The development of LEDs—whose chipboards can combine light sources with sensors for tasks from thermal management to motion detection—is allowing light fixtures to do more. As a result, many of the product developers targeting the so-called “smart” home are using lighting as their way in. That was evident at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas. There, startups, as well as a few legacy lighting manufacturers (including Osram, Lutron, and GE Lighting), showcased Internet-connected, consumer-oriented lamps and controls that offer remote access to and customization of lighting in the home.
Here are a few of lighting products seeking to join the Internet of Things that we noticed while walking the tradeshow floor last week:
Sengled’s LED lamps feature speakers, Wi-Fi signal boosters, and security cameras. The Pulse Solo (shown) offers 550 lumens at 2700K as well as audio from a pair of integrated speakers that can connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth-enabled device. The sound can be managed and light levels dimmed from an integrated Android or iOS app. Offered for E26, E27, and B22 sockets.
Fitness-products maker Misfit introduced a 60W-equivalent, color-tunable smart lamp that syncs with the company’s sleep tracking software—joining the growing list of smart alarms that make use of lighting. Bolt, a 13W LED lamp offering 800 lumens, can be set to a full range of colors as well as scenarios to replicate events such as a sunrise or sunset, a capability similar to that of the Philips Hue platform.
Stack Lighting, which Architectural Lighting wrote about last fall, showcased its BR30 Alba lamp that learns to adapt its brightness levels based on the time of day, preset preferences, and user behavior. At CES, the startup announced it would be joining the Google-owned Nest Labs’ developer platform through which its lights could share data with Nest’s smart thermostat and smoke and carbon monoxide detector—for example, by detecting users’ movement throughout the house via integrated sensors and adjusting temperature accordingly. Other lighting products to be rendered Nest-compatible include Philips Hue, Osram’s Lightify, and Lutron’s consumer-focused Caséta Wireless controls.
Not all lighting-focused startups at CES pursued lamps, however. Emberlight’s Bluetooth-enabled base is designed for use with any dimmable incandescent, halogen, CFL, or LED. Users can dim, set conditions, and monitor lamps on each base via a companion iOS or Android app. And like many newcomers to the lighting sector touting technology for the smart-home, Emberlight’s product successfully sought funding on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter last fall.
Zuli’s new adapter uses Bluetooth to communicate with a companion app on users’ smartphones for tasks such as general on/off control, preset automated tasks based on the phone's detected location, and monitoring of energy used by luminaires plugged into the outlet. Like Emberlight, Zuli ran a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which finished this past January, and it has since garnered venture-capital investment.