Kings of convenience: Insteon unveils smartphone-controlled LED
It's officially time to retire that Clapper <i>again</i>, folks: The home automation gurus at Insteon unveil a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb that can be controlled with a handheld remote, smartphone or tablet.
We’ve all been there: You’ve brushed your teeth, swallowed any soporific “assistance” with a tall glass of water, kissed your significant other on the forehead, and tucked yourself into bed for the evening. You start to doze off. And then it hits you. Oh, Christ. I forgot to turn off the lamp in the den.
Thanks to a game-changing dimmable LED bulb from California-based home automation company Insteon, there’s no need to pull yourself out of bed and pad back downstairs to manually turn off a lighting fixture. All you need to do to remedy this bothersome scenario is reach over to your nightstand and grab your smartphone. And back to Lunesta-land you go.
Dubbed as the “world’s first networked dimmable light bulb,” the 60-watt replacement bulb isn’t exactly the first smart LED to make headlines. As you might remember, in May 2011 Google and Lighting Science Group announced a smartphone- or tablet-controlled 60-watt equivalent that would harness Google’s in-development Android@Home home automation technology. Well, that bulb has yet to materialize, so Insteon does indeed have bragging rights as the first company to release a remote-controlled light bulb.
The energy-saving 8-watt bulb — it's currently available on back-order for $29.99, as it sold like hotcakes when first released — boasts a relatively easy and breezy set-up process that takes just a few moments.
First, link the bulb to a variety of Insteon-compatible controllers such as handheld remotes,motion sensors, keypads, and door sensors (all sold separately). Next, swap out the old bulb with the Insteon LED in the desired fixture, and voila! The 50,000-hour bulb, thanks in part to an integrated dual-band wireless receiver, instantly links to the controllers when you screw it in.
From there, you can also link the bulb to a computer or iOS/ Android smartphone or tablet via a SmartLinc Hub (again, also sold separately although the apps are free). So yeah, you may have to buy a couple of additional home automation bells and whistles from Insteon to reap the real benefits of the bulb, but seems like a small price to pay for the convenience of being able to deal with the lamp that you forgot to turn off downstairs from the comfort of bed ... or anywhere else for that matter.
Says Joe Dada, CEO of Insteon in a press release: “For years, home automation has controlled light fixtures with plug-in lamp modules, wire-in switches and keypads. But, until now, no one has controlled the bulb itself. It’s exciting to be the first to introduce a new product to the world.”