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Consumer Technology designzen_spark4-small

Published on September 11th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

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Solar-Powered Lamp Tracks Home Energy Consumption

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September 11th, 2008 by  

If you’re worried that your family is using more than its fair share of energy, Beverly Ng’s Spark Lamp may be for you—if you live in Sweden. The lamp, which resembles a potted plant, was created as a response to the Swedish government’s announcement that future homes will come with smart meters that provide energy usage data to homeowners on the Internet. But who wants to constantly check online to keep track of power consumption?

Ng’s proposal offers an alternative. Her color-changing lamp contains solar panels on its bottom. During the day, you turn the lamp upside down to charge the panels. At night, you turn the lamp back over and switch it on. The Wi-Fi ready LED lamp changes color for a 3 second interval to indicate your power consumption level compared to your monthly goal—green if you’re doing better than your goal, yellow if you’re on target, and red if you’re below target. After 3 seconds, it goes back to a normal white light.

The lamp is not yet available, but it could be an excellent way for busy Swedes to keep track of their energy consumption with minimal effort.

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • Lucinda

    This would be terrific to send to my daughter in Africa living in a small community with no electricity. I wish it were available now, and that it could be shipped to Africa from Sweden.

  • Lucinda

    This would be terrific to send to my daughter in Africa living in a small community with no electricity. I wish it were available now, and that it could be shipped to Africa from Sweden.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/highfructosecornsyrup cchiovitti

    While I appreciate the concept, I can’t imagine too many people actually wanting something that looked like this messing up thier decor. Perhaps if they changed the focus from “tech” to “green” I may be more impressed.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/highfructosecornsyrup cchiovitti

    While I appreciate the concept, I can’t imagine too many people actually wanting something that looked like this messing up thier decor. Perhaps if they changed the focus from “tech” to “green” I may be more impressed.

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