Combining the power of smartphones, LED light bulbs, wireless and remote control technology has inspired designers to come up with smart solutions such as LIFX, Philips’ hue light bulbs and INSTEON. The Lumen Smart Bulb project, currently raising funds via indiegogo, aims to add one more option to the wireless-enabled LED market, while betting on home entertainment and well-being to score extra points.
The Lumen, as the developing team calls it for short, is designed for iOS and Android devices and enabled with Bluetooth. It is an RGBW LED because, besides the usual red, green and blue colors, it also features a 6 W white LED that generates over 400 lumens of softer, more comfortable light, which the makers claim is comparable to a 60 W incandescent (by our reckoning it's closer to a 40 W incandescent). It is compatible with E26 and E27 bulb sockets, so it doesn't require any adaptations.
As well as being significantly more energy efficient and, consequently, greener, than incandescent bulbs, LEDs also last longer with the designers saying that the Lumen's projected longevity is 30,000 hours. How LEDs maintain their luminous output over time depends on usage and ambiance conditions.
The device uses the new Bluetooth 4.0, which offers a range of up to 30 feet (9 m), making it possible to operate the Lumen around the house via an accompanying app on a smartphone or tablet – unless you live in a sprawling mansion, of course. The current prototype only works with iOS devices, but support for Android devices is promised in the future.
The developers have also included a few lifestyle functions. There’s Party mode, which means the lights turn the home into an instant disco with light color changes determined by the music that’s playing. Once the party is over, the user can switch to Sleep mode, which simulates moonlight for a chill-out effect. Finally, there’s Wake mode, which bears resemblance to the light boxes used to mitigate the effects of seasonal affective disorder in the dead of winter. Starting off dim, it increases luminosity at the speed chosen by the user until it reaches maximum luminosity at wake-up time.
The developers take us through the Lumen Smart Bulb in the video below.