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Review: Scat Mat

One of the most difficult parts of training an indoor cat or dog can be enforcing those off-limit areas that can’t be fenced off or otherwise physically protected. Areas like countertops, couches, beds, and dining tables can seem almost impossible to keep your curious cats and dogs away from, particularly when there is no one around to enforce the rules. For just this purpose, a number of different pet-care companies sell so-called “scat mats”, which produce a low-level static pulse that is completely harmless to your beloved fur babies but which enforces off-limits areas, even one no one is there to see.

Scat mats come in a variety of sizes and with some different settings, but most feature battery-powered operation and three different pulse levels that can be used on pets ranging from small kittens to large dogs. Importantly, while it may take some time for a scat mat to train your pets about certain no-go areas, in most cases, the lesson will remain learned even after the scat mat has been moved to storage or placed in another location. One other great use for scat mats is to place them in front of certain doorways, acting as an invisible barrier preventing your pet from passing through without the need for a pet gate.

What Is the Pet Shock Mat – 30×16 Inches Pet Training Scat Mat for Dogs & Cats?

puppy with chew toy

image source: Unsplash

The Pet Shock scat mat from Dog Care is designed around effectively training your four-legged friend without causing physical or psychological harm. As a company, Dog Care says that it strives to incorporate advanced technology into its philosophy of training pets with the respect they deserve, and the Dog Care scat mat is a perfect example of Dog Care putting this idea into action.

Product Specs

puppy

image source: Unsplash

Features

The Dog Care Pet Shock scat mat produces a low-level static pulse, as well as an audible beep to train your pet faster and more effectively through the use of two different senses. It also features three different setting levels (low, medium, and high) that can accommodate pets of all sizes and ages. The Dog Care scat mat includes a no-delay response, also helping to train your pet more quickly and effectively. According to Dog Care, its scat mat contains five times more conductive wire than its competitors, allowing it to be more responsive and, therefore, more effective. Unlike other models we’ve looked at, this offering from Dog Care also features three different training modes.


Training Modes

The multi-sensory Dog Care scat mat features three different training modes to suit your personal preferences and your pet’s individual learning style. The three modes include static pulse only, static pulse plus beep, and beep only. The ability to turn off the beep function is particularly convenient for at night when you don’t want your pet’s misbehavior to interrupt your sleep with an audible alert.


Design

The design on the Dog Care Pet Shock scat mat is among the sleekest on the market, with a stylish, rounded, white control box that features LED indicator lights. Overall, the Dog Care scat mat looks much less boxy and will blend into most homes much better than its competitors.


Energy Efficiency

One area where the Dog Care scat mat sets itself apart is in its focus on energy efficiency. Like most scat mats on the market, the Dog Care mat is powered by a replaceable battery – in this case, a single 9V. However, Dog Care has taken pains to get as long a life as possible out of each battery, saving money and helping the environment. Allowing for longer battery life also means fewer battery changes, improving the overall ease of use.

Pricing

puppy begging for food

image source: Unsplash

This scat mat from Dog Care can be found at online retailers like Amazon, which makes it about average to slightly below average in terms of overall cost. However, at just 30″ by 16″, the Dog Care scat mat also has about half the total surface area of some other models costing about the same. Whether this smaller size is a pro or a con for you depends on how and where you plan to use your scat mat, but the Dog Care scat mat is more expensive per square inch than some competing models.

How It Compares


We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare to the Dog Care scat mat. The models we chose for comparison are:

  • Lesotc Pet Scat Mat
  • PetSafe ScatMat Indoor Pet Training Mat for Dogs and Cats
  • Electronic Pet Training Shock Mat for Dogs Cats

Pet Shock Mat – 30 x 16 Inches Pet Training Mat Scat Cat Mat for Dogs & Cats

Pet Shock Mat - 30 x 16 Inches Pet Training Mat for Dogs & Cats, 3...
  • 3 Optional Training Modes - DOGCARE pet training mat provides 3 optional training modes (Static Mode, Beep Mode, Static...
  • 3 Adjustable Shock Levels - If you fear that the pet training mat might hurt your pet, then the DOGCARE pet shock mat...
  • Durable & Efficient Static Mat - We enhanced the static rope in the cat mat. Using 5 times static ropes than the normal...

This product can be found on Amazon, and it is at the low end of our price range in terms of overall cost. However, considering that the Pet Shock Mat from Dog Care is about half the size of some of the other models we looked at, this actually makes the Dog Care scat mat among the most expensive per square inch of space.

Ease of Use

With not only three different power settings but also three different training modes, this scat mat from Dog Care definitely sets itself apart from the competition with its range of options while maintaining straightforward usability. The energy-efficient design also means greater convenience due to fewer battery changes.

Design Quality

The Dog Care scat mat justifies its relatively high price per square inch with a superior design quality and durability. The Dog Care scat mat looks and feels like a high-quality product.

Effectiveness

The overall effectiveness of the Dog Care scat mat stands above the rest due to its three different training modes, which incorporate multi-sensory outputs to train your pet faster and more effectively. The beep-only training mode also provides an option for pet owners who are skittish about supplying their beloved animals with even a harmless static pulse.

Lesotc Pet Scat Mat

Pet Scat Cat Mat,Newest 44''x17'' Pet Training Mat for Pets Cats,Keep...
  • 【Upgraded & Improved Design】Using Anti Shedding Metal Wires for much more effective result for keeping your cats off...
  • 【High-Qualified & Flexible & Adjustable】Meet UL, made of soft PVC material, the training mat is easy and flexible to...
  • 【3 Adjustable Shock Mode】Providing 3 adjustable levels of static pulse, suitable for most of cats.You can easily...

The Lesotc Pet Scat Mat is a pet training met that produces three different levels of static pulse to help train your pet not to go. Once your pet has been taught not to go in an area, the Lesotc pet training mat can be moved to use on another area of your home. We found it to be perfect for furniture like couches, beds, and dining tables.


This product can be found on Amazon, at the lower end of the range, particularly given its larger size.

