Kickstarter project LIFX has seen its funding go through the roof. Promising to reinvent the lightbulb, their idea – beyond prototype stages – runs off your regular light sockets and connects automatically to your WiFi.
Once hooked in to your local network, you can control the dimming and colour of the light right from your smartphone – and that includes a huge range encompassing almost any Android-based tablet PC. It’s more than just novelty – the LIFX lightbulbs can last for up to 25 years without showing signs of strain, and weigh in at under $50. They’re a sensible long-term investment, and a lot of potential fun.
The lightbulbs will hook together for all-room lighting, and changing the environment on-the-fly. All of this is zero configuration – screw or fix in the bulb as you would a regular bulb in to a normal lightbulb socket (they come in screw, bayonet and downlight flavours), and you’re good to go. There’s an app on the app stores already. Phil Bosua, designer of the lightbulb, explained that the bulb would not only enable more personalised lighting environments, but that it had a host of fun features, too. They can be made to ‘visualise your music’, by syncing in to whatever your mobile device is playing at the time, and can be timed to come on and turn off automatically – say, when you get home, or periodically to give the appearance that someone is in.
Perhaps most excitingly for purchasers of ‘sunlight’ alarm clocks – which simulate
the Sun by gradually brightening in the morning, waking the user smoothly (many of the purchasers of which suffer from SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder) – these bulbs can be made to do just that, too – gradually waking the user without the irritation of noise.
On the flip side, lights can be made to dim gradually throughout the evening – again, from the comfort of your bed, via your smartphone or Android tablet. Your regular switches still work, too.
This is another example of a Kickstarter project that simply wouldn’t have survived had it sought regular private investment. Through pursuing crowdsourced funding, LIFX have secured custom from the off – a must for any product manufacturer – as well as no shortage of free marketing. One customer, a Nick Sakellariou, is quoted as saying “LIFX is officially WifeApproved ™ in our home, which kind of makes me want to up my pledge to about three dozen lamps” – I know who I’ll be making friends with.
Here is a video on how it works: