Tag Archives: automation az

Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Light – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Lights.   I previously reviewed the 20 LED version and promised a follow up of its little brother.  Well here it is, these are excellent and very much a half sized version of the larger light, with one big difference.

The key difference is where as the 20 LED version is powered by a single 18650 Lithium Ion Battery the 8 LED version is powered by a single 14500 Lithium Ion Battery which has a capacity of 800mAh 3.7V.  Clearly running less light requires less battery so this makes sense.  In any even with the super efficiency of LEDs this is plenty of light.

Fully charged I got 8 hours out of them in steady on high mode.  They got though the night fully on low power mode and frankly I use them on motion sensor mode only, and that is the main thing I want out of them anyway and it makes the most sense to me.

As previously mentioned I ordered 4 of them and put them around my duck pen on the fence on the western side where we had most issues with predators approaching.  The entire east side is covered by the 20 LED version for our benefit during evening and night visits.

I have now had them working for about two weeks and no issues.  They will definitely deter predators as none like light suddenly on them.  They also paid off a few days ago when my young farm hand screwed up one of his tasks (yet again) and grounded out our electric fence wires.  The lights made the fault easy to find and even easier to correct.

Since the first time I reviewed these lights I have installed 4 more of them around my garden pond, I have them set to full power mode and always on once darkness comes.  They do a fantastic job of setting a great mood at the pond and attract bugs for the fish to eat.  I have been outside as late as 4am and noticed they were still on.  So far with 12 deployed only one has had its battery go bad, which is impressive for no name batteries.

The other difference is the price, as they are smaller they cost less.  Where as the 20 LED ones are 34.99 for a two pack the smaller 8 LED model is 46.99 for a four pack, just a bit over half the price.  They are also available in units of one if you only need one or two.

They both work exactly the same with three modes…

  1.  Steady On Dim – The lights come on at dark at about half power (200ish lumens), they will last 6-8 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are plenty bright to see where you are going.  They also switch to bight mode when they sense motion.
    ~
  2. Steady On Bright – The lights come on at dark at full power (440 lumens), they will last 4-6 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course once again as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are very bright for a solar powered light.
    ~
  3. Motion Sensor Mode – The lights will charge during the day and come on at night when they detect motion.  The manufacturer says they will detect motion up to 26 feet away.  My testing confirms this, of course how high you mount them, what is in the way, etc. will effect this distance.  This is my preferred mode and with the power the batteries hold you will never have a dead light unless the batteries have given up the ghost and need replacing.

So which is right for your needs.  Well the little ones are damn bright but the light only carries so far.  They are best for areas where you just need to see what is going on, or for use as security and predator protection devices.

The 20 LED models are as you would expect twice as bright, so I have one at our front gate to the property, and one at the front of the house.  And two by the pool to light that area and the area at the main gate to the duck pen.  The 8 LEDs would be fine in the second area but for our gate and where we unload our vehicles I would stick to the 20s.

Litom also makes a huge 54 LED Model that I am sure is very bright and based on their other products I am sure it works well, it just seems a bit of an eyesore in the day time to me?  But if you need a lot of light check it out.

Otherwise if you just want to light up some areas with motion lights and want maximum bang for your buck with out sacrificing quality check out the Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Lights today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer.  I am bringing this slick little timer around again because we are hitting the peak of seed starting season.  I know many of you have purchased grow lights this year and more than a few of the 45 Watt Kingbos I am so found of are among them.  Of course with grow lights you really want to have them run about 12-14 hours a day, so this is where a simple timer fits in.

Let me tell you something though, I HATE timers.  It amazes me how something that should be so simple is often so damn confusing and unreliable.  So I went on Amazon and found the Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer. Wow, where has this thing been all my life?

Look when I say I hate timers let me be clear, my hatred of timers is only over shadowed by my hatred of network printers.  (NOTE THAT LINK IS NOT WORKPLACE SAFE) Well, that has changed I love this timer, so simple there are two steps to using it and it is pretty fool proof and very easy to see how you have it set.

