Innovation That Matters

Energy-efficient, wifi-controlled lighting can change color and automatically dims at night

Property & Construction

The LIFX is a smart handset-managed bulb that aims to widen the possibilities of wifi-controlled lighting.

Ever since the advent of innovations such as energy-efficient lightbulbs, many homeowners now use similar technology to illuminate their house. The Netherlands’ NXP Semiconductors has already introduced the world to wifi-controlled lightbulbs, and now the LIFX is a smart handset-managed bulb that aims to widen the possibilities of such products. Made with long-lasting and environmentally-friendly LEDs, the bulb comes with a companion iPhone and Android app that can be used to control a home’s lighting. Rather than requiring special fittings, LIFX lights can directly replace traditional bulbs by screwing them into any existing socket. Once the first bulb is installed and the app is loaded, the bulbs are automatically configured to connect to the home wifi network. From the app, users can alter the brightness of the bulbs, as well as customize the color using a large library of shades – matching the lighting to their décor. Timer settings mean the home’s lighting can be set to slowly fade on as the sun sets and off again as residents are falling asleep. Motion sensors detect when there is noone in the property and turn lights off accordingly, and if the house is empty for a long period such as a holiday, the app features a ‘security mode’ which automatically turns lights on and off to create the appearance of people being present. The lights can be synced to music or set to strobe light mode to complement the mood when having guests over. Lights can also be grouped into rooms – offering control of individual bulbs – all of the bulbs in one room or the whole house. Finally, the bulbs still work with existing light switches, meaning users do not have to have their smartphone on them to operate the lights. The video below offers more information about the project: Having begun its Kickstarter campaign with a target of USD 100,000, Scanbox co-creator Phil Bosua eventually raised an incredible USD 1,314,542 to fund mass production of the bulb. By joining the trend for smart objects with the development of as many features as possible, the LIFX creators have created a unique product and reaped the rewards.



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