Solar Water Heaters Now Mandatory In Hawaii

Hawaii has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes. The bill was signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican. It requires the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010. It prohibits issuing building permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels more than any …

New High Power LED Floor Lamps

Koncept has released a new series of their I-Tower LED floor lamps. It’s good to see LED floor lamps becoming widely available. These lamps use the latest generation of high-power LEDs, which means they are brighter than the older I-Tower lamps, but they actually uses less power (8.8 watts). There are two models: a daylight version (~5500 Kelvin) and a …

Electric Folding Bikes: Ultra-Efficient City Travel

Folding bikes are particularly efficient when used in conjunction with public transit. Unlike regular bikes, they can be taken easily on buses, trains or ferries. In fact, some transit systems will only allow folding bikes to be taken on board. For a little extra weight, you get the benefit of going up hills easily, and this is often very important …

SolarDucts: Heating Air and Generating Power

Solar energy is often used to heat water or generate electricity, but it can also be used to heat air. The SolarDuct is a new device that uses sunlight to heat air before it enter a ventilator. They are modular units that can be installed on buildings with flat roofs.

Trailerbikes: A 2008 Review and Buying Guide

A trailer bike is a one-wheeled bike extension that attaches to the back of your bike. They are an efficient way to bring your child on a longer bike ride. Your smaller companion can assist you with pedaling, while you control the steering and speed. This allows your child to become familiar with the process of riding a bike, and …

Geobulb: A LED Bulb That Replaces A 60W Bulb

The Geobulb is an 8 watt LED light that replaces a 60 watt incandescent bulb. It generates 800 lumens of light to be exact — either warm white light or cool white. This bulb has a sleeker design than some of the LED lights I’ve seen — check out that aesthetically pleasing heat sink.

Unusual Green Architecture In Japan: Namba Parks

In a city with few green spaces, Namba Parks is a welcome swath of green for the inhabitants of Osaka. Check out this full size photo of this amazing piece of architecture. The complex stands where Osaka’s baseball stadium used to be until 2003, and consists of a 30-floor skyscraper, Parks Tower, and a shopping mall with eight floors of …

The Tri-L: A Portable LED Work Light

I’ve been testing the battery-powered Tri-L LED work light by Altus Lumen. I have to admit that this light has become one of my favorite gadgets. The design of the Tri-L shows great attention to detail. The metal housing is made out of 85% recycled magnesium which is lighter than aluminum, so the Tri-L feels solid yet light in your …

Efficient: Solar Showers

Solar Shower

A solar shower is a fun and highly efficient device for summer. It operates by attaching a standard garden hose to the shower — water is heated inside an integrated solar-thermal tank. After 1-2 hours the water will be hot enough for a shower. Solar heated shower are also handy for camping — you can find portable solar showers here.