Lighting Television

AmbiScreen lights up the backs of your screens and more

Ambient TV backlighting technology has so far failed to find a major audience in the U.S. despite several attempts by companies including Philips and its Ambilight. More recently, the makers of Project-Pyxis failed to reach their funding goals for that device.

AmbiScree is a new, LED-based backlighting device with somewhat more ambitious functionality than some prior products. It is controlled wirelessly via iOS (and later Android) mobile devices, and provides ambient lighting for TVs or any other display, as well as videogame consoles and any other device in the home, according to its Indiegogo campaign. AmbiScreen can also be used as an autonomous mood light system. So, in addition to creating light behind a TV, it can also be used to create ambient lighting in bathrooms and other rooms.

Connected Objects Lighting

Playbulb garden lights up your garden, saves you some green

Outdoor garden lighting tends to be pretty routine, offering little in the way of color. Few outdoor bulbs can also be deemed to be green, as in environmentally friendly, because they require the same electricity that indoor lights use.

However, the latest Playbulb LED lighting product -– the water-resistant Playbulb garden –- adds multiple colors, special lighting effects and smart functionality, and is driven purely by solar power. Each light is controlled via Bluetooth 4.0 by the accompanying free Playbulb X app for Android and iOS mobile devices. Users can change each light’s color with the app and also select from rainbow, fading, pulsing, flashing and candle light effects.

The built-in sensor detects lighting conditions and automatically turns on or off accordingly. The included monopod/spike allows more flexibility for installation. Once attached to the bottom of a Playbulb garden light, it’s easy to push into the grass to make the bulb secure. The monopod can also be removed if the user just wants to place the light directly on the ground. Each Playbulb garden costs $29.99 and will ship in May. Its maker set a goal of raising $10,000 by March 27.

Playbulb garden follows the Playbulb color and Playbulb rainbow, and will likely appeal to many homeowners with gardens. Other good features include its ability to run up to 20 hours on a full charge. One drawback is that its light might not be bright enough for some consumers. Customers shouldn’t expect to be able to use one to read a book outside at night. The product is featured in a recent Backerjack podcast.



LAMPP app sets the mood; turns smartphone into a light

It seems that there is an app for everything from music to sports to safety and more. Why not create one for mood lighting too?

LAMPP allows users to create that perfect ambiance through a phone app. The phone fits inside the lampshade-like cover and the app allows for various color choices to be emitted through the phone screen as soft music selections play in the background, creating a smartlight effect. Silicone has the best glow, and its durability and flexibility allow for it to travel well. So the user can get together with that special someone at his place or hers or somewhere in between.

While a little frivolous, this is nonetheless a cute product that can travel and enhance the ambience for cheap. Sometimes light is everything, especially in intimate situations. Other mood enhancing campaigns in which backers might have an interest are LumaPlay Speakers, Whome, Prizm, and Playbulb. This campaign seeks to raise $50,000. For $40, backers get one LAMPP with an expected delivery of March 2015.


Ion is the 21st century lava lamp

ionOne thing that makes any music better, especially at a party, is appropriate lighting. With Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, a multitude of templates and options, and even a comprehensive pattern editor, Ion is essentially the high-tech reboot of the lava lamp. With 40 tri-color LEDs and audio sensors that respond to music or even just phone notifications, Ion can provide an interactive light show for any occasion. Ingeniously, the developers of Ion have set up a Web site where users can try out these options and get a feel for what the light is capable of. Once hooked and ready to get their hands on the real deal, backers can get the party started with an Ion for $199, shipped in August.