Lighting Smart Home

BeON deterrent lighting system allows you to be on alert 24/7

Home security has seen a resurgence in the past few years thanks to how easy it has become to install and use smartphone and tablet-based systems. As such, the ubiquity of low-cost hardware and Bluetooth connectivity along with smart devices have made home monitoring a largely automated experience that relies on video and motion sensing to set off alarms. As effective as these approaches are, most companies have forgotten that deterrence is the first line of defense in protecting the home, an idea the BeON burglary deterrent system is based on.

The one thing common to every household is the humble lightbulb, maybe a little bit too humble. The BeON system takes lightbulbs to task injecting them with smarts that allow a combination of Bluetooth LE, microphone, sound processor, and rechargeable battery to protect your home. The BeON bulbs installs like standard bulbs and simulate a full home when users are gone by learning lighting habits over time. Constantly shifting lights give off the impression of an occupied, so burglars will think twice before trying to break in. Doorbells also activate the lights when users aren’t in, making it seem like someone is stirring within.

Its four-hour backup battery inside allow its lighting and security features to work through a power outage and that, along with its 20 year battery life, ensures a user’s peace of mind. The companion iOS and Android app will also let users enable Away mode, set lighting patterns, or teach BeON to hear their doorbell, all while still softly lighting a home with 60W of power. A three pack of BeON lightbulbs goes for $229 and is expected to ship in April 2015. The campaign is looking for $100,000 to make it happen.

A connected lightbulb isn’t anything new, but the BeON does far more than others like the AirBulb or even Philips Hue. Its modular nature will eventually allow users to add on functionality, which extends its utility. That said, it is pretty wasteful to randomly turn on lights but that won’t be a convincing point for those who treasure their security.


Lighting Smart Home

AirBulb is the lightbulb that ears can enjoy

The Premise. In the 21st century, a lot of innovation and engineering has gone into making artificial light less energy-intensive, longer-lasting, and more natural to the health of the eye. But why do our lightbulbs only serve to illuminate the dark when they could be doing much more?

The Product. The AirBulb is a smart, Bluetooth LED lightbulb that syncs up to iOS and Android devices that has an internal speaker for enjoying music without any complicated wiring. AirBulb can be used in any standard lamp socket and can be controlled traditionally or through the AirBulb app. With the app, light warmth can be changed, and the bulb can be set to flash in conjunction with an alarm clock or as a notification of an incoming call.

The Pitch. Aptly named for a project such as this, Hong Kong’s Avantconcept shows off its vision that every home not only needs light, but also a means to enjoy music. The video goes over all the current features of the device, and the campaign pictures highlight the technical specifications of the product and break down the reward tiers simply. Avantconcept needs $100,000 to finish mass manufacturing and the AirBulb, and has also set a stretch goal at $150,000 at which point more features will be added including multiple brightness levels and notifications for social media, text messages, email, and low battery.

The Perks. A pledge of $59 gets backers one AirBulb to use in their home. Higher tiers can be used to order several at once, and all AirBulbs are expected to be delivered at the end of 2014.

The Potential. Overall, this feels like a neat tech idea but also like an abuse of technological power. While some might be attracted to AirBulb, others will struggle to find a reason why lightbulbs and speakers should be one in the same. Paying nearly $60 for a lightbulb will give some hesitation, while others will wonder just how much the acoustics of a lampshade will affect the enjoyment of their music. Chalk this up as a novelty for now, and don’t expect people to set up their homes to resemble The Exorcist when a call comes in, but maybe in just a few short years products like these will become the standard.