Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Green Gadgets = Green Technology

Every time you turn on the TV or browse the internet you see the release for the newest and latest cell phone or digital camera. (Seriously, how much slimmer can they really get now?). They cause you to cringe at your outdated 4.5 inch screen, making you a little cynical every time you see someone with the new shiny 4.6 inch screen. Which let’s admit, the additional .1 inch really is as magical as they say right? …Or at least that’s what we convince ourselves of.  

With technology constantly evolving and upgrading, who can keep up? Here are a few innovative new gadgets that not only look chic but also help you save money while keeping you energy efficient.

One of the latest craze comes in thermostats with the Nest. With its auto-away feature, the Nest can sense when the house is empty and will automatically adjust the temperature accordingly. It stores your households’ energy information allowing you to look through the patterns of the temperature. Within a week, the Nest tracks your energy usage and auto-adjusts to a personalized schedule based on your individual needs. Always staying connected through laptops, phones and tablets, it allows you to adjust the temperature even away from home.

Now your outdated incandescent light bulb finally blew out and you’re looking for a change. Take a try at the new Philips L Prize bulb, which is energy efficient and designed to promote LED lighting. It consumes only 10W making it brighter than the average 60W bulb and can last for 27.4 years if it is used for three hours a day. Although a little pricey at sixty dollars, its specifications make it a cheaper option in the long run.

Looking to do a little more than just be energy efficient? Lucky for you, energy efficient technology has spilled over into the social realm, one example being the LittleSun Solar-Powered Lantern. The lantern only needs five hours of sunlight to provide light for the entire night and can run up to three years before needing a battery replacement. The charitable aspect comes with the price; by purchasing the lantern at the regular price, it allows the product to be sold a discounted price to those worldwide who have no access to an electrical grid. When compared to kerosene, the lantern saves users 90% and can attach almost anywhere (or even be worn around the neck!).

There are even simple swaps we can make when deciding how to update our technology. When upgrading your phone or buying that new flat screen you’ve had your eye on for the past year, look into the specifications and do some research ahead of time. According to Energy Star, the 42-inch Panasonic TC-L42D30 is one of the most efficient and will only cost about $10 a year to operate in energy costs at five hours of use per day.

Next time, before you jump at those newly advertised toys make sure to do a little research; there are energy efficient options at almost every corner. With all these new green technologies out there’s no way to go wrong!


Lance said...

I bought an LED bulb similar in appearance to the L-prize bulb (not sure if it actually was the L-prize bulb--it certainly didn't carry THAT outrageous a price tag). My wife wouldn't let me install it in any location where the bulb was visible, because let's admit it, the thing is really ugly. But there is no reason to spend all that money for the L-prize bulb. BJs carries a 40W equivalent Sylvania LED bulb that I like a lot for about $18. It's dimmable, and I think brightness wise it's somewhere between 40-60W equivalent. Most importantly it more or less looks like a normal bulb. I did find a 60W equivalent LED bulb at Home Depot for only $20. It definitely looks like a regular bulb. However, I found that it's not dimmable. So if you are buying LED bulbs and dimming is important, read the fine print. There is no limitation on LED technology to provide dimmable lighting, but the driver circuitry in the more expensive bulbs can handle dimming, whereas the cheaper ones don't.

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