Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, Benny Evangelista reports that once-mundane household devices – such as light bulbs – are being transformed into smart, customizable tools.
“There’s a nice symmetry in smart light bulbs blazing the trail for the Internet of Things (IoT),” he explains.
“When electric wires first appeared in homes in the early 20th century, the sole purpose was electric light. But inventors soon found other ways to use that wiring, giving rise to electric appliances like irons and vacuum cleaners.”
According to Kendra De Berti, a director at Rambus, the lighting industry is evolving to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding Internet of Things.
“WiFi, Bluetooth and ZigBee capabilities are being integrated into next-gen lighting designs to provide connected functionality – with an eye on building the smart home of the future,” De Berti explains. “Interacting with IoT-friendly lighting is made easy, as users control their environment across multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets. “
Concurrently, DIY Maker-centric companies like littleBits have introduced smart home kits to add IoT functionality to appliances such as lamps and bulbs that lack connectivity.
“The littleBits team utilized the $249 kit to create a smart refrigerator, Internet-connected speakers, a smart lighting system, a remote pet feeder, a smart AC, an SMS doorbell answering machine, a wireless lamp and more,” writes PSFK’s Melanie Ehrenkranz.
“This kit provides the bits necessary to create a customized, connected home with existing décor, appliances and furniture.”
It should be noted that a recent report published by MarketsandMarkets estimates the smart lighting market will be worth approximately $56.05 billion by 2020.
“In industrial, commercial as well as residential applications, lighting consumes around 40% of total energy cost,” the report reads. “Governments, industrialists [and] stakeholders are focusing on reducing the energy utilization by substituting traditional lighting with advanced energy-efficient lighting devices and technologies.”