Technology

Landscape LED Lighting Guide

When we decided to landscape the front of our home, our landscape designer sent us on a tour of the town’s most beautifully landscaped front yards. We loved driving around to different neighborhoods, admiring the flower-filled beds in front of one home and the mature trees towering over another, but it wasn’t until he asked us to revisit some of those homes again, at night, did we see the full picture of exterior accent lighting.

Landscape & Exterior Accent Lighting Guide

Landscapes that looked merely pretty by day seemed to come to life in the evening, glowing with mystery and drama. And that’s when we first discovered the power of landscape lighting.

Fortunately, adding warmth and magic to an outdoor area through the use of landscape lighting is easier than ever thanks to the stunning array of lighting available today. Hopefully, these 5 simple steps will show you how easily you can create an inviting outdoor living area through the use of lighting.

1. Survey Your Space

The first step will be to decide which area of your outdoor space you want to tackle first. Keep in mind that while landscape lights are beautiful, they are also an important security measure. Which areas would benefit the most from being well-lit and inviting?

2. Setting the scene

Once you’ve determined the areas of your home’s exterior that you would like to accentuate and an idea of the types of landscape lighting that will illuminate them, next you will need to determine how you want to showcase these places.

Landscape Lighting

Landscape Lighting Techniques

  • Up Lighting – Using either inground lighting, spotlights, or a combination of both, this technique will add drama to any tall trees and dense foliage in your front yard.
  • Moon Lighting – Placing tree lights at least 25 feet tall and angled at 45 degrees provides the illusion of natural light streaming through the branches.
  • Cross Lighting – Use directional accent lights to define surface texture and bring the centerpiece of your landscape lighting design, such as a sculpture or dramatical architectural feature, to life.
  • Mirror Lighting – Directional spot lights used in conjunction with a pool or other reflective surface will create another level to your lighting design.
  • Wall Lighting – Using either wall mounted trimless downlights or directional spot lights, you will create an outline of your landscape and definition to your home’s exterior. The difference between the following is simply the position and angle of the spot light.
  • Grazing – Place a directional light 1 foot away from the wall and point the spotlight straight up to illuminate a v-shape on the wall.
  • Wall Washing – Use multiple spot lights to provide a broad, even illumination across the exterior of your home or large retaining walls.
  • Silhouetting – Add a spot light or in-ground light angled toward the wall behind a bush, shrub, or another item with a unique or interesting shape.
  • Backlighting – Similar to silhouetting, but the spot light is angled towards the landscape feature and away from the wall.
  • Shadowing – Similar to silhouetting, but the spot light is placed in front of the landscape feature.
  • Step Lighting – Provide even lighting and prevent tripping hazards with deck lights mounted on handrails or path lights. Lights may be positions on one side or both depending on the fixture mounting height and width of the set of steps.
  • Path/Area Lighting – Position and spacing of the fixtures should provide a visually appealing and even illumination of the path or walkway

3. What’s your style

The design of your home will naturally influence the style, finish and details of the landscape lighting that you choose. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of styles from which to choose, from rustic to modern, vintage to transitional. Finishes are as varied as indoor lighting options, including black, white, brass, copper, or satin nickel. See this wall switch inside a bathroom to give you an idea.

4. Pick your power

Low voltage lighting is a smart choice for enhancing the security of your home, and will last longer than traditional line voltage landscape lighting.

New to working with low-voltage landscape lighting? Hinkley Lighting is one of the leading experts on landscape lighting. View this Hinkley video first to help with some tips and tricks of the trade to getting your low voltage project underway.

Source: Nada Manley of delmarfans.com

 

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A Complete Guide to Dummy Phones

complete guide to dummy phones

Have you always thought that real smart phones are in display of a cell phone shop? We hate to break it to you but you have been duped! Those are dummy phones most of the time. A dummy phone, or a non-working phone, is used commonly as a representation to indicate that the store have that model. More importantly, this is used to prevent theft of expensive phones.

You may have search the web and find no luck in searching info about these dummy phones. Well, fear not. This guide will delve into what’s inside a dummy mobile phone, how to spot a one from a real one, some examples of realistic toy cellphones and where to find wholesale dummy cell phones.

