Forgive me for being such a kitchen geek, but I did a lot of holiday cooking last week which left my elegant 10-year old faucet and sprayer in a pretty sticky state. I cleaned them immediately, of course, but the hard use left me wishing I a super cool kitchen sensor faucet with a pull down spout. Those were introduced last year by Kohler and by Moen. These faucets also can be operated manually – like any other. But this latest type of “sink jewelry” has impressive and unique features that point toward kitchens of the future. And unlike Dornbracht’s electronic sink video which looked so futuristic in 2011, there is no need to push any buttons or touch anything to turn the water off or on. With a kitchen sensor faucet, just work on your wave.
These faucets have LED sensors. One model lets you pass your hand over the top to turn the water on and off. Another activates or deactivates water near the base of the faucet, or under the neck. Of course, like any conventional faucet, it is necessary to handle it in order to use the pull-down head and access the either the stream or spray settings.
This video from Consumer Reports shows how a no-touch kitchen faucet works.
Kohler’s Sensate requires a power outlet under the sink. It also has a circuit board that remembers the last temperature setting. Additionally, the 26-inch long pull-down nylon sprayer hose locks into place with a magnet, which prevents faucet-head droop over time.
Right now, Sensate seems to have a slight edge on features due to the “innovative sweep,” a flat spray (similar to a garden hose setting) that directs water in a concentrated way.
Moen’s “motionsense” faucet is also a pull-down style with a dual-function spray and stream attached to a 58-inch long nylon sprayer hose. The Moens are powered by 6 AA batteries or an adapter. This Lowe’s video of Moen’s Delaney faucet shows all the basics of their “motionsense” styles. One important note: while the faucet functions at full water pressure when the sensor is activated, owners report a 25% reduction in water pressure when the faucet is operated manually.
Moen offers a kitchen sensor faucet in four of their lines –Arbor, Delaney, Haysfield and Brantford. Each has slightly different finishes and aesthetic details. Otherwise, the basics are the same. Fabulous, no?
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