5 gadgets you need for the ultimate beach trip

What’s summer without trips to the beach? Slap on your sunscreen and embrace holiday vibes with these five gadgets.

With some of the most iconic beaches in the world, we Aussies are lucky to have such beautiful holiday-type destinations right at our doorstep. The sunshine, water and company of loved ones reminds us of what summer is all about!

We’re here to tell you that the summer experience can be made even better by packing a few extra items in your bag. Five items, to be exact. These gadgets are for the whole family to enjoy and (most importantly) can withstand the sand, water and travel.

So make space beside the board shorts and boat hats for the gizmos that’ll give you the ultimate beach trip!

1.     Waterproof portable speaker

Every year there’s that summer anthem that we all want on repeat. There are the tunes that bring beach volleyball games to life. And let’s not forget the tracks that bring out the dance moves.

A portable speaker is the life of the party. They’re small and light in design so you won’t feel like you’re carrying a boombox on your shoulder (although there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re old school!).

Opting for a Bluetooth speaker means that you can play your beach playlist from your phone and have it in the background without needing to reach for it after every track.

Even better is a waterproof portable speaker, which is quite self-explanatory. They’re durable and not afraid of a little accidental splash.

Ultimate Ears have an extensive range of waterproof speakers that are light, colourful, and produce quality sound to get the party going this summer. Check out the video below to see the UE Roll 2 in action!

2.     Waterproof camera

Summer goes by too fast, but one way to keep the memories alive is by capturing every moment on camera. Investing in a waterproof camera means that you won’t have to rely on your phone or regular camera, nor risk the damage if either gets wet (summer bummer!).

Save your phone battery and opt for a gadget that’s sole purpose is for seizing your summer adventures!  Capture candid moments underwater with the kids or sharp images of colourful fish in motion.

Your waterproof camera will be full of those incredible photos that you’ll hang up around the house!

For a durable camera that’ll give you quality images under the water and above it, you can’t go past a GoPro! Hit play on the video below to see all the incredible features of the GoPro HERO5 Black.

3.     Drone

Now that you’ve got a waterproof camera to take pictures below the water, a drone is what’ll get you amazing images from above it. Way above it.

A drone is a virtual flying camera. And you are the pilot! Drones let you film, photograph and navigate around areas with an incredible range of motion. They are unbelievably innovative and can come with a variety of features.

Ranging from pro drones to mini drones, there’s a design for the beginner and the tech-savvy. You can even create your own little videos (or short films!) with the powerful lenses and propulsion that offer steady flight and recording.

DJI and Parrot are popular for their ranges of drones that are light-weight, smart and eay to control. Get a glimpse of the DJI Spark Mini Drone experience by clicking on the video below!

4.     Portable BBQ

Snags on the barbie? Yes, please! The surfs and swims will undoubtedly get tummies rumbling, and a portable BBQ is the perfect hunger tamer.

Get sausages and chicken skewers cooking, onions caramelising and bread grilling with a lightweight, easy-to-use BBQ. Portable grills are typically a cinch to clean and pack away when lunch is over. And they’re super convenient to start up again when the sun goes down!

Everdure by Heston Blumenthal is a range of revolutionary barbeques with modern aesthetics and clever technology, designed by the 3-Michelin Star chef himself. Among the range is the CUBE – a portable BBQ that’s convenient and simply perfect for those summer picnics! Watch the clip below to get a better look.

5.     Portable charger

Time flies when you’re having fun. So too can the battery in your gadget! Prepare for an entire day and night out by making sure your phone, camera, tablet and every other gizmo has a source of life revival.

Packing a portable charger can prove to be very handy. They’re typically small in size and are a ‘just-in-case’ item that’ll give you peace of mind. Especially if you’re relying on your phone’s navigator to find your way home!

Laser and Cygnett offer plenty of trusty powerbanks to choose from whether you’re after one USB port or more. Opt for one with colour (like the Laser powerbanks featured below) to find it quickly in your beach bag!

Turning old air conditioners into smart systems with Sensibo Sky

Wish the house was already cool when you walked in on a hot summer’s day? Thanks to Sensibo, even older air conditioners can set a comfortable temperature for you before you get home!

As the smart technology sector continues to snowball, it’s becoming more and more common for many households to have voice-activated appliances, completely wireless accessories and smartphone-controlled gadgets.

And it’s simple to understand why: convenience. (Plus, who doesn’t want to live like The Jetsons?)

What makes a home home is comfort. And what’s more comfortable than turning electronics on and off with the touch of a screen? There is an answer: Controlling your appliances with the touch of a screen while you’re not even home.

We see these game-changing and innovative improvements in the way we can do ordinary, everyday things. Optimising your old air conditioner is now one of them – thanks to Sensibo.

Sensibo Sky

If you know what it’s like wanting to come to sweet, refreshing relief after a sweltering day but need to wait an unprecedented amount of time before your air conditioner kicks in, let us introduce you to Sensibo Sky.

Sensibo Sky is an external device that pairs with the remote control of your air conditioner. After downloading the Sensibo app, you can then control your air conditioner from your smartphone no matter where you are!

“Sensibo turns on the heat before you wake up in the winter. It cools your house down before you arrive in the summer. At home or on the go, it always makes sure the temperature is just right for you,” as put by Sensibo.

You might be thinking that your air conditioner is too old for this kind of technology and that you’re anticipating having to replace the whole thing. Well, great news, you don’t!

If you’ve got a split system, portable or window wall air conditioner that works with a remote control, then you have the opportunity to dwell in a home of the future.

How it works

You can find the Sensibo user manual here, but we’ll give you the rundown because it’s as easy as pie!

Firstly, you can check if your air conditioner is compatible with Sensibo Sky here.

Sensibo works globally with any voltage and any power outlet, so as long as your A/C is remote-controlled (compatible as per the guide above) and you have WiFi access, you’re ready to go.

Next, simply install the free Sensibo app, and it will guide you through the installation process.  Then it will detect your remote control, sync and voilà!

You’ll get to name your air conditioners on the app so that you can control the work A/C or home A/C simultaneously and with different settings if need be. Now that’s cool.

Features

Sensibo’s in-app automations make it easy to navigate through the controls and features available to you.

With a simple tap, you can turn the air-con on or off from anywhere. You can control the temperature (naturally), but you can also control the mode, fan level, swing and set a timer.

You’ll be able to see the live temperature measurement on your smartphone too without having to be in the same room as the air-con.

What’s even more impressive about the device is that you can schedule the settings in advance. So whether you want to wake up in a warm bedroom at 6am or come home to a cool living room at 7pm, Sensibo will have you covered. You can set it to repeat so that your space is regulated every day without you even needing to think about it!

Or if work is a little unpredictable and you get home at different times at the end of each day, Sensibo can trigger the A/C to turn on when you’re close to home – 1km, 2km, 5km or 10km away!

Another option is to grant other people access to the A/C control. You can send a unique link to our family members, flatmates or colleagues so that they can adjust the A/C settings from their smartphones too.

It also sends filter cleaning alerts so that your air is always fresh!

Climate React

One of the most impressive features of Sensibo Sky is what’s called ‘Climate React’. You can set your air-con to automatically turn on when the room reaches a certain temperature.

So if you’re napping on the couch on a warm summer’s day, you don’t need to wake up from the heat and scramble for the A/C remote – Sensibo will take care of it for you and let you rest blissfully.

It’s also a great option for when you’re busy entertaining or if you want to maintain a comfortable room temperature for the elderly.

Sensibo essentially upgrades and adds value to your current air conditioner with features such as Climate React because it enables your air conditioner to do more than it initially could.

Family friendly

If you have a full house, you won’t need to constantly remind the last person to leave to turn the air con off. (Parents who live with teenagers know exactly what we’re talking about!)

If every family member connects their smartphone to Sensibo, their location services will let the air-con know whether it needs to remain on or not.

When the last person leaves the vicinity, Sensibo automatically turns off to save energy – and lets you know with a notification sent to your phone.

With the running costs of electricity these days, accidentally leaving the A/C on can be a costly mistake. So who wouldn’t love the peace of mind?

