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IKEA
IKEA

IKEA to Launches Line of Smart Light Bulbs

IKEA
IKEA

Smart lightbulbs are one of the most convenient ways to connect your house to the Internet of Things. Just by screwing in a connected bulb, you can use your phone to turn your lights on or off from afar, dim them, or set them to turn on and off automatically at certain times. They can also be expensive. A Philips Hue controller, for instance, costs $50, not including bulbs; a C by GE starter pack of four bulbs runs for $80; and TP-Link’s WiFi bulbs start at $20. Now, IKEA is joining the smart bulb game.

According to engadget, the Swedish home-goods giant is launching Trådfri, a line of smart LEDs with a dedicated app and remotes. The smart home products will be sold online and in stores in the U.S. and UK starting in April.

The Trådfri starter kit costs about $85 and includes two white bulbs that can be controlled with an app on your phone or by a remote. The bulbs—which can be adjusted to shine either warm or cool white light—run between $20 and $25. A wireless sensor kit will also be available for $30.

Unfortunately, IKEA’s system won't be able to connect the Amazon Echo or Google Home. Considering you can get a WiFi bulb from TP-Link that has an app and Alexa voice-control (and soon, Google Home) without having to pay for a hub, it’s not the absolute cheapest smart home choice, but IKEA’s system will come with features like smart LED panels that can be hung on walls or fit into the doors of IKEA's cabinet systems.

[h/t engadget]

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Courtesy of Studio Segers
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Design
These Unique Benches Are Made From Yogurt Cups and Plastic Bags
Courtesy of Studio Segers
Courtesy of Studio Segers

When sent to a landfill, some plastic waste will sit there for centuries before breaking down. The Belgian design firm Studio Segers has found an alternative use for the plastic containers some people throw away by re-purposing them into innovative outdoor seating. This modular bench spotted by design milk is made from used yogurt cups, butter tubs, and plastic bags and is 100 percent recyclable.

Commissioned by the recycling company ECO-oh!, the H-bench consists of slender, plastic components. They come with or without backrests and are available in dark gray, medium gray, light gray, pastel green, pastel blue, and beige. Snap three of them together and you have a chair. Keep adding pieces to build a snug love-seat or a bench long enough to fit a crowd.

Recycled bench.
Courtesy of Studio Segers

The seat is designed to be customized to suit the user’s taste. Chair backs can face one way or alternating directions; the bench can feature multi-colored stripes or a uniform shade; one side can have seat backs while the opposite end is built for laying down.

The makers didn’t skimp on quality to make their product sustainable: The H-bench is made from plastics called polyolefins, which means it's durable enough to stay strong and vibrant even in harsh outdoor conditions. Get a closer look at the smart design in the video below.

[h/t design milk]

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iStock
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The Elements
Sit Down at a Periodic Table That Holds Samples of Every Element
iStock
iStock

The periodic table maps out the atomic numbers, electron configurations, and chemical properties of all the elements found on Earth (both in nature and in the lab). But have you ever wondered what a traditional periodic table would look like as a physical table? That’s the question Wolfram Research co-founder Theo Gray asked himself years ago, and the wooden Periodic Table Table was his answer.

As you can see in the video below from Reactions, the furniture piece he built at his office looks like something you might find in your dining room, albeit a little more educational. Its surface features dozens of wooden squares, each one etched with the information for a different element. Beneath each wooden panel, there's a compartment that contains a sample of that element from the real world.

Gray’s table includes straightforward examples of the elements, like a jar of mercury and a chunk of bismuth, as well as some more creative entries like an aluminum knee implant. The 2400-plus items in his collection have long since spilled beyond the table and onto his shelves. While many of the objects are stored within the table itself, in some cases, he has too many examples of one element to keep them in the same spot. Some, like the knee implant, are just too bulky to fit. Valuable elements like gold and dangerous items—like a radioactive bottle of the early 20th-century quack-medicine Radithor—are also kept in more secure locations.

Even Gray’s vast inventory reflects just a small slice of how we see the chemical elements manifested in everyday life. For more examples of where you can find elements in the world around you, check out this illustrated table.

[h/t Reactions]

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