Wireless lighting controls
Energy efficiency is finally beginning to dominant the lighting industry. Bulbs are lasting longer and newer technologies are on the rise as lightbulbs are becoming smarter and interacting with other applications. The new mechanics behind wireless lighting controls are starting to come to market. Two of the largest companies, Sylvania known for lighting and Belkin known for wireless accessories, are partnering up to create lightbulbs with the ability to have wireless lighting controls. Think smart bulb meets wireless switch via smartphone or tablet. Buttons and switches will become a thing of the past, allowing the rapid evolution of the lightbulb and its wireless lighting controls begin.
Soon the two companies will integrate both of their innovative technologies, creating a smart lightbulb with Belkins WeMo home automation technology and Sylvania’s Lightify light fixtures which will produce a new line of internet connected lighting products. Their first product will be named Sylvania Ultra iQ BR30 LED lightbulb and will read the mainstream public by this coming fall. It will use its connectivity ability to adapt to certain scenarios like turing on during a rainstorm or integrating with a surveillance camera.
In the upcoming connected world of everything, imagine that you can adjust the settings on a smart lightbulb to have the lights in your home turn on when you approach a few hundred feet way. Or imagine if you leave your home and forget to switch the lights off, you can remotely turn them off via your smartphone. This provides numerous opportunities for energy savings and security measures. Even CEO Jes Munk Hansen of Osram Sylvania had a say, stating “We can no only turn LED’s on and off and dim them but control them in millions of colors and temperatures ” he also says ” Your office light today is one color, a temperature that might remind you of your dentist’s office. We can now control that. The last step-and this is where it gets really sexy-is that we can connect our lights to an endless amount of other devices. This huge area is exploding in front of us.” He offered three great examples of how connected light can impact in our daily lives.
The first he describes when talking about a wearable device like a smart watch. He says,” You’re wearing a wearable while your sleeping and the device detects that you’re about to wake up. So it signals to a Belkin system that when you wake up at 3 a.m., you’re hungry. So it tells the kitchen to turn on a very soft red light , because that’s the right frequency to not wake you up too much but its enough for you to not break your leg on your children’s Legos on the floor.
The second example relates to the commercial fields such as a restaurant or retail store where a well arranged light display can draw customers and profits. Hansen states, “Most restaurants these days have one setting for light, Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, they run the same light or they manually change it. We can, on a iPad, set a restaurant for five settings-breakfast,breakfast with sunlight, lunch, dinner, wedding-and with a simple touch you can change the mood of the restaurant. You can change the temperatures – a little more yellow or little more red-to set off an evening dress. It becomes dynamic but much richer.”
Lastly, the third example involves the auto industry and how connected cars have dynamic vehicle light controls. Hansen says, ” Going forward, cars will have their own IP address, meaning when you drive down the street, the car will be able to detect others on the road and what speed their going. That information will feed back to the laser guided lights, and soon we’ll be able to set them, so you get the optimal light in front of you without blinding the guy in front of you.
Even though right now the two companies are focusing on the home market, the breakthrough for the lighting industry as well as wireless lighting controls will forever change the standards in the connected world. Prices are becoming cheaper for manufacturing making retail pricing gradually drop, and making it affordable for average citizens. Sunny Choi, Vice President of corporate development at Belkin believes this is definitely the right path to the newly connected world. Choi says, “We did a lot of research to look at what people wanted to automate and they want to control lighting. The natural path was to get into light bulbs.” Sylvania and Belkin have been talking for over a year now. Choi also states, ” Fifty years ago , you plugged a television in, put up the rabbit ears, chose from five channels. Twenty years ago, you got a cable provider and had hundreds of channels. Today, people are streaming Netflix and Hulu. Light bulbs are a century-old technology. It’s going to be an evolution. The switch is going to happen”
Nick is a graduate of San Diego State University, Class of 2012, with emphasis in Business Management. Join our Facebook Page to learn more about breaking news and leading technology in the Lighting / Electrical industries. https://www.facebook.com/rrlighting
Photo: Don Farrall, Getty Images.