Read about the other Best Of What’s New winners. Now you can supercharge your home
Bosch Power-Ready Wireless-Charging System
You’ve invested in solar panels to harvest energy from the sun, but without daisy-chaining an array of car batteries, you’ve got no way to store it. With the
Powerwall, Tesla used its expertise manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles to provide a sleek alternative. The 210-pound wall-mounted battery can store surplus energy from solar panels. But it can also automatically bank electricity from the grid during off-peak times, when rates are lowest. That way you can power your home—or charge your Model S—for pennies even when electricity is in highest demand. The company makes a 7 kWh battery for daily use, and a 10 kWh version that can double as a backup generator. From $3,000
An Alternative-Energy Powerhouse
Windstream Technology Solar Mill: An Alternative-Energy Powerhouse
With limited roof space, it’s often not possible for do-good homeowners to harness both solar and wind power. WindStream solved that problem by creating a hybrid system. A trio of corkscrew-shaped vertical-axis turbines turn below a photovoltaic panel, saving space. The system can generate 13 percent more energy than solar alone. $3,125
Tools Leading A Wireless Revolution
Bosch Power-Ready Wireless-Charging System: Tools Leading A Wireless Revolution
With its inductive-charging system, Bosch has made charging power tools effortless. Simply set the tool on its dock, and—
voilà!—the electromagnetic field replenishes the battery. A full charge takes 50 minutes, but you may never need that: The batteries are lithium-ion, so you can top them off as you go. $200
A Bulb That Gets To Know You
Stack Downlight: A Bulb That Gets To Know You
What if your lights could understand their surroundings? Stack added occupancy- and ambient-light sensors to its LED Downlight bulbs. The result is a lightbulb with smarts: It can turn off when you leave a room and recognize when it’s morning in order to wake you up. To protect you, the system can even mimic your lighting habits when you’re away on vacation. Don’t like the schedule? You can custom-program it yourself with a companion app.
$150 (for a starter pack of two bulbs and a hub; $60 for each additional bulb); ships in December.
The Ultimate Clean Machine
Dyson Humidifier: The Ultimate Clean Machine
Humidifiers can often be breeding grounds for bacteria. But that doesn’t mean humans have to live with bone-dry air. Dyson’s new humidifier zaps bacteria with ultraviolet light, killing 99.9 percent. It also uses the same “air-multiplier” technology as the company’s fans, to ensure thorough room coverage. It’s the first humidifier to earn an asthma and allergy-friendly certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
First Wearable Multitool
Leatherman Tread: First Wearable Multitool
After Leatherman’s president, Ben Rivera, got stopped at security at Disneyland for carrying a multitool, he decided to create one that you’d never need to leave at home—or even in a toolbox. Tread’s wearable design features 29 handy tools, such as Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, and a bottle opener. From
Never Change Your Oil Again
Briggs & Stratton EXi Series Engine: Never Change Your Oil Again
Manufacturers recommend you change your lawn mower’s engine oil every 25 hours of use. To eliminate that messy hassle, Briggs & Stratton built its new EXi Series Engine. The engine is designed to run cooler because oil breaks down more slowly at low temperatures. (It also features an improved air-filtration system to run cleaner.) Rather than change the oil, just top off periodically to maintain proper levels. In a year, you’ll end up using 73 percent less oil.
React Like A First Responder
Channellock Rescue Tool: React Like A First Responder
Police officers and firefighters aren’t the only ones who have to grapple with emergencies. So why shouldn’t homeowners use the same multitool they do when confronted with a storm or fire? The Rescue Tool combines five tools, including a spanner wrench to tighten and loosen hose couplings, a prying tip that can help jimmy open a stuck window, and cutting edges that can snip wire.
A Hybrid For Your Hamper
Whirlpool HybridCare Heat-Pump Dryer: A Hybrid For Your Hamper
The average clothes dryer can consume as much energy per year as a refrigerator. To balance the scales, Whirlpool built a ventless heat-pump model. Instead of releasing hot, moist air, the HybridCare condenses the water internally. The dry air is then recirculated—reducing energy costs by 40 percent over standard dryers. $1,799
A Level That Won’t Give In To Pressure
DeWalt Carbon-Fiber Composite Level: A Level That Won’t Give In To Pressure
Lightweight levels are typically made of aluminum. But over time—or with rough use—the material can deform and lose accuracy. That’s why DeWalt built a level from a carbon-fiber composite. It’s 35 percent lighter than aluminum counterparts and can absorb major impacts so it stays true to form. $100