The smartphone is becoming an increasingly active part of the connected home. Smart thermostats and energy management systems can be monitored and controlled with your phone and now, so can your light bulbs. A new dimmable LED bulb called the INSTEON can be remotely controlled with an app on your smartphone.
The CEO of INSTEON, Joe Dada, says “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."
LED bulbs are quickly becoming cost competitive with other lighting sources and ready to fit right into traditional home fixtures. LED bulbs have a lifetime of 20 - 25 years and typically consume about a quarter of the electricity of an incandescent, making them a great way to shave some kWh off your home energy consumption, but smart controls can push those energy efficiency gains even farther.
The INSTEON not only lets your remotely control your LED lighting with your smartphone, but you can also have the bulbs linked to keypads, motion sensors or door sensors, making sure that you're only using the lights when you're in the room. The bulb acts as a network signal repeater and sends signals over both radio frequencies and a home’s existing wires. True, hitting a light switch isn't hard, but having a step like that automated makes sure that a bulb is never left burning and wasting energy.
The 8W, 60W-equivalent bulbs can each be linked to multiple controls or several bulbs to can be linked to one control so that they all can be turned on or off or dimmed simultaneously.
The INSTEON will retail for $29.99, which is comparable to other LED bulbs on the market. That's surprising considering its added features. Below is a video of the bulb in action.