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Lighting

A Misfit in Smart Lighting

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A most unlikely contender enters the smart lighting arena-- Misfit, a company best known for wearable devices and health trackers, announces the Bolt smart LED lightbulb at CES 2015.

Misfit BoltSimilar to products such as the Philips Hue series, the Misfit Bolt is an LED bulb producing the lighting equivalent of a 60W bulb. It connects to a companion smartphone (iOS and Android) app to allow custom settings, such as colour changes, scenes and scheduling.

However, unlike the Hue offering Bolt bulbs do not require a wireless hub device, as wifi connectivity comes built-in. Interestingly the bulbs also connect to Misfit's life-tracking devices (namely the Shine wearable and Beddit sleep tracker) to wake users up with a light-based "sunrise" alarm.

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Linear Shows Off Z-Wave LED Bulb

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Linear shows off its latest Z-Wave powered product at the New York CES Unveiled event-- the Z-Wave Dimmable LED Light Bulb, an instant-on, screw-in bulb providing soft-white illumination equivalent to a 60W incandescent bulb.

Linear bulbAs the name suggests, the bulb is controllable and programmable using any Z-Wave hub or controller. It features 100 dimming levels and a lifespan reaching up to 25000 hours, and in addition acts as a repeater strengthening home Z-Wave mesh networks.

“Our Z-Wave Dimmable LED Bulb clears a major roadblock for lighting control adoption, the need to install high voltage switches,” Linear says. “The smart bulb is the easiest Z-Wave lighting control solution to install, operate and manage, it has the smoothest dimming feature on the market today, and it offers practical applications in nearly every room in a home.”

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The Burglar-Scaring Bulb

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BeON lightingBeON Home combines lighting and security the BeON Burglar Deterrent-- an LED bulb one can install like regular light bulbs, but can actually "learn" and replay lighting patterns via the addition of learning modules.

The modules require no programming or subscription fees, and are configurable via smartphone app. As well as a processor the modules feature a built-in rechargeable battery (powers the bulb even in case of power outage), and a microphone, allowing for a "listening" feature where the bulb reacts to sounds such as doorbells or fire alarms.

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ABI: Smart Lighting Set for Growth

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The residential smart LED light bulb market is still at an "embryonic" stage with 2013 shipments at less than 2.5 million units, ABI Research says, but shipments are to grow to 223m by 2020, leading to a total installed base of 400m.

Smart LED Lighting“Because of the additional dimensions smart lighting brings to the consumer lifestyle, including lighting automation, and because of its carbon footprint efficiency, this industry will rapidly become one of the key technologies that could bring IoE closer to consumers,” the analyst says.

Leading to such growth are falling LED prices, as well as the choice of ZigBee Light Link as connectivity solution by a number of leading lighting vendors. As a result 802.15.4-enabled light bulbs will take over 75% market share over the forecast period, even if ZigBee should face growing competition from 6LoWPAN-based alternatives such as Thread, Bluetooth Smart and mesh/low-power wifi variants.

In the meantime LED bulb prices continue falling rapidly, although the longer replacement cycle should bring about market saturation soon enough. This leads to industry players using connectivity to add value features in order to encourage customers to upgrade to smart(er) lighting solutions.

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Smart Lighting Via Avi-on Wireless Switch

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Avi-on switchHome automation startup Avi-on launches what it says is the first wireless, movable light switch-- the Avi-on Movable Switch, a Bluetooth-powered device can simply stick on walls before pairing with devices.

The switch controls a number of GE-branded Bluetooth devices, such as Smart Bulbs and indoor and outdoor plugs, with on/off and dimmer controls. It needs no companion hub devices or wifi connectivity. Instead, Bluetooth LE handles connectivity, while setup duties take place on iOS/Android mobile device app.

The app adds further features such as timers, scheduling and smart device grouping, while a companion wifi bridge device allows remote access.

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DGL Group Takes on Smart Lighting

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Hype TappDGL Group is the next company to take on Philips Hue-style smart LED lightbulbs with Hype Tapp, a system complete with colour-adjustable wireless LED bulbs, hub base station, wireless outlet adaptor and app.

The 7.5W 588 lumens LED bulbs promise to provide energy savings, as well as a choice of 16 million colours. The lighting system requires a hub device connected to the router in order to connect to all bulbs (up to 52 in one system).

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Philips Splits from Lighting Division

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Philips "gives independence" to the Lighting division as part of a restructuring effort also bringing together the company's Healthcare and Consumer Lifestyle businesses into a single unit.

Philips lightingThus the Lighting division, which is worth around €7 billion, is now essentially a separate entity, if one leveraging from the Philips brand. The decision follows the recently announced plan to combine the Philips Lumileds (LED components) and automotive lighting businesses into a stand-alone lighting components company.

"G]iving independence to our Lighting solutions business will better enable it to expand its global leadership position and venture into adjacent market opportunities," Philips CEO Francis van Houten says.

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