Showing posts from January, 2018

What an amazing brand! You might be surprised when you find out who it is though.

After having picked a few of these Chinese smart devices apart and finding out that most of them are really questionable, in fact many of them would be considered downright dangerous if you follow the questionable labeling.  I decided to invest in some electrical meters to be able to give a more in depth criticism.  When I ran into this little Chinese company called TackLife I thought, "Why don't I look into the build quality of Chinese electrical tools while I'm at it?"

I am so glad I made this decision.  As an electrician by trade I am used to dropping $150+ on a good meter but I spent less than $40 on this little bundle. When I purchased them I thought there is no way they would match up to my tried and true 3 year old name brand meter.  The initial build quality of this bundle is very good, in fact dare I say better than my previous Fluke and Ideal meters.  The cord is far more flexible which has always been a complaint of mine.  As an added bonus this meter doe…

How to do it right

A few days after I wrote about all the Chinese smart devices I had recently purchased and how none of them had proper labeling.  I am pleased to inform you that I have found one that has nearly everything I went on about correct.  I will write about how this company has done everything they should have to build a quality product and what I think about it.

These smart plugs by a little Chinese company called KKUP2U (no idea what that stands for) are very well built, they are very solid and the button is very clicky.  Let's be honest most likely a good majority of the innards are exactly the same as the ones I don't like with one very obvious difference.  They do not list wattage, they only list amperage and voltage.  This is great because the wattage changes as the voltage changes and this company took their label to the next level and only listed 120v AC, this is great because if you have a plug this fits into in the USA you should only be supplying it with 120v... Period.  If…

A concerning problem indeed!

After testing quite a few electrical devices now from Amazon I am a bit worried that standards aren't being kept.  Let me explain.

A bit of history:
Ever since the plug we know and love became popular in the US it has always been a 110-125 volt plug.  At first the slots were the same length and that did nothing to stop you from inserting the cord in the wrong way.  Modern plugs have a long slot for the neutral and the short slot for the hot wire, this prevents a cord from being inserted incorrectly and creating a possible safety issue. 

Later we introduced a 3rd wire that wasn't supposed to carry any power on a regular basis and it's sole purpose in life was to make sure nothing we touched was energized.  This wire is called a ground, we are starting to see it on quite a few everyday items we use on a daily basis.

At about the same time the ground wire was being phased in another outlet variant was introduced that would allow 20 amp devices to be plugged in.  This would stop …

3 USB Port Plug!

I've had customers asking for this exact product for so long.  Up till now I didn't think it existed.  I've installed receptacles with 1 or 2 USB ports for years and most of those were limited to 1 amp per port.  This suits most people most of the time but when it doesn't we end up with wall warts again, believe me people have tons of USB charged items nowadays.  I'm so excited to be able to offer this device as an upgrade to my customers.

Pros: Yes, it is UL listed!Interchangeable faces mean I don't need to stock 3 different devices (White, Almond, and Black)White single gang standard sized unbreakable wall plate included3 USB ports power up to 5.8 amps total that almost 2 amps a piece at full tilt for faster chargingThey meet the current national electrical code (NEC) guidelines with tamper resistant devices built inVery professional looking design and build qualityQuick wire ports just like most standard GFI outlets todayThe receptacle is rated at 15 amps jus…

Smart Plug Adapter With 2 Bonus USB's

I guess Amazon decided I needed a surprise today.  I'm so excited that this interesting little adapter came one whole day early!  I have been looking for a smart plug that also includes a USB port, this one fits the bill.

I was initially turned off by the fact that the app that is listed to work with this adapter was the "eFamilyCloud" app , I decided to go ahead and pick one up to try out.  I opened the instruction manual and was surprised to see that it actually listed the "annhome" app, so confusing.  I decided to try my app of preference, the "Smart Life" app.  Bam! It works perfectly!  I'm not sure why this isn't listed instead.  Also, the only assistant that's listed is Alexa and this probably has to do with that strange recommended apps.  When using the Smart Life app Google Assistant works like a charm.


Device does indeed work with the "Smart Life" appColorful power button looks kinda neat and gives a good visual indi…

Smart Switch Made Easy

For years now I've been looking at getting into the smart home game and I truly believe that now is the time.  I picked up this interesting smart switch from Amazon and I have to say I'm thoroughly impressed.  The installation was a little more involved than a standard switch swap but the rewards are great!  Gone are the days of seeing a confusing time that will have a dead battery in a year requiring you to have to do it all again.

With this switch you no longer need a hub to control the devices.  They simply connect to your home WiFi, load the "Smart Life" app, pair your devices and program them from the simple app.  As an added bonus these devices can be controlled with your voice from Google Home and Alexa, this works surprisingly well and makes my Google Home that much more useful.
Pros: Works with the refreshingly simple "Smart Life" appGlass face means it's very simple to clean and safe to useRelatively small size makes it easy to fit in most Ameri…