h'Geek House' teachesabout technology
Smart-home technology could be as close as your personal computer.
Barry and Marcia Press help the computer-savvy turn their PCs into home-automation hubs in "Geek House: 10 Hardware Hacking Projects For Around Home." The book shows readers how to configure their computers for such tasks as monitoring home security, turning down the TV when the phone rings, automating sprinklers, creating inventories of household items and even controlling the temperature on a barbecue. The projects require varying degrees of computer, electronic and construction knowledge.
"Geek House" is published by Wiley Publishing and sells for $29.99 in softcover.
BeautyWraps makebetter bathroom fixture
Lighting experts will tell you overhead lighting alone is an unflattering kind of bathroom lighting. The light casts shadows that accentuate flaws.
Yet most bathrooms have an electrical box that's located -- you guessed it -- right over the mirror.
Cleveland's Kichler Lighting has come up with a solution that doesn't require costly rewiring. The company has introduced BeautyWraps, light fixtures that mount above the mirror but have pendant lights that hang down from both sides. The fixtures come in three finishes and two styles and have a suggested retail price of $273.
Kichler products are available at lighting showrooms. To find a nearby retailer, go to www.kichler.com or call (800) 659-9000.
New LED lantern
Great for camping, boating or backyard entertaining, Zelco's battery-powered LED lantern can light the night for more than 25 continuous hours. For more information, visit www.zelco.com.
Powerful power strip
Make a design statement with the Plugmold Tough power strip with diamond-plate exterior. The 48-inch-long Plugmold brings 10 outlets to any location and mounts quickly. About $49.95 at Lowe's, Ace Hardware, The Home Depot and True Value.
Flip mattress to keep itfresh and long-lasting
The really thorough spring cleaners among us flip their mattresses this time of year because a mattress that's been well cared for should last eight to 10 years, according to the Alexandria, Va.-based Better Sleep Council.
Turn the mattress over and end-to-end regularly to even out wear. Also important to a long life span: Use a bed frame with center support to prevent mattress sag, forbid any jumping on the bed and use a washable cotton cover to keep it fresh and stain-free.
For more tips visit www.bettersleep.org.