Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Google Networking Technology

An IP Address For Every Light Bulb 457

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday NXP and Green Wave Reality announced to the world that they plan to give every lightbulb an IPV6 address. Hot on the heels of Google's 900 mhz announcement, Green Wave Reality already has iPhone / Android / and Web-based support. Looks like the lighting wars have started."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

An IP Address For Every Light Bulb

Comments Filter:
  • Wrong place (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plover ( 150551 ) * on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @12:51PM (#36155332) Homepage Journal

    Architecturally, this is the wrong place to put uniquely addressed devices. The addresses should be in the fixtures, to avoid the maintenance headache of readdressing bulbs every time they are replaced. If I want the lights in the room to dim, I don't want to tell the bulbs, I want to tell the room that I'm sitting in. The room contains the fixtures. The fixtures contain the bulbs. How the room talks to the fixtures and the fixtures talk to the bulbs are different questions, but individually addressable bulbs is a maintenance disaster waiting to happen.

    Just because they're conveniently end-user replaceable doesn't make it a correct choice, just slightly more practical. X-10, Z-Wave and Insteon are all also equally incorrect in that they generally put the control at the point of the switch, instead of the fixture. Again, the user's ultimate goal is not to control the switch but to control the room's lighting, which is defined by the fixtures and their locations within the room.

    • by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<megazzt> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @12:55PM (#36155390) Homepage
      Easy, make the fixtures DHCP servers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by R0UTE ( 807673 )
        And don't forget to NAT everything while you're at it.
        • Re:Wrong place (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @01:13PM (#36155696) Homepage Journal

          Pervasive and ubiquitous surveillance, disguised as an assisting technology for energy efficiency.

          How many gift Trojan horses must we look in the mouth, on a daily basis?

          • Re:Wrong place (Score:4, Interesting)

            by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @01:40PM (#36156148) Homepage Journal
            You know...I'm thinking that there might be a good black market demand for good old fashioned, incandescent light bulbs...no IP addresses, nothing to monitor your use with....and good nice lighting that is pleasant on the eyes.

            Hmm...wonder what it would cost to make a few of these on the side?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by danlip ( 737336 )

      If you had an LED light bulb it might last long enough to be functionally equivalent to the fixture. I think it is pretty silly either way. This feature will consume additional electricity, and if you want to turn the light bulb on remotely the circuit has to be always on even when the bulb is off. This does not seem to be a good way to save energy.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        Do you want to pay a lot of money for this LED bulb that will save power and last a long time or do you want the cheap bulb.
        Do you want this cool bulb that will save you money and allow you to control the lights from anywhere in the house.
        I tend to leave a light on in the morning if I will not be back until late so I can see when I get home. Timers are a pain. If I could turn them on remotely when I got home it would be great.
        Over all a net savings in power.

        • There are a number of options other than this though, that don't need the addressing/network connection.

          For example, light/motion sensor lights. Set your porch light to come on only if it's dark and somebody approaches.

          For a room, perhaps a reed switch in the door or just tie it to a timer. Or have it do both - something like 'turn light on for 5 minutes whenever switch activates'. Then again, perhaps an infrared sensor that lights the room when it thinks a human is inside.

          As danlip mentions, the network

          • by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @01:47PM (#36156304) Journal

            Yeah, motion sensor lights are just great.

            A few weeks ago I was sitting on the toilet in a stall in the church bathroom. I was taking longer than usual; After about 10 minutes the lights shut off. So there I am sitting in complete pitch black. I called out lightly, but no one heard. I was too embarrassed to yell. I reached my hand under the stall door and waved it around trying to activate the motion sensor, to no avail. I reached up and took my light jacket off the hook on the door and started whipping my jacket over the top of the stall door, again to no avail. Then I was getting pissed. I partially stood, wiped as well as possible in pitch darkness, and pushed the stall door open, but still nothing. Then I waddled a couple of steps forward and started waving my jacket around towards the entry door hoping it would break into the motion sensor's area of view.

            That's when the door opened, the lights snapped on instantly, and a little boy stood staring in shock at the nut case waddling like a penguin with his pants around his ankles waving his jacket in a circle over his head.

            Yep. Love motion sensors.

            • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

              That's because the wanna-be electrician the church had volunteer to help for that installed it wrong. If your church did not cheap out and use real occupancy sensor for the task you would not have had the problem.

              But they wanted instead to use free labor and use a $29.00 home depo motion switch instead of a $150.00 proper occupancy sensor from wattstopper and an electrician that knew what he was doing to install it.

      • no its a good way to easily slip in cameras, mikes, speakers, everywhere... electricity increase, at least at first, could be tiny... a few milliwatts...

      • by Moryath ( 553296 )

        Since when has all this automatic stuff ever been done with energy efficiency in mind?

        One look at all the craze over "wireless everything" shows you that people aren't serious about energy efficiency.

        Then again, there was a time we had to get up off the couch to change the channel, too. Imagine the lazy people of today even thinking of such a thing or knowing where the controls were on the damn TV.

      • That's why you should be talking to the house, not the room, fixtures, or appliances. One always on circuit that can power up downstream only circuits as needed. There are times when distributed systems are the hammer you need, but this isn't one of them.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      They will, and the light will just communicate with that. The advantage of giving one to the lightbulb is that you acn follow it if it's moved.

      I mean, from an Architecturally stand point. When the fuck someone will move a light is another story.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Imagine how much fun pranksters would have if they found the addresses of your light fixtures. But it could also lead to some awesome light shows.

    • by kcbnac ( 854015 )

      "An ultra-low-power standby supply controller with 10mW no-load capability"

      So we want to go from having the switch disconnect power to the lights, to adding 10mW for EVERY lightbulb in existence...how the HELL is this part of a 'Green Wave' in helping me manage power consumption in my house?

      Presume I have 50 bulbs in my house. At 10mW, we're talking 2.5W of always-on baseload draw. Multiply that times 75 million (rounded down from the 75.11 million Wolfram Alpha gave me): 2.5 * 75,000,000 = 187,000,000W o

      • by afidel ( 530433 )
        Multiply times 2 since the PF will be .5 or so given the target price point.
      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        50 bulbs? really? big house.

        Anyways, let say your bulbs are 10- Watts.
        That means if you use 1 of your 50 bulbs for 15 minutes less per day, you break even. Everything else is a gain.

        • Not really, I've got a 900sq ft place and I have 6 bulbs in my garage (opener + illumination), 6 tubes and 3 bulbs in my kitchen (overhead + stove hood + oven), 2 bulbs in the fridge (freezer + fridge), 7 bulbs in my living room (5 rarely used in the ceiling + 2 niche lamps), 2 in the laundry closet, 1 in the hall, 2 in the bedroom closet, 2 tubes and a bulb in the bedroom, and 4 tubes in the bathroom. That's 35 bulbs and tubes for an apartment, though at the moment I rarely use more than 2 of those for any

      • Presume I have 50 bulbs in my house. At 10mW, we're talking 2.5W of always-on baseload draw.

        Uh, no, 50 bulbs * 10 mW/bulb = 500 mW, or 0.5 Watts for the SI challenged.

    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      X-10, Z-Wave and Insteon are all also equally incorrect in that they generally put the control at the point of the switch, instead of the fixture.

      "Insteon", more or less a modernized competitor of X10 and friends, does three-way switch emulation by having remote switches remotely switch the switch that switches the load. Yeah, I know, confused the heck out of me the first time.

      Putting the PoC at the switch is apparently necessary for 3way switches, or you need to extend the protocol to add a "toggle" function.

    • by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

      generally put the control at the point of the switch

      This actually makes the most sense to me. You are gonna want the physical switch to be in sync with the light fixture, and want to have the physical point of shut off for safety (changing a light bulb comes to mind). You can't use a traditional switch because if the traditional switch is turned off, your fixture isn't getting power and can't toggle itself on.. so you are going to need a special switch anyway. Having no inline switch (that is, the fixture always has power and the "switch" just communicates t

      • Each IPv6 address consists of a local segment and a global segment. The first 64-bits are the address assigned to the house or service customer. The second 64-bits are generated locally, optionally from the 32-bit MAC address. You could have billions of lightbulbs addressed in this manner, and still only consume a billionth of the usable address space. IPv6 is the very definition of overkill. Even with foolish use of it, we're not going to run into problems until we become a large interstellar society.

