Remote Controlled Power Outlets: How to Switch On the Twinkle Lights Without Knocking Over the Christmas Tree
Filed under: Electrical, Gadgets, Power and Data Distribution
I made a discovery last night. A bad one. One that could mean the premature demise of my Christmas tree unless otherwise remedied. I can’t plug in/unplug the lights unless I practically climb over and through the tree. That’s twice a night, people, and we’re talking about one of “them balsams” referenced in the Parker-family tree-buying scene in A Christmas Story… the kind that shed their needles like nobody’s business. We’re still nearly 3 weeks out from the Big Day, and I’ve been getting nervous that I’ll have a huge, bald Christmas tree skeleton in the corner of my living room by the time the 25th rolls around.
Needless to say, the old noggin has been working furiously to come up with a solution that doesn’t involve me knocking needles, ornaments and tinsel off the side of my beloved tannenbaum 14 times a week. And by George, I think I’ve got it! Remote-Controlled Power Outlets. Don’t know why I didn’t think of these babies before, but I figured that at least a few of you must be struggling with the same problem, so I wanted to get the word out while there’s still plenty of time.
These remote-controlled outlets are cheap and easy to set up, which is pretty nice considering that most of us tend to be tapped-out on both time and money around this time of year. Here’s how they work: just plug a remote outlet into a standard wall receptacle, and then plug whatever it is you’ll be switching on/off remotely (for me, Christmas lights) into the remote outlet. Then grab the remote control, point, and click. You can even use them outdoors – we’ve gotten great reviews from a few customers who have used the outlets to operate lights and fountains in backyard water features.
Did I mention that they have built-in timers, too? During the holidays or at any other time of the year, the possibilities are endless.
NOTE: This product has been discontinued and is no longer available.
We do offer a similar alternate product – Check out the Tork/NSI 655D Remote-Controlled Indoor/Outdoor Timer
Yeah, I know, grommets are one of the last things that come to mind when you’re talking things that hover. After all, they’re made to fit into things (specifically, cable-routing holes in desks and other furniture), not float above them. But all that is about to change… meet the Raised Metal Grommet.
Okay, so maybe I should clear up one small point. This raised grommet doesn’t actually defy gravity – it just looks like it does. The underlying “plug-in” part of it fits right into desk cutouts that are 2″ or 2.5″ in diameter (it has a “stepped” design, so it fits both sizes), and the rest of it “hovers” above the desk for a really cool, modern effect. The cables that usually pass straight through traditional ring-style grommets travel up through the concealed hole in your desktop or conference, and then emerge from under the hovering top. It’s a winning situation all around – you get a stylish and unique addition to your desktop, and (visually speaking) it completely covers holes, so you have a gap-free work surface.
Another thing that I love about these raised desk grommets is that they depart from the standard black plastic look of the grommets you’re used to, and come in a variety of gorgeous metal finishes instead. You can choose from Satin Nickel, Satin Chrome, Polished Aluminum and Matte Black, so you can really go for any look that you want.
In the meantime, while you’re waiting for your “hover grommet” to arrive, I recommend digging out that old Marty McFly action figure – he’ll look even cooler balanced on top of your new desk accessory than he did on his hoverboard that time he went Back to the Future.
Green is the new black, and these days, it seems like there’s a more environmentally-friendly way of doing everything, from changing lightbulbs and doing laundry to driving and remodeling your home. The list of “greener ways” now even extends to cable management, thanks to one sweet, extremely natural product called the BongoTie™.
If George of the Jungle were ever to design a storage/organizational product, this would pretty much be it. For starters, BongoTies fall somewhere between bungee cords and cable ties, both form and function-wise. Add to that their very organic looks (thanks to natural rubber straps and bamboo toggles), and you have something that’s natural, rugged, and as comfortable bundling climbing ropes and camping gear as it is keeping computer cords and studio cables organized.
But don’t let me get off the subject of BongoTies’ greenness: they’re reusable over and over again, and when you get to the point where you just can’t reuse them anymore, you can toss them in good conscience, thanks to the fact that the natural rubber and bamboo they’re made of are totally biodegradable.
Enough about the looks and overall greenery: you probably want to know how these things work (understandable). BongoTies™ are essentially big, ultra-stretchy (they go from 5″ to 22″) rubber bands that wrap around whatever you need to bundle (cables, sports equipment, hunting/fishing gear) and toggle closed with a button-style bamboo fastener. Super easy. Then, when you’re done with them, just store your BongoTies until another need for them arises (and one will).