Man, do we love Kickstarter. It has been a constant source of amazing, refreshing ideas, especially when it comes to clean technology. One of the latest cool projects on the site is the LIFX LED bulb. The smart bulb is WiFi enabled and can be fully controlled by your smartphone, including turning on and off, dimming and even changing colors, along with a host of programmable features.
WiFi-connected lighting isn't entirely new and we've featured smartphone-controlled bulbs before, but this is definitely the "smartest" bulb to come around. The LIFX bulb is installed like any other light bulb, then you download the app from the App Store or the Google Play store. The app opens up a ton of features like being able to control the brightness and color of your lights room-by-room or for the whole house, special settings for gradually increasing brightness in the morning and dimming at night, an automatic on-off setting that turns the lights on when you get home and off when you leave, and even light that adapts to the mood of the music you're playing.
The connected bulbs can also be set to alert you when you have new Twitter or Facebook notifications or get text messages.
Those are the fun features, but at the heart of it all is an energy-saving LED bulb that uses one-tenth the energy of an incandescent and lasts 25 years, or 40,000 hours, before having to be replaced.
The inventor of LIFX, Phil Bosua, has plans for a Windows, Mac and Linux app in the works and he foresees unlimited things that can be done with the bulbs. He writes on Kickstarter that there are "many more things you can do with LiFX smartbulbs, in fact we're creating a software developer kit (SDK) and a hacker kit so hackers and developers alike will be able to release more and more apps to do things we haven't even thought of yet."
The Kickstarter campaign is live through November 14 and a pledge of $69 or more will get you an LIFX bulb. It's clear that many people love this idea -- it's already received almost eight times its goal of $100,000.