April 26, 2012 by Lisa Montgomery
Lights are already pretty smart. They respond to signals from timers, motion sensors and home control systems. In the future, they might also be able to turn themselves on and off based on historical data, the temperature and existing ambient light levels. The Lighting Science Group (LSG), the largest manufacturer of LED lights in North America, is currently developing technology that will provide LEDs with the intelligence to self-adjust without any human interaction. (LSG earlier partnered with Google to develop LED lighting with networked functionality.)
The biggest change in LED lighting will be not how it’s controlled, but what aspects of it are able to be controlled, says Eric Holland LSG vice president of engineering. “We will start to see lights with color-shifting capabilities.” This is will allow solid-state LEDs to evoke the warm look of an incandescent bulb … and it will happen automatically. For example, at bedtime, you might like the lights to put off a warm glow, and based on the time of day, the LED can shift its color temperature. In the morning, the color temperature can shift again.
No word on when color-shifting LEDs might hit the market, but next month at Lightfair, an architectural and commercial lighting trade show held in Las Vegas, LSG will introduce a outdoor security light with an Wi-Fi-enabled surveillance camera built in. “You can pair it with your home network to view camera images on an iPad or other devices,” says Holland. The J5 is expected to go into production this summer.
Available now is a LED fixture, called the Glimpse, that can replace a recessed in-ceiling incandescent fixture. The big deal here is that this is not a replacement blub, but an entire fixture. It mounts right over the existing can fixture, making the transition from incandescent to LED simple and straightforward. The Glimpse is available from distributors in 4- and 6-inch models for $38-$42.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.
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