Step one each hour has 4 small pins you can push down, simply push down the pins for each 15 minutes you want the power to be on.  So say you wanted your timer to run from 8AM to 10AM every morning and 7PM to 9PM every night.  Okay just push all the pins down for 8, 9 and 10AM and 7, 8 and 9PM.  Step two turn the dial so the arrow points to the current time.  That is it!

You then simply plug it in and plug the device you want to control with it, done.  There are no other steps, no holding a button and waiting for a light to blink three times or say moving stupid little pins around.

I love this timer and its simplicity so much I am constantly trying to figure out what to automate with it.  About the only complaint I read in reviews (from thinking humans anyway) was that it is a large device and it takes up so much space as to block the second outlet.

There is a simple solution to such things, I have covered it before and it applies to any large plugs, just get some of these one foot extension cords and it keeps all outlets open.  Or is my case I am using what Jon Dowie calls, “a fricken orange, three way, fricken Steven Harris fricken thing“.

Anyway I absolutely love the Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer and think you will too. So check it out for any of your power automation needs.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – Check out this quick video of how I have used this product on my homestead for a very unique need.  I don’t think any other time could do this, without having a degree in Computer Programming anyway.

Litom Solar 20 LED Motion Sensing Security Light – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Litom Solar 20 LED Security Lights.  I have been looking for a solar powered motion activated security light to recommend for quite awhile.  I definitely wanted to find one using LED lights as well for power efficiency. 

The issue is most of what I had checked out up till now has been junk.  I decided to give these ones from Litom a shot.  Litom makes a variety of sizes from small 8 LED ones up to really big ones with 54 LEDs.  I choose the 20 LED model for a balance of size and brightness.  Please note that while all of Litom’s products seem to have good reviews and the reviews check out as trustworthy at Fakespot.com, I have only personally used the 20 LED models so far, so that is all I can 100% vouch for.

There are two ares of my property I am lighting up with these, one is out front by my gate and the area where we pull our vehicles in to unload after dark at times.  We have a really great porch light you can just leave on that comes out at dark with a sensor, but it is still dark out where we pull our vehicles in and the walk way to the house can be pretty dark too.  That area gets the two I bought to test them out.

I just ordered a second set to light up the area around my pool deck, that is the pathway out to the duck holding area.  We often have to go out there after dark and these will make that a bit safer and more convenient.

I am also planning to trial the 8 LED ones because they are more cost effective and add them as an additional security measure for my ducks by placing them around their holding area pointed into the field where our foxes usually approach from.  While the electric fence has worked well this seems like cheap additional insurance.  While predators often get desensitized to steady light, a light that comes on when they approach sets off their danger signals.

These lights have three modes, my test set works well in all of them.  They are…

  1.  Steady On Dim – The lights come on at dark at about half power (200ish lumens), they will last 6-8 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are plenty bright to see where you are going.  They also switch to bight mode when they sense motion.
    ~
  2. Steady On Bright – The lights come on at dark at full power (440 lumens), they will last 4-6 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course once again as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are very bright for a solar powered light.
    ~
  3. Motion Sensor Mode – The lights will charge during the day and come on at night when they detect motion.  The manufacturer says they will detect motion up to 26 feet away.  My testing confirms this, of course how high you mount them, what is in the way, etc. will effect this distance.  This is my preferred mode and with the power the batteries hold you will never have a dead light unless the batteries have given up the ghost and need replacing.

On the batteries, a few reviewers report having their lights installed for over a year and that they are still working well and have not required any maintenance.  One reason for this is instead of being powered by double or tripple A’s as most such lights are, these are powered by a single 18650 Lithium Ion Battery.  If they ever need replacing or you simply need 18650s for any use, these are the best ones I have ever found, you will pay more for them but again they are the best far and away from anything else I have tried.  They are the Eastshine E35U.

Let’s talk about where these lights don’t make sense and that is basically anywhere in full shade all day long.  For instance I would love to put them on my back porch, several in fact in the walk way to the garage, but they just won’t work well there because it is fully shaded all day.

