Lightbulbs as the “Glue” of the Smart Home

Lightbulbs as the “Glue” of the Smart Home

Chief Innovation Manager at GE Lighting on how LEDs are the new tech-adoption frontier

  • 11 february 2016

When electricity was first introduced more than a century ago, it took more than 30 years to achieve true adoption — while tablets took only more than two years to achieve this same adoption. Consumers are adopting new technology faster than ever.

At GE, we’re bullish on LED growth, and we’ve announced that we’re ramping up LED production to meet consumer demand. Today, ~15% of consumer sockets use LED, and by 2020 about half of all consumer sockets will be LED. And not long after, consumers will change the way they light their homes forever.

LED technology enables us to explore innovation possibilities with LED beyond basic illumination. We’re creating intelligent LEDs for homes that can sense and hear, and these bulbs will become connectivity points for the smart home, acting as routers, or the “glue,” for smart home interoperability. The average home has 45 sockets, all with unobstructed vantage points. That’s prime real estate for smart home platform connection points, enabling functionality and connectivity from any room in the home — not limited to placement of a hub or smart phone.

We’re bombarded with new smart home technology introduced each day, but there are a few barriers holding consumers back. Beyond the obvious barrier of price, hurdles include complex installation, poor user experience and lack of interoperability. These leave even the early adopters frustrated and wanting better options.

For many, lighting is the first step to an intelligent home that leverages other connected devices including smart thermostats, security cameras, door locks and smoke alarms. Even the savviest consumers can stumble, however, in a market crowded with novel and pricy products and come up with no clear platform winner. Our engineers focus on creating products that solve problems — not tech for the sake of tech — and ensure those products have the best user experience.

GE recognizes that smart technologies can have a steep learning curve, and consumers building their connected homes need faster, easier ways to get started. That’s why our engineers developed C-Life and C-Sleep. Every day (and night), intelligent LED light bulbs that can be controlled without a separate smart hub.

C-Sleep takes over at night by creating the perfect bedroom light. GE closely studies the science of light and how it impacts our lives, and developed C-Sleep to provide a warm, calming light that does not suppress the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for a healthy sleep-wake cycle. And in the morning, C-Sleep changes settings to emit a crisp, energizing light that gives the body an extra boost.

C-Life gives consumers a way to create optimal light in their connected home at every moment. The bulb can dim or brighten instantly, and multiple bulbs can be grouped and operated together. Users also have the option of scheduling lights to switch on or off at the desired times. This makes it easy for light to suit any situation around the house, whether cooking a meal, dining with family, working out or just hanging out.

Just as the telephone evolved into today’s smartphone, so too has the light bulb become today’s smart LED.

Tom Stimac is Chief Innovation Manager at GE Lighting.

Person with an idea via Shutterstock


Genetics Startup Is Working To Create A Completely Personalized, DNA-Based Range Of Products

Travel Today

United Airlines Launches An Updated Business Class Program

The new Polaris product prioritizes customer service and updated modern amenities

Design & Architecture Today

Video Explores Complex Museum Architecture

A mini video gives a quick overview of the most beautiful cultural buildings built


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Sustainability Today

Smog Vacuum Turns Pollution Particulates Into Unique Jewelry

A large device was installed in Beijing that sucks up smog and compresses it into small centerpieces atop jewelry

Experiential Marketing Today

PSA Fashion Line Shines A Light On Victim Blaming

YWCA Canada is using fashion and sexist tweets to highlight how often we as a society blame the victim in cases of abuse

Related Expert

Deena Varshavskaya

Retail, Mobile, Social

Syndicated Today

What PSX 2016 Tells Us About The Modern Games Industry

Nostalgia and big brands are defining how the console market is being shaped

Technology Today

The PSFK Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Based on a year of research by PSFK Labs, we curated a list of innovative and unique holiday gifts

Food Today

Minute Maid Opens A Store That Sells Nothing

The beverage company opened a pop-up shop that encourages customers to write letters to their parents instead of buying a gift


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed Today

VP: Why Messaging Apps Are Issuing In A New Era Of Commerce

Matt Johnson discusses how mobile messaging commerce is creating a different modality for interaction between retailers and consumers

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Entertainment Today

Samsung And Viceland Partner For A Virtual Reality Documentary On The Syrian War

The White Helmets film uses VR to immerse viewers in the everyday conditions of the war-torn country

Design & Architecture Today

These Designs Bring Modern Architecture To The Humble Birdhouse

Artist Douglas Barnhard has imagined a series of designs emulating the work of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Joseph Eichler

Mobile Today

Nine Technologies To Invest In When It Comes To Retail [Future Of Retail]

Retailers are leveraging assistive technology to help employees in their daily tasks and customers on the sales floor

Travel Today

Acura Cockpit Envisions The Future Of Autonomous Travel

The car brand has built a proof that offers a sneak peek of the self-driving vehicle experience

Retail Today

How Artificial Intelligence Is Enabling Anytime Shopping & On-Demand Support

Retailers are leveraging advanced technology to relieve associates from mundane tasks, while better assisting customers


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Cities Today

NYC Map Calculates Economic Benefits Of Every Tree

TreesCount! maps all the greenery in the five boroughs and even figures out how much money it saves the city

Design Today

Create A Perfectly Tailored Shirt Using Just Your Phone

UKYS has created an application to get accurate measurements of buyers through a few simple pictures for custom shirts

Technology Today

Tiny Home Robot Turns Switches On And Off

The miniature device attaches to the side of an appliance or switch to enable remote control through a person's phone

No search results found.