 

What a Dummy Phone Interior Looks Like

You may think that it looks real from the outside. But, one Youtuber opened a Samsung toy phone to show what actually is inside of it in this video. Spoiler alert: don’t be surprised if we find no electronics in there.

First, he removed the top case (the one with the screen) and we can see that it’s just a cheap plastic that’s just glued to the metal body. The Menu button can easily be detached as well. Then, he showed the back part. He opened the cover and a thin metal sheet, which represents a battery, is attached in the middle. The camera is just a lens that is fastened on to what seemed to be the receiver.

 

Comparing a Dummy iPhone to a Real iPhone

Due to lack of resources online, we refer again to this Youtube video comparing a dummy iPhone 6 to a real iPhone 5s. The Youtuber who uploaded this first unboxed the iPhone dummy and when he flipped it, we can see that there is no Apple logo on the back. He said that the dummy iPhone 6 fits more comfortably in his hand than the actual iPhone 5s. The ports and buttons are really perfect replicas of the real ones.

 

Fake vs. Real: The True Test

fake vs dummy phone

Do you want to know if a phone is a counterfeit? These are some warning signs that you should look out for:

SUBTLE APPEARANCE DIFFERENCES: You might find it hard to search for differences at first glance because the fake one’s aim is to really fool you. However, a keen viewing might lead you to some obvious ones. Observe the color, location of buttons, size or spelling of the brand name. Counterfeiters are able to copy almost all the phone’s details down to very small ones. Therefore, it makes it more difficult to tell if a phone is original. As much as possible, you need to view the phone in person to scrutinize it properly.

FEATURES: iPhones made from China are the best example for this. One can hardly tell the difference between an Apple-made from China-made from the outside. But, once you opened them, the features are way too different. China-made iPhone iTunes app lead to Spotify. Like, what the heck? Then, the counterfeit display is much dimmer compared to the authentic one. The point here is you need to read the specs of the phone you are targeting to buy before making that purchase.

FUNCTIONALITY: Bogus phones are occasionally made out of cheap sub-standard components. Processing speeds are much slower. Also, operating systems might have missing essentials. That’s why the phone may not be compatible with affiliated software and applications.

WARRANTY: All manufacturers have a limited warranty for their products. One give away to tell if it is a fake one is when it doesn’t have a policy wherein you can return a damage product. So, beware!

PRICE: This might be the biggest sign that your phone is a counterfeit. If it’s a lot cheaper than the actual price, you might want to reconsider this. Remember to opt for quality rather than cheap without a guaranteed satisfaction.

 

Realistic Toy Phones Available at Unlimited Cellular

dummy phones

LG Vortex VS660 Replica Dummy Phone is available in bulk packaging. Some android phones for dummies are Samsung Omnia II I920 Replica, Samsung Galaxy Tab SCH-i800 Replica and LG Chocolate Touch VX8575. These are also available in bulk packaging. They look and weigh the same as the real phones they model. They are frequently used as kids’ toys or shop displays.

 

Where to find Wholesale Dummy Cell Phones

You can find affordable wholesale options for dummy phone needs at us, Unlimited Cellular. You can always save more when you buy in bulk.

Source: blog.unlimitedcellular.com

 

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Reasons To Ensure Proper Lighting In The Kitchen

Your kitchen should always be well-lit up for good functionality and as a necessity. Lighting does not only provide the right brightness but also creates the correct ambiance. The key to proper lighting in the kitchen includes a number of factors like lighting sources, layering of light, mixing ambient, task or accent with natural lighting coming from outside etc.

There are many things to be considered for ensuring proper lighting in the kitchen similar if you use trimless downlights. Following is a list of few of them.

Space Consideration

A kitchen’s size, layout and look plays a very key role is determining the number of fixtures and placement of fixtures for proper lighting. For instance, if you have tall ceilings and dark finish, you would require more light to come in naturally or artificially.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is a necessary inclusion over the cooking surface, tables and counters. You can also place it over the sink for proper lit up surface. Maintain a good gap of about 25-30 inches above a kitchen island or table but it might have more height for raised surface or a cooktop.

