In a world driven by the Internet of Things, your light bulb is no longer just a light bulb! That’s because smart lighting companies are re-imagining your light bulb as a consumer electronic with some surprising uses.
Reinventing the light bulb
Imagine the best elements of the Nest Learning Thermostat, a timer for your lights and a backup power generator all built into an LED bulb. That’s what the BeON Home Protection System offers.
For $200, you get three LED bulbs, each with a mic, rechargeable battery and BlueTooth. The system will learn your lighting habits (just like the Nest would learn your temperature preferences) and then turn the lights on and off when you’re out of town.
The mic built into the bulb listens for your door bell. Should a potential burglar ring your bell late at night, BeON will turn on the lights in a particular pattern just like you would if you were being roused out of bed. The mic also hears smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and will turn on the lights for you in the event of an emergency.
The battery included in each bulb is a backup for when the AC power goes out. It recharges when the light is back on.
And the BlueTooth, of course, lets the lights communicate with your phone so you can control everything from the palm of your hand!
BeON is just one of several competitors in the market. Sengled is another.
Sengled’s first product, the Pulse, came out about a year ago. It contains a hidden JBL Bluetooth speaker inside of a dimmable LED bulb. So imagine having a light that can be dimmed as it plays soothing music while you drift off to sleep. But the innovation doesn’t stop there! You can also connect Pulse bulbs together to achieve whole house surround sound. ‘There’s really no easier way to get whole home sound than through your light bulb sockets,’ a Sengled representative told Clark at CES 2016.
Sengled has since expanded to offer a full line of smart lighting products. They have a Wi-Fi extender inside of a light bulb that’s called the Boost for $49. They also have a security camera called the Snap that’s inside of a light bulb! It comes complete with infrared night vision and motion detection for $149. You can use your smartphone to see what’s happening in your house. You can even remotely talk through your phone and have your voice go through the light to whoever is there.
Installation on all these products is a breeze. Just twist them into your light socket and follow instructions to pair with your Wi-Fi. Then download the free app from the app store of your choice. Sengled products work with both Apple and Android. It’s as easy as, well, screwing in a light bulb!
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