen Tongs

This set of two heavy-duty tongs from Adoric arrived sensibly packed in an eco-friendly plain box inside of which were the tongs themselves. No paperwork was included and none needed with basic product information printed on the box.

Two pairs of tongs are included, identical in all but size with one pair being twelve inches in length and the other nine. The tongs are heat resistant up to 250C and fully dishwasher safe and have no sharp edges or points.  The tongs have lightweight stainless steel arms and food grade silicone tips and hanging hooks. The metal shafts extend almost the full length of the silicon tips so they offer a full and firm grip without excess flexibility. There are silicone strips along the shafts to provide insulation when holding the tongs. The tongs feel well made and very robust and I think are better suited to the campsite than the kitchen and for use with the barbecue more than day to day food preparation.

If you need a set of robust and long lasting tongs for barbecue or home then I doubt you could find a better pair than these for double the £8.99 asking price.

 

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A-Best Cycle Helmet with Safety Light and Visor

This well made £24.99 cycling helmet from A-Best arrived simply packaged with no branded product box. Although the product was perfectly well protected it does make it rather less appealing as a gift. Inside the box was the helmet itself, a spare battery (one is already fitted) and a small but well-written User guide. I include a copy of the User Guide in my unboxing video.

Build quality of everything seems fine although of necessity rather lightweight being made of plastic and eps foam. The LED light and battery seem watertight and rain proof but no IP rating is given. I would not expect any problems in normal UK rain. The helmet is fully adjustable with a quick release buckle and should fit almost every head size. The inner sponge lining is held in place by velcro and can easily be removed for cleaning.

The headset is a standard one in many respects and from a distance looks the same as the rest. Indeed I suspect it is a generic model rebranded for different suppliers. That is fine by me and in fact and this one is a shade less costly than some rivals I have seen. It has a plastic front visor which is detachable and clips into position to slots on either side of the helmet. It also has a bright red multi-LED warning light on the rear which can be switched turn on/off or switched between a flashing and always on modes using the switch built into the light itself. This is awkward to reach and the rider would need to stop in order to do so. The light is powered by a small watch type battery and although it is a nice touch to include a spare it is a pity that a rechargeable battery or larger and easier to find battery was not used.

A good quality helmet is a necessity for all cyclists these days and the addition of the safety light is a great bonus.

The Good
Good price
Bright and powerful LEDs
Helmet size adjuster
Showerproof
Good User Guide
Spare battery
Detachable sponge lining
Adjustable size

The Bad
Poor packaging
Light switch awkward to reach
Watch type battery used

More info and purchase

FreedConn T-COMVB-800 Motorcycle Helmet Bluetooth Communication System

 

I bought this £38.99 bike communications and music system to allow me to listen to music and make calls from my phone with controls accessible with the helmet on. I just have the one unit but I plan to buy another so I can communicate more easily with my partner when she joins me on the road.

The single receiver/transmitter kit arrived in an attractive mid-market product box inside of which was the external headset, speakers and microphone loom, four sticky backed mounting pads, headset clip set, Allen key, USB charging cable, User Guide. I include a scan of the well written and easy to read User Guide in my unboxing video. Everything seems well made and robust and nothing looks like it is likely to fail anytime soon.

Fitting it inside my helmet was easy enough as the headset can be shaped to pretty much any position and is held in place using velcro pads. Fixing the outside control unit using the clamp was a bit more tricky but after a few goes I got it sorted and now it seems good and secure.

Using it is easy enough. The control unit has a large jog wheel with a central Multifunction button. Below this is the On/Off and intercom button and the two LED status indicators. There is a side charging port also used to connect the headset. The intercom button is used to communicate with other T-COM VB users and has voice and beep status prompts. The Intercom button can also be used to switch between the intercom, built-in FM radio and Bluetooth audio sources. The Multifunction button is used like that on a normal Bluetooth headset to respond to incoming phone calls, Play/Pause the headset FM radio, Play/Pause Bluetooth audio, toggle between FM radio and Bluetooth audio. Rotating the jog wheel can be used to change FM radio channels, jump to the next music track and as a volume control.

Pairing with my mobile phone was easy enough and much the same as pairing to a Bluetooth speaker using red/blue flashing status lights. Connecting to up to two other T-COM VB is a very similar procedure although not one that I have tried myself.

I found using the device even with gloved hands to be not too difficult. Audio quality was fine and better than I expected. I was able to receive phone calls perfectly well with decent quality audio either end.

Although I can only review as a stand-alone item, I am very impressed with this in-helmet audio unit and will be using it as part of my regular biking kit.