Ease of Use

Battery operated, the Lesotc scat mat can be used pretty much anywhere, including on furniture. However, when those batteries die, you might find yourself yearning for a plug-in option. It turns on with a simple on/off button, and features clear settings for high, medium, and low static pulses.

Design Quality

For the price, the Lesotc pet training mat provides above average durability and reliability.

Effectiveness

While some pet owners bristle at the notion of delivering even a harmless static pulse to their beloved animals, the shock is extremely mild, and we found that, while it did require some training, the Lesotc pet training mat proved effective in keeping cats and dogs from going where they are not wanted.

PetSafe ScatMat Indoor Pet Training Mat for Dogs and Cats

Sale
PetSafe ScatMat Indoor Pet Training Mat for Dogs and Cats, Sofa and...
  • TRAINING TOOL: Use ScatMat training mats to teach dogs and cats of all sizes to not play on the furniture, jump on...
  • EASY TO USE: Place the training mat indoors on the area you want your pet to avoid; When your pet steps on the mat, they...
  • CUSTOMIZABLE CORRECTION: 3 correction levels allow you to choose either a low, medium or high setting based on the...

The PetSafe ScatMat comes in a variety of sizes and has a host of available accessories and add-ons, from extensions to dummy mats. While the PetSafe ScatMat is a bit more expensive than some other models, it does offer some of the most versatility we’ve seen in a scat mat family of products.

Ease of Use

The PetSafe ScatMat features straightforward, easy use controls. Just turn it on and choose one of the three adjustable settings. Plus, the ability to choose from five different sizes makes it easy to choose the perfect scat mat for your purposes.

Design Quality

Though a little bit more expensive, the PetSafe ScatMat felt more durable than some of the other mats we looked at.

Effectiveness

With the wide variety of options and accessories available to fit your particular needs, the PetSafe was among the most effective scat mats we looked at.

Electronic Pet Training Shock Mat for Dogs Cats

Electronic Pet Training Shock Mat for Dogs Cats, Indoor Use Furniture...
  • The pet training mat can help you train your pet to stay away from some areas, such as sofa, bed, chair, baby activity...
  • It is a low-voltage mat that can be safely used anywhere in the room. Train your pet safely and effectively away from...
  • The pet training mat provides 3 working modes (TONE, TONE+STATIC, STATIC). It can work with any size of cats or dogs....

This simple, standard scat mat is at the low end of our price range but will prove perfectly adequate for many uses.

Ease of Use

Like most scat mat models we looked at, this electronic pet training mat is simple to operate: just turn it on and select a high, medium, or low pulse setting. However, the fact that we had to find a screwdriver to open the battery box definitely is an inconvenience, detracting from our ease-of-use score.

Design Quality:

Made of transparent PVC, this scat mat has a durable feel but is also flexible, allowing it to fit different contours without fear of snapping or breaking.

Effectiveness

Like most of the scat mats we looked at, this electronic pet training shock mat proved effective in training even the most stubborn pets to stay away from certain areas, even after the mats had been removed.

Conclusion

dog lying on the carpet

image source: Unsplash

Our Top Scat Mat 

While any of the scat mats we looked at would prove effective under the right circumstances, we decided to name the Dog Care scat mat best overall for its combination of good quality, sleek design, and multiple, multi-sensory training modes not available on other models. While the Dog Care scat mat was literally half the length of the competing models, for some users this may actually be a positive, as it allows the scat mat to be used in smaller areas, such as countertops and end tables.


The Dog Care scat mat proved highly effective in training both dogs and cats to stay away from where they are not wanted. Added features such as the option for multi-sensory training, which adds an audible beep to the low-level static pulse, seemed to have an impact with the speed and ease with which animals learned not to go certain places. The no-delay response, which Dog Care says is a result of its scat mat containing five times as many wires as competing models, also seemed to improve training.


Honorable Mention

As an honorable mention, we wanted to include the PetSafe scat mat, which was among the most versatile offerings we looked at thanks to its wide range of available add-ons and accessories. From useful extensions to clever extras like dummy mats, the PetSafe scat mat deserves a long look if you have several locations to cover simultaneously, a particularly large area to cover, or an especially stubborn pet. It also featured a high level of quality and straightforward ease of use, despite the number of options available. However, each model we looked at features plusses and minuses depending on one’s individual needs, and one can’t really go wrong with any of the models on our list.


Whichever model you decide on, a scat mat is a solid option for training your four-legged companions to stay away from certain areas where they might get into trouble or leave an unwanted mess. Best of all, most pets seemed to learn a lasting lesson, making scat mats effective long after they have been moved to other locations or returned to storage. And, if your pet starts misbehaving, it’s easy to pull the scat mat back out of the closet to reiterate those rules, which a scat mat will enforce even when there is no one around to scold your pet or spray it with a water bottle, to name just a few old-fashioned tactics. Best of all, you won’t hurt your furry friend in the process.

Robertshaw Thermostat Review

Old Model Thermostat Compared to a Robertshaw Thermostat

Image from Pixabay

Thermostats are an essential part of every home, and they can be easy to forget about when they’re working correctly. Unfortunately, many people have to deal with the frustrating nuisance that is a malfunctioning thermostat. Whether it’s in the winter or the summer, there’s no convenient time to have a broken thermostat. Luckily, devices like the Robertshaw thermostat are a perfect solution.Thanks to the amazing technology of today’s smart manufacturers, home temperature regulating devices such as the Robertshaw thermostat are easy to set up and reliable for continuous usage. We are excited to share our thorough review of the Robertshaw thermostat to help you in your decision to buy a reliable device that won’t let you down.

What Is the Robertshaw Thermostat RS5220?

The Robertshaw thermostat comes to us from a brand that has been revered and trusted by companies and individuals for over a century. The full range of Robertshaw products includes gas valves, ignition controls, appliance controls, cooking thermostats, water valves, pressure sensors, actuators, and electronic/electromechanical controls along with their popular wall thermostats. The Robertshaw thermostat RS5220 comes from the RS5000 series of thermostats and is the newest and best in its respective product line.

