Products of the Year Awards 2008
Going Green: The Best Products of 2008
The electronics industry is feeling the green wave as much as any other, and several products were worthy of recognition.
Electronic House Products of the Year 2008
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September 08, 2008 by EH Staff

We couldn’t help but feed the tidal wave. Green is everywhere these days. It might be odd to think about electronics as being green—you’re dedicated theater with a 130-inch screen and 7.1 surround sound is probably the opposite of green—but there are plenty of ways eco-friendly production is making its way into the industry.

Keep a closer eye on some of the manufacturers’ specs in the coming year. You’ll see more trying to add the Energy Star approval on electronics and TVs, environmentally friendlier packaging, and greener, RoHS-y materials. There’s an Energy Star spec already for LCDs and plasmas but it only deals with standby power; a new spec will be on its way after November 1 that includes “On Mode” power consumption.

With our fearless green guy senior editor Steve Castle helping pave the way (check out lots more green goodness here), we were able to sift through the many products that have made a difference in this area and highlight a handful.

Because lighting control is at the forefront of how electronics, namely automation, can reduce energy usage—and save you a some bucks on the utility bill—we loved the way Lutron has a slick, interactive feature on its website to help you calculate energy savings and help your bulbs’ lifespan by controlling and dimming your home’s lighting. We also thought the broad coverage and aspects such as ambient light override, and user-configurable settings make Lightolier’s IntelliSight Occupancy Sensors an intelligent choice.

That 1,000 lumens projector filling your theater with 1080p Pixar movies might not be green, but the screen you’re feeding the images to could be. Draper was the first projection screen company to earn a Greenguard certification for its environmentally responsible screen fabrics, and the picture’s as bright as the idea.

What about music and TV, you say? NuVo Technologies’ Essentia EG6 music server’s amp and keypads use less than 1 watt of energy in standby mode—where your electronics suck up a bunch of electricity that you never think about—and gained an Energy Star rating. And you can get all the music you want anywhere in your home. We even found an amplifier—Knoll Systems’ Eco-System Controller-Amplifier—to fuel your entertainment and help in the way of energy savings.

For video, there is much headway being made among TV manufacturers. We thought Samsung’s LN55A950 Series 9 stood out not only because it features LED backlighting, but because that backlighting also has local dimming technology to reduce levels, thereby requiring less energy and producing better perceived black levels and dynamic contrast.

A better-looking TV with a touch of green? We’re happy to tune in.

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See also:
- Products of the Year 2008
- Products of the Year 2007
- Products of the Year 2006

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