More info and purchase

Coffee Nobeli Guatemala Organic Roasted Gourmet Coffee Beans

 

Coffee Nobeli are specialist coffee dealer based in Slovakia that sources and markets fine coffees from around the world together with high-quality coffee related products and accessories. This new small batch roasted organic coffee from Guatemala is one of their first on Amazon here in the UK.

The coffee beans arrived attractively packaged in a robust easily resealed bag with tasting notes and suggestions for best preparation printed on the outside.

Fair Trade, organically grown and processed, this is a very fine coffee indeed. Brewed in my Melitta bean-to-cup machine, it made a good, dark espresso with nice, sweet crema. Strongly aromatic, with dark chocolate and caramel notes and a delicious sweet aftertaste – just exactly the right degree of sharp, clove-like bitterness on the tongue, to give it complexity. When brewed as a cafe creme and drunk with cream, it was wonderfully smooth, with a mild, rich, slightly smoky chocolate flavour, typical of the best quality, high grown beans – with none of the oily flavour or bitter aftertaste one sometimes finds with lower-quality mountain beans. A lovely round, smooth, easy-drinking coffee, good drunk black or with cream. Expensive, but very well-worth paying a little extra for such a fine, delicious coffee.

I am looking forward indeed to trying more Slovakian coffee!

IntimaTe WM Heart Gaming Office Chair

 

My old office chair was getting scruffy and the time had come for a change and so following a recommendation from a friend I opted for this one from the curiously named Intimate WM Heart. Currently discounted to £99.99 it is listed as a Gaming Office chair but seems to be a pretty standard office chair to be but with added lumbar and neck support. I chose the red model, a mistake perhaps as the colour is a bit in your face but that is down to choice.

As my unboxing video shows the chair arrived in a huge and very heavy box with the chair assembly kit well packaged within. There were a few scuff marks on out of sight parts of the chair but otherwise, all arrived in good order.

The two-page assembly instructions leaflet is far better than most, uses photographs and is in colour – I enclose a scan of it in my unboxing video. It is not perfect as a few things are not made clear (such as the left and right plastic side covers are NOT the same) but there were no serious problems and I was able to get the chair built easily enough. Assembly was easy enough and the only issues I had were fabric partially covering screw holes and the side cover confusion mentioned above. I was very impressed by the presentation of various screws and washers needed which were in a blister pack with the various types separately packed and labelled both sides of the pack. I was pleased to see that spares were included also.

The chair itself once assembled feels strong and robust and I have no feeling that I will need to tighten the fittings anytime soon. The chair is comfortable enough but I would have preferred a softer padding, particularly to the arm rests. The arm rests can be moved up and down but cannot fold up 90 degrees out of the way. The gas lift works well and the chair can be racked backwards although the mechanism is a bit clunky. The lumbar support is good as is the head rest and both are adjustable and have zips to allow the padding to be removed for cleaning.

The is good quality office style chair, well made and robust with better than average and nicely printed assembly instructions.

The Good
Good price
Good build quality
Good Assembly instructions
Well marked fittings kit
Spare fittings included

The Bad
Some errors and omissions in Instructions
Padding overly firm
Armrests cannot fold away

More info and purchase

Kinglead Safety LED Bike Helmet

This new £25.99 cycling helmet from Kinglead arrived simply packaged in a plain brown box. Although the product was perfectly well protected it does make it far less attractive as a gift. Inside the box was the helmet itself, a spare battery (one is already fitted) and a small but well written User guide. I include a copy of the User Guide in my unboxing video.

Build quality of everything seems fine although of necessity rather lightweight being made of plastic and eps foam. The LED light and battery seem watertight and rain proof but no IP rating is given. I would not expect any problems in normal UK rain. The helmet is fully adjustable with a quick release buckle and should fit almost every head size. The inner sponge lining is held in place by velcro and can easily be removed for cleaning.

The headset is a standard one in many respects and from a distance looks the same as the rest. Upon examination, it is rather different. It has a plastic front visor which is detachable and clips into position with slots on either side of the helmet. It also has a bright red four LED warning light on the rear which can be switched turn on/off and switched between a flashing and always on mode using the switch built into the light itself. This is awkward to reach and the rider would need to stop in order to do so. It is powered by a small watch type battery and although it is  a nice touch to include a spare it is a pity that a rechargeable battery or larger and easier to find type was not used.

A good quality helmet is a necessity for all cyclists these days and the addition of the safety light is a great bonus.

The Good
Good price
Bright and powerful LEDs
Helmet size adjuster
Showerproof
Good User Guide
Spare battery
Detachable sponge lining
Adjustable size

The Bad
Poor packaging
Light switch awkward to reach
Watch type battery used

More info and purchase