Recessed Lights

Recessed lights should add to the ambience and provide proper lighting for a kitchen. They should be placed apart with good distance to light the entire area and not just the area they are placed in.

Good Lighting In Action

General illumination can be provided by evenly spaced recessed lights in a large kitchen area. A decorative chandelier placed right above the kitchen island provides good lighting on the surface and lights under the cabinet ensure good and clear visibility for preparing meals.

Colour Is Important

The size of your kitchen will control the number of fixtures you will need to generate the required lighting but colour plays an important role as well. If your kitchen is white, it will reflect back light making the room feel bright and glowing. With such a colour in your kitchen, you can reduce on the number of fixtures you need or maybe buy bulbs that have lesser voltage.

Style Accents

Pendant lights are available in various colours, shapes, styles and sizes which work extremely well in filling the void present above islands as they provide perfect lighting for the work area. Using vintage-style lanterns can also add another layer of chic lighting in the kitchen.

Considering The Surface

The darker shades of colour in your kitchen, the more sources of light you require for proper lighting. White and colourful modular kitchens may not require that much light as compared to dark coloured kitchens. So considering the surface where the light will be reflected is very necessary. Having a switch similar to wall switch inside a bathroom can help you achieve the light you desire.

Source: housefull.com

How To Free Up Space On Your iPhone

iPhone

You used to get around 12GB of space on a 16GB iPhone, which simply isn’t enough for most people, so we were pleased when Apple bumped up the storage in the basic model of the iPhone 7 to 32GB. The company took things a step further with the introduction of the iPhone 8, which starts at 64GB. That’s a decent amount of room to grow into, but photos, music, and mysterious files can eat up all the space before you know it. That’s why, whatever model you have, it’s good to know how to free up space on your iPhone.

The first place to check when you’re running low on space is Settings > General > iPhone Storage. The bar at the top allows you to see how much storage is being used and what is using it at a glance. Different categories — including Apps, Mail, Photos, Messages, and Other — are color-coded.

DOWNSIZE YOUR APPS AND GAMES LIST

iphone storage apps

If you scroll down in Settings > General > iPhone Storage,you can see which apps and games are using the most space. The list is organized with the largest at the top, and listed beneath each entry is the last time you used it. If you click on an app, you’ll find a breakdown of the app size and the size of the documents and data associated with it.

Start by looking for apps that say Never Used and consider tapping them and selecting Delete App. It’s also worth looking for the Offload Unused Apps option at the top and tapping Enable to turn it on. This will automatically remove unused apps, but keep the documents and data associated with it, so if you reinstall an app later, you’ll retain everything you had before. You can also find this option in Settings > [Your Apple ID] > iTunes & App Store — simply scroll to the bottom to find the toggle.

If you’re looking for additional options, check out our guide on how to delete iPhone apps.

LIMIT THE SIZE OF PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

iPhone storage camera

Photos and videos that you shot yourself are likely taking up a lot of space on your iPhone. It’s a shame not to take full advantage of your camera’s features, but you should turn some of them off if you’re worried about space.

Start with Live Photos, because each one is a three-second video, instead of a photo. Tap the three concentric, yellow circles located at the top of the screen in the Camera app. When Live Photos are turned off, the circles should be white. Photos are better with HDR on, but if you’re going to use the feature, then go to Settings > Camera and turn Keep Normal Photo off. Here, you can also toggle Auto HDR off, if you prefer.

You should avoid recording 4K or slow-motion video if you have limited space, because both will take up a lot of storage space compared to ordinary video. You can save space by reducing the resolution and frame rate in Settings > Camera > Record Video or Record Slo-mo.

BACK UP IN THE CLOUD

iPhone Storage Cloud

A better way to cope with storage-hungry photos and videos is to back them up in the cloud. Apple’s built-in solution is iCloud. You can manage it via Settings > [Your Apple ID] > iCloud, where you’ll find a breakdown of your storage space and a list of all the apps that are currently using iCloud for backup purposes. Tap Photos and make sure iCloud Photo Library is toggled on, then tick Optimize iPhone Storage, so that full-resolution versions are replaced by optimized ones when you’re running low on space. And don’t worry — the full-resolution version will be kept in iCloud and can always be downloaded later.

