7 Important Electrical Decisions You Need to Make When Renovating

You will be stuck with the changes you make while renovating for a long time. That’s why it’s essential to cover everything before you begin the project. One of the most important areas to consider is electricity. The following list includes things you should think about before finalizing your renovation plans.

What Type of Switches Will Your Renovation Need?

There are several types of switches available, including dimmer, toggle, 2-way, and 3-gang. Each serves a different purpose. A 2-way switch is often used to control standard lighting. Gang switches include a number that indicates how many circuits are present.

With a large number of homes switching to LED lighting it’s easier than ever to control the level of lighting each bulb emits so having a switch that can control this is beneficial.

Do You Need More Light Fixtures Installed?

This is an excellent opportunity to update your light fixtures. Older homes often have fewer fixtures, while others may have components that are outdated in both appearance and performance.

Consider what you plan to do in the space you are renovating. A space meant for work will require more illumination while one meant for relaxation or entertaining may require a lower level of lighting.

Are Your Power Points Safely Positioned?

Your power points are where your family will access electricity to use devices. These need to be placed according to building code requirements. A certified electrician can recommend useful instillation spots that are also compliant with the law.

Also, consider the surrounding area and what it will be used for. Is this a place where someone may want to plug in a laptop or party lighting? Make sure the power point is easily accessible but away from hazards like water sources.

Are You Upgrading Your Appliances?

Old appliances are not as efficient as today’s models. They also tend to have fewer safety features. Inspect the appliances you already own and consider upgrading. This is especially important for rooms with more devices or gadgets, like the kitchen or entertainment center.

Choose appliances that are Energy Star rated for better efficiency. They may add to the cost of your renovation but will save you money in future utility bills.

Do You Want Outlets with USB Ports?

If your family is tech-savvy, then they will appreciate better access to USB ports. New power outlets are available with USB ports built in. These are best placed in areas where your family uses the most devices or likes to charge phones and tablets.

Does Your Project Leave Room for More Devices?

Make sure you have some extra power outlets and capacity available to handle future additions to your home. 

Many families plug in seasonal devices, like Christmas lights and decorations. The kids may want their own computer someday, or you may add a TV to a room in your home where one wasn’t previously used. 

Each of these situations will increase the demand for power and outlet space in your home.

Can Your Electrical System Handle the Increased Capacity?

Once you know what you would like to add, make sure your home’s current electrical system can handle the increased demand. You may need to upgrade your service box to ensure that everything will work reliably and safely. 

An electrician can advise you on whether an upgrade or new wiring will be required.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 by Nintendo #GiftGuide

Looking for a fun game to get for the kids this holiday season? Nintendo has just come out with the 3rd in a their series, Luigi’s Mansion 3, just in time for this gift giving season. Luigi just wanted to get away, a little vacation- but that just never seems to work out for him, does it?

My son’s review of Luigi’s Mansion;

Poor Luigi. He has a knack for stumbling into the most precarious predicaments. His biggest adventure yet, Luigi’s Mansion 3¸ arrives on Nintendo Switch. When Luigi shows up at the Last Resort hotel, he discovers the entire building is teeming with ghosts. You’ll need your trusty Poltergust G-00, the help of Gooigi and all your wits to survive. Visit This Site for even more fun family activities. You’ll find instructions for making your own Gooigi mask, as well as special ghost-o’-lantern stencils for carving pumpkins with friendly phantoms from Luigi’s Mansion 3, including Polterpup! Don’t forget to print out a Boo-themed paper chain garland to haunt your home with aplomb.

This hotel is equipped with some of the finest and most diverse amenities across our multiple floors. While other hotels only provide a simple continental breakfast, we offer a disco, a greenhouse, a giant pyramid and even a massive pirate ship! You will never leave! Er… I mean, you will never want to leave. You will be having too much fun!

gift guide

While the hotel is vast, you will never feel lonely. Gooigi is never far away if you need his help… and you can even play with a friend to have Gooigi by your side at all times. For more multiplayer fun, you can race the timer to clear objectives with up to seven other guests in ScareScraper mode*, or try your luck at a variety of mini-games in ScreamPark mode. Be sure to try them both when you have a chance.

*Nintendo Switch Online subscription required to play ScareScraper mode online.

