2 Brilliant Home Innovations that Make Life Easier

Low-maintenance? ...Check

Control? ...Check

'Wow' Factor? ...Check

The latest innovations for home promise to not only make your life easier and look cool, they also happen to tread lightly on the environment and also save you money.  First adopters know that buying into the latest innovations may come at a cost, but these developments in LED lighting are low risk and solar roofing solutions are looking better than ever!

Sustainable? ...Check

Pay Off? ...Check

LED Lighting

A bulb that lasts 20+ years, can be dimmed, integrated with home automation systems, and literally looks like a GEM!  At only $20, the Nanoleaf Gem pays itself off in cool factor alone, and (Bonus!) energy savings for pay-offs at record speed.

"We don't believe that people should have to compromise style to save the planet. With our products, you can live in style and saving the planet just happens naturally in the background."

Gimmy Chu

, CEO + Co-Founder Nanoleaf

If we needed to convince you any further that energy savings don't mean sacrificing beauty, just look at this decorative Hammerton Studio chandelier.  The 12-Gem Bezel Ring offers an integrated LED electrical solution that debunks the argument that technology can't be glamourous.  LEDs are the rock-solid future, friends!

Solar Energy

Old arguments against solar panels: ugly, expensive, low energy-yields, minimal sun exposure and capture, slow pay-off of initial costs - they're all being crushed.  Capturing solar power, especially in Michigan, is gaining momentum and measurable results.  Technology and energy-yields are improving, costs are falling, research and development are reducing maintenance and lifespan.

Large companies like GM, Walmart, and Ikea are adding solar panels to their buildings in Detroit and across the country.  DTE is launching a new pilot program for homeowners who want to invest in DTE-owned wind and solar farms at roughly $5/mo.  DTE customers will be able to receive some of their electricity from the Pinnebog Wind Project in Huron County and three solar farms in Detroit and Lapeer.  As solar technology develops, it makes more and more sense to tap into one of our most reliable renewable natural energy resources, with a life expectancy of another 5 billion years, THE SUN.


Michigan Solar

Facts on the Michigan Solar Industry from the SEIA Solar Energy Industries Association

  • There are currently more than 196 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Michigan, employing 2,779 people.
  • In 2015, Michigan installed 5 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 33rd nationally. Installed solar capacity in Michigan has grown by 65% over the last year. 
  • In 2015, $12 million was invested on solar installations in Michigan.   
  • The 25 MW of solar energy currently installed in Michigan ranks the state 34th in the country in installed solar capacity.  There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 4,000 homes.
  • Over the next five years, Michigan is expected to install 387 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking the state 28th over that time span. This amount is more than 24 times the amount of solar installed over the last five years.
  • Installed solar PV system prices in the U.S. have dropped steadily- by 12% from last year and 66% from 2010. 


One exciting new innovation in capturing solar energy, is what Time magazine called one of the best inventions of 2016: Tesla's soon-to-be-released Solar Roof.  Though official roll-out isn't expected until this summer, firm costs have not been released, and questions remain to be addressed such as the glass tile's scratch-resistance, Tesla is working to posture itself as a viable competitor to traditional roofing.  Tesla is not the first to come up with solar roofing products, but they are the first to design a product that appears to have the most aesthetic merit and technological potential.  With their recent merge with Solar City and official name change last week from Tesla Motors to Tesla Inc., (and despite their high ambitions to also multiply their electric car production in the next couple years) we can expect to see Tesla's future as more than just a car.

Join the Waiting List...

People spend a lot of time trying to create an attractive home,” said Andy Ogden, chairman of the industrial design graduate program at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. “They don’t want funny glass boxes stuck on one side of their roof.”

Making solar roofs more attractive “increases the number of people who will install solar,” he said.

LA Times, 10/28/2016 Elon Musk wants to sell people solar roofs that look great. Here's his much anticipated design - Ivan Penn and Russ Mitchell

For a word from Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., on Solar Roofs - here's the longer, yet simple explanation of the product:

In a word, making updates and improvements to your home or business for greater control, lower maintenance, or simply for visual impact, doesn't mean you have to rule-out sustainable solutions.  The more we can bring interior design to our clients that meets triple-bottom line values (economic, social, and environmental) without trading beauty, affordability, or simplicity, the better we can deliver interiors that make a lasting impression.  Be it new forms of LED lighting, solar roofing, bio-ethanol fireplaces or glowing concrete, when the application is right, sustainable is smarter from every angle.

Need some help getting your interior design project going? Hiring a professional like the interior designers at Jennifer Butler Interior Design is a great place to start. We can help you bring definition to your ideas for your home, office, business, new construction, renovation or remodel.  This frees you to focus on your family, your work, your travel and recreation while our experts take care of the design and implementation.  You'll have full control of the finished project as a result of our streamlined recommendation and approval process.  Rest assured that our designers will create interiors that realize your vision for spaces that meet your lifestyle and workstyle needs and visually reflect your design style.  Sign up for inspiration.  Contact us to get started.  We'd love to hear about what you are dreaming about.