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Bright Idea

Promising longer life, increased efficiency, better color rendition, and superior durability, LED light bulbs are almost certain to increase in popularity. They're already providing the illumination for an increasing number of traffic lights and electric power tools with on-board lighting. Mule Lighting has introduced a line of LED-powered light bulbs as direct replacements for standard incandescent, tungsten-filament bulbs. Available in a range of colors and luminance intensities, the G45 bulbs are said to consume a miserly amount of energy and last 10x longer than an ordinary bulb. They better -- a single G45 sells for $35.


Mule Lighting


New Tile Backer

No customers would be thrilled to find a crack in their new ceramic tile floor. The manufacturers of Crackless Cork Underlayment promise to put an end to stress-cracked tile. The cork-and-rubber composite is said to have good moisture resistance, to work with all varieties of ceramic tiles and grout, and to have a lower installed cost than similar products. The underlayment adheres to the substrate with indoor-outdoor carpet adhesive, bonded with a 100-pound roller. Tile sets directly on top in flexible, thinset mortar. A 3x50-foot roll weighs 29 pounds and costs about 55¢ per square foot.




Screen Saver

Screen door closers can literally be ripped from a doorjamb when a propped-open door is forced closed by a careless occupant or a gust of wind grabs an out-swinging storm door and takes it for a ride. The brightly polished Ultra Jamb Reinforcer is a simple and permanent solution to stripped screws and fractured jambs. The steel rei nforcement plate includes fasteners and a matching closer bracket. The maker claims it works with all storm and screen doors. The best part: It costs only $6.


Structural Protective Products


Window Seeding

Although their popularity had fallen off somewhat, garden windows, once limited to kitchens and bathrooms, are now finding their way into family and dining rooms. The Gardenaire Window's vinyl construction provides greater resistance to a high-humidity growing environment, while the narrow frame allows more visible glass. A unique hardware system automatically locks the window when it's closed. The Gardenaire window is supported by conventional window framing (no cables or knee braces required) and comes in almond and white. Manufacturer's list prices start at $674.


Milgard Windows


Everybody Needs a Buddy Sometime

No matter what the task, it's good to have a buddy to help out. The Work Buddy, a polyethylene jug originally designed as a paint holder, is now being touted as a device for holding nails, fasteners, and small hardware as well. The bright yellow jug holds up to 48 ounces of paint or a plentiful supply of screws or nails. If you use it to carry paint, the jug's neck will hold your paintbrush and keep it from sinking too deep. A sturdy belt hook, reversible for right- or left-handed use, allows you to keep either paint or fasteners close at hand. The Work Buddy sells for about $7.


Damian J Products


Nice Knife

It slices, it dices, and there's no beating a utility knife for job-site versatility. But pocket portability can be a bit too dicey with your typical toolbelt saber. The Superknife packs a razor-sharp utility blade into a slim, anodized aluminum housing that folds into a package one-third the size of a typical utility knife. The good-looking tool makes an excellent gift for anyone on your list with an appreciation for nice gear -- like you. Suggested retail is $25.


RDR Tools


Computer Space Maker

If your customers have asked you to squeeze a little more space into their kitchen for a computer, you might suggest a Nova Retrofit Kit, which allows a monitor to be installed under a counter. The tempered-glass viewing panel and adjustable monitor rack provide a more ergonomic and comfortable angle for seeing the screen. A pullout keyboard rack and optional CPU storage can save even more room in tight workspaces. The Kit's list price starts at about $550; price may vary depending on shipping cost.


Nova Solutions