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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 …

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Hyperefficient Transportation: Utility Bikes and Bike Trailers

Utility bikes or “work bikes” are very efficient vehicles for transporting cargo (and children too). They are quite popular in bike-friendly places like Amsterdam, Copenhagen and China. Bikes can tow a remarkable amount of weight. Loads in excess of 880 pounds (400 kilograms) have been hauled behind bikes along flat surfaces. Generally though, 300 pounds (140 kilograms) is considered the …

The Solar House: Free Heating

People often think of using solar energy for producing electricity, but it is actually easier to harness the power of the sun to heat your home. It’s free heat that has been utilized since ancient times but few modern architects or builders really understand the principles involved. The Solar House, by Dan Chiras, explains architectural techniques that can be incorporated …

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Solar Evacuated Tubes: Free Hot Water

For solar water heating in your home, there are basically two types of solar collectors: conventional flat-plate collectors and evacuated tube collectors. Evacuated tubes have a number of advantages: the work on overcast days, in colder weather, and the tubes can be installed and replaced individually without special tools.

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Philips’ New “Simplicity” LED Bulbs

The new LED light bulbs from Philips will change color and brightness with one touch, squeeze, or turn. They are also energy efficient and last 10-20 years. Good work. Expect to see these in coming months or years. These LED bulb designs are part of the Philips Sense & Simplicty design project, which the company has been working on for …

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The Best Low-Flow Toilets

Early on, low-flow toilets got a bad rap — and justifiably so — their flushing ability left a lot to be desired. But today there are many low-flow toilets on the market that work well. Terry Love is a plumber who reviews low-flow toilets. He takes his job seriously, installing some of the toilets his own home were he can …