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Valentine's Day 2007 Buyer's Guide

Charade Stainless Steel 800x800 LED Shower

The Charade stainless steel 800x800 LED shower includes light-emitting diodes all right, but there are only 20 of them built into this device. And although the shower head features 156 needle jets and nozzles in all, we're still not exactly sure where the 800x designation originates. This stylish design comes from Italian plumbing fixture maker Fornara & Maulini, for whom this shower head epitomizes the company's ongoing to efforts to recreate "the state of the art shower."

This large rectangular shower head features gleaming LEDs and hundreds of needle jets.

The combination of high-tech and high-clean isn't one you encounter very often, which lends considerable novelty and cachet to this shower head. Our only regret is that the LEDs aren't programmed to pulsate in pleasing patterns, but I guess you can't have everything. Nevertheless, those looking for some style as well as serious water output from a shower head could do a lot worse than to pick up this offering.

There's a multi-function keyboard to control the jets in the shower head, which feature anti-scale face nozzles made of transparent silicone, chosen specifically for their long-lasting characteristics and soft touch - the vendor even says that the jets can easily be unclogged simply by squeezing them between your fingers. The shower head has also been designed to be environmentally friendly, producing a "pleasurable enveloping effect" even in low pressure conditions (0.5 to 1.0 bars of water pressure). The LEDs are likewise chosen for long-life: they are rated at 90,000 hours, so they should outlast most of their human users, while continuing to emit a soft blue light designed to create an effect like blue rain.

Those interested in this high-tech, high-touch shower head would do very well to read the company's 44-page brochure on the Charade units. On page 14 you can see a couple showering beneath this sizable plumbing fixture, which will give you a sense of how massive it really is: the unit weighs over 60 pounds when it's bone dry, and over 90 pounds when filled with water! We can't find a price on this particular goodie, but we're pretty sure it's well into the hundreds of dollars, perhaps even more. But as a way to get a great shower, or even to share a shower with your honey, this particular shower head is hard to beat!