Thankfully, there are lots of different options beyond iCloud that will allow you to manually or automatically back up your photos and videos. We recommend Google Photos because it’s straightforward and free. You can also get some free storage space with Dropbox or OneDrive.

Consult our roundup of the best free cloud storage apps for more ideas.

STREAM MUSIC AND MOVIES

Forget about downloading music, TV shows, or movies onto your iPhone. Use streaming services instead. Spotify and Netflix are our favorites, but there are loads of other to choose from. Apple Music and SoundCloud are great for music lovers, while Amazon Video, Hulu, and HBO Go make the perfect companion for those looking for movies or TV. If you use them when you’re out and about, just make sure that you keep an eye on your data usage.

DELETE OLD MESSAGES AND ATTACHMENTS

iPhone storage message

You should sift through your messages and delete anything unimportant, especially if it has an attachment. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of doing this manually, then go into Settings > Messages and scroll down to Message History and tap Keep Messages. Afterward, set it to 30 Days. It’s even worth deleting old voicemails, call history, and unused contacts.

You’ll also find the option to Review Large Attachments in Settings > General > iPhone Storage, which allows you to go through them and get rid of any you don’t need .

PURGE OLD FILES

If you have any old documents, videos, or other files on your iPhone that you can’t live without, it’s time to get rid of them. Remember to look inside specific apps. Check in iBooks, for example, and get rid of anything you’ve already read. Sometimes you can end up with duplicates or old files you’ve forgotten about if you use a photo-editing app or a document scanner.

TURN OFF AUTOMATIC DOWNLOADS

iPhone storage cloud

Look in Settings > [Your Apple ID] > iTunes & App Store and make sure that automatic downloads for MusicApps, and Books & Audiobooks are turned off. If you have these turned on, then you’ll automatically download content that you bought on other devices that use the same Apple ID. We recommend leaving Updates toggled on because app updates can bring extra security and bug fixes that you don’t want to miss out on.

CLEAR BROWSING DATA

iPhones Storage Safari

Your browsing history and website data builds up over time, but it’s easy to get rid of. Go to Settings > Safari, scroll down, and tap Clear History and Website Data. It probably won’t make a huge difference, but if you’ve never done it before, then it could clear a decent chunk of storage.

RESTORE YOUR IPHONE

iPhone Storage Reset

If you’ve worked through all our space-saving tips on your iPhone and you’re still short of space, there’s one last thing you can try. Back up your iPhone, wipe it, and then restore the backup. This will often reduce the size of the mysterious “Other” category listed in your storage breakdown.

To do so, go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Erase All Content and Settings > Back Up Then Erase, or consult our guide on how to factory reset your iPhone.

Image and Article Source: digitaltrends.com

The Importance of Lighting

Lighting in a kitchen is very important in order for you to function well you need to be able to see! But what type of lighting should you use? Technology has brought with it great choice, however sometimes too many variations can cause problems, Halogen, Low energy lighting or Led which one should you choose and then once you have made that choice what colour of lighting is best, for kitchen trimless downlights is best to use. There is no sure fire answer and sometimes the type of light is determined by your desire for dimming facilities.

Then there is the decision as to where the lighting should be placed. So lets start with position. Generally in a kitchen there are five different lighting positions;

  1. Ceiling lighting; to provide general overall light pattern; lighting your whole room.
  2. Plinth lighting; usually LED spots or strips to provide a runway affect, an atmospheric light and very low level.
  3. Display lighting; found in glass fronted cabinets and in over mantle shelving to provide targeted light to illuminate a particular object or space.
  4. Under wall unit lighting; designed to illuminate your working areas in front of you.
  5. Over wall unit lighting; either facing down to illuminate the area or washing up to illuminate the ceiling.

But what lights do you use and what strength? Every kitchen and every client will be different however as a general rule LED is far more energy efficient than Halogen and provides an identical light for a fraction of the running costs. Low energy fluorescents are generally a soft light which do not come on in full power and slowly warm up. LED strip lights are numerous little individual lights which come on a strip and can be installed in areas where conventional lighting cannot be installed.

