While I’ve raved before about Philips’ L-Prize LED lightbulb it is about to have its socks blown off! Enter the LIFX via an already successful Kickstarter project launch. The LIFX will be one of the first major “Internet of Things” product that makes a significant impact on a large scale. With the ability to have every LED light bulb networked, dim-able, and controllable by your favorite smart device it will change the game of current home automation and lighting energy consumption.
The Kickstarter product video gives you a good initial picture of what to expect from networking each and every lightbulb of your home. It lightly hints at one of the major benefits - time savings. The video demonstrates the ability to control the LIFX via the device you have but what we will see as we continue down this path is a blending of the control that the LIFX brings combined with the motion sensing of something like the Wemo or another proximity or biometric sensor.
While the different colors of the LIFX are neat they’ll provide the ability to have the perfect lighting in any situation. LIFX uses a master/slave concept to connect to your home router via 802.11n and then onto all the other LIFX smartbulbs via IPV6 802.15.4 mesh network. And once LIFX hits the streets the LIFX Software Development Kit (SDK) will croudsource some major innovations in automation! Want the house setup to simulate sunrise and sunset - do it! As far as the fading night light - awesome. Have the ability to fade it off for the little one to fall asleep while ensuring the child is afforded the great sleep that a very dark room provides. Need to walk through the house light your entire path before hand.
One thing is sure - these wireless lights are going to be a significant game changer for home lighting, home automation, and lighting energy consumption.
If you’re like me you’re looking to make things a bit easier at home but at the same time make utility costs lower while not breaking the bank to do it. Enter the Belkin WeMo into the home automation arena. The WeMo Switch ($50) provides the ability to activate lights or any electronic device to turn on or off on a schedule it provides what we immediately expect from a simple device. But the Belkin WeMo goes further. It has the capability of motion sensing, WeMo Switch + Motion ($100), which will activate desired devices and lights as a family member enters a room and transitions through the others (with multiple WeMos). Obviously this is most immediately applicable to lighting applications or even area fans to cool down a house but you could use it to kill off vampire power devices (the power plugs and other items that simply consume power when not in use yet plugged in).
If you don’t desire to place these items on a set schedule you can have full control over them via the iOS application which allows you to remotely turn WeMo’d devices on or off from your iPhone or iPad. This network ability then provides some additional features with IFTTT (If This Then That). This allows for notification via email when the motion sensing capability of WeMo is activated with something like a front door light or even the IFTTT Weather Channel interaction to determine sunset/sunrise and the activation of WeMo’d lights.
From this Cyber Fellows perspective this is an excellent step toward the internet of things. What I’d like to see WeMo integrated with Belkin’s Conserve devices to provide power analytics. This would then allow for an automation and control function on top of the power analytics (Air Conditioning just turned on when no one is home). I’m surprised I didn’t see this at CES even though it was there; what I did notice is the numerous devices and companies that are getting into home device automation so Belkin will need to be innovative to stay ahead of the pack in this area.