Tag Archives: Smart Lighting

This smart lamp lets you ‘paint the light’ in your room


FLUXO is a full LED fixture, not just another smart bulb.


Although the idea of a smart lamp is nothing new, one Austrian startup has come up with an innovative design that allows you to move the light using simple paint gestures on your smartphone.

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Thanks to FLUXO, any mood is now possible using a single pendant lamp comprised of 300 LEDs with an output of up to 2800 lumens. An accompanying mobile app enables you to control the intensity, direction, color and overall distribution of light to particular areas with a mere gesture.

Instead of dimming the light in your room, the Luke Roberts team’s “Paint Your Light” approach makes it easy to adjust the lighting for any space, time of the day, mood or social situation. The more you “paint,” the brighter it gets, while the other parts of your room will remain subdued. FLUXO even illuminates immediately to provide you with real-time feedback.

“The dining room, for example, can be personalized to have a portion of FLUXO focused solely on the table while having the remaining LEDs emit a soft, ambient glow to the rest of the room,” the crew writes.

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You can independently control downlight and uplight, which gives a pleasant indirect light to create different moods, which is not possible with other lamps. Particular light scenes can be stored on the app for each FLUXO lamp, which includes intuitive motion sensors connected with smart software in the lamp that can learn how people prefer their lighting based on their overall usage. You can store any setting as a light scene and come back to it with just one swipe of your finger. What’s more, the app lets you seamlessly switch between FLUXOs.

When you don’t have your phone in hand but want to change to another light scene, you can do so by simply turning the light switch off and on again. The lamp recognizes this “click” and switches to the next scene. FLUX’s presence sensors also can detect when you walk into a room and turn itself on. Conversely, it will shut itself off as you leave to save energy.

Unlike other competitors in the growing smart lighting market, Luke Roberts has developed a fixture with built-­in LEDs that allow the FLUXO to give off increased light output compared to more conventional LED bulbs, directional lighting controllable at different angles and improved heat management for a longer lifetime.

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FLUXO comes with a specially-designed mount to fit it to any kind of flat ceiling surface, and has universal power supply so that it can be directly connected to any outlet. The team has carefully engineered the lamp with all relevant sensors and a future-proof Bluetooth wireless module, so that new features can be added down the road.

Sound like a smart fixture you’d love to have in your smart home? Head over to FLUXO’s Kickstarter campaign, where the Luke Roberts team is currently seeking $54,266. Delivery is slated for late summer 2016.

 

Ario is a smart lamp that mimics natural lighting


Ario learns your habits, syncs to your body clock, and keeps you healthy through natural lighting patterns.


While the idea of a smart bulb waking you up in the morning is nothing new, one Bay Area startup has decided to take that concept one step further to help get you through the day and then ease into sleep at night. Ario is an intelligent lamp that not only mimics natural sunlight by changing its color as the day goes on, but its direction as well, to keep your body clock in sync and improve health.

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The lamp itself is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and boasts LEDs that generate bright blue light in the morning, followed by warmer amber light in the later hours. Ario can be controlled using its accompanying mobile app, on-device buttons, a wall switch, and is even fully capable of functioning autonomously.

To get started, you simply plug Ario into the wall, link it to your Wi-Fi network and then sit back and let it do the work. The lamp will then determine where you are and comes up with a lighting schedule that evolves with you over time. Even better, Ario works automatically. So if you unplug your lamp for days or weeks and then plug it back in, Ario knows what to do, even when the Wi-Fi is down. It is equipped with a battery-backed real-time clock and program storage, and intelligently calculates the appropriate variations in light depending on the lamp’s geographical location, the time of day, seasonal and local weather patterns, and your daily schedule. Ario is rated to produce 2400 lumens.

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Is there a need for such a lighting system? You bet! According to its creators, the vast majority of Americans spend more than  eight hours a day under unnatural light, which can throw off the body’s internal clock by as much as three hours and prevent it from performing at optimum levels. Instead, Ario will help improve your circadian rhythm, sleep habits and general health.

“Today’s indoor lighting is static, as if the sun were fixed in the sky. This is unnatural and has major implications on our sleep, mood, immune system, weight, and overall well-being,” the team writes.

Previous studies show that staring into bright, blue-white computer digital screens at night can disrupt your ability to catch some Zs. What’s nice is that this smart lamp can be programmed to automatically dim by a certain time each night. And what’s more, Ario integrates with other Wi-Fi smart home appliances to make your life easier.

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In terms of hardware, the unit is built around an ARM Cortex-M3 core along with two light engines, a highly-integrated LED controller and a Particle P1 Wi-Fi module, which together provide Ario’s lighting power and control.

Are you ready to make long, dark days a thing of the past? Then head over to Ario’s Kickstarter campaign, where its team has already garnered well over its asking goal of $50,000. Delivery is expected to get underway in September 2016.

BeON Home makes it look like you’re home, even when you’re not


This system will make having a safer, smarter home as simple as screwing in a light bulb.


Did you know that four burglaries occur every minute in the United States? That’s a startling one every 15 seconds. The good news is that most convicted burglars (90%) claim they want to avoid homes with alarm systems, saying that if they did encounter an alarm, they would abort the mission altogether. However, the bad news is that nearly two-thirds of homeowners fail to turn on their unit at all times.

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Undoubtedly, the Internet of Things has made way for an influx of smart bulbs as of late. Sure, they can change colors, set the mood and even sync up to what’s playing on TV, but they may all pale in comparison to BeON Home. Last November, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup introduced the first Bluetooth Smart home protection system that rolls preventative security and emergency lighting all into one unique solution. And today, it’s now available!

As its name would imply, BeON is designed to make it look like you’re home, even when you’re not. This lets you not only can you enjoy lighting in the event of an emergency or power outage, but also taking a proactive approach to thwart potential intruders. The system itself is comprised of LED bulbs that can be plugged into any standard socket and produce 800 lumens (equivalent to 60W), along with smart modules which are hidden inside.

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Sound a little familiar? Not only is it because you may’ve backed BeON on Kickstarter in 2014, but the premise is rather reminiscent of the 1990s blockbuster film Home Alone. In the movie, Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin) outwits a pair of criminals by creating a DIY home security system. During one scene, Kevin goes to great lengths to set up a fake Christmas party in order to deceive the “Wet Bandits” (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) into believing that the house was inhabited.

Since intruders prefer unoccupied homes, the BeON smart modules automatically learn your family’s everyday lighting patterns and then replay them while you’re away — without having to go through such great lengths as Kevin McCallister. If a would-be burglar checks to see if you’re home by ringing the doorbell, BeON can hear the doorbell via its Atmel | SMART SAM G based sound detection engine and trigger the lights on sequentially as if you are awakening and moving throughout the house.

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Even better, the LEDs can be installed just like ordinary bulbs into either lamps or recessed lights. Once in place, the system goes into action, quietly learning your activity patterns. To ensure your privacy, the bulbs communicate with one another and its accompanying mobile app locally over Bluetooth Smart. And using Qualcomm’s CSRmesh technology, notifications and messages can be carried through a network of multiple bulbs without the need for a hub or router.

And its smartness doesn’t stop there. In fact, BeON bulbs boast backup rechargeable batteries, ensuring its burglar prevention powers work even without power, and can flick on the lights whenever a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector goes off to help you escape safely.

Intrigued? The BeON starter kit — which consists of three LED bulbs and three smart modules — will run you $199, with additional bulbs $75 a piece.

Build your own Arduino-compatible, remote-controlled lights


Maker hacks his own Arduino-compatible, Philips Hue-like bulbs with LYT and Souliss.


Looking to control the multi-colored lights in your home? Sure, you could always go out and buy your own set of Philips Hue bulbs. Or, you can do what a Dario Di Maio has done and build your own that plugs into a standard light socket. As the Maker points out, while smart LEDs have become quite common today, none have been Arduino-compatible.

