Aluratek Blog

  • The Correct Way to Charge Your Devices

    Battery life is a big topic in the electronics world these days. Without a battery, your electronic devices become a big hunk of metal junk. Apple has been in the spotlight recently after they openly admitted they slow down batteries after a certain time frame.  Even without interference, all devices have a finite amount of full charges, after which it starts to lose its full power. The correct way to charge your devices is simpler than you think. In order to preserve your device’s battery life, you need to adopt good charging habits and take care of your batteries’ storage.

    blogpost_lithiumbattery

    Here’s some tips on the correct way to charge your devices:

    The Story Behind Lithium-ion Batteries

    The reason lithium batteries lose their juice after a certain amount of time really has to do with their makeup. As explained by Popular Science:

    "When the battery is charging, positively-charged lithium ions move from one electrode, called the cathode, to the other, known as the anode, through an electrolyte solution in the battery cell. That causes electrons to concentrate on the anode, at the negative side. When the battery is discharged, the reverse happens. As for those electrons, they move through circuits that are external to the battery, providing juice."

    Those electrons, are what is powering your smartphone, power station, Qi charger, tablet etc. Even with the technological advances with these batteries, all lithium batteries have a limited life time. The amount of charges varies between products. For example, an Apple iPhone holds about 500 recharges per phone. If you charge your phone every night, that’s 365 charges per year and that’s if you only charge one a day.

    Charging and Recharging

    So the question remains, how do you make your lithium-ion batteries last as long as possible? A common misconception is that you need to charge and discharge your device right out of the packaging, but this isn’t true. What matters most is how you charge your device after using it.

    Shallow charges are better than full charges. Over time they put less stress on the battery. When the battery is discharging, you should let is go below 50% before charging back up again. You should also avoid pushing the battery all the way to 100%.

    If you do push your battery up to 100%, DO NOT leave it plugged in. This will cause your battery to age faster and lose their power over time.

    Doing my research I was surprised to find that while every once in a while, you should do a full battery discharge, you should NOT do this regularly. On average, you should concentrate on keeping your battery above 20%.

    Storage and Care

    One thing lithium-ion batteries do not like is extreme temperatures. You should avoid leaving your phone in the hot sun or in a super cold environment. Leaving your devices in an extreme environment does not do the lithium-ion battery any favors.

    You should also make sure to use the charger that comes with your device. I know the Apple chargers suck, but the chargers that are optimized for the specific device work best with the batteries. You should also switch off your device once you are done using it.

    Takeways:

    1. On average, don’t let your charge go below 20%

    2. Shallow charges are better than full charges

    3. Don’t OVER charge, or push your charging device to 100%

    4. Goldilocks method: don’t leave your device in too hot or too cold of environment. Just right.

    5. Use the charging cable that came with your device

    6. Turn off your device once you are done charging

    Follow these tips and you have the best chance of extending the battery life on all of your devices. Preserving your battery can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

  • Ways To Use Your Old Smartphone

    Ways to use your old smartphone Photo by Electronic Products

    Out with the old, in with the new. Smartphones don’t have the longest lifespan - with users averaging about 2 years for each new phone. And after spending over hundreds of dollars, if not thousands on a new phone (cough, iPhone X), we know it’s not the easiest to let go of. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of your old smartphone.

    Alarm Clock

    This one’s a given (hopefully). Double up your phone as am alarm clock and set it on your bedside stand. Leave it there while you use your regular phone in bed, and never bother with having to remember to set up your alarm again.

    Digital Photo Frame

    Okay, even though we have our own digital photo frames available, this makes for a quick and easy digital photo frame setup if you don’t mind the small display. We suggest buying a small gear to prop up your phone and downloading a slideshow app. This is a quick and easy solution for showcasing your memories - especially if you’re looking to show off to your friends and family your recent vacation at the next party.

    In-Car GPS

    Don’t you hate placing your phone in and out of your car mount every time you need to navigate somewhere? Use your phone as a GPS and download offline GPS apps. But of course, make sure you do this in areas you trust before leaving it there permanently as it may be more prone to break-ins.