The electric Robertshaw thermostat comes jam-packed with numerous convenient features that make it a snap to install, and after installation it’s self-sufficient.

Robertshaw RS5220 2 Heat/ 2 Cool Digital 5-2 Day Programmable...
  • Fully programmable with soft touch keys to easily set four events per day AND 5-2 day scheduling
  • Pop-up Wizard to customize thermostat settings with an instant start-up menu
  • Vacation set point override to reduce energy use while away from home

Product Specs

Pricing

How It Compares

To ensure that you have all the information you need to make the best decision, we picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  •   ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
  •   Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat
  •   Lux WIN100-A05 Heating & Cooling Programmable Outlet Thermostat

Robertshaw RS5220 2 Heat/ 2 Cool Digital 5-2 Day Programmable...
  • Fully programmable with soft touch keys to easily set four events per day AND 5-2 day scheduling
  • Pop-up Wizard to customize thermostat settings with an instant start-up menu
  • Vacation set point override to reduce energy use while away from home

Ease of Use

This thermostat makes usage simple with fully programmable soft touch keys so you can easily set four functions per day without skipping a beat.
 

Assembly Time

The first-time setup for this product is a breeze thanks to the automatic setup wizard that starts up the settings menu automatically once you turn the device on for the first time.
 

Design Quality

This product is designed with the user experience in mind. Everything from the large screen featuring night mode and the programmable keys to the bottom easy-to-reach battery replacement compartment makes using this device a walk in the park.

Features

This thermostat is jam-packed with convenient features such as WiFi connectivity, adjustable energy-saving temperature parameters, and a vacation set point that recognizes when you’re away from home and adjusts accordingly.

Warranty

This thermostat comes with a two-year unlimited warranty, so you’re fully protected.

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No products found.

This state-of-the-art thermostat comes with a hefty price tag, but if you can overlook it, the ecobee4 thermostat has plenty of features you’ll love. This model comes equipped with advanced voice control settings and the manufacturers at ecobee promise to help you save money overall on your heating and cooling bills. This technological advancement in at-home temperature regulation is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings, among other smart systems.

This product features zone-specific controls and adapts to your local weather patterns. With this thermostat, you get room sensors you can place in your living room, bedrooms, and other important rooms in your house. These sensors will pick up on activity and heat or cool accordingly to maintain optimal temperatures throughout your whole home.

This product is heavier than the Robertshaw weighing it at around 2.7 pounds. Setup for this device should only take about thirty minutes, and the package you receive includes all the equipment you’d need for installation and an easy-to-follow installation guide. There is even an app for this thermostat that allows you to follow along with the installation step-by-step. This app is also helpful for controlling the temperature of your home from anywhere so you can return home to a comfortable and temperature regulated space.

The only complaint customers seem to have is that the voice control function can be buggy from time to time.

Ease of Use

This thermostat meets all the requirements for ease of use. It’s simple to get started with and is almost entirely automatic, so you won’t have to do much to keep it working, especially with its motion and temperature sensors.

Assembly Time

The thirty minutes needed for the first-time setup may be time-consuming, but it’s still simple. The installation guide and a step-by-step setup walk-through available on the free app, help make assembly a smooth process.

Design Quality

The smart, state-of-the-art nature of this thermostat makes it a force to be reckoned with design wise. It’s packed with clever design choices that make it convenient to use and nice to look at, too.

Features

Other than the voice control function suffering a few occasional bugs, this thermostat is filled to the brim with smart technology that makes it easy to use and self-sustaining in nature.

Warranty

This thermostat comes with a three-year warranty.


Sale
Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat for Smart Home, DIY, Works With...
  • EDITORS CHOICE BEST VALUE SMART THERMOSTAT by USA Today’s Reviewed.com
  • SAVE ABOUT 23% ON HVAC ENERGY*: The ENERGY STAR certified Sensi thermostat helps you save on your HVAC energy costs,...
  • MOST INSTALL IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS**: Use the built-in level and step-by-step app instructions for a quick installation....

This thermostat works with most common heating and cooling systems and includes compatibility with those of gas, electric, and radiant sources. If you are new to the advanced world of technology, this is an extremely user-friendly and non-intimidating device. It takes almost no time at all to set up, and once it’s installed, it’s easy to control this device wirelessly from anywhere by using its convenient free app. This device features a keypad lockout function for added safety, easy guidance that walks you through the installation step by step via the app, and this lightweight model weighs just 11.4 ounces.

This smart thermostat claims to save about 23% on HVAC energy and puts the power of saving energy into your hands by providing energy usage reports. This device was built to be extensively compatible with the common HVAC equipment that’s likely already in your home. Similar to the ecobee4 we reviewed above, this model is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s HomeKit, and Wink, among other smart home platforms.

An additional unique feature that may not be as common with smart thermostats is this model’s ability to send out smart alerts that help detect extreme temperature and humidity levels within your home.

Ease of Use

This lightweight product is easy to put up on your wall and is compatible with many smart home platforms increasing its ease of use.

Assembly Time

Although it may take up to thirty minutes to properly install this model, the step-by-step instructions and video tutorials featured in the Sensi app ensure you’ll get it right the first time.

Design Quality

The screen design might seem annoying or overcrowded to some users, but this thermostat is also designed to be controlled from your phone, so you may not even need to fiddle with its interface.

Features

This product has great features, but in the long run, it lacks in this department compared to other products like the Robertshaw or ecobee4 smart thermostats.

Warranty

This thermostat comes with a three-year warranty, just like the ecobee4. 


Lux WIN100 Automatic Heating & Cooling 5-2 Day Programmable Outlet...
  • PROGRAMMABLE: This 5-2 day thermostat allows you to program weekdays and weekends at different temperatures
  • EASY TO USE: Comes with easy to use touch keys and displays the current temperature for easy reference
  • INSTALLATION: No installation or wiring, easy to plug in and select the desired heat

This model leaves the bells and whistles of the products we’ve reviewed above behind and instead provides a simple one-room solution. If you have a wall AC unit or a floor heater, this little convenient device offers the opportunity to control it and save yourself some money next time your energy bill is due.

