Sun Petal shading system keeps the sun out of the house, lowers A/C bills

In the summertime, the only way to stay cool is with the A/C. However, energy costs run high and, sometimes, the A/C has be switched off in order to save money. Some rooms just can’t keep cool without central air because they get too much sunlight.

Sun Petal is a modular shading system that aims to combat this. This shading system can be mounted over a number of different-sized windows. Its lattice design keeps direct sunlight out of the house. This way, those rooms that get sun all day will remain cool. The shade itself is white and attaches to the side of the house. It’s designed to withstand high winds. In addition, Sun Petal can be left up all year round because its design allows rain and snow to pass through.

The campaign claims that installation is easy. However, it doesn’t really go into detail about what’s involved in that process. The campaign also shows photos of Sun Petal at work, but each features a house with traditional siding. Is Sun Petal compatible with stucco or brick houses? A question the campaign may like to address.

Despite the confusion about installation, this product is certainly a neat one. Many awnings that exist now really can’t be used during inclement weather. While Sun Petal can’t be retracted, a definite drawback, it still has many uses as there’s always one room in the house that simply gets too much sun. For their very own, backers must donate $199 for an estimated delivery month of July 2015. Sun Petal is hoping to raise a ridiculous $750,000 on Kickstarter.

Home Lighting

Shade light switch auto-dims lights, smartens smart bulbs

The lighting in any home can make or break a room. It’s best to have lots of light so as not to be left in the dark, but have the ability to dim those lights for dinner or intimate time with a spouse. However, constantly running to the light switch to adjust these levels isn’t very smooth.

Shade is a smart lighting system that adjusts light automatically. It will brighten or dim any room based on sunlight. With photocells, this product detects sunlight and brightens or dims accordingly. In addition, it uses Wi-Fi to allow for scheduling, remote control and geolocation settings. However, as Shade is used more and more, the product will learn common habits and adjust the lights to match them. For instance, if brighter light is desired on weeknights, Shade will customize itself to such a preference.

Unlike other smart light switches, Shade doesn’t require a smartphone to turn lights on. It uses a physical on/off switch. This is because the folks at Shade believe such a tool is much easier to use than having to get out the phone, a good thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the technology of it all without recognizing that sometimes the old ways work better.

Shade will definitely make a great addition to any home. For offices, however, it may not work as well. Workers need bright light to see whether the sun is high in the sky or not. Still, it’s great for setting the mood for dinner. Unfortunately, backers much purchase one light switch at a time, so rigging the whole house may prove costly. For one switch, Shade is asking for an $88 donation with estimated delivery in July 2015. This product is looking to raise an ambitious $125,000 on Kickstarter.


Visor Twin flips out to turn drivers, passengers into shady characters

There are days when the angle of the sun is just perfect for causing drivers the visual obstruction that can cause accidents. That’s when having a front and side visor such as Visor Twin can be a great travel benefit. Visor Twin clips to the car’s existing visor and can be positioned to swing to the front while the existing visor swings to the side. That particular feature really sets it apart from other products that just extend horizontally or vertically. It can be an extra sun visor for front and side coverage.

This is a nice idea as long as the concern is just diminishing the visual strain from the angle of the sun. Existing car visors are going to cause a partial visual blockage whether they are used with the windshield or to the side, because side usage blocks periphery and a portion of the side visual field. However, the product seems like it could be worth looking into further if designed well. This campaign seeks to raise $58,000 by January 10, 2015. Early bird backers get one product for $29, with an expected delivery of March 2015.


Bungalow Beach Chair goes for that hammock feel, integrates towel and sun shade

Lounging at the beach is easily one of the most relaxing activities that summer has to offer. Unfortunately, lugging all the stuff you need to do so is one of the least relaxing activities. Muling this stuff to the beach also has the added perk of having to walk across sand to get to your spot.

The Bungalow Beach Chair hopes to make all of this easier by combining a few essential beach items in one. This takes a beach chair, towel, and shade and puts them all in an attached carrying bag for an easier time. The chair is designed with metal framing and the towel provides support for your body. According to the creators, sitting in the chair is much like sitting in a hammock, with your upper body suspended and your bottom and legs resting on the ground.

While the idea of an all-in-one beach chair is certainly useful, it’s a little annoying to have to either sit on your towel wet, or stand up while drying yourself off. Most beach goers will probably opt to take an extra towel with them if they plan to get wet. In addition, Bungalow could add some pockets to their product to store things like books, phones and sunscreen. Still, this is a convenient idea and the added perk of shade makes it stand apart from similar products. One will cost backers $60 for estimated delivery in March 2015. Bungalow Beach Chair hopes to raise $6,000 on Kickstarter.


Rapid Hut offers shelter nearly anywhere

Talk about having it made in the shade with cool lemonade! Here is a product that not only allows the user to make their own shade, but, if the weather turns wet, it also keeps the user relatively dry. Rapid Hut is a temporary shelter that is easily erected, doesn’t require any tools for set up, folds up for easy transport, and can be anchored to the ground when it’s windy outside. It also has a couple of windows on either side to help with air-flow on those hot sunny days, and the windows double as drink holders. This looks like a great item to have for picnicking, camping, and watching many outdoor events. One downside is that it only fits two averaged-sized adults, so friends and family will have to get their own. For $275, backers get one product with some free stuff. Expected delivery is November 2014.


Twisty Tint offers sun shade, with a twist

The Premise. People use window shades in cars to block out the sun. They’re great for protecting kids who can’t really move in their car seats or for long road trips where sun exposure in the car is a problem. If the shade is no longer needed, however, one must manually remove it to get their view back.

The Product. Twisty Tint is a window shade with options. It adheres to the car’s window and looks much like a porthole on a ship. By simply rotating the outside of the shade, you can adjust the amount of sun that’s let into the car. For really bright days you can block it out altogether. If you want to see what’s going on outside again, just twist it until the shade becomes clear.

The Pitch. Featuring the creator’s son, Twisty Tint’s campaign video shows just how easy the product is to use. It also goes into the details of how the product works using polarization technology. The remainder of the campaign even features a testimonial from an ophthalmologist praises the sun protection that Twisty Tint offers. This product hopes to raise $29,000 on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For $46, backers can pre-order the first generation Twisty Tint. At the $81 level, backers will receive two Twisty Tints. Reward tiers go up to $304 with estimated delivery set for August 2015.

The Potential. Twisty Tint definitely adds new flavor to the window shade market. Many other window shades are available on the market and some don’t have the convenience of an easy switch out. Others, however, make it possible to use or remove the shade. Many new luxury cars nowadays even come with built-in shades that roll up and down for sun protection. However, Twisty Tint is great because it can be used in multiple vehicles and it’s also fun for kids. The only downside is that the shade it provides isn’t that big as the product is quite small. Still, for those looking to stay out of the sun, it’s a great option for versatility in sun protection.


Coolcabana covers multiple terrains so you have it made in the shade

The Premise. Outdoor activities are always hankered by the sunlight. While sunny days are desirable, too much vitamin D can result in burns and headaches. Most opt for expensive tents or flimsy umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun, but neither of these options are ideal.

The Product. CoolCabanas is a foldable tent perfect for the outdoors. It’s a simple, four-legged design with white material to reflect the sunlight and a pole in the middle. With a bag for carrying around, the tent folds up easily for maximum portability. Its versatile design makes it perfect for using on the sand or grass.

The Pitch. CoolCabanas’s campaign video shows the product being assembled and disassembled easily. In addition, the video explains that CoolCabanas has already had a successful Kickstarter campaign. The product’s creator says that he’d really like backers to make a pledge and couldn’t be more straightforward on that point. This Australian product is hoping to raise $2,560 AUD on Kickstarter for success.

The Perks. Early backers will receive the CoolCabanas for $99 AUD with a regular price of $109 AUD. Higher tiers offer multiple packs of the product up to 8 for $699 AUD. Estimated delivery is set for December 2014, perfect for Aussies enjoying the summer, but not quite so for Americans stuck in the winter.

The Potential. CoolCabanas doesn’t necessarily do anything new with the notion of an outdoor tent. Its assembly looks easy enough and it has pockets for phones, wallets, and other accessories. We’ve seen other tents for the beach, such as the Neso Tent, which boast stability as well. It would be great if CoolCabanas could tilt so that it’s not just useful for shade around noontime. Still, it has a simple design and CoolCabanas is versatile in terms of where it can be used. All in all, not a bad option for someone looking for this time of outdoor accoutrement.


No More Umbrella Stand won’t get upturned

No More Umbrella StandThis product seems to have more of a commercial focus than a residential one, but it does have some potential for both markets. No More Umbrella Stand can be anchored directly to the ground, which may actually make for a safer umbrella product. It’s not clear if the mounts are removable  and can then be remounted in another location, but it does appear to offer a good source of shade in settings such as patios, outdoor retail events, some spectator sporting events, and camping to name a few. For $100 CAD backers get one product with an expected delivery of February 2015.


PractiGOAL converts from part of soccer to solar blocker

PractiGOALSoccer is a great sport that is enjoyed by many all over the world. However, running around on a piping hot field can get pretty sweaty. The PractiGOAL is a typical soccer goal that converts easily into a shady spot for players and parents alike. This 65 lb heavyweight goal comes with seats to rest out of the sun. It is made out of aluminum and folds up for portability. One of these goal/shades will set backers back a whopping $400 for delivery in February 2015. PractiGOAL is looking to raise $35,000 in its 45-day run on Kickstarter.


Swift Shade is made to block sun, snow, ice, thieves

Swift ShadeWhen a vehicle owner is out and about on a hot day, parking in a garage is not always an option. And in the dead of winter, digging out a vehicle and deicing it is an inconvenience that can take a terribly long time. Swift Shade offers a solution for both situations. In the summer, it can lower the temperature inside the vehicle 50-90 degrees. In the winter, it blocks snow and ice from gathering on windows. The wraparound product also has a built in alarm for deterring theft. For $200, backers get one product designed for a standard truck, or $400 for customization. Expected delivery is August 2014.