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For this project, the Maker used the Authometion LYT — an ATmega88PA powered RGBW LED bulb with an Arduino shield as a gateway, which enabled him to freely create his own custom behaviors and code. Both the Arduino and shield run the Souliss framework, while the lights are controlled through the Souliss App.

The shield is equipped with two radio modules, an ESP8266 Wi-Fi SoC that connects the Arduino with the home router and a PL1167 2.4 GHz transceiver wired to the Atmel MCU to control the bulbs. (Di Maio recommends either the Uno and Leonardo.)

Meanwhile, the ESP8266 and the Arduino are linked via USART. According to Di Maio, you can download the necessary libraries and examples from the Authometion store. These allow you to bridge command over Wi-Fi to the USART and then to the PL1167.

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“We will run two instances of Souliss, one on the ESP8266 and the other on the Arduino board, this because Souliss embedded the communication between different nodes and this let us skip the writing of a custom code to link these two devices,” Di Maio writes.

The bulb itself is a 9W RGBW LED, which generally should fit in most lamps with an E27 plug. The Maker provides an elaborate breakdown of his project along with the necessary code on his page here.

These lights will let you control your smart devices through gestures


LiSense uses shadows created by the human body from blocked light and reconstructs 3D human skeleton postures in real-time.


As our homes become increasingly smarter, what if we could use the light around us for more than just illumination? In other words, imagine if the light in your room could sense you waving your hand as you enter, or was able to trigger your smart coffee machine, unlock the door and turn on your entertainment center. While it sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi novel, it may soon all be possible thanks to a new project from researchers at Dartmouth University.

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The team is looking to transform ubiquitous light into a medium that integrates communication with human sensing. LiSense works by decoding information made from visible light to turn everyday lighting into sensors that can then recognize and respond to what we do. This is achieved through visible light communication (VLC), which encodes data into light intensity changes at a high frequency invisible to the human eye.

Not only does LiSense use light to sense people’s movements, but it also allows them to control devices in their environment with simple gestures, employing light to transmit the information. The hope is that you will be able to gesture and engage with objects in a room via nothing more than light, similar to how you’d use a Kinect or Wii gaming system to interact with your TV.

For LiSense to track a person’s movements, the researchers built a three-meter by three-meter light-sensing testbed with five off-the-shelf Cree LEDs in the ceiling and 324 photodiodes on the floor. A total of 29 microcontrollers, Arduino Due (SAM3X8E) and Uno (ATmega328), were embedded as well. The system uses the shadows created by a person standing on the testbed to reconstruct their 3D human skeletal posture in real-time (at 60 Hz).

To get their shadow-based human sensing to work, the researchers had to overcome two critical challenges. Since multiple ceiling lights lead to diminished and complex shadow patterns on the floor, they had to devise light beacons to separate light rays from individual LEDs and ambient light. Additionally, they came up with an algorithm capable of taking the collected limited resolution, 2D shadow maps from the photodiodes in the floor and reconstructing a person’s posture in 3D.

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By waving your hand, LiSense lets you freely control things, play games and track behavior without the need of cameras and on-body devices. One day, the team says it may even respond to your feelings. Compared to existing methods that use wireless radio signals such as Wi-Fi to track user gestures, VLC has several appealing properties and advantages. For starters, light-based sensing is secure, doesn’t penetrate walls, and isn’t limited to classifying a pre-defined set of gestures and activities. On top of that, it’s energy efficient, operates at a bandwidth 10,000 times greater than the radio frequency spectrum, and reuses existing lighting infrastructure.

“Light is everywhere and we are making light very smart,” says Xia Zhou, lead author and researcher on the project. “Imagine a future where light knows and responds to what we do. We can naturally interact with surrounding smart objects such as drones and smart appliances and play games, using purely the light around us. It can also enable a new, passive health and behavioral monitoring paradigm to foster healthy lifestyles or identify early symptoms of certain diseases. The possibilities are unlimited.”

Sounds intriguing, right? See it all in action below, and be sure to read the team’s entire paper here.

Smitch is a smart switch that can be installed in seconds


Smitch is a smart switch that’s easy to install, even easier to use.