The importance of lighting 2

However what types of light should you have, the most popular ceiling lights are downlights clean, unobtrusive and easy to control, however lighting can change the feeling of a room so sometimes give thought to whether you want a softer ceiling light on a separate switch which lights say a island area or a sitting area.

In regards to the intensity of the lights LED comes in three grades, Warm white, Daylight and bright white. The decision on which bulb you want is really a consideration of the natural light in the room the type of room and how you want the room to feel. Bear in mind now you can buy LED lights that are dimmable.

In regards to the other forms of lights these are all purely functional lighting workspaces and objects, very often a lot of these will be narrow beamed and quite bright however I personally like my under wall unit lights to be soft, enough light to work in without the main lights on and yet not too bright that they spoil the atmosphere.

So consider low energy fluorescents or LED warm white for these lights they don’t give off such a glare and they are comfortable to work with. A wall switch inside a bathroom is also a good choice if you want a dim light control

Remember lighting is really important in any room and in a room where you work and live it is vital you get it right so get advice from professionals.

Source: thekitchenthink.co.uk. This article is written by Stewart Woodruff.

Automotive LED Light Market is Projected to Bring in US$ 6,000 Mn by 2022

Exterior LED Light

Major factors impacting growth of the automotive LED light market include expansion of automobile industry, surging sales of lightweight vehicles across the globe, focus on energy efficiency, and soaring LED penetration. This Fact.MR report discusses key prospects for growth of global automotive LED light market during the forecast period, 2017-2022, offering pragmatic insights to lead market players towards devising & implementing informed strategies.

The scope of the report is to analyze the global automotive LED lights market for the period 2017-2022 and give readers an accurate, unbiased analysis. Automotive LED light manufacturers, suppliers, and stakeholders in the overall automotive market can benefit from the insights offered in this report. The comprehensive analysis offered in the report can also be of interest to leading automotive journals and trade magazines.

The report begins with a concise summary of the global automotive LED lights market. This executive summary sets the tone for the rest of the report, giving users the scope of the report. The executive summary includes important facts and statistics on the global automotive LED lights market.

The next section is an overview of the global automotive LED lights market. This includes the introduction to the market and a standard definition of the product – automotive LED light. In this section, year-over-year growth and market value is offered to readers. Year-over-year growth gives readers a broader picture on growth patterns during the forecast period.

The next section of the report offers a thorough description of the latest macroeconomic factors that have a bearing on the global automotive LED lights market. Considering the interconnectedness of the automotive LED light market to global automotive market and, in general, the global economy, readers will get valuable insights on how international developments impact this market.

In a bid to keep readers up-to-date on the latest developments in the global automotive LED lights market, the report offers readers a roundup of the latest trends impacting the market. As the automotive sector is ever-evolving, staying abreast with latest trends and developments is paramount to formulating key business strategies. Information on supply chain, cost structure, pricing analysis, raw material sourcing, and list of distributors are offered to readers in this section.

Considering the wide scope of global automotive LED light market, Fact.MR’s report offers a segment-wise analysis and forecast. The global automotive LED light market is categorized into – application, sales channel, and region. In this section, the report renders an in-depth country-wise forecast on each parameter pertaining to automotive LED lights.

The concluding section of the report profiles companies operating in the global automotive LED lights market. Companies of all sizes, including market leaders, established players, and market entrants are profiled in this section. The competitive intelligence offers information on company overview and other important parameters, such as product offerings and key financials.

Source: findmarketresearch.org

Apple silently kills off some colors for iPhone, iPad & Apple Watch accessories

A variety of colors for official Apple accessories are reportedly vanishing from the company’s online and retail stores, suggesting that it’s phasing out some options, and/or allowing stocks to deplete before new devices arrive this fall.

iphone

In Japan, nine iPhone 7 cases, 18 iPad cases, and 13 iPad Smart Covers have disappearedMacotakarasaid on Friday. Also gone are a number of Apple Watch options, include 12 sport bands, seven nylon bands, and some Nike and Hermes accessories.

The situation is less severe in countries like the U.S. and the U.K., but may still be indicative of a global trend.