    Kid-friendly tools

    Dedicate your phone to all things kid-friendly with apps that will help them learn and have fun. There are plenty of interactive and educational apps to help your kids exercise their brains in engaging ways. But of course, wi-fi access might be required for some of these apps.

    Camera or Video Recorder

    Don’t waste too much memory on your main phone on your kid’s soccer game or recital, that’s what your old phone is for. We take so many photos on our normal phone, that it’s kind of nice to have a second source to take photos. We find that bringing these to concerts or the beach are practical ways to use secondary phones, especially if you don’t want sand getting all over your main one!

    Baby Monitor

    Baby monitors can be super spendy, that’s why using your phone for this will save you plenty! With helpful apps to monitor your baby while you’re in another room, this is a cheap alternative to buying one. However, there are a lot of concerns about security issues since it does use a Wi-Fi network and will be on live stream.

  • Taking the Perfect Family Photo

    Taking the perfect family photo doesn’t have to be a hassle or expensive. You can take a professional grade photo yourself, even with your iphone!

    Perfect family photo

    8 tips to taking the perfect family photo

    Pick the best lighting

     

    Lighting can make or break your photo shoot. If it’s too bright outside, you run the risk of over-exposing your photos. A great time to take photos is right before dusk. Even on a sunny day, the lighting is soft and has a nice warm tint.

    Use a tripod

     

    The best way to ensure that your photos look professional is to make sure the camera is steady. Tripods are a cheap, easy way to make sure that your photos are clear and have a steady hand. They also help when you want everyone in your photo and don’t have anyone to physically take the picture for you.

    Stagger the bodies

     

    Make sure that no one next to each other is at the same height. Bring bodies forward, and backward, so have some depth in the photo. Having too many people at the same height can make the photo look awkward and staged.

    Clothing

     

    You want to color coordinate, but no look so intentional. Don’t tell everyone to show up wearing khaki pants and a blue shirt. Have a theme, but not necessarily color matching shirts. When in doubt, white and black always looks classy.

    Capture the personality

     

    Have fun taking photos! Show some of your family’s unique personality in your pictures. Bring your dog, play a game at the beach, do something other than just smile. Show some emotions. You’ll like your photos a lot more when they show the real side of your family that shows through photographs.

    Take a bunch

     

    The more photos the better. Don’t go into your photo shoot with a time restraint, you’ll want to get as many pictures as possible so you can have the most to choose from.

    Editing Software

     

    If you really want to get fancy you can edit the exposure, brightness and saturation of your photos with some basic editing. There are tons of free tools online and you can even do this with your iphone. One of my favorites is VSCO.com. In the chance that your photos don’t come out as perfect as you’d hoped, you have a fair amount of flexibility with editing software.

    Frame your photos

     

    When all said and done you need to show off your lovely family photos. The best way to showcase all of your amazing photos is a Digital Photo Frame. You can put your photos on a slideshow and have them playing all at once in your living room. This way, you’re not stuck just printing out one photo. It really gives you some leeway, you don’t have to pick just one photo. You can have 2, 3, 4 or even 15 favorites to show off.

    Follow these tips and you can take the perfect photo for your christmas card without the hassle or breaking your budget. Taking the perfect family photo doesn't have to be rocket science. Happy picture taking!

  • Why You Need a Laptop Stand

    The thought of sitting at an office for over 7 or more hours might sound not very ideal. Even sitting down and scrunching up over our laptops every day without proper equipment can also painful. In addition to being ergonomic friendly, there’s  a couple of other reasons laptop stands are much needed - whether you’re in the office or at home.

    Laptop Stand

    It’s Good For You

    We’ll admit - we’re guilty. Leaving our laptops on a table and hovering over while online shopping (or, maybe that’s just us). Health experts recommend being at eye level to your laptop and which will help shoulder and neck muscles from tensing up in the long run. Believe us when we say it’s worth it to invest in a simple laptop stand or standing desk to make your posture better. We love this stand for this exact reason.

    It’ll Keep it Cool

    Not only are these products great for your posture, but some even have built in fans. When you’re working hours on end on your laptop, it’ll need a cool down. These fans are integrated with these stands are quiet enough to bring anywhere without turning heads.

