September 30, 2014
2014 has seen a wave of smart LED bulbs coming to market – internet-enabled fixtures that can be controlled with smartphone or tablet apps via a local wifi, bluetooth or ZigBee network. Beyond the primary functions of dimming or changing the colour of your lights, or setting programmable scenes, it is envisaged that such devices will be integrated in home automation systems – for example, flashing the lights if the doorbell rings, or turning them up to full if the smoke alarm is activated.
For the moment, though, the manufacturers (Philips, Belkin, GE and LIFX to name but a few) may have a way to go in persuading consumers that the bulbs have more than just novelty value. Factors such as overall performance, ease-of-use and value for money are serious problems, according to a recent article in the Wall Street journal.
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