This excerpt comes from our sister magazine Architectural Lighting.
In the past few years, consumer-focused LED replacement lamps and their app-based controls have evolved from novelty gadgets to specifiable products. That shift was, arguably, led by the debut of the Philips Hue connected lighting system in October 2012 and followed by a stream of venture capital–backed tech startups putting out similar products. Now, most leading lighting manufacturers offer Internet-connected replacement lamps, and many hope that greater consumer familiarity with connected lighting will pay off with commercial adoption of large-scale systems.
“Part of our consumer strategy is getting consumers to adopt [connected lighting] so that they become drivers in the commercial marketplace,” says Mike Watson, vice president of product strategy at Cree.
In January, Cree announced its dimmable Connected Cree LED 60W replacement lamp (left), which is compatible with Wink and ZigBee software platforms and can be controlled from a companion app. In April 2013, General Electric announced a partnership with Web-based product-development startup Quirky, whose Wink platform can connect a variety of smart-home products made by its own and third-party developers. Among them are GE Lighting North America’s recently introduced Link Connected LED A19, BR30, and PAR 38 replacement lamps. Osram Sylvania is also developing connected lighting. Last fall, the company teamed with Internet-connected devices developer Belkin for its Lightify Connected Lighting Portfolio, which debuted earlier this year at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas—a magnet for the burgeoning market for smart-home products and a platform that mixes legacy firms and startups on the same trade show floor.
“By taking a collaborative approach towards these partner companies, we ensure the best experience for our end customer without forcing them to invest in multiple platforms and download multiple apps,” says Aaron Ganick, head of Lightify North America for Osram Sylvania.