I get a little skeptical of all the crowdfund smart home pitches received here at Electronic House. Many of them sound promising, though most are more variations of things we’ve seen before from more established companies. Even worse, most never meet their funding goals and then disappear into the vapor.
Goldee, a new smart lighting product, apparently is neither of those things. It’s a unique take on lighting and it already surpassed its funding goals. That means it’s going to be a real thing.
Goldee (odd name) looks like a bold product in this category. It starts with the wall-mounted touch controller which features a Gorilla Glass face plate covering a color AMOLED display. The controller communicates via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Also integrated are proximity sensors and a camera for gesture control. There’s an ambient light sensor to measure the light conditions in the room.
In fact, the touch controller is essentially the control hub for the system. It replaces any standard outlet. The system can control any kind of light bulb, but it’s best for controlling smart LED bulbs like the Philips Hue, ilumi or LIFX color-changing Wi-Fi bulbs.
Reviews: Philips Hue LED and Tabu Lumen LED color-changing bulbs.
With the smart LED bulbs, you can use Goldee to create and execute scenes, or function based on occupancy or timers. Of course there’s an app too. There’s always an app.
Some of those things you can do with the above-mentioned smart bulbs already, but the catch is you need their separate apps to do it and you don’t have wall-switch control, which is the biggest problem with smart bulbs.
The wall hub allows you to wave your hand to change a light scene. In Night mode Goldee’s motion sensor will notice if you get up in the middle of the night then turn the lights to dim so you can find your way to the bathroom. A Sunrise alarm mode gradually brightens the room in the morning.
Right now the Goldee is selling the controller through its web site for $250, $450 for a controller and three LIFX bulbs or $1,699 for four controllers and 20 LIFX bulbs.
What we don’t know at this point is if Goldee can be integrated with other control systems, especially the Revolv, which already works with Philips Hue.
Read a lot more about smart lighting and related technologies here:
Review: Belkin WeMo Light Switch and Sensor
What Can Your Lights Do?
How to Add Lighting Control to Your House
Inside an AT&T Digital Life Home
Who Left the Lights On?
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.