Being a gadget freak can be a bit of a contradiction when you look at your 10-plug power strip jammed to the last ground. Thankfully, electronic innovators are creating gadgets to cut down on grid overload, many of which even generate their own power. We’ve taken a look around and decided to share seven of the most interesting energy efficient gadgets for your home. Get your credit cards out, geeks.
1. Nest Learning Thermostat
A cold home is a miserable home, and an overly heated home can feel even worse to your wallet when it comes to the electric bill. Plus, your everyday thermostat is one the most boring/outdated gadgets in your household. So why not spruce up the place with the beautiful new nest egg, or even better, the Nest Learning Thermostat? Half your energy bill can be constituted from your thermostat, and the functions on most computerized thermostats can be annoyingly complicated to automate, even if they are efficient. This $250 gadget is a small electronic dial that can be changed with simple turn of your wrist. Even better, its display glows sexy neon colors and remembers any time you alter the temperature, catching onto your house warming (or cooling) habits in just a week. This means no more manual programming. What’s more kickass than that? Oh, perhaps that you can actually adjust your temperature remotely with a smartphone application. We can’t promise it will save you the cost of the device on your heating bill, but it sure as hell will look pretty on your wall. Can you say stocking stuffer?
2. Wiser Home Automation Control
While climate control is an element of this next home gadget, it’s definitely not why this is on our list. Wiser Home Automation Control lets you, well, control just about every electronic aspect of your home via a touchscreen on the wall, your iPhone or iPad. This includes lighting, climate control, electric blinds, your TV, DVD and other entertainment systems, as well as surveillance. Granted, the application is the least sophisticated part of the entire thing. The cost to hook up the entire deal up to your home is going to a bit tricky with all the antennas you’ll need to buy for each system hooked up to Wiser. Still, the geek factor of having your entire home connected via LAN is insurmountable.
The most unattractive energy efficiency gadget we’ll share with you today is the Kill-A-Watt. It’s been around the block, it’s dependable, and it will tell you how many watts you’ve been using while playing Battlefield 3 the last 72 hours. Just plug it in your outlet, then plug in the electric bill killing gadget in question. Tip: It’s seriously about time to rid your home of incandescents and replace them with CFLs and LEDs. You can get the same light of a 60 watt bulb from a 13 watt LED. Pick up a Kill-A-Watt on Amazon for $19.
4. Phillips L-Prize light bulb: The ten million dollar light bulb
While on the subject of watt killing and light bulbs, Phillips just won the L-Prize from the U.S. Government’s competition for their new LED bulb. The prize was $10 million dollars. The LED bulb is only 10 watts and produces the most lumens (900) per watt of any bulb on the market. Seriously, it’s blinding. And the color is a warm and cozy living room light like you’d expect from your ancient incandescent bulbs sitting in storage under your sink. The bulb costs $40 and should be in stores in early 2012, but they have similar models on the market for the same price and nearly same efficiency. Did we mention this bulb will last you 17 years? That’s right, you can give it to your kids when they head off to college.
5. Bedol Water-Powered Clock
Alarm clocks are pretty much smartphones these days, but if you like having something you don’t have to plug in to make annoying noises in the morning (meaning cord-free so you can throw it against the wall), this fun gadget is pretty simple replacement. The digital clock uses a special battery that conducts electricity by reacting with water. They’re only $10 and come in four different colors. Some reviews claim they die after a year, but a special vinegar treatment can remedy this issue for further use. Get one for yourself here.
6. H2O Water Pressure-Powered FM Scan Shower Radio
Who doesn’t love a little FM radio during their morning shower? With this water pressure-powered FM radio, you will never have to risk water-logging your Pandora-playing laptop again. The gadget hooks directly up to your shower spout with your shower head attaching to another hookup on the radio itself. Standard tuning buttons and a volume knob are included. We can’t speak for how this affects your water pressure during your pants-off-dance-off, but how can this not look fun? You’re being green, after all.
7. Belkin Conserve Socket Energy Saving Outlet
Electricity vampires can include shavers, hair dryers and the like. These devices if left plugged in will still drain on your electric bill without intervention. Thankfully, Belkin’s Conserve Socket remedies this issue by allowing you to set a timer on the amount of time a socket is active. The options are 30 minutes, 3 hours, or 6 hours. For $10, this could be well worth the over $100 savings you could reach in a year, and this is why it ranks 7 on our list.
For more on geeky energy saving gadgets, check out 7 Solar-Powered Gadgets.