Apple often scales back the color options for older accessories as new devices launch, choosing to shift focus. It’s also possible however that some colors won’t return in a new form if Apple considers them unprofitable.

The company is expected to launch at least four new devices this fall, led by the “iPhone 8”“iPhone 7s,”and “iPhone 7s Plus.” The fourth is a third-generation Apple Watch with LTE.

Apple released updated iPads earlier this year, and indeed some of the accessories gone in Japan were for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and iPad mini 4. Three of them, however, were Smart Covers for this year’s 10.5-inch Pro.

Source: appleinsider.com

 

Tips for your cell phone during a major storm

cell phone in emergency

Keep your mobile phone battery charged. In case of a power outage, have another way to charge your phone like an extra battery, car charger or device-charging accessory. Applicable sales tax holidays are a great time to stock up on cell phone accessories. To help customers prepare for the storm, AT&T is discounting batteries 20% at local retail stores in affected areas.

Keep your mobile devices dry.The biggest threat to your device during a hurricane is water. Unlike dummy phone that is water resistant. Keep it safe from the elements by storing it in a baggie or some other type of protective covering, like an Otterbox phone cover.

Have a family communications plan. Choose someone out of the area as a central contact. Make sure all family members know who to contact if they get separated. Most importantly, practice your emergency plan in advance.

Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.

Forward your home number to your mobile number in the event of an evacuation. Call forwarding is based out of the telephone central office. This means you will get calls from your landline phone even if your local telephone service is disrupted. If the central office is not operational, services such as voicemail and call forwarding may be useful.

Track the storm and access weather information on your mobile device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. You can stay up to speed as a DIRECTV customer, by streaming local weather channels using the DIRECTV application on your smartphone. If you subscribe to mobile DVR, you can also stream every channel directly to your phone.

Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos and video clips of damage to your insurance company.

Use location-based technology. Services like AT&T Navigator and AT&T FamilyMap can help you find evacuation routes or avoid traffic from downed trees or power lines. They can also track a family member’s wireless device if you get separated.

Keeping the lines open for emergencies
During evacuations, the storm event and its aftermath, network resources will likely be taxed. To help ensure that emergency personnel have open lines, keep these tips in mind:

Text messaging. During an emergency situation, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls because they require fewer network resources. All of AT&T’s wireless devices are text messaging capable. Depending on your text or data plan, additional charges may apply.

Be prepared for high call volume. During an emergency, many people are trying to use their phones at the same time. The increased calling volume may create network congestion, leading to “fast busy” signals on your wireless phone or a slow dial tone on your landline phone. If this happens, hang up, wait several seconds and then try the call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again.

Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum, and limit your calls to the most important ones. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates.

Source: kbtx.com

Investigators hope 3D technology sheds light on cold case

SUMMIT COUNTY – Inside the Summit Medical Center’s Ten Mile Room, Summit County Sherriff Jamie FitzSimons and Summit County coroners are trying to solve a mystery.

Matt Renoux

It started in the rugged mountains of the Ten Mile Range between Copper Mountain and Breckenridge in an area called the Sky Chutes.

Last year, hikers found the skeletal remains of a man who in the winter of 2012 brought a backpack full of high-end survival gear and three magazines of ammunition, and then ended his own life with a gun.

“The gear he had leans to survival in bad weather and yet he took his life,” FitzSimons said.

The gun’s serial number was removed and the man didn’t have identification. There wasn’t a car, truck or even a snowmobile nearby.

After a year without leads, investigators turned to Forensic Artist Beth Buchholzt to use the man’s skull to make a 3D rendering out of clay of what he may have looked like. 

“The first step is to do a 3D laser scan of the skull and then those are printed into plastic on a 3D printer and the clay is applied,” Buchholzt said.

It’s not a perfect match. The nose, ears and lips might not be exact, but it’s pretty close.

“It’s not going to be an exact portrait of him, but hopefully someone who knew him in life who was friend or family member might recognize him,” Buchholzt said.

Sheriff FitzSimons says identifying the man would finally close a case more than four years in the making.

“Hopefully they can look at this clay rendition and the clothing and try to put it all together and remember something,” said FitzSimons.

