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Smarter than a smart light bulb
August 24, 2014, 1:58 pm
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What could be smarter than a smart light bulb that is energy-efficient and controlled by an app from your mobile? Nanoleaf Bloom believes they have the answer; a light bulb that does not require you to fiddle with your phone app to make it smart and control lighting brightness or to turn up or down your lights.

The current choices for dimming and turning the light off and on, are either to fix a standard wall dimmer switch that does the trick, or to replace your bulbs with the app connected smart bulbs. Both of which are not ideal alternatives if you just want something minimal and as easily controlled as your existing dumb bulbs.

Nanoleaf Bloom, a Kickstarter project, has built a smarter LED light bulb that can be set to a brightness of your choosing and yet does not require an app to do that, or new wall switches to be installed. It has even got a stylish geometric bulb design to boot. The Nanoleaf Bloom contains 33 omni-directional LED lights which uses a sequence of on/off switches at the wall to set its brightness; which means, no additional hardware and no app required.

The Bloom contains a microprocessor which enables it to translate on-off switching at the wall into variable brightness at the bulb. To set brightness, the bulb is switched on at the wall which begins a fading up process. Switching the switch off/on a second time sets it at the desired brightness. And that’s it.

The bulb also includes a night mode, at 5 percent brightness (consuming 0.5W) — which is set by turning the switch on/off/on. And if you just want to use the Bloom like a regular energy-efficient light bulb, switching it on and leaving the switch on will mean the bulb fades up to full brightness. And switching it off turns it off; as simple as that.

So how much is Nanoleaf Bloom going to cost? Early Kickstarter backers can bag one bulb for $40, so it is certainly not cheap. But prices could drop on mass production and moreover, ingenious engineering and smart, minimalist design are both worth supporting.

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