Encino-based Cyber-Rain, maker of what the company calls a “sprinkler controller with a brain,” recently introduced a new feature that gives users the ability to monitor and control landscape watering from the cloud. The Cyber-Rain controller works similar to, for example, a Rainbird or Orbit system, except an owner can control sprinklers, manually run valves, and check watering activity from a computer or through a free iPhone app.
Design site Core77 recently noticed a new solar product called Tensile Solar from Brooklyn-based SMIT, the same group behind GROW or Solar Ivy. Tensile Solar is a lightweight, membrane fabric embedded with flexible solar cells that could be used to provide shade, protection from the rain, and power from the sun.
This week, Lowe’s, the second largest home improvement retailer in the world, and Oakland-based Sungevity, a residential solar juggernaut, announced an agreement to work together, according to a press release. As part of the agreement, Lowe’s will take an undisclosed equity position in Sungevity, and Sungevity will offer its solar solutions to Lowe’s customers through an interactive, in-store experience.
Plumen 001, a designer CFL by Hulger, is now being offered for sale in the U.S. The 120-volt light bulb uses 11 watts, outputs 680 lumens, lasts about 8 years, has a color rendering index of more than 80, and has a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin. It is not dimmable and requires careful cleanup if broken, but that’s how these lights can be. Pre-orders ship on June 1, and each bulb sells for $29.95.
In the very near future, expect to be able to control devices, appliances, and lights in your home with the help of Google. That’s the information coming out of Google’s developer conference, Google I/O, where Android@Home was first announced. With the right app, an Android-powered smart device, and an intelligent LED replacement bulb from Lighting Science Group, a savvy homeowner could geek out a home without much effort.