Add Some Color To Your World With ilumi’s LED Light

Ever since the advent of the light bulb, bulbs have been…well…pretty darn basic – either on or off.  95% of the time bulbs were white.  Boring.  Then came CFL lights followed by LED lights.  Are you ready to add a little color to your life and save electricity at the same time?  Illuminate your life with ilumi’s LED smartbulb.

How smart is your lighting?

Billed as the ‘world’s smart light’, the ilumi LED smartbulb is a color tunable LED light that you can control using a simple and free phone app (available on iOS and Android).   Because the ilumi LED smartbulb uses more eco conscious LED lighting technology, the bulb is said to be five times more efficient than a standard light bulb.  LED lights are also longer lasting and can last 10-15-20 years depending on daily usage.  All of this translates into greater efficiency and reduced waste.  So how did ilumi come to be?

Build a better mouse trap bulb

Back in 2010, University of Texas at Dallas MBA students Swapnil Bora and Corey Egan set out to create a better light bulb.  Their ah ha/light bulb moment came when their prototype (what would become the ilumi LED smartbulb) won first place in the university’s annual Business Idea Competition.  Fast forward to 2013.  Bora and Egan successfully crowdsourced over $200,000 though Indiegogo and Kickstarter helping bring their vision of a better light that much closer to a reality.  The two inventors even pitched their smartbulb on ABC’s Shark Tank.

ilumi LED smartbulbThe ilumi LED smartbulb is much more than simply an LED light that can change color (although this feature has ample possibilities).  The ilumi LED smartbulb can also be used in security and notification capacities.  For example;

  • Sync the light to pulse with the beat of your music
  • Wake up naturally with a scheduled sunrise to start your day
  • Create, save, and replay your favorite lighting scenes with one touch
  • Let your light make it look like someone’s home, even if you’re not
  • Control individually or as a group with built in -Bluetooth LE wireless meshing

YouChange shopper Mommyof2 uses the ilumi LED smartbulb for safety – turning on the lights in her home just prior to entering with the push of a phone button.  No more walking into a dark house!  Installation is a snap - simply screw it into your lighting outlet just like any other bulb.

So go ahead - throw that disco party you've been dreaming of.

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Smartphone Meets Smarter Light? Turning On Remote Controlled Lighting For The Home

The GE Link Connect LED Wink app starter kit, photo courtesy of General Electric

The GE Link Connect LED Wink app starter kit, photo courtesy of General Electric

Smart technology has moved beyond smartphones and personal electronics. Its future lies in household interconnectedness – smart homes that make Jetson-like living closer than ever. As our appliances, thermostats and other devices become electronically entwined, there are shining stars and bumps in the road that light our way along the path to connectivity. Enter remote controlled lighting.

General Electric's newest remote controlled lighting offering, the Link LED Connect, marks GE's entrance into the smart home lighting market. With it, consumers can control home lighting remotely and sync with other devices. Link and Quirky's accompanying Wink software lets consumers create their smart home – programming thermostats, locking and unlocking doors, opening and closing garage doors and dimming or turning lights on and off as desired.

Launched in July, the Link brand features three unique looking bulbs;

  • a standard 60-watt replacement / 12 watt soft white LED bulb
  • a 65-watt replacement / 10 watt soft white indoor LED floodlight and
  • a 90-watt replacement indoor-outdoor LED spotlight.

Like other LEDs, its longevity is guaranteed for 22.8 years. Energy efficient, it uses 80 percent less power than traditional bulbs. All three require the use of the Wink Hub although only the 60-watt replacement bulb comes packaged with it.

Link's bulb looks intentionally different, said Tom Boyle, GE's Lighting Chief Innovation Manager. Reminiscent of the traditional Edison bulb with its filament, the loop in the bulb is the working antenna.

You can see this is something new, different from other LEDs, Boyle said.

The Wink app, photo courtesy of Wink

The Wink app, photo courtesy of Wink

The Link is not Energy Star certified because there's no category for connected products, although Boyle said they're working on changing this.

The Link Connect system draws a small amount of power – vampire power – in the “off” state to ensure the signal keeps active. Because this is LED technology, however, in the long run there's still a huge energy savings, said Boyle.

Designed to work with Wink's smart home platform, Link Connect is capable of integrating with other Wink-enabled devices including Quirky, Nest, Honeywell, Dropcam, Lutron, and smart bulbs from TCP and Philips.

The product launched with 15 partners, said Matt McGovern, Wink's Marketing head. It encompassed a variety of diverse companies – from start-up Rachio, which makes a smart irrigation controller that delivers weather data to help conserve water, to companies like GE, Honeywell, Schlage and Lutron. Since then, they've added Nest to the fold. Read more about smart thermostats.

McGovern says the Hub brings the different brands' technologies together.

“It can speak the different languages of the different products, said McGovern. But it's a challenge to keep up with the spectrum of values for all these, he said.

“No one else has brought together the caliber of brands and products we have,” McGovern added.

Initial reports showed software glitches when installing the Link with the Wink Hub.

“We're adding more capacity to expand this,” McGovern said.

McGovern says Wink listens to customers, reading and responding to every review. With their 24/7 U. S.based customer support, they're producing updates and changing and adding instructions.

Link Connect and the Wink app offer home automation made relatively easy. Start with basic scheduling and work your way up to other features. Wink also offers “Robots” which allow for geofencing where Wink monitors your phone's location, and automatically turns lights on and off as you come and go.

“It's a very affordable product that allows people to get into the Internet of Things in a useful, practical way that can save energy and save time,” said Boyle.

Consumers should be aware, however, that add-ons aren't included with Link packages, which can take the price up. Although the bulbs run from around $15 to around $25, things like the dimmer, alternator and Hub can run from around $50 to around $55.

But, said McGovern, “Wink is making the smart home accessible for everyone. You can buy one lightbulb for $15 and pair it with the Wink Hub and you have a smart home. Then add another product.”

“How you use it is up to the user,” he said.

Why not try it, said Boyle. “It's only going to get better over time.”

You'll find GE's Link LED Connect and the Wink Hub at Home Depot and on Amazon. Also look for Wink's new Relay, a home touchscreen that brings the power of the Wink app to your wall.

Feature image courtesy of GE newsroom 

10 Hot Tips To Reduce Your Winter Heating Bill

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We've got more than 10 hot tips to reduce your winter heating bill. Some of them cost, some are totally free, all will help you save money and reduce energy usage.

Show Notes

For more great ideas on recycling check out the following articles and guides:

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