This model includes a built-in outlet, so you won’t need to free up space to power it and can create different programs for weekdays and weekends. Many people use these for rooms that lack temperature control. This product is tough enough for outdoor use, so some people even use it for dog houses and garages.

Ease of Use

As far as setup time and overall device function, things could not be simpler. This product keeps it simple, so it’s easy to use for all.

Assembly Time

Assembly time for this device is short. All you need to do is plug it into a wall receptacle, and it controls a single room.

Design Quality

Compared to other devices in this review, this product does not feature the best design quality.  The screen is small and difficult to read, and there are no night-time settings.

Features

As we mentioned before, this device leaves the bells and whistles behind and opts for a more simple design. Because of this simple design, this product is lacking in features compared to the other three thermostats reviewed above.

Warranty

This product comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Conclusion

We hope our review of the Robertshaw thermostat has given you ample knowledge on a great product that can keep your home comfortable all year round. We proudly give this product 5/5 stars for its many specs and convenient features, thoughtful manufacturing, high-quality design, ease of use, and reasonable pricing.

Whatever your home heating and cooling needs are, the Robertshaw smart thermostat is a great choice.

Best Peephole Cameras

peephole camera

Peephole Camera Comparison Data

When you hear "peephole camera," you may think of a hidden camera designed to record people while they are unaware. But peephole cameras are actually made to be installed in your door's peephole. There are many advantages to replacing an old aperture with a camera.

Peephole cams provide a better view of who is outside your door. It is much easier to see an image on a screen than it is to squint through a little hole. Kids can't see through standard peepholes at all. Neither can shorter or taller people.

Today's peephole cameras offer some impressive technology. We have reviewed some here that send a live video image to your phone when someone rings your doorbell or knocks and allow you to talk to them as if they were standing in front of you.

How We Reviewed These Peephole Cameras

This is a list of the best. We patiently weeded out cheaply constructed models so you won't even have to hear about them. Many of the peephole cameras we looked at had horrible resolution. You don't need really high-quality video and image capability in a camera of this type, but you don't want grainy or low-contrast images either.

We were surprised at how many "peephole cameras" on the market today are actually just slightly modified versions of doorbell cams! That just doesn't work. A peephole camera should be designed to look good on your door, or at least look like it was designed to go there. We did not include any cam that was not designed specifically with a door in mind.

Once we excluded the models that did not meet our high standards, we picked the best in a few categories. Three of our reviews are for simple cameras that do not record images or video. These are inexpensive and simple options that suit their purpose splendidly.

We also reviewed some more advanced peephole cams. We included some that detect motion and automatically take pictures or video and store them for later viewing.

Throughout the process, we kept your family's security in mind. Even if you are looking into buying a peephole camera for convenience purposes, they are ultimately a great security device. You may even want to buy one of the more advanced models for a senior in your life. There are some bad people in this world that prey on senior citizens and children. Opening the door can be a dangerous thing.

Take a look at the peephole cameras that we reviewed here. They all meet our standards for dependability, camera clarity, screen quality and ease of installation. We also checked out customer service ratings and did not include any products from companies that do not offer support to their customers after purchase.


The Best Peephole Cameras Compared And Reviewed

Awakingdemi Peephole Camera

Peephole Camera, Peephole Viewer, Awakingdemi 3.0 inch Door Viewer...
  • ★【ATTENTION PLEASE】- Not a video doorbell. just a peephole camera.No PIR,No motion sensor,Simple push button to...
  • ★【SUPER TFT DISPLAY】-3.0 inch hd display 2 million professional security cameras
  • ★【Note】you will have to drill a hole in your door if you don’t have one already.support USB and mobile power...

This is a simple peephole camera with a couple useful features.

When someone knocks or rings your doorbell, you push the button to turn the camera on so you can see who is out there. If you want to take a picture of who is standing outside your door, you push the button twice. The lack of recording and two-way communication features really simplifies operation and keeps the price down. It can support up to a 32G memory card, which can store a lot of pictures.

This is so simple that even small children can use it. You can instruct them to take a picture of callers so you know who is coming to your door when your kids are home alone.

PROS

  • Simple
  • Affordable

CONS

  • No video recording
  • No intercom
  • No mobile connectivity

Cheesea Digital Peephole Viewer

2.4" LCD Digital Peephole Viewer 100 deg; Door Eye Doorbell HD Camera
  • Color: champagne
  • Size: 13 x 9 x 2.5cm (1inch=2.54cm)
  • 2.4" color TFT screen

This model is even simpler and a bit less expensive. It is only a camera. It does not take pictures. What it does is give a crystal clear and undistorted wide-angle view of your caller on its big 3.5″ LCD screen.

This is a good high-quality peephole cam that lacks the features you may not need.

PROS

  • Very simple to operate
  • Nice display
  • Affordable

CONS

  • No video recording
  • No intercom
  • Does not take pictures
  • No Mobile Connectivity

Digital Express Peephole Door Viewer

Yale Look Door Viewer - WiFi Door Viewer, Video Doorbell - See Who's...
  • See, hear and speak to anyone at your door from your smartphone using the Look app
  • Receive an alert when a visitor presses the doorbell button or triggers the motion sensors
  • Scroll through a timeline feed of all the activity from your front door,replaces your existing peephole in minutes with...

Here is our budget pick. It is the cheapest peephole camera on our list, but it is well-made. And it beats trying to see out your door through a little peephole!

Installation is very simple, and everything you need is included. You will, however, have to drill a hole through your door unless you are replacing a standard peephole.

You simply push a button to turn the camera on whenever someone comes calling. The 2.2″ screen is big enough to see what is going on outside, but it may be difficult for you to see if you have poor eyesight. The clarity of the video is fine, but the screen is pretty small.

All-in-all, this is a fine little camera. We included it here because you just can't beat the value.

