Renters, homeowners, and do-it-yourselfers don’t have the time, money, or skills to complete the home improvement tasks on their list. We understand. Fortunately, one of the perks of living in this age of rapid innovation is that technology can easily become a drain on our brains, our guts, and our bank accounts. This year, you can upgrade your living space with an easy-to-install smart showerhead, use drip-free spray paint, or even consider the most compact home water recycling system we’ve ever seen—and that’s just a tip. screw.
Looking for the complete list of 100 winners? Check it out here.
Grand Prize Winner: Smart Water Recycling by Hydraloop: A compact and easy-to-use greywater recycling system
Gray water is the stuff that circulates down your shower and sink drains, and it’s mostly clean, usable H2O that goes straight to trash. Recycling this wastewater is possible, but the systems required are often large, high-maintenance, and complex with piping and valves. Hydraloop founder Arthur Valkizer redesigned existing water purification technology to eliminate filters, making the device smaller and more akin to modern household appliances. When the Hydraloop tank is filled with water, the sediment sinks to the bottom and the light, soapy dirt floats to the top, where it foams up and turns into trash. A stream of air bubbles then grabs the free-floating solids and removes them as well. The gray water then enters an aerobic bioreactor where live bacteria feed on the remaining organic material and sludge. Every four hours thereafter, UV rays disinfect the stored water, killing any remaining bacteria, and the non-potable (but sterile) water is ready to go back into the washing machine, toilet bowl or garden.
GAF Energy’s Timberline Solar Shingles: Roofing and renewable energy in one
Installing traditional rack-mounted solar panels requires drilling into the existing roof, which can lead to leaks and water damage if improperly sealed. GAF Energy’s Timberline solar shingles adhere like conventional asphalt roofs thanks to a flexible thermoplastic polymer backing. Backed by a durable photovoltaic surface, they’ll stand firm in rain, hail, and winds up to 130 mph. Even brighter: These shingles are so eye-catching that you don’t have to choose between spending money on a roof replacement or investing in solar power—you can do both at the same time.
Dremel’s 3-in-1 Digital Laser Measure: Accurately measure uneven surfaces
Anyone who has tried to measure an oddly shaped object knows the struggle of fiddling with an elastic tape, making numerous calculations, or painstakingly determining the length of a string that follows the contours of the part. Dremel’s 3-in-1 Digital Laser Leveler makes this job easy with wheels that you can roll up to 65 feet on any surface. Plus, there’s a one-eighth-inch laser measure and a 5-foot tape measure for all your home measuring needs.
757 PowerHouse by Anker: A durable portable power station
Whether you need portable outdoor power or not Protect your home during a power outage, the lithium iron phosphate cells inside the Anker 757 PowerHouse will keep your device juiced up for over 3,000 cycles. If you charge it to its full 1,500-watt capacity once a day, that means this picnic cooler-sized hub will last more than eight years. It has one car outlet, two USB-C ports, four USB-A connections, and six standard household AC outlets. Bonus: The flat top makes it a sturdy off-the-grid table.
Glidden Max-Flex Spray Paint by PPG: Non-drip spray paint
There are few things more frustrating in DIY than finishing a project, shaking out a can of spray paint, and then your first coat starts dripping all over your masterpiece. Applying a smooth sheen of color takes practice, and PPG seems to understand that not everyone has time to learn the ins and outs of pigment application. The company’s Glidden Max-Flex all-surface paint not only eschews traditional cone-shaped sprays and drips, but also features a unique wide-fan design that dries in minutes. The lacquer-based composition works on wood, glass and metal and has 16 matte shades from “In the Buff” to “Black Elegance”.
Milwaukee’s M18 18V Cordless Tire Inflator: Faster, cooler roadside assistance
Cordless inflators produce a lot of air, but they also generate a lot of heat. This means your pump shuts off after 5 minutes and you have to wait for it to cool down before you can fill up your tires. Milwaukee’s M18 Cordless Tire Inflator pumps out 1.41 standard cubic feet of air per minute, making it the fastest 18-volt cordless tire inflator, but its internal fan will keep it pumping for up to 20 minutes. You probably won’t need to use it for long: It will fill a 33-inch light truck tire in less than a minute.
Smart Shower Head by hai: No plumber needed
Smart shower heads often require skilled professionals to install, and some have components built into the bathroom wall. This is not possible for the everyday home owner. You don’t need any tools or special skills to connect Hai’s smart Bluetooth shower head. Simply unscrew the old head, screw in the new one, connect the app, and you’ll be able to control both temperature and flow instantly. Use the adjustable spray slider on the head to switch from a high-pressure stream to a light mist and select your desired heat level from the app. Plus, adjustable LED lights save water and let you know when you’ve reached your self-set limit.