Smarts

Helpful Gear for Any Emergency
This list is not an official emergency checklist, although it was informed by Seamus's experience in the military and private security management, my training as an EMT and SF emergency response dork (NERT) and FEMA's prep kit list.   Read More >
The Best LED Lantern
We spent 20 hours researching and testing LED lanterns before settling on the UST 30-Day as the most versatile. It's bright enough to read text 38 feet away but dim enough to feel cozy inside a tent, and its 30-day battery means it rarely needs to be changed.   Read More >
The Best LED Lightbulb
The Cree Soft White LED light bulb was the first affordable, high-performing 60-watt-equivalent LED bulb made by a reputable company, so it was a shoo-in for best bulb when it came out. Over the past year, some tough competition has cropped up in the form of the Philips SlimStyle and Switch Infinia. They all generally cost about the same and perform well in most situations, but the Cree is still the best because of its superior dimming capabilities and slightly lower price (for now).    Read More >
The Best Home Security System
If I were buying a monitored home security system, I’d get FrontPoint Security’s Interactive plan for $43/month (plus equipment).   Read More >
The Best Lock Box
To find the best lock box, we spent hours on research, testing, interviews with a real estate agent and an experiment where we had a team of locksmiths break some open with hammers and tricks. We think the $33 Kidde Access Point Key Safe is the best lock box for homeowners looking to stash keys for visitors or to store a backup key. The dial format makes it exceptionally difficult for even a professional to decode, and the zinc alloy exterior is as sturdy as you can buy without spending over $400 for a professional kit.   Read More >
Best Smart Thermostat
If you’re looking to spend over $100 on a “smart” thermostat, know that the $250 Nest is the only one worth your money. Not only does it have the internet remote controllability and data visualization offered by other products in this price range, it goes one step further by actually making adjustments for you.    Read More >