These 8 Hot Gadgets Are the Holiday Gifts That Just Keep On Giving  - Bob Vila

These 8 Hot Gadgets Are the Holiday Gifts That Just Keep On Giving 

These impressive high-tech presents will delight everyone on your list—and the ENERGY STAR stamp of approval means they’ll be cheaper to run than less efficient, power-hungry models.

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7 Ideas for the Best Tech to Give This Holiday

Photo: istockphoto.com

It’s no surprise that everyone’s holiday wish list includes the latest tech, from big-ticket items to stocking stuffers. What is news, however, is the fact that so many of these amazing electronic goods and gadgets actually receive ENERGY STAR certification.

That’s right: The Environmental Protection Agency program that you rely on when choosing highly efficient appliances that help you lower your household energy consumption applies to an even broader array of tech than you may have realized. And why not, when virtually every gadget we use day today requires some sort of energy source? Loads of cool products, from TVs and computers to wireless speakers and sound bars, are now also designed to conserve energy, and the blue ENERGY STAR label helps you identify the hot tech that should be at the top of your shopping list. After all, your giftees will be able to use their cool high-tech presents confident that they’re not racking up outsize utility bills. (How thoughtful of you!) Plus, each one is like a gift to the earth, too, by letting users enjoy the newest gadgets the market has to offer while keeping emissions to a minimum and helping to forestall climate change.

So, as you shop for the season, keep these seven great gift ideas in mind—and let the blue ENERGY STAR label guide your choices. You can save money and the planet with every present you purchase!

1. Smart thermostats
Keeping things toasty this holiday season—and ensuring an ideal temperature all year long, for years to come—is easy with a smart thermostat. These Wi-Fi enabled devices automatically adjust heating and cooling settings for optimal performance, passing the savings on to the lucky homeowner on your holiday list. The best news? This season, smart thermostats joined the prestigious ranks of ENERGY STAR certified products for the first time, so insist on the blue label when you shop.

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Exclusively on BobVila.com, you can enter to win one of five ENERGY STAR certified ecobee4 thermostats to keep your home at the perfect temperature for years to come. The smart thermostat not only has room sensors to manage hot and cold spots, but it also comes with built-in Amazon Alexa Voice Service so you can ask it to order groceries, read the news, and more! For the best possible chance of winning, enter once a day, every day, until the contest closes on November 30—enter now!

2. Televisions
Got binge-watchers on your list? ENERGY STAR certified televisions have all the cutting-edge features they want while being 25 percent more energy efficient than standard models. Look for amenities like Automatic Brightness Control (ABC), which adjusts screen brightness relative to room brightness to drastically reduce power consumption. A home completely equipped with ENERGY STAR certified televisions and set-top boxes as well as a Blu-ray player and a sound system can save more than $140 over the life of the products.

3. Wireless speakers
These versatile speakers are in demand by audiophiles because they’re as great in the home as they are on the go. Plus, some wireless speakers are now multipurpose—they come with a built-in USB charging port that lets them power up a mobile device. And those with the ENERGY STAR stamp use 44 percent less juice without sacrificing functionality or sound quality.

4. Sound bars
Those skinny loudspeakers for your media system are the hottest gifts going—and those that are ENERGY STAR certified use some 70 percent less power than their conventional counterparts. Thanks to these sleek accessories, viewers can now enjoy surround sound with fewer speakers—and less extra energy use. Sound bars also have volume-leveling technology to ensure that those pesky commercials aren’t louder than the shows you love. A supersonic capability that holds down your impact on the environment? That really sounds good!

5. Digital media player
Folks love to use their digital media player (DMP) to stream their favorite shows and movies—or even listen to music, look at photos, or indulge in a little gaming—from their phone or tablet to the largest screen they’ve got, especially when it’s cold outside. So why not give an ENERGY STAR certified DMP that’s around 44 percent more efficient than standard versions? Some even deliver crisp picture quality that’s comparable to today’s 4K TVs. Plus, ENERGY STAR models often have a lower-power sleep mode. With this feature, if users really want to maximize savings, they can simply shorten the time it takes for the unit to go inactive.

6. Laptops or computers 
If some lucky person on your gift list is going to score a new laptop or desktop computer, be sure it’s a model that has earned the ENERGY STAR. These products are engineered with more efficient power supplies, so the computer will consume 60 percent less energy while the user still enjoys top quality and performance. If the proud owners of this new tech make smart use of power management features—for example, if they simply put the computer to sleep when it’s idle—they can save nearly $160 in energy savings over the life of the device. Just think! If all computers sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, we’d prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from 1.2 million vehicles. Ho-ho-whoa!

7. LED lights
When holiday shopping includes decorations, make your next set of string lights ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR. These celebratory staples not only use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, they can also last up to 10 times longer—so you can help save the planet by wasting less juice and keeping dead strings of lights out of landfills.

But LED bulbs go far beyond seasonal décor of string lights. ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs make great stocking stuffers and, at about 2 bucks a pop, they also give back to you. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and they make great eco-conscious stocking stuffers for people of all ages. Even better, ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs are a gift that keeps on giving: Each bulb uses about 70 to 90 percent less energy and lasts 15 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, saving about $80. Plus, some of the new smart LED bulbs available that have earned the ENERGY STAR will really make cool gifts and brighten the holidays for sure!

8. Air purifiers
Nothing says you care like clean air—but with continuous use, a clunky old air purifier can suck up as much energy as a fridge! When shopping for an ENERGY STAR certified unit for someone you love, bear in mind that the higher the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), the quicker the air will be filtered. Also, be sure to purchase a unit that’s properly sized for the room it will be operating in. Any new ENERGY STAR certified air purifier you give will be 40 percent more efficient than standard versions and save the user some $220 over the model’s lifetime.

For more information about these and other best gifts that do great things, visit energystar.gov/holiday.

 

The Best EnergyStar Electronics to Give This Holiday Season

Photo: energystar.gov

This article has been brought to you by ENERGY STAR.




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