As the lights throughout our homes becoming increasingly smarter, shouldn’t our wall-mounted switches do the same? This is something one Bay Area-based startup is looking to make possible.

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Whereas most switches on the market today either require you to either purchase special bulbs or rewire an entire switch, Brothers Lab wants installation to be much simpler. Just unscrew your existing cover plates, attach the aptly named Smitch and voilà! Calling for nothing more than a Phillips screwdriver and 20 seconds of your time, every light in your house can now be controlled right from your smartphone. This includes fans, wall lamps, spot lights and multi-bulb chandeliers.

Smitch is capable of fitting over just about every wall unit found in any room, and is compatible with both toggle and rocker switches. The companion app, which is available on both Android and iOS devices, features an extremely intuitive interface and is ever so easy to use. Whether it’s the kitchen, bedroom or foyer, all of yours lights can be managed by tapping on the corresponding picture on the screen.

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Beyond that, by activating its proximity option, the lights inside your house can be automatically triggered whenever you’re near a switch. This feature will surely come in handy should you find yourself bringing in the groceries, carrying the laundry, or having dirty hands.

In terms of hardware, the sleek plate is equipped with an ATmega328P MCU at its core, a BLE module for wireless communication and a battery that boasts a lifespan of about 500 days.

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Ready to swap out your ‘dumb’ switches for some Smitches? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where the Brothers Lab team is seeking $21,949. Pending all goes to plan, delivery is slated for December 2015.

ilumi is a smart bulb that just got even smarter


These smart bulbs won’t just light up your house, they’ll improve your sleep, set the mood and connect your devices.


Wouldn’t it be nice if your in-home lighting knew just how to pick you up when you were feeling down? Or could turn on right as you walk through the door with your arms full of groceries? Thanks to the ilumi, that and much more are all possible. The Dallas-based, Shark Tank-supported startup has unveiled the latest generation of its intelligent bulbs that offer complete lighting control.

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If the name sounds familiar, that’s because ilumi is no stranger to the smart lighting world. Since originally making its debut on Kickstarter back in 2013 and catching the attention of Mark Cuban on the ABC hit show last year, the team has returned to the drawing board and revamped their bulbs with a new and improved design, interface, and of course, a more affordable price. And the timing couldn’t be better, as recent reports forecast the market to reach 2.5 billion units by 2020 and reduce energy costs as much as 90%.

Aside from being able to customize which shade of light the bulb emits via a color wheel, user can also select from a series of pre-defined themes to best suit their daily routines. For instance, you can support your body’s circadian rhythm by automating the bulbs to emulate the sun’s natural cycle, wake up to your own personal sunrise, or find the right brightness/color combination to best set the mood.

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What’s more, ilumi boasts several fun integrations including the ability to connect to Spotify and sync with the beat of your favorite tunes — ideal for Friday night parties or Halloween festivities. They also work with some other popular IoT products and services, including IFTTT and Nest thermostats. Arguably one of its most standout features, however, is its Home Alone-like capability of giving off the impression that an owner is inside, even when away on vacation, to deter any potential burglars. ilumi can detect presence in a room and will flick itself on and off automatically, too.

Packed inside the bulb are a set of RGBW LEDs, a high-power antenna with a range of up 150 feet, Flash memory and a real-time clock for stored settings, as well as a Bluetooth Smart chip for wireless control. What’s neat is that, since each bulb is equipped with Bluetooth, it creates a mesh network that links to your phone, thereby eliminating the need for a hub. Simply screw them into a socket, pair them with your mobile device, and you’re ready to go. Each bulb will act as a node that can send and receive a signal.

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For its Kickstarter return, which has already tripled its initial pledge goal, the company has introduced two new smart bulbs: the A19 Standard with 800 lumens and 10 watts, and the BR30 Flood with 1,150 lumens and 14 watts. Oh, and remember the days of “Clap on, clap off, The Clapper?” Well, iiumi lets its users turn the lights on with a simple shake of their phone.

Interested in some for your home? Head over to its official Kickstarter page. Delivery is slated for September 2015.