Eco-friendly custom lighting Eleek Lighting’s environmentally friendly and stunningly beautiful lighting is handmade by Northwest artisans, including a third-generation patternmaker, from recycled aluminum paired with laser-cut steel over mica shade for a noteworthy modern classic, rustic pendant (The Madison) that is available in compact fl uorescent or incandescent, in two sizes. Call 503-232-5526 or visit eleekinc.com.
A hood vent designed like a sports car Best by Broan's WM24 Range High-Performance Hood designed by F.A. Porsche is available in new metallic finishes, featuring an aluminum composite that reduces noise and allows for a sleek, unique design with state-of-the-art performance for a healthy indoor environment. Call 800-558-1711 or visit bestbybroan.com.
Gorgeous and green countertops EnviroGLAS’s EnviroMODE is a new terrazzo made from recycled tubs, toilets and sinks. It’s easy to maintain, beautiful, durable and eco-friendly. It’s a great look for countertops with the porcelain shards embedded in colorful resins. Call 214- 367-7513 or visit enviroglasproducts.com.
Design showroom made easy Design Plan in a Can offers a unified decorating scheme for starter to luxury homes with product samples and finishes for paint colors; solid surface countertops; cabinet, wood and concrete fi nishes; laminate floors; fabric selections; and more. Offered in over 70 color themes. Call 800-590-2423 or visit designplaninacan.com.
Induction cooktops Even though manufacturers have been experimenting with induction technology for 30 years, it has now arrived. Price ranges in induction vary widely from boutique brands to standards, but we think this pick is a win-win for performance and price point. Sears Kenmore’s Pro line of professional-grade cooktops uses an electro-magnetic frequency (EMF) to cook food without heating up anything but the pan. Induction appliances produce an electro-magnetic field that reacts with iron molecules in cookware producing heat directly in the pan. The cooktops combine functionality and quality with the sophisticated features that today’s most discriminating cooks seek. Variable output burners and durable, easy-to-clean surfaces deliver superior performance and safety. Hey, users also say it's just fun to cook on, and the kitchen stays cooler. Call 800-349-4358 or visit sears.com.
Remote-access residential security Honeywell’s Internet Connection Module is ideal for new construction and retrofits, offering easy and affordable control of security, thermostats and lighting via any PC, Web tablet, wireless PDA or laptop. It enables remote access to residential security systems from anywhere. Call 800-467-5875 or visit security.honeywell.com.
Hands-free water station Kohler’s Wellspring Touchless (motion-sensing) faucets bring hygiene, temperature control and water conservation to the kitchen. Tripoint sensing technology—similar to that of auto-focus cameras—accurately measures distances. That technology provides hands-free cleanup and a safer environment. The faucet is offered in two styles to blend with the primary kitchen faucet and provides easy installation with no external power supply needed (battery operated). It is also supplied with a blanking plug for filtered water dispensing. Call 800- 4-KOHLER or visit kohler.com.
Smarter fire prevention Innotek’s Protek Wireless interconnecting smoke alarms—a first for the industry—require no hard wiring and are permanently sealed for tamper-resistance. They feature advanced learning capabilities to encode 255 units simultaneously and are ideal for retrofit as well as new construction, especially multifamily. These alarms enable contractors to avoid skyrocketing costs of wire, time and labor. Call 877-476-8133 or visit innotekcorp.com.
Tough, tiny tools for tight spots Bosch Power Tools’ new LITHEON 10.8-volt I-Driver (PS10) is the first professional cordless ultra-compact drilldriver with a five-position, 90-degree articulating head to access the tightest workspaces and accomplish the majority of everyday drill/driving tasks. It is about half the size of a small drill/driver and powerful. It gets work done quickly in the tightest of spaces. What more can we say but that our tool reviewer, Art Waldal, says they are cool. Call 877-BOSCH-99 or visit boschtools.com.
Sure-footed, adjustable, leveling ladder Werner’s Equalizer extension ladder has a factory-installed leveling system for safe use on uneven ground. It’s easy to use and can be adjusted in 3⁄8-inch increments, up to 8 1⁄4 inches, to help the user set the ladder securely and accurately. Call 888-523-3370 or visit wernerladder.com.
