Saturday, February 21, 2015

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

The Good:
Internet connected.
Bargain compared to other Internet smart thermostats.
View and make changes on any smart phone or tablet.
Shows indoor and outdoor conditions.
Change face colors.
Different levels of security to make changes.
Good instructions.

The Bad:
Bit complicated to set up.
Have to create a Honeywell account.
Can't change the color of frame of the thermostat.
Can't set holds for periods of days.

Standard thermostats that comes with houses (even new houses with "energy" efficient rating) comes with pretty basic thermostats. I had a touch screen one from Honeywell in my old house that was the latest and greatest back in 2008. I needed a new one since the thermostat that came with my current house was a 2 day, 4 event and I needed at least a 5 day one. The number of days indicates how many types of days you can have, a workday, weekend, home early day, leave early day, etc.
I decided to stay with Honeywell because they are a very well known brand that I've never had a issue with. Some of these newer ones like NEST are unproven to me. I wanted something that I could rely on with a great history.

I do admit the NEST thermostat does look "cooler" than the tradition rectangle shape. I was going for function and reliability rather than fashion. 

This does look pretty cool.

Installation was really easy. If you have never done one before, don't worry. They provide pictures and step by step instructions. They even give you stickers to mark the wires so you know how to connect them. It is really simple. 
What is not as simple is connecting it to your wifi and registering it with Honeywell so it works properly. You do have to create a Honeywell account in order to access the thermostat over the internet or cellular signal. Another username and password to remember. Ug. It's the standard register, send confirmation through email, verify the email and then you'll be able to use over wifi.

The menus for setup and pretty straight forward and self explanatory. I do notice a lag sometimes when connecting over 3G. It will say that unable to connect but then you try it again and then it connects. It could that my phone is 6 years and is just slow. I connected on an iphone and there is an app in Google play store that I can use with my tablet. 

I like the feature that it shows you what the outside conditions are as well. You do have to give your location a name. Most people would probably choose home but I wanted something different. 

You can set each day to be different, so this can be a 7 day, 4 event thermostat. If you know all the menus you can do it manually or it will guide through each step.

You can control and set features for the system, fan and schedule. I do wish you could put a certain temperature on hold for a certain amount of days. This was a feature on my old thermostat that I really liked. If I was going away for a weekend or was on vacation, I would use this feature. Of course, since I can access it over my phone I can change the temperature any time I want but I'll likely forget it and come home to a really hot or cold house. 

This thermostat is about $190 on Amazon. It is almost double of a none wifi thermostat with the same features but cheaper that the NEST by about $60. You can change the color of the face which is a really nice feature. They have some pretty nice coordinated color schemes or you can create your own. It probably has 16 total colors so you can't go too crazy but you can change it to suit your mood or wall color. I do wish you could change the dull grey color of the outside of the unit. You can create a password so that only you can change the thermostat or you can partially lock it so you have to go into the advanced menu in order to change the temp. This is a great feature to ensure no one else is messing with the temperature.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How to Train Your Dragons Action Figures


The Good:
Looks like the actual figures in the movie
Movable parts
Came with fish

The Bad:

These toys were from Toy's R Us and they were quite expensive in my opinion. They had good color and were generally constructed well. They had a lot of moving parts which added to the "playability" of the action figures and were more entertaining than plain figures.

The wings swept back and came forward.

Toothless was very detailed with the saddle and his wings swept back as well.

What the six year really liked was the fact it came with fish for them to eat an another larger fish.

Review by 6 year old:

I think that the fish are colorful. I think that Toothless is awesome. I think that the red dragon looks awful and the biggest fish looks awful. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

FEIT electric LED bulbs


The Good:
Uses only 4.9 watts per bulb. 
Not a "weird" shape or design.
Good evivilant lumens.

The Bad:
Not as many lumens vs. 40 watt evivilant.
Does not have the range of dimmable brightness.
Came in a pack of 3

I have been wanting to switch to LED bulbs for a while but they were really cost prohibitive. Costco had a sale on these bulbs for $10 for a pack of three which lowered the price to an "affordable" $3.33 per bulb. I had 40 watt candelabra bulbs in my light fixture which required 10. Every time I turned it on, I cringed at the fact I was using 400 watts.

They say it lasts 22 years. Yea sure. I'm sure they last a long time but not 22 years and I guarantee the company will not be around to collect your refund.

  My light fixture uses 10 bulbs. I wish they sold an even number. I looked online and these bulbs by themselves go for $5-$10 each. I'll wait until they come lower to buy that last bulb. 
These bulbs do dim but they don't have the same range of low to high lumens like the incandescent bulbs. Their lowest dim setting is the same as mid way compared to the incandescent bulbs.

This was the lowest dim setting with the LED bulbs.

This is the brightest setting with the incandescent bulbs.

This is the brightest setting with the LED bulbs. (9 total bulbs)