Sometimes saving energy isn’t about trimming consumption or cutting back. Sometimes it’s about going shopping! We all know about replacing older, inefficient appliances and consumer products with newer and more energy-conserving models, and on top of that there are also new ideas and new ways of doing things with less energy. Here are five of the top energy-saving devices for your home.
A Bright Idea: Philips HUE Line
The Philips HUE line of LED-based light bulbs pack great energy savings – the light of a 50-watt incandescent while drawing as little as 10 watts, and lasting 25 times as long as the old bulbs. But what’s cool about them is that each HUE can adjust in color, allowing you to change the lighting in your house to suit any desired ambiance What’s even cooler is that you can use your smartphone to control the HUE bulbs – adjusting on/off status, brightness, and color!
Shorter Showers: Efergy Shower Alarm
Wasting water is easy to do in the shower, but it’s often hard to realize how long we’ve been under that warm waterfall, especially on cold mornings. The Efergy shower alarm lets you measure your shower’s water flow, then set the desired amount of water to be used per shower. The handy suction-cup-mounted alarm (waterproof, naturally) goes off when you’ve hit the target. A great way to get kids, especially, to be aware of water usage.
Monitor and Measure Electricity Use: MeterPlug
Knowing which appliances are running up the electric bill is sometimes a guessing game – new big-ticket items will come with a pretty reliable estimate of their power requirements, but for measuring the use of older and smaller devices, you’re on your own – or you were. MeterPlug to the rescue! This handy little metering device couldn’t be simpler. Just plug it into the outlet, then plug the appliance or item into MeterPlug. The meter will send usage information to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and soon you’ll know exactly how much juice your video game console or hair dryer is using.
The Self-Programming Thermostat: Nest Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are a handy way to get your home’s heating and cooling under control – but sometimes it’s a bit of a guesswork process. Is 69 the right temperature for those cool spring mornings, or would 65 be enough to keep off the chill? Until you experiment, it’s difficult to know for sure – and the experimentation will be time-consuming and expensive. Enter the Nest learning thermostat! The Nest lets you manually set the heating and cooling levels to what’s comfortable, then learns that preferred pattern and starts running your home’s climate control system efficiently and to your exact preferences.
Never Flip Another Light Switch: Maestro Occupancy Sensing Switch
You’ll never need to flip a light on or off with the Maestro Occupancy/Vacancy Sensing Switch. This handy unit detects motion and presence in a room, and turns the lights on accordingly. After you leave, the lights switch off. It couldn’t be easier, and it can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
These new products are great ways to further cut down on your energy bills – and they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Every year there are tens of thousands of new electronic products released onto the market. With a little prudent judgment you can update your gadgetry and cut your power costs at the same time.