Tech Your Kids Will Really Fall For

 

Now that school is (finally!) back in session, you might be looking for fun ways to keep the kids stimulated and learning but still having fun while at home. We like board games and hiking as much as anybody, but sometimes a little hands-on building and creating goes a long way towards getting your child(ren) interested in something new, or perhaps just learning a little more about their favorite activities and what makes them “go”.

smart toys

If your kids like computers, video games, robots, or construction, Botzees might be the tech for you. This smart toy brings together virtual and hands on play in a way that is both fun and educational. Kids will enjoy playing, and won’t feel like they are having more “ugh, learning” heaped on them.  Botzees, the newest toy from Pai Technology, is a new robotics kit that is meant for kids ages 4 and up. This is a great way to sit with your kids and learn together- I have to admit this is an area my son is far and away better then I typically. It’s fun to learn together, and he loves when he can show me things. With this kit, you and your kid(s) can build, program, and code. There are six pre-designed robots, or you can go all out and create your own.

Once you build your Botzee, it can “be taught to move, drum, dance, make sounds and light up using the free Botzees app. Additionally, the 30 interactive Augmented Reality puzzles will teach even more coding concepts with visual cues.” (as per Pai Technology) It is available for $100 at https://www.pai.technology/botzees and Amazon.

Labo

If you have a child that is into video gaming, there is a new construction toy available that enhances gameplay. Nintendo recently released Nintendo Labo, which is one part game and one part construction toy. According to  Nintendo, they “designed Labo as a way to teach principles of engineering, physics, and basic programming”. You and your child build the kit out of sheets of pre-cut cardboard (thick stuff, not the weak stuff that instantly falls apart on you) and other parts. These you then use with your Nintendo Switch and it’s joy cons, and the creation is what Nintendo is calling a “Toy Con”. You use your “toy con” to interact with software and games.  With the basic Starter Kit, you can build VR Goggles and a Labo Blaster to take on aliens (not my favorite aspect, honestly).  The Blaster Labo Toy-Con can be played with either one or two players. Everything is in VR.  Starter set is $39.99 at https://labo.nintendo.com/kits/

kirby's extra epic yarn

If you are looking for a fun and non-violent game to play with the kids, check out Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn. Rated “E” for everyone, it’s the latest in the Kirby series.  In this game, Kirby was banished by a baddie into a world where he is made of yarn. While that may seem like a problem, the plus side is that Kirby can transform himself into all sorts of awesome like tanks, UFOs, a dolphin, and more. He gets “power ups” that give him advantages like getting a sword or becoming a tornado. Of course, he still has his classic copying abilities. Collect treasure as you move along the game, and show them off with the “Street Pass” feature, or switch out of story mode into “Devilish Mode” to try to earn even more. There are also two minigames that feature Meta Knight and King Dedede.  Available for $39.99 at https://www.nintendo.com

 

Altec Lansing Baby Boom XL Portable Bluetooth Speaker @alteclansing #myalteclansing @BestBuy #ad

Looking for the perfect speaker to take along with you on your next trip? Let me introduce to you your new favorite take-along, the Altec Lansing Baby Boom Xl Portable Speaker. The longest name ever for a tiny speaker. Don’t let the name fool you, it has a BIG sound packed into such a little handful of a thing.

We brought this along for the car ride on a road trip, and it worked quite well. Very clear, and held a charge. It didn’t last 6 hours for us, but it did well.  It’s coated in rubber, so it stayed in place nicely on the dashboard. This also makes it harder to break if it falls, which is inevitable.

We don’t have a new car with all the bells and whistles, so we have to bring portable speakers to listen to podcasts or Pandora in the car. This was easy to use, had good volume, and was easy to charge while driving when we needed to.

It even has a little carabiner, so you can clip it to your backpack for hiking (which we often do) or from the tent top for campers. Easy listening, LOL. That it’s water resistant (certified IP67 waterproof)and will even float if dropped into water is such a bonus.

waterproof speaker

Altec Lansing Baby Boom XL Portable Bluetooth Speaker| SKU 6348356
  • 6 hours of battery life
  • IP67 Everything Proof Rating and it floats!
  • True Wireless Pairing – pair 2 Baby Boom XL’s together
  • Built-in carabineer clip
  • Just Ask – access to your smartphone’s voice assistant through Bluetooth
  • 30ft Wireless Range

best buy

Altec Lansing Baby Boom XL Portable Bluetooth Speaker| (SKU 6348356)
  • Bring the Baby Boom XL Bluetooth Speaker along on all of life’s adventures!
  • This portable speaker is rugged and ready to rock! Loaded with up to 6 hours of battery life, this speaker will last through your longest hikes or beach days!
  • With a certified IP67 waterproof rating, the Baby Boom XL can handle being brought onto the sand, mud or even tossed into the pool – it will float!
  • Need amplified sound? Pair two Baby Boom XL’s together via True Wireless Pairing and receive double the volume!
  • The Baby Boom XL is jam-packed with features to make the most of your listening experience!

