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Smart LED lights — not the brightest bulbs yet, but getting smarter

Smart LED lights — not the brightest bulbs yet, but getting smarter


Re/code, a tech business news & reviews site, shed some light on the future of LED bulbs and their potential adoption. Their gadgets expert had this to say about Sengled and the smart bulbs industry:

LED bulbs are essentially PCs in a socket. As such, an LED bulb is a tabula rasa, a blank slate for clever programmers and engineers to create something more than a simple illumination device. Product designers are drooling over the opportunity to incorporate capabilities into an LED bulb currently performed by separate devices.

For instance, there have been a handful of LED bulbs that double as either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth speakers. Sengled, a 10-year-old Chinese LED firm, is selling its Bluetooth Sengled Pulse Solo and, early next year, the Wi-Fi Flex. Like the Pulse, Flex will have JBL speakers built into them, but also will be able to wirelessly access personal music libraries and Internet radio stations through Sengled’s iOS and Android app. Sengled also sells the Boost, a smart LED bulb with a built-in Wi-Fi repeater.

The author raised a common challenge with app-controlled smart home devices:

There still remains the on/off-switch/app conundrum. If these LED bulbs are so smart and can include microphones, why can’t we just tell them to turn on or off? [...]

[...] Soon they won't. At the upcoming CES, Sengled will announce Sengled Voice, a Wi-Fi smart LED bulb with dual microphones and dual JBL speakers — essentially Siri, Cortana and Alexa in a socket. You’ll be able to speak to the Voice bulb to not only control its lighting, but get answers to questions, listen for alarming sounds such as breaking glass or crying babies, or perform other as-yet unspecified smart home tasks, all with no additional third-party system required.

The idea of integrating all these smarts into a device you’re already using is… well… smart, and may illuminate the future of LED bulbs.

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