I spent some time in the home improvement stores this weekend and noticed a newer bulb from Philips designed to replace the standard flood light. The BR30 LED bulb is Energy Star compliant, delivers 730 lumens, and uses a decent 13-watts of energy. Plus, it’s mercury free, lasts about 25,000 hours, and has a standard warm color of 2700 Kelvin. While the price is hovering at $40 at Home Depot right now, I expect that to slowly drop. Plus, the bulb is an easy install — just screw it in — so testing this is a no brainer.
This is the first and only UL-listed, 120-volt, plug-and-play solar kit in the world, according to SpinRay Energy. The DeckPower120 comes with one, 240-watt solar panel and can be hung on a deck or elsewhere outdoors using a simple mount bracket. The system allows for up to 1,300 watts of AC power with five solar panels and should qualify for available federal (and sometimes state) tax credits.
Today GE introduced a new and innovative 100-watt replacement bulb that uses only 27 watts with the help of LEDs and jet technology. The Energy Smart bulb won’t be available until the first half of 2013 at an undetermined price, though the technology will be on display at the LIGHTFAIR conference that’s being held in Las Vegas this week.
Southwest Windpower, maker of the small-wind turbine Skystream, just announced a refreshed Whisper line of turbines for battery-charging applications including off-grid residential homes. The Whisper 100 (7′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 100 kWh per month at 12 mph; the Whisper 200 (9′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 200 kWh per month at 12 mph; and the Whisper 500 (15′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 538 kWh per month at 12 mph.
This is yet another “Must-See” product and the People’s Choice winner at KBIS 2012. Called U-Socket, the AC wall outlet has two USB 3.0-compatible power ports and can be installed on a 16 cubic inch or larger single gang electrical box, according to Fastmac, the manufacturer. The listed product meets UL and NEC specifications and carries a 5-star energy-efficient design. The USA-made outlet has a smart sensor that recognizes when a device is charged and shuts down, cutting back on vampire energy.
California-based Sunrun and Harris Interactive recently announced the results of a survey of 2,211 adults (1,475 homeowners) about the cost and desirability of installing a home solar system. The main sound bite is the one-liner that “97% of Americans overestimate the cost of going solar,” as well as the stat that “nearly 8 out of 10 of those who do not already have solar panels say they would install solar if cost were not a factor.”