If you have any information that might help, you can contact the Summit County Coroner’s Office at 1-970-668-2964, or email the Summit County Sheriff’s Department at Robert.Pearce@SummitCountyCO.gov.

Source: 9news.com

Five Phone Accessories That Make Travel Easier

Your phone is already the hub of every trip you take: the carrier of boarding passes and hotel reservations; the holder of books and movies to help pass the time; the conduit through which travel photos are shared on social media.

All by itself, it makes travel easier. But with a few key cell phone accessories, you can travel more easily with your phone. Let’s take a look at the items worth adding to your carry-on bag.

A mobile charger with wall prongs

mycharge-hub-plus

Some mobile chargers, like this one from MyCharge, have built-in wall prongs and cables.

Photo by Rick Broida/CNET

Here’s a no-brainer: You need a mobile power bank to keep your phone running. These come in all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority require you to BYO wall plug so you can recharge the charger. That’s a hassle: one more thing to remember, one more thing cluttering up your bag.

That’s why I always choose a phone charger that can plug right into the wall unlike a dummy phone that no need to charge. For example, the Romoss UP10 (currently $30 on Amazon) features a 10,000mAh battery, dual USB ports (a 1-amp and a 2.1-amp) and folding wall prongs. And it can charge your phone while it’s plugged in and recharging itself.

More convenient still, the MyCharge HubPlus series provides power, wall prongs and built-in charge cables: Apple Lightning and Micro-USB, for example, or Micro-USB and USB-C. Of course, there’s also a standard USB port for connecting your own cable if need be. These are pricey, usually between $60 and $100, but also compact and super-convenient.

A 2-in-1 sync/charge cable

The Zeus Dual Charger magically fuses a Lightning and Micro-USB connector onto the same plug.

Zeus

One cable to rule them all. That’s the idea behind the Zeus Dual Charger, a fairly standard-looking USB cord — except that it has a Micro-USB and Lightning connector integrated onto a single plug!

I’ve never seen this before; most 2-in-1 cables just have two separate tips (usually with one nested into the other or the two side-by-side). Here you’ve got a single braided 6-foot cable that can plug into an Apple device or just about anything else. The Zeus sells for $20.

Is that any better than, say, a dual-plug cable like this one from Nkomax? Actually, the latter lets you charge two devices simultaneously, so it’s probably the more logical choice. Whatever you decide: one cable is better than two!

A good gripper

ungrip-in-hand

The Ungrip is the kind of product that helps prevent accidental phone drops.

Photo by Rick Broida/CNET

Travel means a lot of phone handling. It’s in and out of your pocket or purse all day; it’s clutched for dear life while you dash to catch your flight. All that hustle and bustle greatly increases the risk of dropping your phone — and that could sour your trip right quick.

Solution: Get a better grip on your phone. There are a variety of products — most priced under $20, many under $10 — that stick to the back of your phone or case and give you a much more secure grip. I’m partial to the Ninja Loop (about $5) and Ungrip (about $10), which are notable for their versatility and comfort, respectively.

A good pen

ace-teah-as-kickstand

This pen is mightier than, well, other pens.

Ace Teah

Wait, a pen? Yeah, you know: that thing you write with sometimes. How can a pen make travel easier? When it’s also a stylus. And a kickstand.

Like this one: the Ace Teah 3-in-1. A longtime favorite of mine, this thick-barreled pen is not only comfy to write with, but also nice to, er, stylus with. (Flip it over and you can use the capacitive tip to scribble on your screen.) Better still, it has a built-in phone stand that can even accommodate a phone in a case. Now you’ve got a way to prop up the screen when you want to watch a movie or read a book. A mere six bucks buys you a pack of six pens in assorted happy colors.

A car mount

Traveling by car? For long trips in particular, when you’re likely to be relying on navigation apps, listening to podcasts and so on, it’s critical to keep your phone out of your lap or center console and up near eye level. That’s not only for easier screen access, but also for safety.

I’m partial to magnetic mounts, but there are a lots of different options. Check out this roundup of three ways to dashboard-mount your phone.

What phone-related travel accessories do you consider essential? Share your picks in the comments!

Source: cnet.com