Green Home Tech
It used to be that the hardest label to read was the nutrition label on food; now it’s light bulbs. The Lighting Facts label is the informational table required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that outlines a light bulb’s brightness and annual energy cost, just to name a few of the numbers and stats you’ll now find on a light bulb package.
Cars, power generation, factories, and houses all in one way or another are responsible for carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. While some companies claim that they have systems like “carbon capture” and “clean coal” that essentially amount to collecting all the junk and burying it somewhere. But the problem doesn’t just go away.
Robin Speronis, who has been living with solar power and fulfilling her water needs with rain instead of the local system, has been ordered to either hook her house up to the utilities, or face potential condemnation. At issue is the fact that she was using the sewer system without paying the related support costs more »
You always know when your fridge goes on. The lights might flicker a bit, but what you can’t avoid is the noise. That loud whirring is a constant companion of modern life, even in so-called ‘quiet’ models. Of course, the modern fridge is anything but portable. Samsung thinks they’ve solved all of that with their more »
Hidden in the glare are multiple 3-foot icicles as big around as a broomstick. Why is this new? Well, incandescent lights are really hot things, and that old lamp must’ve gotten toasty warm. The LED’s heat is localized and much cooler, so the snow melts, runs down, and refreezes, quickly forming icicles of enormous size. These icicles can get big enough, and when combined with a 30 foot fall can pack quite a whallop on cars, people, and property.
Chocolates, schmocolates. Flowers, schmowers. Who needs candy and plants this Valentines when you can give the gift of technology? It’s far less fattening and much more rewarding to have a little something that makes your loved one’s life easier, greener, or more entertaining. While we don’t suggest a high-tech toothbrush or a robotic vacuum cleaner, which could potential be offensive, these tech toys are sure to delight, so prepare to pucker up.
Lighting is kind of like the salt of home decor. You can design a fab living room with all the right pieces, but without the proper lighting, it can all end up rather bland–just imagine your carefully considered decor awash in the florescent lighting at the dentist’s office. That’s one reason why we are digging all the nifty smart LED lighting kits currently on the market that allow you to wirelessly control your lights, dim them to your heart’s content, and virtually never have to change a bulb.
We are in the process of reviewing TCP’s Connected by TCP smart LED lighting starter kit (loving it so far), just finished our review of the Philips Hue multicolored LED lighting kit, and our bros over at AppleTell just published their review of the Lumen TL800 Smart LED Bulb (shown, right). So far, the one thing that’s missing in the market for smart LED light bulbs are models that fit smaller sockets. For example, when I go to try to replace a bulb in any of my fans, the bulbs are too big. The guys at Tabu Products in Hong Kong are feeling our collective pain, and have decided to put an end to it courtesy of the LuMini.
LED lighting is hot right now. Actually, it’s more cool than hot because LED bulbs are way, way cooler than their incandescent counterparts, remaining cool to the touch after hours of use. Those of you who have unscrewed an incandescent lightbulb and burned your fingers in the process can appreciate that. Not to mention that LEDs are more energy efficient.
Where I live, we’ve actually been rocking the single digits, making radiant floor heating–which warms the actual body of the house and not just the air inside it–an incredible thing. This not only keeps your tootsies warm in winter but helps to alleviate drafts and cold exterior walls.
Wireless locks are a popular thing right now, and for good reason. Imagine being stuck in traffic and your dinner guests arrive early…just send them an e-key so they can let themselves in (and hopefully turn on the oven). Want your housekeeper to clean while you are on vacation? No problem, you can open and close doors remotely from anywhere you have Internet access, then come home to a nice clean house. Want to lock out your psycho soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend before she sets the place on fire? No problem.
Alarm.com–one of the major players in the smart home arena–just received the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Mark of Excellence Award for Energy-Efficient Product of the Year. The technology uses your location in conjunction with a smart thermostat to make automation a no-brainer, literally. It automatically optimizes for savings when you are away and for more »