Tag Archives: light

Product Review: Elertus Wine Protection System

The Elertus System

I have recently been approached by a representative of Utah-based consumer electronics company Elertus who loaned me for a few weeks a sample of a newly released product of theirs targeting the wine market for me to test and consider for a review.

The product is called Elertus Wine Protection System and basically revolves around a small (3.1×2.6×1.05″ and 2.5 oz), battery-powered, wireless sensor that monitors and alerts users if anyone opens their wine cellar, wine cooler, or liquor cabinet door. So, the main purpose of the system is to notify users of potential theft or unauthorized access to their wine storage facility.

The system also continuously monitors light levels, temperature (-30 to 150 F) and humidity (0% to 100%) conditions, ensuring wine collections are stored in an optimal environment. It also notifies users if the sensor is moved from its current position.

The system is compatible with any wine or liquor cabinet with or without a locking mechanism. The sensor is designed for simple installation without special tools or permanent cabinet modifications and it connects to your Wi-Fi system.

Elertus AdThe Elertus system comes in a small box complete with the required batteries and visual, simple, easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for connecting the sensor to your local Wi-Fi network. I have to commend Elertus for providing a set of clear and simple instructions that really makes it easy for you to install the sensor, configure it and connect it to your Wi-Fi network in a breeze: I think I got my system up and running in about five minutes.

Once the system is operational, it immediately starts tracking the environmental conditions the sensor is in. Also, through the control panel of the system app, you can configure acceptable ranges of values both for temperature and humidity and then what you want to be notified of (such as temperature and humidity outside of the user-defined ranges of acceptable values, door open, light turned on or off, movement of the unit) and the way you want to be notified in (such as any or a combination of email, text message and smartphone notification alerts).

So, once it is customized, the Elertus app can notify you if any conditions change, such as the cellar door is opened, the light is turned on or the temperature or humidity gets too high or too low. In addition, you receive a weekly system-generated email that provides a snapshot of the conditions recorded by the sensor at the specific date and time the email is generated (i.e., no weekly average, just a read out of the current conditions). The Elertus system can be monitored and configured through a computer or smartphone app (iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, and Android™).

The Elertus Wine Protection System is available at www.elertus.com for $199, inclusive of monitoring, alerts and smartphone app.

In a nutshell, these are my conclusions about the Elertus system after using it for a couple of weeks:

PROS:

  • Super easy, quick and trouble-free installation and configuration
  • Nice, clean and user-friendly user interface app
  • Works as advertised (monitors temperature, humidity, light level, movement and door open and notifies you in the way you set the system up for)

CONS:

  • Expensive for personal use, that is other than in a commercial establishment
  • I could not find a way to remotely trigger an instant read out of the current conditions (in the absence of a status notification) through the user interface app
  • Light level sensor is not very sensitive (requires a fairly bright light to be triggered)

Rating: Good to Very Good

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Painting with Light: Incense Cedar Tree at Night

Incense cedar tree at night in Yosemite Valley, CA

This image was taken at night in Yosemite Valley, CA, where I set up my tripod before dark, focused my wide angle lens on this gnarled incense tree in the background, set a base exposure, composed my shot paying attention that no branches of the tree intersected the top of the surrounding mountains and waited for darkness to descend. Then it was just a question of taking several shots at different times at night, with the sky taking on different hues, and sometimes experimenting with “light painting”, as in this image.

Painting with light is a hit and miss technique that may be performed in night photography situations, and that is achieved by shining a flashlight on the foreground subject, or anyway a foreground element, to accentuate it and give it some texture in the final image. There are no hard and fast rules for how long to light your subject, and the photographer is best advised to take several shots with different intensities of lighting, as there is no way of telling which one will turn out to be the most pleasant one. On those circumstances I always take a few shots in full darkness too, with the tree that is completely silhouetted against the lighter sky, because sometimes those may turn out to be the best option.

In this case, however, I think the moderate amount of “light painting” on the incense tree works to the benefit of the image as it gives kind of an eerie feel to the gnarled tree, accentuating its tortured limbs that stretch out in all directions and one of which points to Yosemite Falls.

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)