Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ikea Leadare 1000lm 2014 LED Bulb Review

A more cost competitive bulb from Ikea, however generally outclassed by other vendor's bulbs.  One thing I noticed, however, is that my viewers from Europe often comment that Ikea bulbs are among the best and most cost effective that they can get.  It looks like the american market still receives the lion's share of the most innovate and leading edge products.

It was a great outing for my new microscope.  The adjustable slide-stage is just excellent when trying to study small things like controller dies.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Trail Camera and Back Yard Wildlife

This summer, every morning the fountain is knocked over, the lawn chewed up and the pillow to our hammock has gone missing.

As is often the case in this age of super-cheap imaging  an off-the-shelf solution exists:  the trail camera.

It's a neat gadget.... it's been power optimized so it runs for weeks on a single set of batteries and it has a built in motion detector as well as the ability to record in color when there is enough light and in an IR mode when its dark. 

It even comes with an IR filter which snaps open in the dark and closes at night for the best quality of image.

After a few weeks of surveillance we had our critter!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Philips '100w' led bulb check in: color change

After about a year of service the Philips bulb seemed to be changing color... a bit more pink.

A quick check with my spectrometer and the neatest of free programs: http://publiclab.org/wiki/spectral-workbench seems to confirm this.

The light output is about the same... perhaps a wee bit less, but nothing to note.

At only 2,000 hours of service I don`t think this bulb will be making it to the 25,000 hour mark in 9 years time if this keeps up.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Phlips BR30 SlimStyle LED Bulb Review and Teardown

Another entry from Philips in their "slimstyle" line.  Terrible warranty which I presume is because the bulb is not designed for a long service life?




Thursday, August 21, 2014

USB Phone Charge Monitor

Over the last few years the USB standard has had trouble keeping up with the need to charge tablets and phones at ever increasing currents. It resulted in a fragmentation of the standard and all sorts of implementations.  Even more annoying one can sometimes find combinations of phones and changers which seem to work.... but in practice the phone is charging only at an extremely low rate.

This USB voltage tester I snagged off ebay is a good example of a solution to this problem... pop it into your bag and when faced with a new or dodgy charger one can see if it's functional.

The display is an organic LED and it alone was worth the price of the whole module... so clear and bright!


Video here:


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Robosmart Wireless LED Light Bulb

The combination of an LED bulb with some form of wireless remote control is a growing niche of the LED bulb industry.  The unique attribute of this bulb is that it can be controlled directly from a smartphone or tablet with without the need for a wifi network and an external hub.

It's from what appears to be a small start up company.  They chose a very poor wireless  protocol: Bluetooth 4.0.  It's only supported by a very small subset of phones and tablets.... for what is already a specialty market they chose to close them selves even further into a box.  One wonders if they were even  aware of the concept of total-addressable-market (TAM) when they picked the protocol.  A choice of bluetooth 2.x or wifi would have significantly broadened the devices which could control the bulb.... as is it's only the most expensive of expensive smartphones and tablets which can use this bulb.  

The bulb seems to work as advertised, however it's difficult to imagine real life scenarios in a real-home where this bulb could make a difference... I just can't see giving a Iphone 5S to every family member so they can turn on the lights!

It's a solution seeking a problem which can be better solved by much cheaper technology.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

NiceEShop 6w Recessed Led Panel: the future?

Many of my  Youtube videos over the last year have been on LED bulbs.  It's an interesting emerging market with lots of innovation on the engineering and business fronts.

To date, however, many of my tear downs have been on "A19" bulbs...the level of innovation has been over-the top in trying to squeeze LEDs into a package designed for a tungsten wire and glass envelope.

On a completely different axis is this product: a recessed lighting panel.  Here the vendor takes design freedom to repackage LEDs without reference to the past.  It's a good looking product and it performs quite well (other than, I suspect, efficacy).

Over the very long term (> 20 years) as old lighting is retired it would not be hard to imagine products like this owning the market.  The life-span of these panels should be a good-as or greater than the economic life of a typical renovation/build (i.e. they will not stop working before someone decides to renovate or move).

An interesting Amazon purchase from a shop called "niceeshop".

Video below: