Light Tape – A Bright Idea Indicative of a New Energy Conscious Era
Over the past few years we have heard plenty about products that can deliver on two green promises - the environmentally friendly kind that saves the planet as well as the one that leaves our budgets and bank accounts flush with greenbacks. Bolstered by government initiatives and financial incentives, industry has responded with plenty of innovations - and many of those can be put to good use in our homes.
There is a new kind of tape on the market, for example, which may not do everything that famously versatile duct tape does. But it accomplishes the one thing duct tape cannot do with remarkable magic.
As its name indicates, Light Tape - which is exclusively sold by the Electro-LuminX Lighting Corporation - provides a light bulb that is as thin as a credit card and can be bent around any surface and then attached to it just like adhesive tape.
Engineers and scientists use the term "electroluminescent" to describe Light Tape's most unique and remarkable characteristic, which is that it illuminates by exciting phosphorescent elements that are imbedded in the tape with low level electrical charges. The result is a 1-inch width tape that can extend longer than a football field while using less electricity than a 100-watt light bulb.
The futuristic lighting product is now used by designers to subtly illuminate homes, by airports to highlight runways, and by the military to effectively penetrate visual barriers like dense fog and smoke. Navy pilots report that they can spot the line of tape from a distance of five miles, for example, and Light Tape is resistant to the elements. Unlike fiber optic illumination systems, Light Tape can be flashed on and off, and using it in flash mode doesn't wear it out faster but actually extends its life. Although it provides consistent light it never gets hot to the touch, and you can use Light Tape for years with virtually zero upkeep or maintenance.
Wrap it around your finger or around your kitchen counter, attach the small transformer than looks about like a phone charger - and Voila! If you can duct tape it, then now it is possible to illuminate it - thanks to wildly imaginative and creative electrical engineers working to conserve energy and preserve the environment.
A New Energy Saving Natural Gas Product from GE
When we think of General Electric we think of the kind of energy that made Thomas Edison famous. After all, the iconic company has been providing electrical appliances to the public for generations - as its internationally recognized household name proclaims. But the industry leader for consumer electrical products for the home is proud to announce a new natural gas water heater solution. That's right - General Electric is getting on the natural gas bandwagon.
GE was one of the key participants in the criteria-development process for a new Department of Energy (DOE) initiative, and the company urged DOE to adopt aggressive standards for high-efficiency water heaters. One reason that Energy Star rated water heaters are so significant in terms of saving energy is that home water heating is the second biggest culprit - right behind heating and air conditioning - when it comes to consuming residential energy and increasing the household carbon footprint.
Despite the fact that a home may be constructed in an energy-efficient manner, for example, it may still waste a significant amount of energy through the simple and everyday process of heating water for use in showers, dishwashers, and kitchen and bathroom sinks.
But tankless natural gas water heaters like the one now in production at GE give you water when you turn on the hot water tap. As soon as you turn it off, however, the heating element stops working. That way you do not heat water that is not being used and is only sitting around stored in a water heater tank. You enjoy the benefit of a reliably continuous supply of hot water, in other words, without the detrimental impact of unnecessary energy usage. That lowers your monthly bills while also shrinking your family's carbon footprint.
The GE Tankless Gas Water Heater is offered in two sizes (7.5-gallon-per-minute flow and 9.4-gallon-per-minute flow) for both indoor and outdoor applications. Both operate on affordable natural gas, which ensures that households save even more money and energy in both the near term and the sustainable future.
How to Choose a Gas GrillOne of the most enjoyable natural gas products is that old standby of American life, the grill. Many professional chefs recommend using gas instead of charcoal, since you can carefully control the cooking surface, keeping the heat consistent and finely tuned. There is a wide range of grill types to choose from, from the most basic to the ultra-deluxe. A few tips should get you pointed in the right direction.
Chef Jason Hill recommends going with an all-stainless-steel outdoor grill with a large cooking surface and plenty of storage space. Since high-quality stainless steel is not magnetic, he tells customers to bring a magnet to the store to check that the grill is a quality product. If you choose a propane grill, make sure it can be converted to natural gas using a converter kit containing new valves.
Consumer Reports advises shoppers to go for a basic gas grill if the order of the day is hamburgers and hot dogs, but anyone looking to cook whole chickens, turkeys, or large roasts regularly should purchase a grill equipped with a rotisserie burner. The size of the grill's cooking area should correlate to the number of people you are usually serving. Look for the following features to make sure you get the most for your money:
- Burners made of high-quality stainless steel, cast iron, or cast brass. Look for those that carry a warranty of 10 years or longer.
- A heavy-duty grate made of stainless steel or cast-iron, as these are durable and rust-resistant.
- Good construction, including a solid feel to the cart, wheels, lid, and firebox.
- An electronic igniter instead of a push button or a knob.
Highlights of the gas grill market are some truly excellent cooking machines. Consumer Reports recommends the Weber Genesis E320, which it calls "an excellent, three-burner, medium-size grill that provides excellent heating evenness of the main cooking area and low-temperature grilling." Another top-rated item is the medium-sized Char-Broil Red 463250509, and the Brinkmann 810-8410S and the Kenmore-16641 are tied for third in the ratings, both offering "excellent heating evenness" and good low-temperature grilling.
You can expect to pay from $300 to $700 for a grill that will satisfy most of your requirements. You can spend considerably more on models with convenience features or added style elements, but those will not necessarily offer better performance. And good performance is what high-quality meat deserves.