Home automation has traditionally been the realm of the nerd, willing to spend a lot of time playing with everything from X-10 systems to Raspberry Pi tech. Now it is becoming a part of the Internet of Things, where everything is connected, and the devices are simple and elegant. First there was the Nest Thermostat; then the Nest Protect smoke detector; now there is the Goldee light controller.
The Goldee isn't just a dimmer; it is designed to work with smart LEDs like the Philips Hue, that can adjust for colour temperature and hue. You can tune it to your mood.
Users will enjoy smart features such as the Sunrise Alarm, which simulates the morning sunrise to make your morning rise easier. Sleep Timer naturally fades your lights to prepare your body for a good night’s sleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night, Night Mode helps you to get around by automatically turning on dim light. When you return back to bed, Goldee turns it off again.
This is an important feature for those who spend a lot of time in an artificial light environment; I have noted before that our bodies sense the passage of the day through changes in the light, from red in the morning when the sun is lower, to blue when it is high, and red again in the afternoon. Artificial light doesn't do that, which is one of the reasons people get so fatigued late in the day; our body clock is stuck in time. A lighting and control system that could be programmed to simulate different lighting conditions throughout the day would be a wonderful thing. And there's more:
Goldee automatically turns your lights off when you leave home and turns them on when you return. The Smart Security feature simulates your presence if Goldee notices you have been away from home for more than two days.
Multiple units all connect together via the internet and are controllable from your apple or android smart phone. Installation is promised to be simple. Operation of it, as shown on the video, is elegant and simple, just a wave near the thing. The CEO and founder, Tomas Baran, is persuasive, saying:
Ever since the invention of the light bulb, not much has changed in the way people interact with light. Until now. Goldee forever changes how we interact with light, and how light interacts with us.
The future of lighting
There is no question that this is the future of lighting, where it is much more than lights being turned just on or off, but where intensity, hue and color temperature are all variables controlled by the wave of your hand. Where the light switch knows where you are and what you are doing. Where you don't have to know how to code or build a computer to make it work for you.
There are a couple of concerns. It is expensive, starting at $249 for 1 controller, no lights. It is not in production, and is being independently crowdfunded, without using Kickstarter or Indiegogo. I asked why and was told "we decided to go our own way. Its a bit more challenging, but we thought its worth it." Goldee's legal terms say that they will return the funds if the $100K target needed to start production isn't reached. If you have a problem with this relationship, you are "subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Kosice District Court I. of Slovakia." These are going to be issues for many people.
That's a shame, because if this does what they say it does, it will be the next Nest. More at Goldee