After taking a breather from the energy-efficient light bulb barrage that was late April — check out my posts on the Philips’ EcoVantage bulb, designer AlessiLux Lamps from Italy, and Cree’s LED vs. incandescent Easter meltdown — here’s more illuminating light bulb news, this time around from Google. Yep, Google.
Following an announcement at the Google I/O developers conference earlier this week, green tech blogs have been atwitter over news that everybody’s favorite search engine has teamed up with LED manufacturer Lighting Science Group to unleash (at some point later this year) a wirelessly connected “intelligent” LED bulb that harnesses Google’s upcoming Android @ Home home automation technology.
Essentially, it’s a competitively priced and supremely energy-efficient omnidirectional 60-watt equivalent light bulb with a small, embedded computer chip that can be turned on and off or dimmed with your Android-equipped smartphone, laptop, or tablet (because really, sometimes it's just too hard to get off the couch and switch off a light). Andrew Nusca over at Smart Planet also explains that bulb can also be programmed to turn on and off when you walk into or exit a room (provided you have your smartphone in your hand or in your pocket) by leveraging your phone’s GPS and proximity sensors. Good grief. So much for that trusty old Clapper.
For those of you who follow developments in Light Bulb Land, you'll probably remember that Lighting Science group very recently formed a partnership with another formidable online presence: Amazon.com. On Earth Day, the Florida-based company — a sponsor of the 2011 Solar Decathlon and a recently named "Champion of Change" — announced a partnership with Amazon.com that brings an affordable, 40-watt equivalent LED to the online-shopping masses. And in non-light bulb-related news, Google has garnered a fair amount of attention for hiring “supergreen” German architecture firm Inghoven Architects to design 600,000-square feet of office space at the company’s main campus in Mountain View, Calif.