CES Final Day: Lights that Listen?

In his final day at the CES show in Las Vegas, our intrepid US Editor, Randy Reid, discovers that you don’t need glitter to strike gold…

The ZigBee Alliance booth had representatives from both Philips and OSRAM.  OSRAM showed their LIGHTIFY A-line, Par, BR lamps.  We were early adaptors of the Philips Hue and the one issue I have is the low light output.  OSRAM has an A-line lamp with 800 lumens so about a 60-watt equivalent.   The OSRAM RGBW lights are the only ones on the market that can go down to a warm candlelight glow of 1900K at any brightness.  Unlike other products on the market, the RGBW lights offer a true green lighting experience, which creates a higher quality colored and white light.   We saw lots of OSRAM products at the Lowes booth.

Philips is ready for ZigBee 3.0.  The good news is that it is simply a software upgrade for the phone, which will automatically upgrade the hub and the lights.  Philips was demonstrating their new Hue switch at both the ZigBee booth and the EnOcean booth.

EnOcean had a strong display of lighting controls.  They utilize 2.4 GHz standards and kinetic energy powers the switch.  They have a clever tagline:  “No Wires. No Batteries.  No Limits.”  They demonstrated the Philips Hue switch, which allows for on-off control, dimming, and pre-set color schemes.  Although this was launched in 2014, it is the first time I have seen it.

If you attend LIGHTFAIR this year in San Diego, plan to spend some time in the Sengled booth.  They have neat stuff.

  • Pulse.  This bulb has  a built in high quality JBL Bluetooth speaker.  The quality was outstanding.   No wires, power cords or remote controls required.  The app was simple to use.  It gets better.
  • Voice.  A bulb that detects and responds to voice.  Get a notification at work if your home smoke detector goes off.  It could detect the baby crying and automatically play a lullaby.  Get audio reminders, “If you have not made your LIGHTFAIR hotel reservations in San Diego, you want to do it right now or you will be in a boring hotel.”
  • Boost.  Strategically locate this dimmable LED light to boost your home Wi-Fi signal.

Lutron  displayed an interesting new tag line.  “Smart Lighting That Works.”  Their MarComm person explained that they will emphasize the tagline in the future as it seems to resonate well with the market.

Lumina, a small start up, sells an LED mask that acts as a non-invasive sleep aid.  The mask features red LEDs and they say it helps  individuals produce more melatonin, causing more sleep. Interesting product.

I do not want to sound mean-spirited, but if there is an uglier bulb than the Nanoleaf, I have not seen it.  But one should not judge a book by its cover.  The Nanoleaf allows your voice to be the switch.  Their literature states, “. . . a voice-controlled lighting system that lets you set the perfect mood instantly with Siri.”   Over the decades, my family has given me much grief about CFL bulbs.  (My 25-year old daughter once complained in the eighth grade that she had no friends because those ‘swirly’ lightbulbs made her look pale.)

The literature mentions setting the mood, so a conversation in my house having to do with this ugly bulb might go something like this:  In my suave and manly voice, I say, “Siri, it’s time, baby.  Dim those lights.”  And they would go down to about 20%.    Mrs. Reid would say, “Siri.  Turn those lights back up right now. “  I would respond.  “Come on Siri, the kids are gone.  Let’s drop those lumens.”  “Siri!” my wife would shout, “Up, now.  100%!

Although the Nanoleaf bulb with the voice control is ugly, it does work well and can be a nice convenience.  Maybe it’s not just the bulb that is unattractive….

There were new lighting companies that I had never heard of including, Misfit, Climax and Playbulb.    Perhaps I would have more luck with these bulbs.

For Randy’s first day at the show, read here. For news about Apple’s entry into the lighting (patent) industry, read here.

11 Jan