Saving a planet from climatic disaster is no easy task. Neither is reducing your mammoth electricity bill. But working on big problems becomes much easier when you break things down into manageable chunks. For instance, you can help to save the Earth and your bank balance by switching to energy-efficient lighting. What’s more, these fixtures offer much better control over how you illuminate your home. Here are our picks from the Popular Science Shop—seriously cool lights that give Mother Nature a hand, too.
The principle of small gains is well known, but sometimes difficult to grasp. The IllumiBowl 2.0 (was $14.99, now $12.99) proves that you can start conserving energy anywhere. This smart bathroom light turns on automatically when you enter the room. The soft glow means you will stay relaxed during the night, and the light switches off automatically. As a result, you save energy and get better rest.
The IllumiSink Light-Up Faucet Attachment (was $12.99, now $10.99) works on a similar principle. When you need to wash your hands or quench your thirst during the night, this device guides you with gentle light. It generates power from the running water and changes color to indicate the water temperature. You can attach IllumiSink to pretty much any faucet by switching out your regular sink head.
Of course, you’re not always inside after dark. With the PLAYBULB Smart Lights (was $49.99, now $44.99) you can light your whole garden with renewable energy. These stylish beacons generate all their own power, and are ideal for illuminating paths and driveways. The lights are also waterproof and able to float, so they can brighten your pool parties. You can easily adjust the brightness and color of the lights via your smartphone.
Back inside your home, you can make major energy savings by upgrading your existing lights. The Kasa LED Low Energy Bluetooth Smart Bulbs (two-pack was $89.90, now $49.99) should last you a whopping 15 years. In that time, you will conserve energy, and use the innovative companion app to control up to 32 bulbs from your smartphone. You can even choose from 16 million colors. Schedule the lights to fit your routine, from cool morning light to evening glow.
One advantage of LEDs is that the diodes can be arranged in many different shapes. For instance, the Kasa LED Low Energy Smart Lightstrip (was $69.95, now $36.99) can bend around corners and slip into tight spaces. This allows you to add ambient lighting above your kitchen worktop, or in your bedroom. As with the smart bulbs, you have total control over brightness and color. Just as importantly, the LEDs are very frugal when it comes to energy usage.
Of course, cost is always a concern with new technology. For the best combination of features and price, check out the Revogi Smart Bluetooth LED Bulb (was $44.99, now $24.99). This little bulb fits any regular attachment and uses 90 percent less energy than your standard light bulb. You can control brightness and color manually from your phone, or set up presets for given times of day. This means you can wake up to artificial sunlight, or relax in the evening with sunset tones.
When you’re away from home, the Travel USB Wall Charger (was $29.99, now $16.99) helps you save energy while you charge your gadgets or plug in a lamp. Its versatile interface lets you charge two devices from the same AC outlet via dual USB ports. In addition, the charger has a built-in LED night light and a glowing ring to help you find the outlet and see around your hotel room after dark.