LED lighting technology was the game-changing lighting technology a few years back. As with anything new, the price was high and quality wasn’t consistent with our expectations – at first. Over time, this technology improved and is now the primary bulb used in homes today. And for good reason.
LED bulbs are much more efficient than the fluorescent and halogen bulbs they replaced, and they last a really long time. Tom’s Guide, a technology focused website and publication, stated, “[…] an LED bulb’s lifespan is practically infinite. Manufacturers typically estimate a bulb’s lifespan based on three hours of use per day. By that measurement, an LED bulb will be as good as new for at least a decade, manufacturers say. Under the same conditions, an old-fashioned lightbulb may work for only about a year before burning out.”
But, because we are always looking for the next best thing – there are NEW lighting technologies to make LED lighting better, cooler, and SMARTER.
“LEDs in use today have been credited with […] a savings of $1.4 billion in energy costs,” according to Critical Electric Systems Group (CESG). But savings are just the beginning for this lighting technology. The next innovation for LED gives it the intelligence for use within smart homes.
Smart LED bulbs are joining the Internet of Things (IoT) party; they can be controlled by a smart device and connect to smart home hubs. Here are some of the smart lighting technologies on the market today:
BeON bulbs are designed to amp up the security in your home through lighting techniques and formats. It aims to scare away any unwanted guests, provide lighting in a power outage, and turn on the lights when you need them most – like those ten seconds from when you switch off the light and jump into bed, when smoke alarms go off, and to welcome you home. All of the programming and monitoring can happen wherever you are, right from the app.
Made up of bulbs, a bridge, an app, and a starter kit – Philips Hue systems enable you to a) control your lights, b) customize your lights based on your routines, and/or c) play with color and sync your lights with music, movies or games. Here’s one of the product options to give you a taste:
Stack lighting technologies are responsive – to the natural light, to the time of day, to the activity. With these bulbs you can probably expect to see improvements in efficiency, cost and overall life lived in this new light. And as always, you can control your lights right from your smart device; these bulbs also connect to Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and Nest.
Cleverly referred to as the lifebulb, Sengled has a number of LED bulbs for various applications:
Sengled has created three LED bulbs that emit audio and well as light – and both functions can be controlled from your smart device. Turn the lights on and off, turn the volume up and down, change the station, and change the mood. Here is the Sengled Pulse (the bulb that has a built in JBL Bluetooth speaker) in action:
There are also three bulb variations for security; one that serves as a backup light when the power goes out, one with a security camera, and one for motion detection. Check out how Snap, the HD security camera in an LED bulb, works:
Now you can control your lighting from just about anywhere – your smart device or your smart home hubs (i.e. Belkin WeMo, Samsung SmartThings). And, you can extend your WI-FI. I know, I had to see it to believe it, too:
Depending on the features you are buying, individual prices range anywhere from $19.99 to $199.99; you can buy at www.sengled.com, or from Amazon, Home Depot, Target and more.
Echo / WeMo / Nest
Amazon created Echo, Belkin designed WeMo, Samsung has SmartThings, and there is Nest – and the list goes on. These are smart home hubs – which control a slew of smart home technologies, from lights to locks to thermostats. The goal here is to have a central hub for all things smart inside your home. I only mention these systems because they may be able to simplify your smart lighting technologies further – though you need to make sure your lighting technology speaks the same language as your smart home hub. Techies much smarter than me believe we are in the early stages of this technology evolution – so I imagine there will be much more innovation to come in the future!
Soon our whole world will be connected, and controllable from our phones, watches – and maybe someday our thoughts. But, you don’t have to wait any longer for your homes’ lighting to be connected!