The Ultimate Meaningful Gift Guide: Gifts of Efficiency

We have friends and loved ones. This is the joy of the season. We give them gifts. That is the folly of the season.

Do I really want a wreath with gummy bears playing harps on it? Does my partner really crave reindeer boxers - from my mother? Truth is, not so much. (Sorry Aunt Jean, we didn't know the harps were made of cinnamon bark, or we would have saved them for mulling. Honest).

The Energy Circle team recently got together and thought about gifts. We decided that this year, we will give gifts that hold meaning long after December is a distant blur of crinkled up paper, enhanced paunches and diminished bank accounts.

We welcome you to do the same. Give gifts that honor the very best of this sometimes chaotic season. Give the promise of a brighter future and thicker pockets. Give energy efficient gifts. 

To help you along, here are our top picks:


Give the gift of wisdom: The LightWedge LED Paperback Book Light. $29.95
Give the gift that says, "Just because I fall asleep first doesn't mean I love you less..." The LightWedge book light shines light where you need it - and doesn't light up the whole neighborhood in the process.  Give your kids the ability (well, the light, anyway) to quietly read Aristotle in the back seat rather than screaming or playing video games. You'll be giving the planet a break, by giving exactly the light that's needed. Doesn't that feel good?



Give the gift of adventure: The Brunton L1 LED Headlamp. $79.95
Because LED lights are the most efficient, long lasting light sources ever devised by mankind.  For the adventurer in your family - nothing says "I love you" like a tool that will help keep her safe in the most far-flung, wacked out situations.  Just like your loved one, the Brunton L1 LED Headlamp won't be a fair weather friend or a summer soldier, and it won't sputter out when you need it most. 8 days on 4 batteries? That's stamina, folks. There's more: check out all of our headlamps and energy efficient portable lights.



Give the gift of knowledge: TED The Energy Detective. $144.95 Special price: $119.00
Some of our friends need to know... everything. TED, The Energy Detective, is a power monitor that gives the latent detective in each of us all the information we need to scope out what's happening in our houses, cut back on our household's energy use and save money... and not just a little bit. In fact, giving someone you love an electricity monitor is like giving a cool gift AND money. Want a dizzying array of power monitor choices? Click here.



Give the gift of light: The Good Earth Glencoe Lamp $48.50,
and The TCP Floor Lamp $79.00 This is, after all, the season of light. Give gifts that carry lasting light into the dark months ahead. We couldn't choose between these two elegant energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps, but we bet you can. Giving light means transforming a space.  Each of these planet-sustaining, money-saving alternatives to incandescent waste will bring a smile to the face of anyone dreaming about home - sweet - home... and earth. Both, naturally, come equipped with energy saving light bulbs.  For even more options, visit our energy saving lamp store.



Give the gift of love... and joy: The Danze Victorian Showerhead$55.00
Not sure how a low flow showerhead leads to love. Really? Then you have not yet experienced the luxurious flow of the Danze shower head. Do so. You'll find that low-flow means plenty of water for two. And then... non-sequiter? Plenty of water for the off-spring of those two, too.  Give the gift that gives the planet a break, leaves your bank account in tact, and conserves the resources on the big blue sphere we all call home.  Now that... is the spirit of giving! See our full line of water saving products for more gift ideas.

Give the gift of heat: The Vornado Vortex. $199.99 Special price: $187.00
You know how some people get you heated up in all the right places? Well, that's what this energy efficient space heater does. Give a Vornado Vortex space heater to someone who deserves to feel good all over. Actually, yes, that does include you. Sure, go ahead and buy a Vornado for yourself. Bring this energy efficent space heater home. Nary a chance you'll regret it.



Give the gift of nuanced, lasting light: MaxLite Ellegra LED Desk Lamp, $280.00
Ellegra asks very little (17 watts) and stands by you like a true friend, (for 26 years, at 5 hours a day, to be precise) and through thick and thin. This LED lamp brings the most advanced lighting technology, the highest quality light available, and impeccable design to the place many of us spend our time: at our desks.  Give the Ellegra desk lamp to the sophisticated hard working light of your life, who deserves far better than a fluorescent blur in the workspace.


