Friday, December 18, 2015

Smart LED Lights — Not the Brightest Bulbs Yet, but Getting Smarter

You enter a room, you flip a switch and the light comes on.
For more than 130 years, the oldest electronic technology has astoundingly remained largely unchanged — until the recent advent of the “smart” LED bulb.

Instead of flipping a switch, you whip out your smartphone or tablet to wirelessly, via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, turn your smart LED lights on or off. But that’s not the “smart” part. With the smart bulb app, you can schedule your lights to go on or off on a programmed schedule and, in some cases, change color or tone to suit or create a mood.
But let’s get back to that first “smart” bit. How, exactly, is whipping out your smartphone to turn your lights on or off easier — or “smarter” — than simply flipping a switch?
It isn’t. If you think about it, the technology may be cool, but the function is purely Rube Goldberg.
Smart bulbs sometimes make controlling your lights more confusing. If you turn on a smart LED from a wall switch or the lamp itself, your smart bulb app may not be able to turn it off — you have to complete the on/off cycle either from the wall/lamp switch or from the app, not one from Column A and one from Column B. This switch/app control issue multiplies if you have multiple smart LED bulbs and some are on and some are off.
Despite this annoyance, smart LED bulbs will probably catch on anyway. After all, the light bulb is still the universal sign of a brilliant idea, and brilliant ideas are exactly what some LED bulb engineers are hatching for the next generation of “smart” LED bulbs. And one brilliant idea may eliminate light switch and smartphone on/off control entirely.

Unlike ancient incandescent and cold fluorescent, LED bulbs do not use chemical processes to create light. LEDs are light-emitting diodes, and use solid-state circuitry to create illumination.
LED bulbs are essentially PCs in a socket. As such, an LED bulb is a tabula rasa, a blank slate for clever programmers and engineers to create something more than a simple illumination device. Product designers are drooling over the opportunity to incorporate capabilities into an LED bulb currently performed by separate devices.
For instance, there have been a handful of LED bulbs that double as either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth speakers. Sengled, a 10-year-old Chinese LED firm, is selling its Bluetooth Sengled Pulse Solo and, early next year, the Wi-Fi Flex. Like the Pulse, Flex will have JBL speakers built into them, but also will be able to wirelessly access personal music libraries and Internet radio stations through Sengled’s iOS and Android app. Sengled also sells the Boost, a smart LED bulb with a built-in Wi-Fi repeater.

Sengled is adding more than speakers to LED bulbs. For instance, coming soon is the Sengled Snap. Essentially a DropCam in a bulb, Snap is an overhead flood with an integrated 140-degree wide-angle 1080p video camera.

A two-year-old Cambridge, Mass., startup called BeON is taking a more intriguing approach: A modular smart LED. Instead of a traditional bulb-shaped bulb — there’s no reason an LED bulb has to be bulb-shaped; it’s merely a matter of maintaining form familiarity — BeON has gone all Henry Moore on us. Its “bulbs” have a rectangular hole through their middle into which can be inserted specific function modules.
BeON’s first modular smart LED bulb product is the Home Protection System, a three-bulb kit with yellow modules with built-in microphones so the bulb can hear what’s going on around it and react. For instance, BeON’s LED lights can flash in a preprogrammed sequence if they hear the smoke alarm, CO2 alarm or the doorbell ring.
The BeONs also can supply four hours of emergency lighting in case of power outage, thanks to an integrated e-battery that charges whenever you turn your lamp on.
Along with speakers, cameras, Wi-Fi repeaters and microphones, it won’t be long before smart bulbs incorporate smoke and CO2 detectors, air fresheners, sonic pest repellents, cell signal boosters, or any other single or combination of heretofore dedicated-function devices.

There still remains the on/off-switch/app conundrum. If these LED bulbs are so smart and can include microphones, why can’t we just tell them to turn on or off?
You can, sort of. You can tell both the Hue and Insteon smart lights to turn on and off via new hubs that create separate connections to Apple’s HomeKit, Android’s Cortana and Amazon Echo’s Alexa voice-control systems. Just enunciate the appropriate command to one of these voice systems, and after a few seconds of communicating with their respective cloud intelligence, your lights come on or turn off.
But why should smart bulbs need a Cyrano? Soon they won’t. At the upcoming CES, Sengled will announce Sengled Voice, a Wi-Fi smart LED bulb with dual microphones and dual JBL speakers — essentially Siri, Cortana and Alexa in a socket. You’ll be able to speak to the Voice bulb to not only control its lighting, but get answers to questions, listen for alarming sounds such as breaking glass or crying babies, or perform other as-yet unspecified smart home tasks, all with no additional third-party system required.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Singles Day sales push down LED light bulb prices in China in November, says LEDinside

