A Heated Bench: An Overdue, Brilliant Idea - OZY | A Modern Media Company


Because heat lamps are just so … ugly. 

By Rachel Levin

We’ve all been there. At some party, freezing our butts off, vying for standing-room-only space beneath a barely working heat lamp propped up all alone in the middle of the patio. Like a tall, awkward guest whom the host felt obligated to invite.

Tired of these inefficient eyesores, San Francisco inventor-tinkerer Aaron Jones, 33, has come up with a way cooler (and warmer!) alternative: the Helios Lounge, a heated, handmade, 8-foot-long, cast-stone and steel bench that has quickly become the life of the outdoor party. Or garden shop, like Flora Grubb, Helios’ very first customer.

Portrait of Aaron Jones looking towards left of frame while sitting on a white bench in the middle of a greenhouse

Aaron Jones, inventor of the Helios Lounge

Source Laure Joliet

Plug-in ready, with the heating element embedded in the concrete à la heated floors, the Helios warms you, not the air around you. “It feels like sitting in a hot tub, without getting wet,” explains Miranda Jones, Aaron’s sister, who together comprise Galanter & Jones, the company Aaron started to launch what will eventually become an entire line of stylish heated outdoor furniture. 

The Helios Lounge has, so far, graced the patios of only a handful of restaurants, like Bar Agricole, a trendy indoor-outdoor spot in San Francisco. Hotels (calling all Cavallo Points and Post Ranch Inns on the fog-cloaked Northern California coast) and ski resorts (Park City, you are the perfect customer) have yet to catch on. But, oh, when they do, Aaron — a perfectionist and the sole builder — had better be prepared for an onslaught of business.

Plug-in ready, with the heating element embedded in the concrete à la heated floors, the Helios warms you, not the air around you.

As a skier who craves nothing more after a day on the slopes than to be warm while sipping a cold beer in the snow, I say the Helios, heated to a balmy 110 degrees, is the perfect après seat. And at 1500 watts, it draws only as much power as a single hairdryer to boot!

Stylish and functional (and, unfortunately, expensive, at $4,900 apiece), this first-to-market bench is bound to become the go-to accompaniment (or replacement?) for those Adirondack chair-encircled, flickering gas-fire pits that seem to emit as much warmth as a single match.

Disclosure: Miranda Jones, Aaron’s sister, is a friend. But that is not why I’m so excited about the Helios. I just think it’s simply the best thing to come along since the car butt warmer. (My personal guilty pleasure.)


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