The Future is Bright for LG ‘Smart’ Light Bulbs

by Matt Klassen on March 27, 2014

Our connected everything existence has once again expanded, this time to include something as relatively mundane as lighting. LG announced earlier this week that it has created a ‘smart’ light bulb, lighting that has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities and can be controlled from one’s iPhone or Android device.

According to LG, the 10W LED bulbs boast 80 percent greater energy efficiency compared to leading incandescent bulbs, and is designed to last 10 years based on an average daily use of 5 hours. Further, giving users minute control over lighting will help save money as well, as these smart lights can be programmed to better serve our needs.

But like many products now swallowed up by the Internet of Things there’s no question that smart light bulbs stand currently as simply one more novelty gadget. But as tech analyst Laura DiDio explains, “I think we’re just at the precipice of seeing what smart light bulbs can do in terms of features, functions and different wattages,” meaning the future for smart light bulbs is bright indeed.

If all you could do with LG’s new smart bulbs was to program when they turn on and off, they wouldn’t be very entertaining…and of course we all know that needless entertainment and functionality is the cornerstone of the Internet of Things movement. To that end, the new connected smart lights allow users to automatically set the brightness of the lights, for instance matching the mood and tone of the music that’s playing.

Beyond that, the lights can serve as message alerts, blinking or turning on when one has a text message or incoming call, or can serve as an alarm clock. Not only that, but as mentioned the lights are programmable, meaning certain lights can come on at certain times, serving as added home security.

But really LG’s smart bulb is only scratching the surface of the potential of such technology. “Smart light bulbs will evolve,” DiDio notes. “They offer a slew of features which will enable consumers and corporations to turn the light on at specified times or intervals when you’re out of the house or on vacation to deter burglars. Smart bulbs and lamps may also have the ability to be linked to your alarm clock, cellphones and other consumer devices.”

Of course the greatest downside to the ever-expanding Internet of Things is that our connected everything existence threatens to overcomplicate the most mundane of tasks. “On an elemental level, this is the equivalent of adding a remote control to your home or office lighting,” Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told TechNewsWorld. “That can be useful for some situations — just as using a remote is for TVs and audio systems — but it also adds layers of complexity to essentially simple tasks,” he observed.

That said, while smart light bulbs are certainly in their early adopter phase, the progress of this new lighting technology is not unlike that of high efficiency fluorescent bulbs a decade ago, where initially high cost was a prohibitive factor to mass adoption. That means that while smart bulbs seem to be the choice of the geeky elite, it likely won’t be long until they become an integral part of our normal existence.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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