Kickstarter spotlight: LIFX

The video for the LIFX project makes an excellent point: We don’t switch channels on our TVs manually anymore, so why do we do that with our lights? The LIFX is the bulb of the 21st century, a WiFi-enabled LED bulb capable of being controlled by a mobile unit. Everything is in the bulb itself, which means that it will fit into existing lamps.

The LIFX bulb can change colors, be dimmed, and works pretty much worldwide both in terms of the socket and the AC compatibility (110-260V). Through software integration with a mobile device (iOS or Android) you get features like sunset/sunrise dimming, remote control, music visualization, and even notifications. Imagine having your ceiling lamp blink green when you get a new message!

I personally love this project. Home automation is something that’s been around for a while, but is still too expensive for many people. Not only is this bulb affordable, but it’s compatible with existing hardware. Integration with mobile devices for things like music visualization and notifications is also great. An SDK will be released for the bulb too, which makes it possible for third parties to use the system. I would love it if I could connect my Tasker setups with this, having automatic light as I leave/come home, control the light based on my sleep mode profile, and tie my custom notification system to it. So many possibilities, all with a relatively cheap bulb.

The project is already funded almost three times over, and may very well become one of those megaprojects that draw in tons of money. The early bird reward is long gone, which means that you’ll currently be paying $69 for a single bulb, and as little as $49/bulb for bulk packages. That’s a steal if you ask me, especially when these light bulbs also have a life span measured in decades.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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