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Sun-believable

Imagine a day when your electric car can charge itself from the solar ink painted across its roof. Or the day centerlines on the highway are lit by solar light that has been stored in the paint. Dramatic changes are taking place with solar technology, which is why this week’s trend is solar-powered products.

Green energy is the source of constant hype and will only get stronger as solar energy prices continue to drop. What follows is a very short list of fascinating products to ponder for your next “green” meeting. One is on the breaking edge of going to market while others are in full consumer mode, to much applause.   

Solar paint

Nano Solar Paint is versatile and can be applied to just about any surface in one coat and without special equipment. The greenest of homes already have solar panels on their roofs, but soon there may be a simpler way to harvest solar energy thanks to researchers at the University of Notre Dame who invented a paint that absorbs the sun’s energy and transfers it inside.

Solar-powered masonry

Easy to install and designed to be strong enough to support a car’s weight, the brick lighting could be used for a hotel entrance, pathway, pool deck or parking lot. Unlike traditional landscape lights, the brick inlays are flat and were designed to absorb pressures from high-traffic areas. No wiring is required, and the result is at least eight hours of cost-free lighting.

Solar-powered masonry
Solar-powered masonry

Eco-friendly gravel

Does this sound like something out of a sci-fi movie? Of course it does, which may be one of the reasons it’s making a name for itself! Although the gravel and pebbles have the potential of being borderline tacky, the products are eco-friendly, non-radioactive and non-toxic, and could easily work as a design element. (Possibly a clear vase filled with luminescent pebbles at your entry or poolside.) No electricity or wires are necessary — just 10 to 20 minutes of exposure to daylight and the afterglow will last 10 to 12 hours for 20 years! 

Eco-friendly gravel
Eco-friendly gravel

Solar-powered concerts

Ideal for properties interested in offering outdoor fitness classes or spa services, Sun Boxes are ambient sound systems equipped with solar-powered technology. The guitar notes from each box are constantly changing, playing a different Zen-like loop — perfect for an outdoor yoga class.

Solar-powered concerts
Solar-powered concerts
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