36-volt power, lightweight tools with torque DeWalt’s Heavy-Duty 36-volt cordless combo kit (model DCX6401) with hammerdrill/driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw, one-hour charger and floodlight is one powerful set of tools, according to Art Waldal: "The cordless reciprocating saw is a tool with no faults ... and the hammerdrill/driver is a multiuse tool on steroids.” The circular saw is perfect for doing pick-up work like decks and fences, where cords would be in the way. The batteries are packed with power without noticeable weight compared with lower-voltage models. Visit dewalt.com.
Cool-bladed, metal-chewing saw Evolution Power Tools’ Rage Mulitpurpose S.A.W.’s blade does not heat up, even while sawing metal, wood or other materials. The powerful saw is designed to cut steel, aluminum, wood and plastics without heat, burrs or the need for coolant. Call 866-386- 8665 or visit evolutionrage.com.
Next-generation drywall framing fights fire and noise Dietrich’s UltraSTEEL framing is not only faster and safer, it’s the hottest thing to happen to drywall metal framing in 20 years: It’s the next-generation roll-forming technology that increases load-carrying capacity and raises limiting heights with better acoustical and fire performance along with ease of installation due to an easily identifiable pattern and greatly reduced screw stripping. UltraSTEEL offers stiffer, more rigid construction. Call 760-931-0465 or visit dietrichindustries.com.
Stronger and flatter floors Boise's engineered wood products are manufactured to provide easier handling, quicker construction and lower labor costs, offering increased strength at a better price. Plus, they are manufactured from about one-half the wood fiber used in dimension lumber, resulting in superior products that use available resources better; backed by a lifetime guarantee for confidence.
Boise Cascade’s Wide-Flange 1000 series joists are the widest in the industry, with extra-wide nailing surfaces that not only save framing time, but also provide structural advantages like flat, stronger floors, meaning fewer callbacks. The maker claims the product helps builders erect better structures. Call 800-232-0788 or visit bc.com.
Mold- and weather-resistant sheathing DELTA-DRY weather-resistive barrier and drainage membrane provides advanced protection against wet weather and mold. Two independent airflow gaps wick moisture from walls that originates inside and also framing and sheathing that became wet during construction. The metallic surface reflects radiant heat for energy efficiency. Call 905-563-3255 or visit deltadry.com.
Greenscapes flood control Greenstreak’s Pec-Mat ensures that nothing green that you’ve planted slides. A water-resistant mat made of PVC monofilaments, it rolls onto any earthen surface to hold down seedlings and sprouts along with established growth like lawns. Roll it over floodplain areas and it will hold plantings safe from the ravages of even high-speed floodwater without biodegrading. Call 800-325-9504 or visit greenstreak.com.
Solar plastic for a wireless world Konarka’s Power Plastic is light-activated plastic that is much more affordable than silicon-based solar cells with the promise for a more wireless world: Anyplace there is both light and a battery, Power Plastic will create an embedded source of low-cost renewable power. This flexible plastic strip is paperthin, yet generates power. This new nano-engineered material has many potential uses for wireless home applications. Call 978- 569-1400 or visit konarka.com.
Glass cleaned by Mother Nature Pilkington Activ Self-Cleaning Glass with hydrophilic action attacks and dissolves dirt. When it rains, the water sheets off dirt, streaks and water spots. The glass uses the sun’s ultraviolet properties to do its clean up. Once activated with several days charging in the sun, the self-cleaning process will continue to work at night and even on cloudy days. It can be used in any type of residential or commercial window, skylight or exterior-facing glass door. Call 866- 88-ACTIV or visit activglass.com.
Solar attic cooler saves HVAC’s life SunRise Solar’s solar-powered roof-mounted attic fan removes heat and moisture from the attic, reducing energy consumption and extending both HVAC and roofing life. It’s a power roof vent operating on solar energy instead of electricity. A built-in solar panel transforms sunlight into electric power; plus, it’s easy to install. Call 866-599-3566 or visit sunrisesolar.net.
Sleek solar system Open Energy’s SolarSave Roofing Membrane Systems are building-integrated solar roofing systems for new construction and reroofing, offering the highest per-square-foot power output in the industry. These lightweight, waterproof, fire-rated roofing membranes are aesthetically pleasing on flat or low-slope projects. The membranes encapsulate monocrystalline cells in high-performance composite materials laminated under vacuum pressure to create a single-ply product with great performance. The membranes integrate the photovoltaic modules directly into the roofing system. Call 858-794-8800 or visit openenergy.com.