PROS

  • The most affordable peephole camera on our list
  • Clear image
  • Simple operation

CONS

  • No video recording
  • No intercom
  • Doesn't take pictures
  • No mobile connectivity
  • Screen is a bit small

Brinno Peephole Security Camera

Brinno Front Door Peephole Security Camera SHC500 – Theft Proof...
  • Wireless Versatility: Replace your outdated peephole with our big screen peephole camera that's wire-free and...
  • Secure Your Home: Family and loved one's security was first and foremost when creating the Brinno SHC500. You can safely...
  • Hassle-Free Installation: Great for homeowners and apartment dwellers alike, our door viewer camera offers DIY...

This is one of the truly smart peephole cams on our list.

It automatically records video or takes pictures when it senses motion within 13 feet of your door. Every image and video is stamped with the time and date so you know who was there and when they came.

You can view the footage on the 2.7″ screen, or you can remove the memory card and use it to view the images and video on your PC, laptop or other device.

When used as a peephole camera, it is undetectable from outside. But this model can also be used as a outdoor security camera. It takes a little time and a bit of effort to remove it from your door and mount it outside, so don't think you can just move it around whenever you want to. But you do have the option of moving it if you ever need to.

PROS

  • Clear image
  • Simple operation
  • Takes video and pictures
  • Can also be used as an outdoor security camera
  • Motion-detection capability

CONS

  • No intercom
  • No mobile connectivity

Eques Digital Door Viewer

Eques Digital Door Viewer - LCD Security Camera Monitor Video Record...
  • Children & Senior Friendly - Records visitors in pictures and videos without a smartphone
  • Anti-Peeping - Reflective mirror preventing from peeping into the house
  • Easy Installation - Takes less than 3 minutes

The Eques Digital Door Viewer is another simple peephole camera. It takes pictures and video at the push of a button. Unfortunately, it does not stamp the time or date on the images.

One great thing about this cam is the included 8GB micro SD card. It can store thousands of pictures and up to 37 hours of video.

PROS

  • Simple
  • Affordable
  • Included SD card

CONS

  • No intercom
  • No mobile connectivity

Digitsea Digital Door Peephole Viewer

digitsea Digital doorbell Peephole Door Camera 3.5 inches TFT LCD...
  • 1.Quality warranty: 1 year.
  • 2. 4pcs IR LEDs, clear night vision LEDs will turn on automatically under poor light.
  • 3.Automatically taking and saving photos in micro SD, when visitor press doorbell button.

This peephole camera offers you function and affordability. It is the perfect choice if you already have a peephole in your door, but if you don't, it's no problem as you can drill the hole for installation. 

You will find that this is easy to install. It comes with all the hardware you need. Plus, it includes hardware to allow install on doors of varying thickness. 

When someone rings the doorbell, the camera automatically takes a picture, so you capture a visual on anyone who rings your doorbell. It will also record video if you want. 

This unit does have night vision and LED lighting. It features a wide angle lens that captures visuals within a 120 degree range. It also has a 4.0V industrial high definition color sensor. 

PROS

  • Takes videos and pictures
  • Easy installation
  • Runs on AA batteries or AC adapter
  • Night vision

CONS

  • Does not have WiFi capabilities
  • Only records or takes picture when doorbell is pressed

Frequently Asked Questions

How Hard Is It To Install A Peephole Camera?

All of the peephole cams on this list have been made with ease of installation in mind. Be sure to check the specifications to make sure that the cam you are interested in will fit your door. There are many videos on Youtube that will walk you through installation.

Why Not Just Get A Doorbell Camera?

There are several key differences between doorbell cams and peephole cams. Doorbell cams do not come with a monitor. They have to connect with your smartphone or other device. And most doorbell cams stand out. A hostile visitor can simply cover the camera or steal it. This is not possible with a peephole camera.


The Final Verdict

Some of our simpler peephole cameras that do not record video or take pictures are great if you just want a high-tech step up from a traditional peephole. With one of these cameras, you can actually see clearly who is at your door instead of having to move your head around to try to get that perfect angle that will allow you to see who's there.

The more advanced models that take pictures and video may be your best bet it you want a record of who visits your home. They are affordable and easy to use.

You may want to choose one of the peephole cameras that automatically send an alert to your phone when they detect motion if you have children who sometimes stay home by themselves. Models with intercom ability allow you to answer the door from your phone so your kids don't have to.

These Outdoor HDTV Antennas Make it Easier to Finally Cut the Cord

antennas-communication-connection-frequency

As cable and satellite TV bills rise, many people are turning to free over-the-air HDTV programming to save money. There are many types of HDTV antennas available. We want to help you choose the one that will work best for you and offer you the best value for your dollar.


First Things First

​Find Where Your Broadcasts Will Be Coming From


Go to the FCC's site to determine where your favorite channels broadcast from. If they all come from the same general direction, a cheaper fixed antenna may be best for you. If they come in from two general directions, you may want to consider a bowtie antenna. Some people find that their favorites come in from all different directions. If this is the case, your best choice would be either an omnidirectional or a rotating antenna.

antenna-during-sunset

​About Amplified Antennas…


Some antennas have built-in amplifier that boost the signal they receive before passing them to your TV. They are useful for pulling in distant broadcasts and boosting signals that have been weakened by obstructions like trees and buildings around your home.

The Difference Between VHF and UHF


Channels 2-13 are VHF. Channels 14 and up are UHF. Not all HDTV antennas receive VHF signals, so consider this when choosing one.

Some TV broadcaster's frequencies will be changing soon. Go to the FCC's site, enter your zip code into the box and see whether your favorites will be changing. If so, you should get an antenna that receives both UHF and VHF to be sure you can continue to receive your favorite stations after the change, regardless of what frequency they broadcast at now.


How We Reviewed These Outdoor HDTV Antennas

We sorted through hundreds of HDTV antennas during the compilation of this list of the ten best.

First, we weeded out models that exhibited poor craftsmanship. Then we rejected the ones that made over-hyped claims. These two steps narrowed our picks considerably.

Out of the remaining antennas, we chose the ones that consistently delivered on their claims of quality. We further culled the herd of contenders by picking the best performers in the omnidirectional and single-direction categories.


The 10 Best HDTV Antennas Compared And Reviewed

This is a tough and simple HDTV antenna with a great range. It can withstand storms and high wind because of its low-profile design and mostly metal construction.

Under optimal conditions, it can pick up broadcasts from up to 150 miles away.

This model may be best for you if you will be receiving broadcasts from one direction and there are some obstructions like trees and buildings in the way.

1byone offers a one month trial on all of ​their antennas so their customers can return the unit if it proves to be unsuitable for their area.

Pros

  • Economical
  • Compact
  • Long range
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • UHF
  • No rotor – must be adjusted for direction manually if necessary

RCA ANT751E

You can place this antenna on your roof or in the attic with comparable results. It is weatherproof and made to stand up to any type of snow, ice, wind, sun, or rain.

It has a range of up to 70 miles and HDTV support up to 1080i. Plus, it comes with access to the RCA Signal Finder app to help you find the best towers in your area for a superior viewing experience.

It comes pre-assembled, which makes installation a snap. You get the mast, locking clamp, mounting hardware and 75-ohm transformer in the box.

This antenna may work best for you if you have station towers within 50 miles. It is also a good choice if you want a simple install.

Pros

  • Consistent signal even in bad weather
  • ​High quality construction
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Connectors are cheap and break easily
  • May suffer from interference issues

​Here is our best budget pick. The value is incredible. It has a range of up to 150 miles and a built-in amplifier. It is not omnidirectional, but it features a built-in powered rotator. Check out the FCC broadcast map at the beginning of this article. You use it to find the direction that the station you want to watch broadcasts from, then use the included remote to rotate the antenna to face that direction. The motor turns the antenna to the correct compass direction for the best possible reception without you having to get off your couch.

​This is an economical alternative to pricier omnidirectional antennas.

Pros

  • Economical
  • Powered rotor
  • Built-in noise filter
  • Long range
  • Dual TV outputs

Cons

  • Bulky design may be a bit unsightly
  • Many reports that customer service is unresponsive

This is a non-amplified antenna that works great for pulling in stations from two different broadcast areas simultaneously. It works best when there are no obstructions between its installation point and the broadcast towers. It should be mounted as high as possible to minimize interference from obstructions that may be too far away for you to see.

Think of this unit as two antennas in one. It folds vertically in the middle. When you set it up, you fold it in a way that one side is facing one set of broadcast towers while the other side faces another source of signals.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Set-it-and-forget-it installation
  • Good range if there is a clear path between it and broadcast tower

Cons

  • Non-amplified
  • Not readily readjusted
  • Expensive
  • UHF only

Pingbingding #wa-2608

This antenna offers a range up to 150 miles. It is a powerhouse if you live far away from local stations. It is ideal for rural dwellers.

It offers dual tv output so you can run on two televisions, and it supports up to 1080i.

Installation is a breeze thanks to the snap-on installation. You don't need a single tool to install.

It comes with a wireless remote and 40 feet  RG6 coaxial cable. The kit also includes a mounting pole.

Pros

  • Simple set-up
  • Good range

Cons

  • Not easy to adjust for direction

If you're over the age of 30, you probably remember seeing this type of antenna on rooftops everywhere. It is the classic outdoor antenna that served America for many years.

It will suit you if you can get all the channels you need from a single broadcast point and there aren't many obstructions around your house.

​This antenna will not pick up channels 2-4, but it will receive all other VHF and UHF channels.

Pros

  • Nostalgic style
  • Receives high-VHF broadcasts from up to 100 miles away and UHF signals from up to 60 miles away

Cons

  • Very bulky
  • Does not recieve low-VHF broadcasts

1byhome outdoor amplified hd digital tv antenna

This is another antenna with an exceptional range of up to 150 miles. It also supports up to 4K for an amazing television experience.

The weather-resistant antenna includes premium coaxial cable. You also can easily attach it to a pole.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Easy set up
  • Smooth picture

Cons

  • Range is overestimated

GE pro outdoor/attic mount tv antenna

Manufacturer says this can be mounted on the roof or in the attic. It gets up to a 70 mile range and supports up to 4K.

The antenna comes with a mounting bracket, mast, and all hardware. Do note it does not come assembled, so it takes some work before installation.

It does support whole home use, allowing for multiple TV connections.

Pros

  • Quality construction
  • Great reception

Cons

  • Complex installation due to bad instructions
  • Outdoor mounting is at your own risk due to many plastic parts that might wear down fast

This bowtie antenna is meant to be adjusted to capture signals from two cities at once. This is great is you live between two broadcast points.

We like the improved blade-style elements that are designed to withstand wind. I wish I would have known about these when I lived in the Chicago suburbs. They would have saved me a lot of climbing and readjusting!

Pros

  • Wind-resistant design
  • Amplified
  • Good range

Cons

  • Does not pick up channels 2-4, but it does get 5 and up
  • ​No coaxial cable included​
  • Some consider bowtie antennas to be an eyesore

This omnidirectional antenna is based on a design for RV antennas that work as the vehicle is travelling down the highway. Its maximum range is only about 40 miles, so it is suitable for use only in close proximity to broadcasting towers. You have to keep in mind that even amplified antennas suffer range reduction when trees and other objects obstruct signals.

If you live in the city that you will be receiving your broadcasts from, this may be a good antenna for you.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • VHF/UHF
  • Amplified
  • Omnidirectional

Cons

  • Short range
  • Only 16 feet of coaxial cable is included – You will likely need to purchase a longer cable and a coupler

​Frequently Asked Questions


My Homeowner's Association Forbids Outdoor Antennas. Now What?

Put one in your attic! Be sure to choose an antenna with an amplifier to help restore signal loss caused by your roof.

My House Is Surrounded By Trees And Buildings. Does This Mean That An Outdoor HDTV Antenna Won't Work For Me?

Obstructions do not kill HDTV signals. They scatter them. Some strength is lost, but an antenna will still pick them up. Amplifiers boost scattered signals.

Check out the FCC's tips for better reception.

Does An Antenna Have To Be On My Roof To Work?

That depends on the strength of the signal you are trying to pull in. Generally, HDTV signals are stronger at rooftop level because there are usually less obstructions at that height.

​The Final Verdict


All of the antennas we've offered on our list provide you with different options. Choosing an antenna is largely based on your situation. It depends on how close you are to signal towers and the landscape between you and the towers.

You cannot go wrong with any of the picks on our list when you need an outdoor HGTV antenna that will deliver a solid performance.

Review: Philips Hue Light Strip

Do you ever like to get creative when thinking about the lighting in your house? Are you a photographer? Do you attend college or know someone who does? Are you looking for a nice way to light your kitchen? What about decorate for a party? All of these questions may seem to have nothing in common, but if you answered yes to any of them, you could probably use a light strip in your life. If you have bright decorating desires or needs, the Philips Hue light strip might be the perfect product for you.

There are plenty of light strips on the market, and most are made with bright LED lights. You may not yet know exactly how you want to use your light strips, but as you will see, there is an amazingly wide variety of ways that you can. The LED lights often come in different colors, too, so you can get ultra-creative in planning your space, your photo shoot, party, or any other light-strip-worthy application.

Everyone uses lamps and ceiling lighting, but strip lights are more versatile, and they can go in many more places. Why deal with one bulky white lightbulb when you can have an entire string of light in any color you desire? If you are in the market for some new creative lights to get your juices flowing and the party jumping, the Philips Hue light strip is worth a look, and you’ll also find our evaluations of several other choices below.

What Is the Philips Hue Light Strip?


The Philips Hue Light Strip is truly a revolutionary design in the light strip world. Designed as another part of the Philips Hue collection of devices, the Philips Hue Light Strip paved the way for colorful LED lights that users could move any way they liked. In a strip format, you can attach these lights to almost anything so that you have the ability to truly transform a space. Throwing a party anytime soon? Try these light strips (which you can add additional parts to if you need it to be longer) and impress your crowd.

Product Specs

led strip lights

Image source: Pixabay

The Philips Hue light strip is 6.5 feet long, and you can buy additional 40-inch expansion pieces to attach to it if you desire. This light strip is capable of exuding either warm or cool lighting, with brightness about equivalent to two 60-watt lightbulbs. You simply peel off the protective backing on the 3M tape adhesive on the back of the strip and apply it wherever you like.


The Philips Hue light strip is not waterproof, but it is water-resistant. This is important for any parent considering placing strips in children’s rooms, and it helps you avoid damage to these beautiful lights. The light strip has a lifespan of 20,000 hours of light, which is equal to a bit over two years if you were to leave your strip on nonstop every day.


You simply plug this light strip into an outlet and you are good to go. The light strip also connects to its hub and to an app you will load on your phone so that you have the convenience of being able to change a variety of settings remotely. Features you can control with the app include timers, alarms, colors, dimming levels, and notifications. You can even isolate a specific color from a photo and match it. In fact, there are endless color options with this light strip.


Pricing

Generally, light strips are fairly inexpensive. The more features a product has (and the Philips Hue we feature here is pretty loaded), the more the cost increases, of course. You can purchase LED light strips from a variety of retail stores or browse an extensive selection online at sites such as Amazon.

Product Specs

led strip lights

Image source: Pixabay

The Philips Hue light strip is 6.5 feet long, and you can buy additional 40-inch expansion pieces to attach to it if you desire. This light strip is capable of exuding either warm or cool lighting, with brightness about equivalent to two 60-watt lightbulbs. You simply peel off the protective backing on the 3M tape adhesive on the back of the strip and apply it wherever you like.


The Philips Hue light strip is not waterproof, but it is water-resistant. This is important for any parent considering placing strips in children’s rooms, and it helps you avoid damage to these beautiful lights. The light strip has a lifespan of 20,000 hours of light, which is equal to a bit over two years if you were to leave your strip on nonstop every day.


You simply plug this light strip into an outlet and you are good to go. The light strip also connects to its hub and to an app you will load on your phone so that you have the convenience of being able to change a variety of settings remotely. Features you can control with the app include timers, alarms, colors, dimming levels, and notifications. You can even isolate a specific color from a photo and match it. In fact, there are endless color options with this light strip.


Pricing

Generally, light strips are fairly inexpensive. The more features a product has (and the Philips Hue we feature here is pretty loaded), the more the cost increases, of course. You can purchase LED light strips from a variety of retail stores or browse an extensive selection online at sites such as Amazon.

How the Philips Hue Compares


We picked a few light strips with notable similarities to, and features in common with, the Philips Hue light strip to assess how these products compare in terms of price, ease of installation, features, overall lighting quality, and warranty.

  • LEN Led Strip Lights
  • PANGTON VILLA Led Strip Lights
  • MINGER DreamColor LED Strip Lights

Philips Hue Light Strip

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance Outdoor LightStrip 5m/16ft...
  • The Philips Hue Outdoor Lightstrip is fully weatherproof, meaning it can withstand all weather conditions. The light...
  • Expand your hue system with a Philips Hue 16 ft/5M Outdoor Lightstrip and bring light to places you were not able to...
  • The coating around the lightstrip helps to create a single, bright, and vibrant colored light across the entire strip...

This luxury light strip sits at the top of the current market for good reasons. With its many advanced features, including the ability to connect the strip to your smartphone for control from anywhere or even activate the lights with your voice, this light strip is a winner for a wide range of applications. The color options are vast and fascinating as well.

Ease of Installation

This Philips light strip itself is simple to install. Essentially, all you need to do is plug in the adapter, pull off the protective backing of the adhesive tape behind the strip, and attach it wherever you want to some ambiance and illumination. The single downside we’ll note here is that, unlike some other light strip options, you must have a hub with which to pair this model to enjoy any remote control capabilities.