    • by tool462 ( 677306 )

      A more practical solution for existing fixtures would be an attachment that screws into the socket, and then the bulb screws into that.

      Of course it doesn't negate the general silliness of the entire thing, but it is a little bit more sane.

  • all the people who say that the desire for NAT in a native IPv6 environment is broken, and surely you can't want that, much less will we give it to you?

    • by hjf ( 703092 )

      if the earth was a ball made of only sand particles 1x1x1mm (no mantle, crust, oceans or core, just sand), 2^128 is the number of sand grains in 300 earths.

      why do we need nat? explain. i'd like to know.

      • It's not *always* about address space conservation.

        • by Hatta ( 162192 )

          NAT is *always* about address space conservation. That is all NAT does. Any other function you believe NAT implies can be provided with a stateful firewall and no address translation.

      • Simple. IBM and whatever's left of AT&T Bell Labs will claim the first earth, the DoD and military will claim the second one (for national security!), leaving 99% of the third to be divied up between DEC, Xerox, and Ford.

        We'll all have to use the last 1% of sand grain earth 3, so NAT will be an absolute necessity.

      • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

        Because God can't even afford a router that can keep 2^128 routes in it's memory.

        • by hjf ( 703092 )

          That's why ipv6 is more efficient at routing. Also, your comment is stupid.

      • Because some people think NAT=Firewall. They don't seem to realize, even with IPv4, you can put internet routable IP's behind a firewall, and block access to them. They seem to think NAT is some sort of magical seperation between the networks, when it is not.

  • Ten years from now we will have a push to IPv8 addresses as there will be a shortage of IPv6 addresses.

    Everyone will want an IPv6 address for the lights on their Christmas trees and house displays.

    • by danlip ( 737336 )

      There are over 10^28 IPv6 addresses for every person. So even if you individually address every Christmas tree light you won't run out.

    • I'm pretty sure that there are Christmas exterior displays in my neighborhood which have been continuously up longer than most Internet sites. By simple longevity, they probably deserve static persistent network addressing more than, for instance, Zynga.
    • by hjf ( 703092 )

      2^128: think a planet, the size of earth, made of only sand, 1 cubic mm grains. now think 300 planets. that's 2^128 grains of sand.
      do you get the picture now?

      wanna calculate? calculate the volume of a 40.000km circunference sphere, in cubic milimeters. divide 2^128 in that. result? roughly 300.

    • Damn right! We should have everything with IP addresses: I want my shoe laces to have IP addresses, and my shoes should be wireless routers, so that I can be alerted on my cell phone when my shoe laces are untied, or when I've stepped in dog shit, or the soles are starting to wear thin. But why stop there, I want IP addresses in each slice of cheese, too, so that I can monitor its nutritional value as it slowly decays in my refrigerator. And my soap dispenser needs to alert me when the soap is running low.

  • It's 480x800 pixels. Does it use 3 LEDs per pixel for colors? That'll be 1152000 IPv6 addresses please. Thank you.

  • by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @01:07PM (#36155590)

    does it take a change a lightbulb?

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Zero, it's a hardware problem.

      Unless it's a router table error, in which case, 7.
      1 to do it and 6 others to grumble about it on /. because the ;stupid user' doesn't know even the most rudimentary ways to use some obscure design.

    • does it take to change the IP address of a lightbulb?
  • And I don't mean a list of great ideas. This will be on one of those "top 10 stupid Internet ideas" lists.

    There is no upside here. We take something that is simple and works, and make it complicated. We make it FAR more expensive to build. We open it up to attack where it previously wasn't. We use more energy in the process. And we get nothing of value out of it.

    The only way this has any hope of succeeding as an idea is if they can convince the government to make a law requiring it in the name of "green ene

    • On the upside, if the lights go out you'll have to hire an electrician and a network administrator to fix it.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      If you have a desire to control your lights remotely, then buy them, otherwise don't and don't make shit up.

      I It would be kind of neat to get an alert telling which lights are on at different times of the day.

      Like when my daughter gets up a 2AM to read for 3 hours.