Integrations

Don’t have your phone on you? No problem! Sensibo Sky integrates with Google Home, Google Assistant and Amazon Echo (Alexa).

Once connected in a few short steps, you can ask questions such as:

  • Hey Google, what is the living room set to?
  • Hey Google, what is the temperature in the living room?
  • Ok Google, what is the humidity in the living room?

Or make demands such as:

  • Ok Google, turn on the living room
  • Ok Google, turn on the thermostat
  • Ok Google, turn off the bedroom

And the same with Alexa.

With the option of voice control and smartphone control, Sensibo Sky transforms your existing air conditioner into an almost entirely new appliance!

You can get your hands on one online or in-store now at Bing Lee.

7 delicious iced coffee recipes to try in the KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Want a twist on your iced coffees during the warmer weeks? Thanks to KitchenAid’s mouth-watering recipes and their innovative Cold Brew Coffee Maker, you’ll be sipping on something cool and delicious in no time! 

If you haven’t yet checked out KitchenAid’s Cold Brew Coffee Maker, what are you waiting for?! The innovative design lets you enjoy a refreshing drink anytime, at home, and on tap! It’s got so many features that make it a stand out appliance.

It steeps without heat, its super fine mesh steeper delivers smooth taste, it’s made with glass and steel to maintain flavour integrity, it has an aluminium handle for easy portability, it has a small footprint to fit into any refrigerator, *breathe* it has a stainless steel tap to pout with ease (no leaks!) aaaand it’s easy to clean!

Almost sounds too good to be true, right? Check out the quick clip below to see how simple it is to use.

 

And don’t be fooled by the name – if you’re not a coffee lover, you can still use this sensational appliance to brew teas, create fruit infusions, cocktails and creative beverages to your heart’s content!

If you are a lover of coffee, you’ll want (and need!) to try these seven delicious iced coffee recipes courtesy of KitchenAid. Whether you fancy something sweet, minty or aromatic, there’s something for everyone!

Give them a go and let us know what your favourite beverage is to make in the KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker.

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Guide to Staying Cool This Summer

We’re hearing from a lot experts that it’s going to be a long, hot summer. With the oncoming heatwave, we thought we’d share our thoughts on how to keep you and your family cool over the next few months. The first, and most flexible option is a fan. Although it sounds pretty obvious, fans are great at moving air around a room, and that circulation is what helps keep you and your cohabitants cool during hot days. Dyson fans are a great choice for families, as they have features that take into account kids’ safety and product safety. After taking the world by storm, the now-familiar circular and rounded tower style of the fans is almost iconic in recognition, but importantly for parents, represents one of the biggest changes to the fan since its invention – the removal of visible blades. This means children can be close to, or even in, the fan blower itself. In fact, if you have an air conditioner running and you have an odd shaped living area, placing a fan in a strategic location can help move cold air from the air conditioner into other areas like corridors or L-shaped spaces, helping the cooler air move around corners and lowering the temperature in more areas of the house. If you’re in an apartment or are renting and can’t do a full installation of a split or window wall air conditioning unit, there is the next best thing – a portable air conditioner. The beauty of a portable air conditioner like one from Delonghi is that it works just like a window wall unit but doesn’t require any installation – you just need to be close to a window that you can use as your vent to expel the hot air in your room and replace with the cool air from the portable air con unit. If you do have the facilities to install a split system air conditioner, then there are a few factors that you will need to take into account. Firstly, although you may be tempted to calculate your own unit, visit your local Bing Lee store with your room’s dimensions, existing windows and orientation of your room and we will be able to help with the calculation of the correct size of the air conditioner to suit your space. We have some great brands in Air Conditioning systems, and each have their great unique features. For example, Mitsubishi is one of the quietest units in the market, as low as 19dB for some units, meaning you can stay cool and not be distracted by the noise of the indoor unit. Samsung air conditioners are right up there with online integration. Using a compatible Android or iPhone, you can download an app that lets you connect to selected air conditioners and control it remotely, no matter where you are. Fujistsu air conditioners incorporate a human sensor, which detects human activity in the room and adjusts the power use depending on what people are doing in the room. Fujitsu also have one button cooling and award winning indoor unit designs to match the modern decor of your living area. Lastly, Panasonic air conditioners have a feature called ECONAVI, which senses people in the room and sends cool air to that actual area of the room. If there is less movement, or no movement at all, the cooling mode is adjusted down to a lower power mode. As you can see, there are many options to stay cool this summer. Make sure you speak to one of our staff for the best advice on the most effective way to keep your family and friends comfortable in your home this coming warm season.

