We have trouble effectively monitoring our energy usage. We never know how much we've used until we get the bill at the end of the month from our landlords -- then we compare it to previous bills. By that point, it's usually too late and too difficult to deduce why one month's bill is higher than another's.
That's why we like this lamp -- turned upside down (which is how it charges) it looks like a plant (or a mushroom from Nintendo's Super Mario Bros.) and flipped right side up it does more than just light up a room.
The Solar Spark Lamp by Beverly Ng is set in a window (upside down) to charge all day. At night it is flipped right side up -- then, it establishes a wifi internet connection, gathers data on your home energy usage, and glows a soft green, yellow, or red depending on how much you've been using that month.
It's an attractive way to keep tabs on energy usage and might be just enough of a reminder to help us keep our bills down.
Get all the details at Inhabitat.