    It’s Portable

    Laptop stands are portable and some are fold-able, making it quick and easy to set up. Whether you’re going to a local coffee shop or in your home office, these portable stands can be perfect for wherever your work calls for.

    It’s Minimal yet Stylish

    Who said something that’s good for you had to be plain and boring. Laptop stands come in different colors and styles, from a minimal feel to a more colorful and bold style. We’re loving this red one that’s sleek and stylish, and even comes with a fan.

  • Camping Must Haves for 2018

    Spring break and summer are right around the corner and it’s time to check out camping must haves for 2018. It’s time to break out that old camping checklist and dusty sleeping bags and see what’s needed for your next trip. There are a ton of products out right now that make can make your camping trip a lot more enjoyable.

    3 Camping Must Haves for your 2018 Camping Trips

    LED Light Bar

    springbreak_LED

    This is my favorite tool right now. It’s like a normal flashlight but like 10x better. First of all its way brighter than a normal flashlight, but the most convenient thing about it is that you can set it down in your tent or on your car and not worry about having to hold it yourself or have someone hold it for you. It lasts up to 12 hours on a full charge so unless you accidentally leave it on all night, you don’t really have to worry about charging it. There are also 3 light modes. Full light, power save and strobe. This is perfect for peace of mind on your camping trips incase of an emergency for a back-up light source.

    LED Book Mark

    ALBM01FB_front angle

    How many times have you been wanting to read inside your tent at night but struggle to hold your light so you can actually see? I’ve done this so many times. With only 30 minutes needed to charge the bookmark, it lasts up to 10 hours on a full charge. It’s slim and doubles as the perfect device to mark your page. I love to use it during late night reading when the campfire is almost out. Once you start using this item you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it. Even when you’re not camping its a nice accessory for late night reading in your own bed.

    4-in-1 Safety Tool

    ACEK01F_lifestyle_battery charger

    This tool is definitely a camping must have. While the other mentioned tools are convenient, this tool offers great protection in an emergency situation. This 4-in-1 tool can be used in a variety of situations. It can be used to cut off a seat belt in the event of an emergency, it can break a window if needed to escape in a fire situation. It duals as a rechargeable flashlight, with multiple lighting modes, AND you can charge any mobile device with it. With the unique design, you can mount the light on your vehicle in the case that you were stranded on the side of the road. The possibilities of this tool are really endless. Everyone needs this in their camping toolkit.

    You know what they say...if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail. These tools are definitely on  your camping must haves list for 2018. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you have the latest tools in your toolkit incase of an emergency. You can find all of these tools here on the Aluratek website.

  • How to Prepare an Emergency Kit

    When disaster is about to strike, the first thing that comes to mind is to run. And although this sounds like a terrific idea in the moment, it probably isn’t the best action plan. Disasters can happen anywhere and at any time without a given warning, and the only way help these situations is to be prepared. Here are a few pointers on starting an emergency kit to be ready for any natural disaster.

    Emergency Kit Photo by Seattle Refined

     

    What You'll Need

    Having enough supplies for at least two weeks is recommended. Make sure you stock up on all of these essential items because you’ll never know how crowded stores will be once a warning is issued.

     

    Food

    • Water - 2 gallons per person per day will keep you hydrated
    • Easy to prep food - canned foods make for a simple buy, whether it’s canned soup or fruits. 3 cans per day per person is a great starting point. Also, meals ready to eat are a great option and can be made literally anywhere

     

    Cooking Essentials 

    • Can opener - try out a manual one in case you don’t have access to electricity
    • Ziploc bags and containers - these will help you store foods
    • Plastic utensils - including throwaway napkins, plates, cups, and utensils.
    • Cooking essentials - Prep yourself with a grill, charcoal, starter fluid, and waterproof lighter or matches since you won’t have access to your oven or kitchen-top (especially if you want warm, heated food).

     

    Light

    • Flashlight - an essential tool, invest in a good flashlight and make sure you have additional batteries. LED flashlights are also great tools if you need something long lasting.
    • Candles - regular candles or LED candles are great for additional lighting
    • Camper lantern - A great alternative to candles, this tool emits bright light when needed and is perfect to set down anywhere in the house.

     

    Shelter

    • Emergency blanket - lightweight and perfect when you need some warmth.
    • Sleeping bag and blanket - Equip yourself with warmth with one or the other.

     

    Other Important Considerations

    • Medication - Have all of your necessary medications on hand, and extra ones you can get your hand on
    • Photocopy of identifications - if you can protect your documents then that’s great (we recommend waterproof baggies). Make sure you have spare copies of everything as well
    • Cash - A must-have just in case you lose other forms of payment
    • Hygienic products - any personal products you’ll need including razors,
    • Forms of communication - radios, phones, chargers, and other items you deem necessary
    • First aid kit - be sure to stock up on band-aids and other tools in case of any minor cuts or falls

    There are a lot of important things to remember, and of course, always keep in mind anyone else in your household and what they might need. This is just a list of basics to have at hand.

    Be sure to check out more of our emergency prep items you may need on our page to help you get equipped. Our emergency flashlights and LED candles are perfect for keeping your house lit when there's a power outage. Our power bank is also a great source for not only light, but for charging any necessary cables to make sure your phones are ready for any emergency calls. It also utilizes solar power energy for even the worst emergencies.

  • Bluetooth Audio Cassette Receivers are the Perfect Gift for the Gen Xer in your Life

    Do you remember the compact Audio Cassette Tapes? If you’re a young millennial you’re probably like uh what is that? But if you’re a Gen Xer or Baby Boomer you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you're a fan of the old school audio cassette tape, the Bluetooth audio cassette receiver is about to be your new favorite thing.

    Cassette tapes were originally designed for dictation machines but eventually became one of the two most common formats for pre-recorded music. Cassettes remained popular for car audio and telephone answering machines up until the '90s, before CD's were introduced.

    The Bluetooth Audio Cassette receiver looks the same as the cassette tape, but instead of having one-fixed artist on the audio tape, it can be paired with any of your devices so you can listen to unlimited music through your cassette player.

     

    Bluetooth Audio Cassette

    Here are the top 3 reasons the Bluetooth audio cassette tape is perfect gift for the Gen Xer in your life:

    Nostalgic

    Chances are your Dad or Grandpa haven't been able to use the cassette player in their car since the 90s. They just don't make cassette tapes anymore. If they are they're listening to tapes they've had since the '80s or '90s. The Bluetooth Audio Cassette receiver is the perfect nostalgic gift to bring your Gen Xer back to the good ole days. It's a great opportunity to bond with your family over some vintage technology from their time.

    Upgrade Your Tech

    If your Gen Xer is still using their cassette tapes in their cassette player they are probably not super keen on upgrading to the latest and greatest tech. Purchasing a Bluetooth audio cassette receiver is a prime opportunity to introduce them to the latest technology without scaring them off. It's something that's familiar to them without being overwhelmed.

    Affordability

    The Bluetooth Audio Cassette brings you unlimited potential to bump the latest hits from any cassette player for less than $30. That's unreal savings compared to most Bluetooth products.

    The Bluetooth Audio Cassette is the perfect gift to not only bring your loved one or friend into the new age, but also bond with them at the same time. And to top it all off its a cool vintage product that is truly timeless.

  • Must-Have Gadgets for Your Home

    Home is where the heart is, and that’s why we can’t stress the importance of furnishing your home with all the must-have essentials and gadgets to make your life a little easier. Whether it’s something to help straighten your back while you’re working from home, to setting the mood, these gadgets will improve the quality of your life.

    Flameless LED Wax Candle

    Flameless LED Candle

    Cut the hassle of buying expensive candles to fill up your room and opt for a flameless candle instead. With a simple LED switch, you won’t have to worry about blowing anything out before leaving the house, and it creates the perfect mood. It’s a win-win situation.

    Universal Foldable Laptop Stand

    Laptop Stand

    Being cooped up on your laptop all day while preparing your taxes is not ideal. Getting up and taking a bunch of stretch breaks may seem ideal, but sometimes, you want a more ergonomic way to do your work. Enter our foldable laptop stand. Prop it on any standing desk and watch for yourself the wonders of this simple yet functional design.

    Wi-Fi Digital Frame

    Wifi Photo Frame

    Photo albums are cool, but what’s even cooler? A digital frame that you can control straight from your phone. Showcase your trip to the Caribbean and make all of your neighbors jealous.

    Dynamite Dual Bluetooth Speakers

    Bluetooth Speakers

    Sometimes, playing music from your laptop or phone might not cut it. The sound quality isn’t as up to par and is centralized in one area. These bluetooth speakers fix both of these problems, so be ready for some life changing room enhancement. Place these speakers in two different areas of the room, and pair it effortlessly with it’s bluetooth capabilities. We promise you won’t go back to playing from your laptop again.

    Surveillance Camera

    Surveillance Camera

    There’s always a moment where you think to yourself that nothing will happen to you. But when it does, you wished you had something to record it or to watch. This useful gadget not only does that, but is the perfect baby surveillance camera, great for watching your grandparents at home, or anything else you might think of. Safety really does come first when it comes to this nifty tool.

    Wireless Qi Charging Pad

    Qi Charger

    Out are the days of having to plug and unplug your phone every time you want to use it. This wireless charging pad is perfect to put next to your nightstand for ease and convenience. And with its simple and sleek design, it will fit in with just about any room. One of our newest gadgets, be sure to get on the pre-order list to find out about this nifty addition.

  • Picking the Perfect Gaming Mouse

    Gaming can sometimes be overwhelming – especially when you’re looking for the proper equipment to effectively out beat your opponent. One click too late can result in ultimate defeat. Dramatic? Maybe. True? Yes.  In the world of specs and numbers, there are a few factors to take into consideration when buying a good gaming mouse. But remember, this is all up to your personal gaming style and the type of games you will be playing.

    What’s your playing style?

    Depending on what game you’re playing really matters most when choosing the mouse. With each additional mouse click and glide, all affect the quality of your play. Your game will recommend different mouse requirements as some games depend on the click speed so be sure to check those out beforehand.

    What’s your grip?

    Gamers err more on three types of grip types:

    Claw grip

    Claw grip is great for professionals and those who find themselves hours on out on a game. It requires a little more practice, so training yourself to use this tool is essential.

    Palm Grip

    Palm grip is also great for gamers, too, but is versatile for perusing and relaxing. There’s no need to adjust to this mouse, however it isn’t the best for rapid gaming but good for accurate gliding and control.

    Fingertip Grip

    And for those who are all about precision, the fingertip grip is exactly as the name suggests. Only using your fingertips, there’s no additional weight from your hand and can be tricky.

    What’s your motion?

    Low sensitivity

    Optimal Gaming Mouse

    Users finding themselves doing long sweeping motions (like using your entire arm) should find a low sensitivity mouse to reach maximum speeds, which at the end of the day just means higher precision. So if you’re looking for accuracy then this one’s for you. The Levetron mouse from our line encompasses all of this - providing ultra-high tracking resolution and is perfect for pinpoint aim and fire accuracy.

    Seen above: Levetron Gaming Mouse

    High sensitivity

    Players in this category can be expected to be moving their hands and wrists around but results in less distance traveled. This makes it easier to react quicker than its counterpart.

    Nowadays, mouses are adjustable and are good for a range of motion and perfect for when you don’t want to switch mouses from game to game. And again, a lot of this is dependent on your personal preference, computer, and setup. Find your personal mix and adjust to what fits for you.

    Other Considerations

    There are other important things to consider that may seem trivial - but trust us, it’s the small things that count. Your mouse may be the fanciest, but if you’re not comfortable with it and it either has too many features or lack other ones, it could detract from your playing habits.

    Weight

    A lot of mouses now have adjustable weights, and most gamers err on the medium to heavier side so you’re not flying everywhere while playing with a lighter model. We wouldn’t want to see you lose a round just because there was extra weight on your mouse!

    Design and style

    Laser Gaming Mouse

    And for for some it’s more about looks if anything and hey, we don’t blame you. When you opt for aesthetics, there are hundreds of styles out there to fit your style from color-changing wheels to unique lasers. This unique mouse that we offer above emulates just that with laser technology and pulsating rhythms for a engaging gaming experience.

    Seen above: G8 USB Laser Gaming Mouse

    Buttons

    Look for extra buttons and determine if there are any unnecessary ones that might interfere. Determine what strength of buttons you prefer, as some are harder than others. Every click matters and you wouldn’t want to be pressing useless ones.

    Wired In or Out?

    Another important factor is whether you’d rather have a wireless or wired in mouse - decide if you’d want to risk having some lag during your play because you could lose connection at any given time (especially with poor wi-fi connection but we really hope this isn’t the case).

    At the end of the day, having what sounds like the perfect mouse might not be the best fit. Make sure you’re accommodating your gaming style and doing what you see best fits your hand. No two people are alike and even if someone else has a similar mouse for your specific game, may not always be the case.

  • Digital Photo Frames are the New, Better Photo Album

    Digital photo frames are the future. Let me tell you why. Think about it. The current millennial generation is the last generation to have their baby pictures in photo albums. Crazy right? While the digital age has allowed us to take as many pictures as we want, save as many as we want AND view them at any moment, there are some drawbacks to digital cameras. The good news is that living in this age definitely has more advantages than disadvantages. Technology is always improving and solving our problems. Wifi Digital Photo Frames take out the hassle and majorly cut down the cost of having to print pictures.

    digital photo frame on table

    Here are the 5 reasons Digital Photo Frames are the new, better photo album

    Your Old Photo Albums Sit In the Dusty Old Attic

    When was the last time you crawled up into the rafters of your home to retrieve your photo albums? The old way of storing your most precious memories has them stored out of sight – usually collecting dust. It almost seems like more work than fun to break out the photos and reminisce the good ol’ days. Digital photo frames are great for viewing your memories all the time – no need to schedule time to head down memory lane.

    Deleting memories

    Digital cameras lets us takes photos and see them instantly, while this is a revolutionary technology – it also allows us to delete photos. The best photos from childhood are the ones that can’t be deleted or lost, the raw, real photos of your grandmother making Thanksgiving dinner, the photo of your son or daughter when they lost their first tooth or when your family dog knocked over the whole bag of flour on the kitchen floor.  While it is convenient to delete your embarrassing moments, these are photos you may regret losing in the future. With digital photo frames you can load all of your photos to your frame and keep them safe and saved.

    Printing pictures is a hassle

    Realistically, when was the last time you trudged down to your local CVS or Rite Aid and waited to print your thousands of photos you took over the last year? I’ll answer for you. It’s been a LONG time. This can get expensive and let’s be real, no one has time for that. Yeah, you can get online and pick out your photos you want printed and sent to you, but that requires uploading photos from your phone or camera,  picking out the ‘good ones,’ picking what size you need for the frames you have. It’s just an all around time suck.

    Photos Get Lost in the Cloud

    Ahhh, the infamous ‘cloud.’ Have you ever upgraded your phone to the newest and latest version, downloaded you pictures to the cloud to save them and when you get your new phone, they are nowhere to be found? I sure have. With digital photo frames, your pictures are automatically downloaded to your picture frame for viewing in your home. You don’t run the risk of losing your photos when your precious memories are instantly put it in digital photo frames.

    Variety in Photos

    Not only is it hard to actually get hard copies of your photos, when you finally DO get yourself pictures for your static picture frames. They stay there…foreverrrrr. With a wifi digital photo frames you area always getting fresh and new images from your family vacation to Hawaii last summer or your daughter’s graduation last month. The photos are always pouring in, giving you and your guests new and updated pictures from your life. It comes in handy especially when Great Aunt Sue comes over and you’ve run out of things to talk about.

    digital photo frame on table

    Take a look at one of the latest and greatest Wifi Digital Photo Frames here. These make a great gift for your family and friends. It’s a product that is not only functional for your home and wallet, but it can help bring families closer together by reminiscing on old memories – at all times.

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