This week at TreeHugger: In what might be the sleekest implementation of LEDs for the consumer electronics enthusiast, the Mix Lamp would be right at home next to your titanium Mac. We discover St. Louis Park, an unassuming city a few miles west of Minneapolis, that may be the first town in the country to provide solar-powered wireless internet to its residents. Sticking with solar, the BCKSolar cooker is a compact solar cooker and food carrier that can be folded into a handy tube for travel, and can heat water hot enough to cook rice, pasta, soup, eggs and more. Lastly, check out Spin, a series of slick kitchen appliances which make use of the same two-speed motor embedded within a kitchen countertop.
The Mix Lamp from Luceplan is another stylish integration of LED lighting for the work space. This elegant lamp would be right at home next to your titanium Mac, and delivers "an intense warm and pleasing light." The Mix has a 50,000 hour life, and its LED Chip on Board technology only drinks up 5 watts of power. The light color can also be changed with an integrated filter.
St. Louis Park, an unassuming city a few miles west of Minneapolis, may be the first in the country to provide solar-powered wireless internet to its residents. If the idea gets the thumbs up in a City Council vote, they will begin the installation of a network of wifi nodes powered by some 400 PV panels situated on public infrastructure around the city. Through a public/private partnership, residents would be able to pay $15 a month for 128 kilobyte speed or $20 for 1 meg. The city expects to save $40,000 to $50,000 a year by using an entirely solar-powered system as opposed to grid power.
From solar wifi to solar cooking: the BCKSolar is a compact solar cooker and food carrier that can be folded into a handy traveling tube. It uses our smiling sun to heat water nearly hot enough to boil, which making it suitable to cook rice, pasta, soup, eggs and more; once hot, the cooker also allows keeping the food warm as a thermos container would. Doesn't look like it slices, dices or makes julienne fries, though.
Lastly, take a juicer, a can opener, a coffee grinder — ever wonder why every appliance needs its own motor? That was the question designer Iftah Poran asked himself when he conceptualized Spin, a series of kitchen appliances which make use of the same two-speed motor embedded within a kitchen countertop. We're waiting for such a concept to motorize our entire lives.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.