Other wise I feel these lights do double duty, they provide lighting so you can see what you are doing and an added measure of security.  It isn’t just foxes that don’t like lights coming on when they are on the prowl, two legged rats tend to not like them either.  So check out the Litom Solar 20 LED Security Lights today and save yourself from tripping over that bike your kid left out and keep your place more secure at the same time.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

 

 

Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch – Item of the Day

lightswitchesEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch Kit.  These things are just awesome and for only 30 bucks they provide a lot of convenience.  The set comes with two remotes and 5 individual switches.

They are pretty intuitive but here is how they work.  You plug one of these into an outlet, then you plug in what ever you want to control remotely into it, you just installed it, you are done.  Now if it was unit one, when you push “on” for unit one, what ever is plugged into it comes on, when you push off, it goes off.

I know some of you are thinking, oh gee another gadget so people can sit on their ass and not even walk across the room to turn on a light.  Now hold on, here are a few uses that make a lot of sense.

For one we have a floor lamp that is behind the couch, to get to it you have to walk around the back and contort yourself in an odd position to get to it.  It isn’t a huge deal but it is a pain in the ass and it is also the best place for the lamp.  Install one of these and no more contortionist activities to turn on the lamp.

Our Grandson is too short to reach the wall switch in the bathroom, install a small light, pop in one of these.  No more, “I’m scared to go to the bathroom alone” stuff.

I shoot videos at my desk and I have some pretty heavy lights that make the room work well for that.  Say I want to shoot a video on the fly, push a button they come on, then off.  Not a big deal but when it comes to my work with as much as I do I try to be as efficient as possible.

How about your annual Christmas lights?  For us our tree is one of those pre lit jobs.  Dorothy has some weird form of OCD around lights on Christmas trees, (okay honestly she is a Christmas tree Nazi, Really) that is unsettling. So I got a pre lit job to end it!  Thing is you have to dig under it to get to the master switch every night.  Not with one of these.

How about a shop with a light on the far end?  I also have a friend that uses these for his extensive aquarium set up.  He has the lights wired to them and can turn on and off the fish tank lights without reaching around the back of the hoods.

Some of you likely have older parents with mobility problems, hey 27 bucks and make their life a little easier right?

Okay you electric Nazis that hate phantom loss of electronics that are plugged in but not on.  This can really add up, but if you put one of these in the connection and test it with a Kill a Watt, you will find they draw 1/10th of a watt in standby which is almost nothing.  Over a year that would cost about 10 cents in electricity, where some devices can cost 20-30 dollars a year in “vampire draw” or even more.  With that alone they can pay for themselves. 

So if you have any lights or other electronic devices you would like to be able to turn on and off as easily as you do a TV, check out the Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch Kit today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – Tune in today for a simple hack that will making using these things even easier than it already is.  All you need is a sharpie marker.

 

K&H Ultimate All-In-One Stock Tank De-Icer – Item of the Day

deicer

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the K&H Ultimate All-In-One Stock Tank De-Icer.  Winter is either here or coming soon depending on where you live.  I love these De-Icers in my view it is the best option on the market.

They come in several sizes including…

  • 250 Watts
  • 500 Watts
  • 750 Watts
  • 1000 Watts and
  • 1500 Watts

Why this Item Rocks!

Its in the name, “all in one” that is what you get an all in one solution.  Previously I have reviewed the thermocube, it is a great product and would be ideal for use with many stock tank heaters.  Why have your heater running when it is 50 degrees?

But you don’t need a thermocube that feature is built in.  When your water hits 35 degrees the heater comes on, all by itself and when it hits 45 it shuts off.  So you only draw power when you need it.

Choosing the Right Sized Heater for your Needs

Personally I use the 250 watt models.  There are a few reasons for this.  First and foremost my belief is when you use anything electrical you should use as little power as necessary to do the job. In my climate for a 50 gallon tank 250 watts is sufficient.

I also run two (two is one and one is none you know right) to two separate 50 gallon stock tanks.  If I ran two 500s that would put a 1000 watt draw on a single circuit doing other things as well and could pop the breaker.  These are only useful if they work you know.

In the end you should consult K&Hs great chart right here, just click on it for a full sized view.

khchart

You will note that for my zone (USDA 8) a 50 gallon tank requires a 250 watt heater.  So that works for my needs.  I personally only use mine to make sure there is some water available at all times for my ducks.