Learning Apps- Keep Your Mind Active

Summer is a great time to relax and enjoy time together with friends and family, but you don’t want to let your mind turn to mush during that time. According to the Northwest Evaluation Association’s research,  “summer learning loss was observed in math and reading across third to eighth grade, with students losing a greater proportion of their school year gains each year as they grow older – anywhere from 20 to 50 percent.” How do you keep your child from losing their learning or falling behind? Keep their minds active, keep them reading, and keep brains stimulated. No, Fortnight totally doesn’t count, sorry!

Got a little one? Start young and keep them active. There are some amazing books out there, and of course your local library will likely have summer reading programs you can do with your child no matter what age. There are also puzzles and educational games you can play with your child on technology and “real life” touchable options- we recommend a bit of both.

We recently tried out these fun and “edu-taining” science based apps aimed at preschoolers, and found them both adorable and fun. I’m a teacher by trade, and I love that there are these apps that let kids have fun while learning.  Since science is an area that is a bit neglected in many schools, the more ways a child can be exposed to it, the better.  Cosmic Cubs (www.cosmiccubs.com) help kids pre-k and up learn about ecology, the solar system, and just for fun, a space dress up game as well.

The website has lots of coloring pages you can download as well as information sheets in addition to the apps. The apps are technically free but cost $1.99 for full access. Kids will have access to puzzles, games, learning about the planets, asteroids, meteors, comets, problem solving, and more. They also teach new vocabulary words.The three apps available are the Cosmic Cubs Eco Puzzler, the Cosmic Cubs Dress Up, and Cosmic Cubs Space Puzzles. $1.99 on Android and IOS platforms for full access.

Learning a language is great for any age, and Rosetta Stone has options for any age learner at any level of knowledge. There are so many benefits that come from knowing a second language, and the younger you start, the better off you are. The benefits are really endless, from being able to get better job opportunities, to making better connections in the community and beyond, improving your memory, enhancing your ability to multi- task and decision making skills, improving your first language, and more.

For kids, there is Rosetta Stone Homeschool, which uses pioneering technology that “promotes long-term retention and correct pronunciation—without memorization or drills” (as per the company).
Using an immersion method, language is taught the way you would naturally learn. With patented speech-recognition technology, TruAccent®, your child’s speech is analyzed and corrected. There are reports and progress data so you can see how your child is progressing, and your child can learn from a computer, phone, tablet, or whatever is convenient, on or offline.

Not just for kids, Rosetta Stone helps kids or adults learn the language of their choice. With more than 30 options to choose from, choosing the language you will learn might be the hardest part.

It starts with a core lesson that introduces you into a bunch of new words. The core lesson takes about 30 minutes. This is followed up by several smaller lessons that focus on different aspects that you learned in the core lesson. These range from about five to ten minutes each.  Tutoring is also available.

We have started learning a new language here -and I will update you in 6 months and let you know how it’s going.

APPLE STORES INTRODUCE NEW AUGMENTED REALITY CODING ROBOT FOR KIDS

Looking for a smart toy that brings virtual and hands on play together in a fun and educational way – one that sets it apart from the rest?

Introducing Botzees, the latest and greatest from Pai Technology, innovators that excel in pairing children’s growth through all stages with technology, science, and art to strengthen imagination, problem-solving, critical thinking, and healthy lifestyles.

Botzees is a new robotics kit for kids ages 4 and up that combines creativity, construction, and coding, all in one. Kids can build, program and code six different pre-designed robots or choose to create their own with the specially designed blocks that come with the kit.

Once built, Botzees can be taught to move, drum, dance, make sounds and light up using the free Botzees app. The kit’s 130 gender neutral, uniquely shaped, easy-to-grip blocks with rounded edges will inspire kids’ imagination with tactile, tangible hands-on learning. Additionally, the 30 interactive Augmented Reality puzzles will teach even more coding concepts with visual cues.

“We are tremendously excited to introduce a new way for younger children to enjoy the experience and benefits of coding,” said Amy Braun, Pai Technology’s Head of US Marketing and Communications. “Screen time is beneficial if used appropriately and we are happy to provide positive and physical STEM-focused products that do just that.”

Winner of the prestigious Seal of Approval from The National Parenting Center, Botzees is available now for $99.99 in Apple Stores and Amazon. To learn more visit pai.technology/botzees.

The most important thing to be sure of is that your device is compatible. Compatible devices are attached. Then:

  1. Update to the latest software on your device (be sure it is android 8.0 or iOS 12)
  2. Close any other apps open on your device
  3. If you are using an android device you will need to download the AR core app
  4. Download the Botzees app

You should follow the instructions on the slip and can download the manual at www.pai.technology/botzeesmanual

Pai Technology combines the latest advancements in technology and research to make familyfriendly educational products. We are innovators that excel in pairing children’s growth through all stages with technology, science, and art to strengthen imagination, problem solving, critical thinking, and healthy lifestyles. Our products are innovative, creative, safe, and above all, fun! Learn more at www.pai.technology .

VIZIO P Series 55 Inch 4K HDR Smart TV @BestBuy @VIZIO #ad

Are you looking to upgrade your TV this year? Now is the perfect time, you can get some great deals in time for the holidays. One of the deals that you can get at Best Buy right now is for a VIZIO P-Series® 4K HDR Smart TV. Our TV is on it’s last legs, it keeps getting these black lines in the corner, so we are looking for a new TV ourselves.
vizio sale
It seems that every pixel is a masterpiece of color, clarity and contrast with the 2018 VIZIO P-Series® 4K HDR Smart TV. With expansive colors, superior HDR performance and pristine 4K detail make each frame a jaw-dropping experience. VIZIO’s Ultra Color Spectrum® technology paints each scene with over one billion colors. Dolby Vision HDR with UltraBright 1000 brings extraordinary contrast, depth and brightness to the screen. And a high-performance Active Full Array Pro™ backlight with up to 120 local dimming zones produces picture-perfect blacks.
best buy
The all-new VIZIO SmartCast™ offers unprecedented control and streaming options. Browse favorites like Netlifx and YouTube right on the TV. With Chromecast built-in, you can stream thousands of Chromecast-enabled apps from your phone to the TV. Support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant makes the P-Series a perfect smart-home centerpiece. Offering a gorgeous edge-to-edge screen design, VIZIO’s P-Series 4K HDR Smart TVs will thrill the most-demanding videophiles.
sale on vizio
You can some some amazing deals on Vizio right now.  You can get a TV for $699.99 after $100 savings (MRSP $799.99). This offer is valid 12/18-12/24, get yours now.  Get more information here http://bby.me/p8xfm

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless Earbud Headphones #ad @bestbuy @Sennheiserusa #MOMENTUMTrueWireless

Disclaimer- The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

wireless earbuds

Looking for awesome new wireless headphones? Look no further.  Best Buy now has Sennheiser’s flagship MOMENTUM range of headphones, which continues to break new ground through an outstanding fusion of advanced technology, uncompromised sound performance and the highest quality materials. Now, they have the peerless MOMENTUM ethos to a breakthrough new product – the MOMENTUM True Wireless. The premium Bluetooth earbuds set new standards for audio quality, comfort and craftsmanship.

Check out John’s first solo video review, done on the Sennheiser headphones.

Some additional Product Specs:
• Listening clarity that’s like ’being there’ thanks to Sennheiser’s category-leading wireless sound technology.
• Hassle-free connection via Bluetooth 5.0 and low latency for perfect audio and video sync.
• Fingertip control of calls, music, and voice assistant through touchpads on each earbud with one tap access to Google Assistant or Siri.
• Smart Pause – so your music pauses the second you remove an earbud.
• Two-Mic Beam technology for High-quality voice pick-up even in noisy conditions.
• Slim, lightweight design with ear tips in 4 sizes for all day comfort.
• Internal equalizer on the app lets you personalize your audio.
• Up to 4 hours of listening per charge with 2 additional charges from the case.
• Stay aware of your surrounding sounds with Transparent Hearing.
• Durable splash resistant (IPX 4) materials go as hard as you do.
water resistant headphones
If you, like Pinocchio, don’t want strings to hold you down, and are not a fan of wired headphones, check these out. Get yours here, and let us know what you think.