You might not be able to fly your car yet, but in 2014 you can control your home’s light bulbs with your smartphone.
The age of lighting design has blossomed with the introduction of lighting devices that are more customisable than ever before.
The lighting devices are notable for their wireless capabilities and varied output options; they can be controlled via smartphone and some have the capability to display more than 16 million colours.
With a relatively high price tag, the new light bulbs introduce a new element to design. The varied colour output allows for using mood lighting for different times of the day or for different occasions. A starter kit usually contains a bridge (the wireless controller), two to three light bulbs and a LAN cable that works with a home router. Additional bulbs cost from $50 to $100 apiece, but these prices are typical of new technologies and will decrease as the technology develops.
While the lighting system struggles with dark colours – for obvious reasons, browns and blacks won’t work – everything else shines out, be it the orange of a pumpkin, skin tone or the colour of the apple in The Son of Man by Rene Magritte. It really is that versatile.
It’s not just about turning a room into a Smarties tube of colours, however. The LED lights create numerous variations of white too, and that’s just as important a feature for what could, at times, look like a gimmick.
Turn on the lights and the bulb will come on regardless of settings on the app, although an app will be required to change or adapt the settings.
The real fun starts when you look at changing the lights to one of 16 million colours available via the built-in colour chart, or a variety of photos included to get your imagination flowing.
Some of the leading brands in this category are the Phillips Hue, the LimitlessLED Smart-Light and the LIFX light bulb range. There are some cheap imitations already available but with tech like this, premium prices promise premium performance.
Smartphone control enables users to explore virtually limitless options. From controlling light intensity to changing light colour and setting timers, the wireless technology can be customised to fill every lighting desire.
The hefty price tag aside, the wireless bulbs seems like the perfect appliance to add a level of customisation to a home project. This could quite possibly be the future of residential lighting.