Cool stuff: Your 2007 holiday gift guide

More than 50 amazing gifts for the technology lovers in your life

Green gadgets for the home

There's no question that green gifts are in. Help your loved ones save money and the planet at the same time.

Energy use auditor: Kill A Watt meter

Mention an energy audit this time of year and most people think about leaky doors and windows. But electrical appliances can also leak energy -- even when turned off. P3 International's Kill A Watt P4400 meter (US$40) can help you audit your household electrical devices so you can find the energy hogs and take action.

The results may surprise you. After using the device in my own home office I made changes that cut my electricity usage by 75%.

The Kill A Watt sits in between the power outlet and the device you want to monitor. A small LCD displays power consumption in watts as well as cumulative power use in kilowatt-hours -- the unit of measure that appears on your utility bill. For the more technically inclined, it also measures and displays current volts, amperes, hertz and volt amps at the touch of a button.

If you know your cost per kilowatt-hour for electricity (listed on your electric bill), you can quickly calculate exactly how much you're spending on each appliance.

Price: $25-$35
Summary: The Kill A Watt tracks the load and power consumption over time for any 110-volt device you attach to it.
Robert L. Mitchell

Desk lamp: Personal Lighting System LED

It's as cool as Pixar's famous hopping desk lamp, but more svelte, modern and efficient. Finelite Inc.'s ultrasleek Personal Lighting System LED desk lamp lets you go green and look good doing it.

This lamp uses state-of-the-art LED technology to do in 9 watts what your garden-variety incandescent desk lamp achieves in 100. The PLS uses half the power of fluorescents, doesn't contain any mercury, and it does the job better.

Substantial amounts of light in radiant lighting sources such as incandescent and fluorescent lamps miss the target, so they tend to bathe an entire area, overlighting the target surface and creating glare that can be tiring. LED lighting, on the other hand, is highly directional, which means a surface can be illuminated to the right degree using fewer watts of power.

With its spring-loaded swivel base and a cast-aluminum lamp head that spins 360 degrees, the PLS is highly maneuverable. It comes in 3-, 6- and 9-watt models. I recommend the 9-watt model as a desktop work light. The PLS produces a warmer, more natural light than some models I've tried, which tilt more toward the blue end of the spectrum.

At US$283, the PLS 9 is one of life's little extravagances that you might never buy for yourself, but as a gift it just might be a perfect fit.

Price: US$283
Summary: This stylish LED desk lamp, which uses just 9 watts of energy, is less harsh and easier on the eyes than a standard 100-watt incandescent fixture.
Robert L. Mitchell

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Computerworld Staff

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?