I was walking the aisles of Home Depot when I happened upon a screaming deal for the L Prize winning LED light bulb by Philips. This is the bulb, you may recall, that caused a national fuss over the reported price tag of $60. Turns out you can get the same bulb just five months later for the more reasonable price tag of $40 at Home Depot right now.
In July 2012, Cree announced brighter LED downlights in the CR Series. The CR4-575L fits a 4″ housing and delivers 575 lumens, 90 CRI, 2700 Kelvin, dimming up to 5%, and 50,000 hours while only using 9.5 watts of energy. The CR6-800L fits a 6″ housing and delivers 800 lumens, 90 CRI, 2700 Kelvin, dimming up to 5%, and 50,000 hours while only using 12 watts of energy. Both are Energy Star qualified and they’re available in either the Edison or GU24-type bases. The CR4 sells for about $53, and the CR6 sells for about $55 (both at EarthLED).
Today Hulger announced the new Baby Plumen 001, a designer CFL light bulb that tracks the original Plumen 001. It’s a smaller 9-watt bulb that’s meant to replace a 40-watt incandescent. The 220-volt version is available today through Plumen.com, while the 120-volt version, which is compatible in North America, will be available later this year. The Baby Plumen lasts about 8,000 hours and has a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin.
There’s an interesting Kickstarter campaign right now for an innovation called SmartThings. SmartThings is a Minnesota-based company and an open platform to connect everyday things to the internet to monitor, control, and automate. The company wants to add “intelligence to everyday things in your world, so that your life can be more awesome.” It consists of a hub, “things,” maker tools, a cloud platform, and mobile app.
Recall for a second a project called Rubble Floor by Dave Hakkens. Hakkens recently published another project called “Wind-Oil” to show how to use industrial processes at home to create good food. He made an oil pressing machine that’s powered by a small-wind turbine. The machine has a worm drive that presses nuts and seeds — walnuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts, etc — and spits out oil in one bottle and a food pulp in another.
I’ve been watching plug-and-play solar systems like the one offered by SpinRay Energy to see how viable and affordable these can get. It turns out GoGreenSolar.com just unveiled a similar system called the SunPlug Plug n’ Play Solar Kit. The kit includes one 235-watt polycrystalline panel, a 120 VAC/60 Hz grid-tie inverter, racking mount, WiFi module for monitoring, and a connector to plug directly into an AC outlet.