CES Introducing the Wi-Fi connected, Long-Lasting "Smart Light-Bulbs" from Phillips

The International Consumer Electric Show (CES) generated a lot of buzz this year due to one new specific category: home automation, and one specific product line: smart light bulbs.  These fancy bulbs respond to your smartphone while you're away on vacation, sense your presence as you walk in the door, can let you know if you're getting a phone call... oh, and can have an energy life of over 20 years. 

Smart bulbs can, obviously, be great for a homeowner, but real estate agents are intrigued about these developments themselves.  No need to worry about showing up to a home early to turn all the lights on for an inviting entrance.  Also, set the mood with the lightbulbs individually, with a spotlight here and there or a warm ambiance there.

So, what are some specs of smart light bulbs?  

Here are the tasks they can do so far:

  • Connect to your Wi-Fi/Respond to your smartphone or tablet apps - and have control of them from remote locations
  • Have mood settings like "concentrate," "read," or "relax"
  • Displays a range of different colors to respond to mood and setting
  • Can be set to dim automatically as you fall asleep
  • Can sense your presence from up to 50ft away and respond to you
  • Flash to alert you to an incoming phone call
  • Sustain energy for 20 years

Here is some info on the specific brands:

The Hue Smart Bulb from Phillips

  • Lets you control wireless lighting from a smartphone or tablet app
  • Light dimming
  • Color scheme options
  • Preset lighting settings (concentrate, read, relax)
  • Timed wake-up function


Belkin's WeMo Smart LED Bulb

  • 60 watt equivalent LED bulb
  • Lasts up to 23 years
  • App integrated (iOS and Android compatible)
  • Light dimming
  • Set dimming functions for specific times of day

Lumen Smart Bulb

  • Senses your presence from 50 ft away
  • Flashes to alert you to an incoming phone call
  • Smartphone compatible

The downside?

Unfortunately, as you may expect with any new invention, they're a bit on the spendy side.  Lumen's smart bulbs come in at around $70 each, while Belkin's WeMo Smart LED Bulbs sell for about $39.99 each.

Still, we could be looking at the future at lighting here, and perhaps opening the door for integrated and responsive homes of the future. (Anyone remember Disney's Smart House, or maybe Back to the Future?)

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