The global average price of 40W LED replacement light bulbs fell 3.4% on month to US$10.80 in November, while 60W counterparts saw a 3% drop to US$14.60.
LEDinside analyst Allen Yu said that the price decline for LED lighting products in November was more significant in China because of online promotional activities during the Singles Day sales. In the Europe and US markets, prices returned to downtrend during the same month after experiencing an uptick in October. As for China's LED package market, demand has been picking up compared with the third quarter but still lags far behind expectations. Currently, the downtrend in the China package market is caused mainly by the decline of mid- and high-power LED package products. The room for further price reduction is relatively smaller for standard LED package products.
LED package prices have fallen each month since the start of 2015, with decline being most noticeable in the standard package segment. Mid- and high-power LED package products are still seeing rapidly falling prices. In particular, more makers are producing 0.5W 2835 LED products due to rising demand. As a result, the average monthly decline of the products reached 3.3% in November and was responsible for the overall price drop for mid- and high-power LED package products. Yu pointed out that the present recovery of LED industry has not been as smooth as initially believed, and makers are still suffering low capacity utilization. In the short term, Yu expects price slump to persist in China's LED package market.
During November, 40W-equivalent LED light bulbs saw the steepest price decline in China as local lighting companies had lowered their prices in that regional market in response to Singles Day sales. The monthly decline in China thus reached 9.9%. Prices in the UK and Germany swung sharply downward after a significant recovery in October, with monthly declines respectively at 5.2% and 7.2%. In Japan, the monthly drop was 3.4% because some products were on promotion there.
As for the prices of 60W-equivalent LED light bulbs during November, monthly decline in China reached 7.9% due to local lighting companies cutting prices during the Singles Day sales. International lighting companies also substantially lowered their prices. In the UK, 60W-equivalent LED light bulbs suffered a relatively large monthly decline because of most of these products were promotion there as well. By contrast, prices in Germany and Japan fell 4% and 2.7%, respectively.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Japan Govt to promote LED lamps, ban fluorescents - Great News

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press)

The government plans to tighten its energy-efficiency standards for lamps to effectively ban production and imports of fluorescents and incandescents, informed sources said Thursday.
The move is aimed at promoting the replacement of such lamps with light-emitting diode ones, in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
According to the industry ministry, the adoption rate for LED lamps in Japan came to 9 percent in fiscal 2012, which ended in March 2013, while the government targets achieving almost 100 percent by fiscal 2030.
LED lamps are durable for longer periods of time than other lamps are, and their power consumption is about one eighth of that of incandescents.
But LED lamps are much more expensive. In large home electronics stores in the country, a 60-watt fluorescent bulb is usually priced at around ¥700, much lower than some ¥2,000 for an LED one.
Under the current “top runner” system, energy-saving requirements are set for each product category, based on the highest energy-efficient performance in each category.
LED and other lamps are treated separately in the system, but the government now plans to unify lamp categories so that only LED lamps can meet requirements for the unified category.
Details of the plan are expected to be drawn up by an industry ministry panel by the end of fiscal 2016.

New Buzzword "Li-Fi" 100 Times Faster Than "Wi-Fi"

 Li-Fi technology to be 100 times faster than Wi-Fi

But that may all change with the newly tested technology of "li-fi", which can achieve stable speeds up to 100 times faster than wi-fi. Well, scientists have just announced they have innovated a form of wireless computer communications that they claim to be 100 times faster than Wi-fi. The data was received by a binary code by flashing LED lights on and off by creating a morse code. The new wireless technology uses Visible Light Communication (VLC) or infra-red and near ultra violet spectrum.

BBC reports that Estonian start-up Velmenni recently completed the first real world test of visible light spectrum-based Wi-Fi, cleverly dubbed Li-Fi by Edinburgh University professor Harald Hass after first demonstrating the technology in a 2011 TED talk. Li-Fi might just be the next one.
"When a constant current is applied to an LED [light-emitting-diode] lightbulb, a constant stream of photons are emitted from the bulb which is observed as visible light. We're also performing a pilot project having a personal client where we're establishing a Lifi system to get into the Internet within their workplace space". "We only had to keep your micro-control board in front of the laptop screen (GUI) and the data was transferred wirelessly using visible light communication". Today, professionals took Li Fi out of the research for that first time, screening it in offices and professional situations. Because gentle can not pass through surfaces, think about it, that you don't have to be anxious about your annoying neighbour looking to compromise into your internet and stealing knowledge. Rather, the two systems may be applied together to accomplish secure and more effective systems. That address was delivered four years ago, and many people speculated that, like a lot of apparent revolutionary breakthroughs, Li-Fi would go the way of other "next big things" and not come to fruition.
But the technology also has its drawbacks - most notably the fact that it can not be deployed outdoors in direct sunlight, because that would interfere with its signal. Li-Fi is a bidirectional, fully networked wireless communication technology similar to Wi-Fi, which works at very high speed.

Monday, August 10, 2015

LEDs to light up Macon streets


Macon-Bibb county will soon replace all of its street light bulbs with brighter lights. They're called LED lights and county Commissioners approved Georgia Power's proposal to let them install more than 6,000 of them inside the former Macon city limits.

Lamp runs for 8 hours on one glass of water and some salt


Lighting is something that we take for granted in the developed world, but there are still many areas around the globe where people lack reliable access to light at night. They often use kerosene lamps, which contribute to indoor pollution and have to be refilled with oil regularly. Aisa Mijeno, an engineering professor who worked for years with Greenpeace Philippines, noticed during her work there that many indigenous people in the over-7,000 islands that make up the country were using kerosene lamps exclusively for lighting. The family she lived with there would have to climb down the mountain that they lived on and then walk an additional 30 km to the nearest town in order to get more oil to fuel their lamps.

LED Lamps to Surpass Traditional Lamps in Offices by 2019


The use of smart lighting in offices worldwide is set for an impressive growth in the next five years as LED lamps will overtake traditional lamps by 2019, according to a new report from IHS. Currently, smart lighting is used in only a minority of offices around the world but is found more commonly in developed countries such as the United States and Japan. However, in the coming years, revenue from LED lamps will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.4% during the 2014 to 2019 time frame, IHS says. This revenue growth will overtake traditional lamp revenue in offices by 2019.

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Deeply regret for dis-connecting for long time.

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