Stylish, savvy, sensible: save energy with these innovative home solutions
14 October 2015 | Sophie Gackowski
You can have shorter showers, turn the lights off, and eradicate the blink of a standby button: there are plenty of ways to save energy around the home. But there's always room for improvement. Innovative companies are continually finding ways to condense the effort on your part – simplifying the latest technologies, and saving you even more energy.
And it's not just the planet that benefits: by bagging yourself a nifty gadget or two, you can make significant savings in the process. More environmentally friendly; more economical; more exciting: here are a few of our favourite new inventions.
Photography © 2015 Twist
It's sleek, stylish and it saves; not only energy and money, but precious space and time too. Brainchild of NYC-based Astro, Twist is an AirPlay speaker and lightbulb – that offers pristine sound through your lampshade. Musically, stream your favourite tunes from an app without the need for pairing, and gradually build up synchronised sound throughout your home; light-wise, it'll consistently change throughout the day, mimicking the patterns of the sun.
Photography © 2015 Twist
Without the need for installation, wires or a hub, it's an easy piece of technology to get along with. And built as it is to last 15 years, you won't need to replace the bulb any time soon. Imagine a winter's morning over a cup of coffee and a paper, blue-white light gently waking you up; in the evening, enjoy its warm glow, illuminating that glass of wine shared with friends. Priced from £83 for one, the company are offering 60% off while stocks last.
Fancy saving up to 15% on heating bills? We thought so. Endotherm is an innovative central heating additive, designed and manufactured right here at home in the UK. Making your radiators hotter and allowing them to stay warmer for longer, it takes just 10 - 15 minutes to install, and is suitable for any wet-based central heating system – commercial or domestic.
Photography © 2015 Endotherm
Now to the science bit: because of the surface tension of fluid and material imperfections inside central heating systems, radiator surfaces just aren't as hot as they could be. Endotherm changes this fluid surface tension by over 60%, and thus increases thermal contact to improve heat transfer and efficiency. Radiators become hotter quicker, retain heat for longer, and cool slower. And it gets better: the product is not only environmentally friendly because it saves you precious energy; it's also made with 100% organic materials.
Photography © 2015 MIITO
An electric kettle is an undeniable staple in the UK. We drink an absurd amount of tea by anyone's standards – and every time we flip the switch, it uses excess energy. You'd think us Brits would have come up with an ingenious solution, but the Germans have beaten us to it.
MIITO makes an elegant and eco-friendly addition to any kitchen, by sustainably heating liquid in the vessel you're about to use. Doing away with excess water, you place your cup, bowl or kettle onto its induction base, and place the rod inside; the base then heats the rod, which in turn heats the liquid. Simple. It can be used with non- metal materials, and can heat anything from water to a bowl of soup for lunch. And once the liquid has boiled, MIITO goes into standby, so there's no need to worry about using excess energy.
It was once thought the stuff of sci-fi, but today you can control your home from anywhere in the world. Switch on (or off) your heating, lighting and appliances, all with a touch of a button. Mi|Home from Energenie is the latest in the Internet of Things, and despite its sophisticated system, can be set up in just ten minutes. Sockets and switches can be retrofitted to replace existing ones, offering you the utmost in energy saving solutions – with minimal fuss.
Photography © 2015 Energenie
Download the Energenie app, and set your home to reflect your life: you can ask radiators to heat up individual rooms to different temperatures (with smart radiator valves), or dim the lights when the television is on (with smart wall sockets and switches). You can adjust lighting by the time of day, or use smart adapters to switch on your washing machine or kettle when coming home. After all, it's about time we arrived to clean clothes and a cuppa!