After a long run in Miami’s blistering summer heat, there were few things I enjoyed more than stepping into a cold shower. That was a long time ago, though. I live in Chicago now, and the aches and pains I have now are less from things like “running” or “cycling” and more form things like “sitting weird” or “bending down wrong,” and there are few things I enjoy more than stepping into a hot, relaxing shower. It’s a bit decadent, I know, but I tend to get lost in thought a bit and end up using a few minutes more water than I know I should. I don’t think I’m alone in that, and neither does Uji, the maker of a clever new LED shower head that’s designed to help you enjoy your showers, guilt-free.
The Uji LED shower head turns on a bright blue when you turn on the water. After a while, the LED light slowly shifts from blue to green to yellow to red. If you don’t get the hint, the light shifts to what I’ll scientifically refer to as “angry red” on its way to “really, NOW is time to get out ANGRY red” in a fairly smooth progression that you can see for yourself, below …
It takes about 7 minutes for the light to go from blue to “full red,” but the Uji doesn’t shut off water or turn it cold or anything like that. “The idea is more that it simply serves as a way of making them realize how much time is passing,” according to the report on NPR.
According to the Uji’s inventors, the system works well enough to cut shower times by 12%, significantly cutting back on water use and heating bills. Those savings add up to about $85/year in a typical American home, and much more in places like Hawaii or in a university/dorm setting. Not bad for an LED shower head that’s set to retail for under $50.