Green Wave or Greenwash?
Electronics manufacturers step up with eco-friendly and energy-efficient products.
Electronic House Products of the Year 2008
September 28, 2008 by Steven Castle

Monster Power touted its Green Power series of smart surge suppressors, Panasonic showed off its energy-efficient plasma TVs, Dolby displayed its High Dynamic Range (HDR) LED backlighting and local dimming technology, and CDGi and Salamander Designs have green home entertainment furniture.

And there’s more! Eaton had a plug-in Power Sensor for its Home Heartbeat system to sense the current a product is using. APC displayed its AP7900 rack-mounted power distribution unit that can turn off power to different products, Square D showed its new Mark II touchscreen and occupancy sensors for its Clipsal home control network, Beam showed off a HEPA air filtratration system (green is clean air, too), Samsung will come out with a recycling program in October, and Lutron can now dim some CFLs and LEDs with its HomeWorks and Grafik Eye lighting systems. More on these soon, I promise.

I was pleasantly surprised by how many green products were touted at the CEDIA Expo. Except for the LED TVs, they weren’t exactly front and center, but they were there. And going green was a real issue here, though still not nearly important as cool new things and big honkin’ home theater. Give it time, though, because most custom electronics installers I encountered say their clients are asking for energy efficiency.

CEDIA itself made it a point to incorporate some eco-friendly practices at its annual show, such as providing electronic education course materials instead of paper, offering attendees an option to donate to to offset their carbon dioxide emissions and printing promotional material on Forest Stewardship Council-certified (FSC) paper. The organization of custom electronics professionals and manufacturers is also starting a Green Task Force to research and develop education content regarding green design and operation procedures for CEDIA members. I didn’t see any green-related education courses at this year’s show, but I’m sure that will come later.

I just hope the green wave in home electronics keeps moving forward and isn’t some token greenwashing. This industry has a great potential to help save both energy and resources, and progress on that should continue. I’ll also be writing about a lot of these companies and technologies in more detail, if I haven’t already.

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

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