Okay, Maybe Smart Light Bulbs Are Cool After All

tumblr_inline_o1cfz4pU3L1spvpit_500Until today, I haven’t been all that impressed by light bulbs.

To be fair, I understand that light bulbs are a miracle of science. They’re the closest thing to real magic that exists in the world (other than sunsets and Amy Adams). But I take them for granted, and whenever I read about the next evolution in light bulbs, it just doesn’t get my technology endorphins flowing.

Then I read this.

The biggest thing I learned is that light bulbs are prime for technological combinations because (a) every house needs light bulbs and (b) they’re already linked to electricity. You don’t have to plug them in using a separate cord. It’s like when someone realized that you could charge your phone by plugging it into your computer instead of the wall–the connection is already there.

Here’s what the light bulbs of tomorrow will be able to do (in fact, most of these light bulbs are already on the market):

  • They charge themselves in preparation for power outages, lasting up to 3.5 hours without any electricity from your home.
  • They have microphones that can recognize specific sounds–like the doorbell–and then turn on when they hear those sounds.
  • They can learn your daily patterns and will automatically turn on and off in “away” mode when you go on vacation to fool would-be-intruders into thinking you’re still home.
  • They have built-in bluetooth speakers that can play music.
  • They can extend your wi-fi range.

What do you want your light bulbs to do in the future?

4 thoughts on “Okay, Maybe Smart Light Bulbs Are Cool After All”

  1. Extending wifi and storing a charge in prep for power outages are probably the two functions that I would find valuable. I think I would be actively annoyed by the idea of my lights playing music, heh.

    Reply
  2. I like the listed features, however being someone in the tech community there are two things I would Love for my light bulbs/interconnected home. Platform independent light bulbs, ones that work on an open standard so they will play nice with any home hub you choose.

    Also Light bulbs with work up to security standards. To many devices recently have wifi extending/extras built in, and leave your network vulnerable due to poor implementation of wifi. In short certified by the Wifi alliance, a non profit partnership that tests for interoperability and meeting certain standards.

    Sorry its a pet peeve of mine when seeing any wifi capable device, and being on the back end of tech, these companies need to step it up in order to not wreck havoc. Home networks of the future could unlock your front door, you don’t want your light bulb or other device being vulnerable.

    Reply
  3. I’d like a light bulb that never needs to be replaced and can adjust to whatever voltage it’s plugged into. It’d also be great to have a light bulb for bathrooms that emitted some kind of UV ray that is safe for humans but kills bathtub mold/soap scum.

    Reply
  4. Bill: I agree! It would be cool if those two functions were built into the same light bulb.

    Sean: Those are great points about making sure connected light bulbs are secure.

    Trev: That’s a really interesting concept about a lightbulb that can kill bacteria–that’s rather brilliant, actually.

    Reply

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