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The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs 176

redletterdave writes: "The current leader in smart lights is Philips Hue Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs. But the competition just heated up last week, with both LG and Samsung unveiling new smart bulbs. Not that Philips is sitting idly by—the boss of intelligent bulbs also unveiled two new products: the Hue Lux LED bulb, a cheaper, stripped-down version of its pricey original, and the Philips Hue Tap, an add-on that lets you trigger lights by touch. But which company will win the battle to illuminate the connected home?"
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The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs

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  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @02:08PM (#46632001) Journal
    Honestly, this sounds like a solution in search of a problem. Why would the average person want or even need to control each bulb in their house individually? Also, won't this make each bulb very expensive, and as others have pointed out, more of a security problem? I just want lighting that's inexpensive and efficient, and I think I represent the majority in this case. You want to remotely control your lighting? There are already products and systems to do that, you don't need the bulbs themselves to do it.
  • by bkmoore ( 1910118 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @02:16PM (#46632051)
    I also want lighting that fits in the fixtures that I have and doesn't protrude beyond the shade. Almost all of these "better lightbulbs" are just too large. Also why make intelligent light bulbs? Wouldn't it be better to put the connectivity into the light fixture, especially if it has more than one bulb?
  • As one-way as X10 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @02:21PM (#46632085) Homepage

    When you shut off a lamp manually, Hue may not know what state the light is in. Turn it off with the Tap, and it knows the lights are off.

    They've replicated the one-way communication of X10, then. That seems rather lame.

    Meanwhile, Cree's nice LED replacements for 60W incandescent bulbs are now below $10 at Home Depot. 10 year warranty. They draw 9 watts. Dimmable with existing external dimmers. Just buy a case of those and replace anything that burns out with one.

  • by Ravaldy ( 2621787 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @02:22PM (#46632097)

    The major advantage I see of having lighting controlled is to allow automatic management of such. Does a bare bone interface to turn on individual lights make sense? IMHO, NO. But with the right software and hardware managing lighting and other devices in a home is an essential step to reduce the bill.

    I can tell you that by simply putting a timer on the exhaust fan, I have managed to save at least $4.00 per month. This is based on local rates and assumes one of the 3 fans was left on for 8 hours. This used to happen all the time where I'd get home and my wife or kids left the fan on after a shower or a number 2. At 160 watt hour that's almost $4.00 per month let alone the cost of replacing the fan, the lost of heating and the list goes on. The switch was expensive (I believe it was $20) but if you think about it I've had them now for 5 years so I've paid all 3 switches many times over.

    Now if we could do this for more components in our house.

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @03:14PM (#46632617)

    So now I've got a bulb that when i turn it off at the switch it stops drawing electricity, they want lightbulbs all over my house that are not off but in "standby" mode. Sucking on power throughout the day...

    I remember when lightbulbs were not $15 but $.50.

  • You are looking at it from a engineer's point of view. Look at it from a marketing department's point of view: to change a lightbulb you need no tools. Unscrew, screw, done. To change a fixture you need tools, and need to fiddle with wires and screws, and things that can go wrong.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong