Your Smart Home Appliances Are Not as Safe as You Think

Are you a proud owner of smart lock? How about motion sensors, temperature sensors, bulbs or other Internet of Things gadgets? Well, if they’re made by ZigBee, chances are your house is vulnerable to hacking, according to a paper revealed at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

ZigBee, a company that specializes in IoT smart appliances that supplies big name companies such as Samsung, Philips, Motorola and Texas Instruments, is said to have implemented just enough security measures to pass the requirements to ship, which means that security measures are almost non-existent. Hackers are said to easily be able to sniff out exchange network keys, gaining access to the entire network and all smart appliances.

The security experts say that the main cause for the lack of security is due to the companies, who want to quickly ship out the latest tech, make it communicate and interact with everything, all while keeping prices down to a minimum. As a consumer, I get the bit to keep prices down, but if I have to pay a bit extra to prevent someone opening my door or fiddling with my lights, I think that would be an option all of us may opt for. In the end, security is more important than cheap product, don’t you think?

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Architect’s Toy Box

How To Save Some Money: Different Light Bulbs

GELighting.com – Infographic

Is it important to be energy efficient? Of course it is, but usually it isn’t worth it. How many light fixtures do you have in your home? I have a grand total of… Fourteen, many of which use more than one bulb. If I were to replace every single bulb in my house I would end up getting at least 30 bulbs, and I live in a small house.

A LED Bulb cost is down from what they were a few years ago, but they are still high. A LED bulb uses up to 85% less energy than an incandescent bulb and lasts up to 20 years longer.

GE  or General Electric posted an infographic on their Facebook page recently, giving us a little information on light bulbs.

Good.is – Infographic

Over the past few years we have seen quite the evolution, from incandescent to halogen to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) to LED. As technology has bettered us to be more energy efficient many governments have banned the use of old incandescent bulbs, working them out of the marketplace.

Many of the products that we purchase to better our lives may take a very long time to pay for themselves, sometimes they never do, but those are the steps that we may take to reduce our footprint. LED lighting may be one of the better options. LED bulbs use less energy, and emit less heat than traditional bulbs. They are not made with mercury or lead, and they last up to 40 times longer. Less time wasted changing bulbs, as they last a very long time, 35,000 – 50,000 hours.

Some math to help you, based on 13 watts of electricity, which many lights are rated for being equal to 65-75 watts for incandescent bulbs, and if  you were to use the light for 6 hours a day for 1 full year.

13 watts x 6 hours x 365 = 28,470 watts or 28.47 Kilowatts.

If you were to use an incandescent bulb at a rating of 65 watts for the same time.

65 watts x 6 hours x 365 = 142,350 watts or 142.35 Kilowatts.

On the low end at 13 cents per KWh it would cost $18.46 per year for one incandescent bulb versus $3.64 for an LED bulb. A HUGE difference for those paying attention.

For me in California, electricity costs range from .13 – .35  per KWh

Comparatively there is a huge difference between an incandescent bulb and an LED bulb, the difference between CFL and LED bulbs is a lot slimmer. I would recommend that if you even have one incandescent bulb in your home you should replace it with an LED, but if that is too expensive, you should at least put in a CFL.

You can find even more fun facts on bulb comparisons from designrecycleinc.com