These can be used as floating heaters or submerged by removing the foam that makes them float.  This gives you flexibility.  Say you want to keep a poultry watering going you can put one of these inside it and let it sink.  To me for a stock tank you want it floating because it ices up from the top down.

In any event if you want to keep your critters watered this coming winter, check out the K&H Ultimate All-In-One Stock Tank De-Icer today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

The Thermocube – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Farm Innovators Thermocube.  This little gadget is one of the most useful and slick little things you can get your hands on.  It is simply a two plug adapter, meaning you plug it into one outlet and you get two.  But inside is a mercury switch.  This makes it provide power only in a specific temperature range.

There are a lot of options with this device, the most useful to many homesteaders will turn on at 35 and off at 45.  This will keep say a green house on a heater from going below freezing for just one example.

These things also have options at the other end of the spectrum.  For instance on at 78 off at 70.  This could be useful for running say a fan in a chicken coop.  They way they are designed I am not saying they can’t fail, I just have not ever seen one do so.  They are designed with such simplicity there just are not many moving parts.

The temperature either causes the switch to be on or to be off, that is all, nothing more.

One little extra you may want to consider when using these is a Water-Tight Cord Lock.  To be clear this will not go over the Thermocube, you would plug that in at the outlet.  What this does is go over where your extension cord plugs into your device or where two extension cords are joined.  These are a great tool in their own right and I will review them stand alone on another day.

Another great little tip is consider using one of these slick little 1-foot extension cords if outlet space is an issue.

In any event the Farm Innovators Thermocube varies in price based on option and please note that some options are like for a 6 pack when making your buying decisions.  The on at 35 off at 45 is under 12 bucks and that is a great price given what it does.

When I had a small greenhouse one of these and a simple small electric heater was sufficient to get through the coldest nights with no losses.    Sure beats complex wiring, expensive thermostats, etc.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Etekcity LED Night Light / Flashlight: Rechargeable Emergency Light – Item of the Day

These are by far my favorite Power Failure Lights.

These are by far my favorite Power Failure Lights.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Etekcity LED Night Light / Flashlight: Rechargeable Emergency Light.

I have tried dozens of brands of these types of lights over the years, they are all useful while they last.  Generally at some point the over charge and stay on even when they should be off.

I have never been happy with any of them long term until I found these from Etekcity.

I have been running these now for over a year in a half with no issues, they work and just keep on working.  The only down side is they take up an entire outlet.  I have changed a few of my outlets to quads to deal with that, I like them that much.

They also have motion sensors so when you walk by them in the dark they turn on and go back off after no motion is detected for 30 seconds. This prevent stubbed toes in dark hallway, great for night bathroom trips too, with out lighting up the entire house.

They are plug and play, you don’t have to configure anything. You an pick them up and take them with you like a flashlight.  Oh and the most common complaint in the small minority of negative reviews?  Well, they are too bright, yea really.

If you have kiddos man you need these, when the lights go out kids get scared.  Now it isn’t a big deal when you are right next to them, but how about Billy is playing in his room, you are in the shower with soap in your eyes and bam, lights out.  Billy is crying, you are naked, you have soap in your eyes and you can’t see for more than one reason, fun stuff huh?

Now imagine you have one of these in the hall way, one in Billy’s room and one in the kitchen, lights go out, all of these come on.  Now you need to get to your black out kit, well you just pick it up and take it with you.

I love the one in my kitchen!  If I get up from the bed while I was reading for say a drink, I get to the kitchen it comes on, I can see to get a water or what have  you, and the 30 second stay on is plenty long enough to get back to our room with viability.  So check out the Etekcity LED Night Light / Flashlight: Rechargeable Emergency Light set today.

Your kids and your toes will thank you for it.  And at only 29 bucks for a twin pack they come out to under 15 bucks a piece.  As to quality well then have 4.5 out of 5 stars with close to 300 reviews you know they work well.  Oh and again keep in mind that most of the low star reviews are people bitching that they are too bright, you know Ron White would say about that right?

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

PS – The Ron White link above comes with an adult language warning.  I will also say for some it may need a Trigger Warning so make sure you locate the nearest “Safe Space” before clicking the link if this applies to you.