Preposterous Product: Faucet Light

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The legend goes that way back when, in 1899, the head of the U.S. Patent Office, Charles H. Duell, said: "Everything that can be invented, has been invented."

Duell never did say such a thing -- he was far more far-thinking than that quote would ever suggest -- as I learned when I researched him years ago for an Entrepreneur article -- but the saying is well known, and it's understandable why people believe that someone must have said it. There are days when it seems like everything that could possibly be invented, already has.

And then you run into a product like the Temperature Controlled Faucet Light. And I'll say right now that just because we're labeling it as a preposterous product, doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it. I do see the value. It's just that I never would have thought in a million years to have come up with a product like this, and yet, once you hear about it, you do kind of wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?"

The Faucet Light is a device that you put over your faucet, and with its temperature gauge, it will tell you -- with the help of a color light -- if your water is cold or hot. And so the temperature-controlled faucet light thus shines a stream of light that changes as the water temperature changes.When the water is flowing and cold, a blue light shines down through the water stream. When the water begins to get warmer, the light stream starts changing from blue to red. When the water is turned off, the light goes off, too. I'm not quite sure what happens if your water happens to be running lukewarm. Maybe the light blows up.

Anyway, it retails for $21.95 and can be found at HogWildToys.com.

Hog Wild president Joe Rooper, who invented the gadget, says that the faucet light can be a safety device for kids or seniors, who may otherwise not realize they're about to be scalded. It also may help kids spend more time brushing their teeth or washing their hands. And just think, if you don't mind some rather ghastly water bills, leave your faucet running from dusk to dawn, and it can be a great night light!

Well, perhaps that's going too far.

Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).
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