In the very near future, expect to be able to control devices, appliances, and lights in your home with the help of Google. That’s the information coming out of Google’s developer conference, Google I/O, where Android@Home was first announced. With the right app, an Android-powered smart device, and an intelligent LED replacement bulb from Lighting Science Group, a savvy homeowner could geek out a home without much effort.
A new company, Switch Lighting, just introduced some new lights that look promising. The San Jose-based company has what it calls “the brightest warm light LED replacement available,” according to a news release, and we’ve been able to get access to a couple photos of the 75W bulb. The Cradle to Cradle bulbs — 40W, 60W, and 75W equivalents — have a self-cooling design that maximizes brightness and requires fewer LEDs.
Some folks are up in arms over Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, which requires about 25% more efficient light bulbs starting in January 2012. The bi-partisan law phases out the standard Edison bulb in favor of better options like this upgraded light bulb. The Philips EcoVantage light offers an incremental improvement over the norm with 28% energy savings, a low price, and incandescent-style light.
With Lightfair and other design shows in the works, I expect to see a few new products like this Flo light, which was designed by Foster + Parters for Lumina, a lighting manufacturer in Italy. Flo is an unobtrusive reading light with a dimmable 6W LED that outputs 475 lumens. The aluminum frame and head is planted with a steel base, and the head rotates 300 degrees for precise task usage. Flo joins a host of other LED task lamps on the market — I’ll post a price when it’s offered here in the United States.
Some folks just don’t want to give up incandescent light bulbs, so GE developed a “customer-inspired” bulb to ease the transition. The GE Energy Smart hybrid halogen/CFL bulb is being shipped nationally with soft white and Reveal options. The new bulb — a blend of three light bulb technologies — has the shape of an incandescent, the efficiency of a CFL, and the immediacy of a halogen.
U.S. Sunlight this year introduced a new product in the form of a low-profile skylight with flexible tubing and a 14″ ceiling lens. Similar to the flat-glass Sun Tunnel by Velux, Skylight Tube ditches the dome-shaped roof lens for a flatter, square design. The new product was designed for simplicity and efficiency and can be installed in a couple hours by a professional or an afternoon by a DIYer (with the right tools).