Features

It is difficult to find a light strip that compares favorably to the Philips Hue in terms of features. This model has everything you could want, from the ability to change the lights to literally any color you like to the capacity to control virtually every nuance from your phone. In addition, the Philips Hue can pair with devices like Alexa for voice-activated command response, so you will not have to even move a finger to turn your lights on.

Overall Lighting Quality

The lighting quality that these strips deliver is fairly amazing, and some users note that they are able to satisfactory light up a decent-sized outdoor area with just one strip. Most people tend to use these light strips as accent lights, however, but they are much brighter than you might expect. It is also nice being able to pick whichever color light you prefer and dim them easily whenever you choose.

Warranty

This light strip comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty in case anything goes wrong.

LEN LED Strip Lights

Inscrok 16.4ft LED Light Strips 5050 RGB Waterproof LED Strip Lights...
  • 【LED Strip Lights Features】: Low voltage(Only 12V), Low heat,Cuttable (Every 3 LEDs),Protable, Touchable,Memory...
  • 【Strong Self-Adhesive Tape】: Stronger back tape make you no longer have to worry about the strip lights falling off
  • 【Quick And Easy Installation】: Plug and play without wiring. Easily Control the light strips by the remote

These strip lights give the Philips Hue product a run for its money because they also come with 16 different static color choices for the light that is emitted. You receive durable 3M adhesive tape for installation of these lights by LEN, and the light string is 16.4 feet long to cover a large space.

Ease of Installation

These lights can be installed without any issues simply by pulling the backing off of the adhesive tape. These strip lights do not require a separately purchased hub, so you can begin lighting up your house immediately without extra cost.

Features

The Philips Hue light strip is hard to top in terms of features, but this light strip from LEN comes pretty close. There are many color combinations you can choose from, and the remote control adds a heavy shot of convenience. We liked how long this strip is, in part because it is not expandable. The only thing this strip is missing is an application for wireless control, but if the app and lack of voice command capabilities do not bother you, this budget-friendly option is a great way to go.

Overall Lighting Quality

This strip provides 16 static colors for you to choose from, plus countless other colors for the flashing combinations. You can decorate for a party in grand style with the option to use flashing and blinking choices. The substantial length of this light string and its sheer number of lights are also plusses to take into account.

Warranty

Luckily, even if you have an issue with these strip lights, you have 12 months to return them under warranty if needed.

PANGTON VILLA LED Strip Lights

Sale
PANGTON VILLA Led Strip Lights 6.56 Feet for 40-60 Inch TV Usb...
  • Light up every side of your tv - 78. 7 inch 5050 led light strip for 40-60 inch tv
  • Led tv lights can improve image clarity
  • 24 key remote:16 color, dimmable 4 modes. Control distance 19. 6 Feet-26. 2 Feet

These LED light strips are perfect for anyone trying to bring color into a bedroom. Also, if you have a television set that you would like to put lights behind for ambient lighting, this is a fun, affordable product that you should definitely consider.

Ease of Installation

These light strips could not be much easier to apply to any area you choose. After removing the backing from the adhesive strips included, you simply follow the arrows on the cord so you know where to bend to fit the strip around the television.

Features

These lights are a bit different from our other choices in that they are more limited in their capabilities. First, a strip is only about 6.5 feet long, so teach is meant for a small space. We enjoyed the color options and other simple adjustments.

Overall Lighting Quality

The smaller size of these lights compared to other options has little effect on how they can contribute to an interior space and bring it to life. There are 16 static color options, and you receive a remote control to control the lights. Brightness and fading adjustments are available.

Warranty

You can purchase these affordable lights with confidence because the company offers free replacement of any product that fails in the first three months. This product is covered by a standard one-year warranty as well.

MINGER DreamColor LED Strip Lights

Sale
MINGER App Led Strip Lights, RGBIC
  • RGBIC Light Strip: With IC chips, colors can be changed segmentally to create ambience in your room.
  • Practical App Control: Use Govee Home app to control. Try out updated modes like rainbow, chasing.
  • Music Mode: With built-in mic, you can enjoy dynamic lighting and adjust sensitivity level on app.

These lights are a nice option for anyone who wants to take control of the party. With multiple modes for the lighting, these strip lights can even pulsate or exhibit other patterns to fit the style and mood of your music.

Ease of Installation

These lights are simple to apply, with just adhesive backing to take off for you to place the strip where you want.

Features

Like the Philips Hue light strip, these strip lights come with an app so that you can ultimately control the lights using your phone. There are even three different modes for you to experiment with and enjoy, keeping the lighting fun and fresh all the time. These lights extend for 16.4 feet, which gives you plenty of versatility and coverage.

Overall Lighting Quality

These lights from Minger can match the tone of your music whether you are listening to slow jams or hard-driving dance music. You can also set the lighting to other ambient modes, with seven available in all. The option to switch out lighting colors from your phone is a great touch, and the ability to light such a large space gives you excellent bang for your buck when you decide to purchase these strip lights.

Warranty

Even if you have issues with these strip lights, you will be protected by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Conclusion


digital led strip lights

Image source: Pixabay

Although all of these light strips are sure to bring ambiance and color to your home, we have assigned the Philips Hue light, making it our choice for versatility, features, and overall value. These light strips set the standard for the rest of the industry with their feature set and styling. From a weather-resistant design to the nearly infinite color choices, these strips allow you true creative control over any space you choose. The Philips Hue light strip also has the most impressive warranty among the products we evaluated.

In the interest of balance, we’ll note again quickly that the Philips Hue Light Strip does require a hub in order to use every feature, and purchasing this item involves additional expense. Still, the innovative, ultra-smart features this product packs just cannot be ignored. Who does not want the ability to tell their lights to turn on and off without touching anything? Who cannot enjoy displaying a different lighting color for each night of the week?

No matter which choice you go with on this list, you will have a beautifully colorful home in no time. By simply peeling off a few strips of adhesive and attaching these strips wherever you want to place them, you can bring areas to life that you never even thought of lighting before.