  • FFS, this idea is so bad it boggles all comprehension. Perhaps these "greenies" didn't take into considering that running the required hardware to support an internet accessible service on every light bulb would dramatically INCREASE power consumption world wide? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

    If they want to track light bulbs, then a simple RFD and a cheap USB wand-reader device to be used by interested parties is enough.

  • What Google 900Mhz announcement? Please, don't tell me to 'Google it' ....
  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @01:12PM (#36155666)
    Soon his joke about randomly flipping a light switch and getting nasty letter from some guy in Germany willl come true JUST AS THE PROPHECY PREDICTED.
  • Can anyone explain, in a logical manner, why exactly we need IP addresses assigned to light bulbs?
    • by afidel ( 530433 )
      It's part of a broader home automation effort by Google called Android @Home. It will allow easy home automation through open source libraries, standard protocols, and reference implementations.
    • to run a beowolf cluster on them...

  • Remote lighting control has been around for decades. X10 has been available for a long time, it's inexpensive, and you can buy the gear at any Home Depot.

    The next generation system after that was Echelon LONworks, which is a bidirectional power-line network for home control. That system really does give every device a unique address, set during manufacture, like Ethernet addresses. It's only 78kb/s, but that's enough for lighting control. It never caught on for home control, but it turned out to be usef

    • by Nimey ( 114278 )

      I'm still not wanting to do business with X10 after their marketing campaign several years ago with pop-unders and "OMG SHOWER SPY CAM!!!1eleventy" ads.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      X10 sucks, and it doesn't do what this has the potential to do.

      Imagine having a game that control the lights in the room.
      Or gte a notice on your phone when an motion sensitive light turns on?

      Or not. In which case don't buy them.

  • Excellent. Now instead of paying less then a dollar for a perfectly good incandescent light bulb, and instead of paying $50 for a light equivalent LED "bulb", I can now pay $55 for a light equivalent LED light with network connectivity. Sure over time the costs will go down, but I bet that adding the network connectivity will always cost more than the original incandescent bulb would have.
  • by aapold ( 753705 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @01:27PM (#36155918) Homepage Journal
    No longer will you need a lousy LED flash on your phone camera. Just tap to brighten all lightbulbs in the area. Or if you're into being dark and mysterious, a constantly running app that dims all lights within 50' of your GPS location... people will know when you're coming...
  • Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
    Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    C:\Users\windoz>tracert teh-overhead-light

    Tracing route to teh-overhead-light [3ffe:1900:4545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf] over a maximum of 30 hops:

    1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms Wireless_Broadband_Router.home []
    2 6 ms 7 ms 8 ms microsoft.com []
    3 11 ms 8 ms 9 ms google.com []
    4 * * * Request timed out.
    5 17 ms 16 ms 16 ms facebook.com []
    6 19 ms 16 ms 18 ms nsa.g

  • So, is it going to cost more to make the individual bulbs addressable ... or to build in the home automation which makes it all go? The sheer amount of extra crap and infrastructure required to make sure I've got the wireless network of lightbulbs is staggering -- and, seems pointless. Why does everybody want every object I own to be internet enabled?

    This seems to be a common condition of people who envision the "house of the future" -- we're going to plan for a tremendous amount of infrastructure which

  • Now they're just too damn hard to operate properly. Try a candle.
  • Why? This sounds like a horrible idea. This would require a network connection for every lightbulb (or fixture), and for what?

    And if there is an actual good reason behind it, why use IPv6? Why not use a unique, lightbulb-specific addressing system? Why rely on Wi-Fi/Ethernet to do the job? Have you ever tried putting a square peg in a round hole before?

    And finally, are you *trying* to exhaust the IPv6 space as quickly as possible? Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

    Okay, I'm going to

  • I'm sorry, the new NN laws don't apply to your bathroom light bulbs since they provide peer-to-peer support for your whole family. As a result, we have decided to throttle their wattage to the candlelight equivalent until you switch to our new bulbs which allow for single-user compatibility.

    Thanks for choosing Comcast.

  • by Vahokif ( 1292866 ) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @01:52PM (#36156386)
    Does this mean you'll be able to hack someone's toaster, like in the movies?
    • by Nkwe ( 604125 )

      Does this mean you'll be able to hack someone's toaster, like in the movies?

      No, but you will be able to make the lights overhead explode and emit showers of sparks at dramatic moments.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI