Product Review: Inhabitat tests out the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat

August 31, 2016 by  
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Honeywell’s Lyric Wifi Thermostat is a smartphone-connected device that allows you to regulate the temperature of your home while you’re there or on-the-go. Because you can control it via the Lyric app , it gives you the flexibility to start cooling your place down as you leave the office on a hot day, or to shut the system down from 30,000 feet in the air if you forget to switch it off before leaving to catch your plane. Like other programmable thermostats, it can be set up on a schedule so that it maintains a comfortable temperature during the times you’re usually at home while switching the system off during times you’re not. There’s also a handy geofencing feature that allows you to map off a radius around your home so that the system can detect that you’re nearby using your phone’s GPS system and start heating or cooling your home to your preferred temperature. A thermostat that knows when you’re almost home? That’s pretty cool! RELATED: VIDEO: How to save money and energy with a programmable thermostat Design-wise, the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat is one of the most visually pleasing models on the market, although you have to admit that its round form factor does look pretty similar to the Nest’s (a competitor that rings in at about $50 more at $249). On the other hand, it should be noted that Honeywell came up with the first round thermostat way back in 1953, so maybe they’re just getting back to their roots. With a pristine white face wrapped in a sliver of silver, the unit is almost like an artpiece or accessory for your wall. The minimal touchscreen buttons light up in a cool blue, giving it an even more soothing appearance. In the box: The unit itself, a battery, two screws and anchors for mounting, instructions and an optional wall plate. Setting the device up was a breeze, although I should note that since I live in an apartment with no existing in-unit thermostat system, I was unable to actually install the thermostat as you would if you were actually going to use it to control your heater and air conditioner. Instead, I simulated the installation process using a wall adapter, so this part of my review is based solely on the ease of setup, rather than how the device actually regulated the temperature in my home. The first steps are downloading the Lyric app and connecting to your WiFi, and after that, your phone guides you through the entire setup and installation process. Although I wasn’t fiddling with any wiring or anything like that, I was still able to appreciate the step-by-step instructions that popped up right on my phone to guide me through the installation process if I was. It even asks you questions along the way so that you can tailor the experience to your particular system, taking the hassle out of fumbling with an instruction manual and leafing through the parts that may or may not apply to you. The whole thing took me about 5 minutes to complete (though you would probably need to spend at least 20 if you were actually following the steps). One thing I did find was that the touchscreen buttons were not quite as responsive as I wanted them to be and I had to press down harder than I’m used to doing on my smartphone. Luckily, there’s not much need to use the buttons on the unit itself after setup since you can just use your phone to make any changes, or simply rotate the face of the unit clockwise or counterclockwise to turn your temps up or down. The Lyric app itself is intuitive, easy-to-use and starts up in a matter of moments. The Lyric WiFi Thermostat is also fully compatible with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Echo and other home ecosystems. In terms of energy and cost savings, Honeywell’s energy savings calculator estimates that I stand to save about $142 per year on my energy bill (based on my zip code) using the Lyric WiFi Thermostat. That means that in addition to keeping my home comfortable and reducing my power usage, I could also make back the $199 spent on the Lyric Thermostat in a little over a year. To learn more about how the Lyric Wifi Thermostat can help you slash your energy bills, check out the video above or visit Honeywell’s Lyric Connected Home website here . + Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat Editor’s note: The Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat was supplied to this writer free-of-charge by Honeywell in exchange for an unbiased review. Photos: Honeywell and Yuka Yoneda

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Product Review: Inhabitat tests out the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat

Product Review: The Nubagg Lets You Smartly Reuse Your Plastic Bags As a Garbage Can

November 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

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Garbage cans belong to that group of mundane household items that have been around for so long that it seems there really isn’t much that can be done to improve on their design. Or so we thought. Industrial designer Arnold Castro recently introduced us to the Nubagg , and at first glance, we could hardly tell that it was a trash receptacle at all. With no walls or sides, Castro’s design basically consists of what he calls a “freakishly lightweight” metal frame that is used as a support for the plastic bags you bring home from the supermarket. We were very interested in the Nubagg ‘s extremely minimalist design and the way it encourages reuse, so we decided to take it for a test drive to see how well it would stand up to our trash. Read on for our full review. The beauty of the Nubagg is that it allows you to save money by substituting plastic bags you get at the store for garbage bags. But since we already do that (using regular trash cans), we weren’t quite sure what the added benefits might be. Upon checking it out more carefully, we realized that its design, which features two protruding bars for you to sling your bag handles over, solves one of our biggest pet peeves – when the sides of our bags cave in and we have to reach into the muck to readjust them. We also noticed that we had to take the garbage out less with the Nubagg because it can be filled up to the full capacity of each bag and is not restricted by walls. If you’ve ever picked up a full-looking trash bag to go throw it out and realized that there was still a lot of room in the bag itself, you’ll see why it’s better to use each bag to its full capacity. The one precaution we did have about the Nubagg was that it probably should not be used with just one bag unless you’re only trashing dry goods. Double or triple bagging is a better idea, especially in the kitchen, but the upside to this is that the Nubagg can do double duty as a plastic bag storage unit. Just keep all of your bags on there and when the top few are full, throw them (and the trash) away to reveal clean bags underneath. In addition to being a vehicle for the reuse and recycling of bags, the Nubagg is, itself, recycled. The body is made of 100% recycled metal and weighs about 1 lb., cutting down on the fuel needed to ship it. The box it’s shipped in is also recycled. If you’re interested in getting your hands on your own modern Nubagg , they recently launched an Indiegogo campaign where your contribution of $20 will not only help you get this product off the ground, but also score you a Nubagg Classic (or a Nubagg mini for $15) just in time for the holidays. + Nubagg + Preorder your Nubagg here

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Product Review: The Nubagg Lets You Smartly Reuse Your Plastic Bags As a Garbage Can

PRODUCT REVIEW: We Try Out Water-Saving Vege Aqua Fruit and Vegetable Wash

February 10, 2012 by  
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If you’ve been trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet but find washing them to be a chore, Vege Aqua is a new product that might make it feel like less cumbersome. Unlike other produce washes that contain a long list of ingredients like oleic acid, glycerol, ethyl alcohol or potassium hydrate, Vege Aqua is 99.7% water and 0.3% anion (negatively charged ions). In addition to making it easier to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, we were also interested in how Vege Aqua requires much less water to be used to get your food clean. We recently tried out this handy spray for ourselves – read on to see what we thought. Read the rest of PRODUCT REVIEW: We Try Out Water-Saving Vege Aqua Fruit and Vegetable Wash Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bacteria on fruits , clean vegetables , e.coli , fruit and veggie wash , fruit rinse , fruit wash , inhabitat review , produce wash , vege aqua , vegetable wash , wash produce

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PRODUCT REVIEW: We Try Out Water-Saving Vege Aqua Fruit and Vegetable Wash

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