Give the gift of control: The BITS Smart Strip Power Strip. $41.95 Special price: $39.95
Let other givers provide the toys that burn up energy. The thoughtful giver provides relief. In this case, in the form of quiet, methodical slaying of vampires. The BITS Smart Strip is a gift that will pay dividends throughout the year, as your friends and loved ones save on utility bills.  The BITS surge strip is brilliant: plug your computer or TV into the blue "control" outlet, and other electronic devices (printer, monitor, DVD player, Wii, etc) into the white outlets.  When you turn the TV or computer on, the other devices automatically power up.  Turn the control device off, and the other devices (what we might call energy vampires) power down.  If you don't want a monthly "Thank you, we saved $10.00 again this month" note, tell them up front.  See all of our power strips here


Give Peace: The Leviton Programmable Timer. The gift that says: "Go on now... get out. Leave the house to Leviton..." Everything will be just fine... Give your friends a gift that will lighten their psychological baggage, when they leave for vacation... the Leviton programmable timer. It's about as close to a butler watching over the house as you can get. The Leviton programmable electronic timer switch turns on and off both lights and appliances. The programmable switch accomplishes this feat if somebody is home...or not.  As your friends board the plane for Bora Bora... the CD player clicks on... followed by the dining room lights... a veritable frenzy of household occupation... or not!

See our full line of controls, timers and switches for more gift ideas.

Oh, no. We did NOT just put a price on peace. Wait. Here it is: The Leviton Timer: $58.50 Special price: $53.00.




Give the gift of giddy-good light in the right places with Sylvania DOT-its $10.75

These handy, long-lasting ultra-bright lights will be snapped up and put into use the moment they are unwrapped. Light-weight and easy to attach, unattach, and re-attach without injuring surfaces, DOT-its will be called into service for every dark corner (and cupboard) in the house. Kids love DOT-its at their bedsides. A quick tap, and the room is bright enough to read an extra few pages of a favorite book ... or to make a late-night tip toe to the hall to listen for hooves...


 Give the planet a break without losing a second of a game time with Rayovac rechargeable batteries. $12.00 (4 pack)

A battery pack in the stocking means there's something way fun under the tree. Rechargeable batteries in the stocking mean somebody knows that you can be a planet-saver without being a fun sponge! Be lord of beep and goddess of the flash... but leave the landfills for someone else. These batteries will take a charge whether drained or not. So go on. Rock a stocking, and let the games begin!


Give the gift of endless play time with the Rayovac rechargeable battery charger. $23.50

The first reason you want to buy the Rayovac rechargeable battery charger is because it (ahem) charges all of your batteries. The second reason? It fills, like, the entire stocking! Love that. A little tube of chapstick and a pull-back racing car and you are set. Done. Hot diggity. And look.. the earth is doing a grateful little spin dance, too!


Give the gift of get up and go! The Freeplay Kito Flashlight is ready for fun every time they reach for it! $22.00

Break the rule that stocking stuffers never last. Kito won't wear out even after 10,000 cranks. It's versatile, durable, and will give strong light for an hour after just 60 seconds spent whirling around its ergonomic handle. Compact and clever, just the way a thoughtful stuffer should be. 

Give freedom from stumbling! with the Philips Spot On $15.50   Special price: $14.00

One of our biggest sellers, this hot item lights up your corner of the world just when you need it most. Handy, bright, and ridiculously long lasting, this motion sensor light is a good gift for anyone who gets up in the night or reaches into a closet. Can you think of anyone?



Give the gift of a healthy house.  Sound like a tall order? The Aube ThermoHygro thermometer will deliver. $20.00

Honestly - this is one little tool that does practically everything. The Aube TE 513 ThermoHygro Thermometer/Hygrometer displays indoor temperature and relative humidity, enabling you to determine whether moisture may be an issue leading to mold or mildew, or dry air warrants a humidifier. It keeps low temperature and high humidity readings in memory and can either be mounted on a wall or set on a table. Let them unwrap a healthy house! 



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