Tips to Keep Your Home Cool

Even though the calendar says summer is over, we all know the warm days aren’t entirely behind us just yet. In Australia, we’re well aware of how hot things can get and how much home cooling can cost. There are some simple things you can do, however, that will make the summers to come that much more bearable.

Close your curtains and blinds

This is a classic that everyone should be doing. Keeping your curtains and blinds closed during the day can make a huge difference to the temperature inside your house. By reflecting the sun back out, your house will heat up much more slowly and make coming back home after a hard day’s work a much more pleasant experience. This works even better if you have awnings or trees to block the sun before it even reaches the window.

Watch the humidity

Humidity plays a big part in how we perceive the temperature, as it affects how effectively sweat cools us down. Limiting the activities that introduce moisture into the air is an essential part of maintaining a pleasant atmosphere in your home. Although things such as using a washing machine or dryer, cooking, or ironing won’t usually raise the temperature in your house by much, the steam they create will certainly make it feel several degrees warmer. If you do a lot of these activities, using a dehumidifier can help to keep the air moisture levels in check.

Only use what you need

Even appliances that don’t generate steam still generate heat. Everything from game consoles, televisions and computers to lights will make a difference to the temperature and this is a particular problem in many living rooms with a large number of entertainment devices. That’s why it’s a good idea to turn these all off when you’re not using them.

Check your thermostat

If you have a home cooling system that keeps the house at a constant temperature, try to remove any influences around your thermostat that may give it a false reading. If there are objects near it that generate an unusual amount of heat or cooling in comparison to the rest of the room, the temperature can read as hotter or colder than the room really is. The result is that the system works too hard or not hard enough to maintain ideal conditions.

Tips for Choosing the Right Air Conditioner

To relax in comfort during the intense Australian summer, an air conditioner is a must have appliance for every home. With so many brands and styles of air conditioners available, how can you be sure that the unit you are considering is the right one to suit your needs?  Whether you are thinking about upgrading your current appliance or choosing your first air conditioner, here are a few important points to factor into your decision. Area size Consider the size of the area you want to cool and match it to the most appropriate type of air conditioner.  The bigger the room, the more powerful an air conditioner will need to be in order to cool it. Failing to properly match the air conditioner’s capacity with the size of the area to be cooled will cost you money: if the unit is too small it will have to work harder and use more energy but if it is too big you will be wasting money on capacity you do not need. However, it’s often the case that you want to cool your entire home at some times and only sections of it at other times. This makes portable or split system air conditioners excellent options. Both offer the ability and versatility to control which areas of your home you want to cool, saving you on running costs. Energy Efficiency Inverter air conditioners use 30% less electricity than older conventional models, making the cost of upgrading your system well worth it.  Inverters operate by gently increasing or decreasing power as required to maintain a steady temperature without fluctuations, which means that they cool quickly and evenly, while being quiet and energy efficient. As wall-mounted units tend to be more powerful than portable units, they can cool larger areas more efficiently. Noise Wall mounted units are one part of a split-system air conditioner. As the name implies, this type of air conditioner is split into two separate parts.  The cooling part of the system is installed in the home’s interior, while the compressor unit and motor fan are kept on the building’s exterior.  The objective behind split systems is to remove the noise and heat generated by the unit from the users inside the house. Since a portable unit’s compressor and fan is located inside the room, these kinds of air conditioners are louder than split systems, which is definitely something to keep in mind if white noise gets on your nerves. By doing a bit of research beforehand, you’ll be much more likely to find the air conditioner to suit your particular needs.