Aussie Team Re-Invents The Lightbulb

A real geek is someone who fixes things that aren't broken. A person who takes ordinary stuff apart to see how they can be made better. Phil Bosua is one of those people. He's already had one wildly successful invention (the ScanBox), and now he and his team are reinventing the lightbulb. Say hello to LIFX — the Wi-Fi lightbulb you can operate with your smartphone.

LIFX (pronounced "lyfex") launched on Kickstarter just two days ago, but already it has smashed its $100,000 funding goal. It's sitting pretty with $232,356 and 58 days to go. So why is it so popular?

Well, LIFX is a bulb that connects to your ordinary Edison, bayonet or downlight socket and then connects to your Wi-Fi network so that you can control it via your smartphone. On top of that, it's multicoloured and fully customisable.

Fancy having white light that blinks green when you get a notification on your smartphone? You got it. What about having lights that strobe to match your crazy dubstep? You can do that too.

The lights can also be phased around your house, so you can create a night-light for the kids, and a sunrise light for yourself so you wake up naturally every morning.

It's also insanely energy efficient. Because it's LED lighting, Phil and his team estimate that you might only need to go replacing the globe once every 25 years. It also only uses 1/10th the power that ordinary globes do.

The only downside to this wonderful tech is the cost. Each LIFX bulb us about $US59 each. That drops to $US49 each when you order four or more, but if you've got a lot of light in your house, it gets expensive pretty quick.

Price aside though, the idea of a lightbulb that connects to my Wi-Fi network sounds awesome. I'm already doing the maths.

Image: LIFX


Comments

    This could be useful for deaf people?

      Oddly I was just thinking the very same thing...

      So did I

      ..... ok I didn't really I just wanted to be part of the first post like you guys. :(

      its a more appropriate application =]

        Don't worry, another Gizmondo staffer will post this story again in a few months - you can be first then

        :-D

    My very own red light district coming soon to my bedroom... lol EPIC!

    All kinds of awesome.. almost hit buy on the 4 pack.. then thought for a second about the price. While it's a seriously awesome, amazingly innovative solution, I can't justify $50+ per globe. What I hope happens is that it turns out to be a smash success and are mass produced to bring down the price to $20.

      REALLY?
      UPTO 25 YEARS LIFE! THATS OVER $50 IN REPLACEMNT GLOBES!?
      WHY WOULDNT YOU!!!

      Who am I kidding, I started the post not going to buy it.. but by the end, I'd talked myself into how awesome it would be to own these.. I bought 4x - http://www.techau.tv/blog/aussies-just-changed-home-automation-foreverlifx-smartbulbs-kickstarter/

      Do you want the high quality first run that will last 25 years or the low quality made in China version that is built to fail in 3 years?

    I bought an LED strip for $300 that changed colours, it broke in two years :(
    I love the idea of this more, and (compated to regular LED bulbs) its not much more expensive for what it can do.
    Bring it on!

      REALLY?
      UPTO 25 YEARS LIFE! THATS OVER $50 IN REPLACEMNT GLOBES!?
      WHY WOULDNT YOU!!!

        woops that wasnt meant for your comment! sorry haha

    heh.. the lightbulb cost $59 and the smartphone cost $600 total price $659. Sorry mate I am sticking to old 10 dollar Philips energy saving light bulb that will last me for 2 years

      But you can just use without a smartphone and you've spend 60 bucks for 25 years of light instead of 125 :) (in the next 25 years you'll probably get smartphone too!)

        - jack
        By a pack of 10regular bulbs for $3.00 from mitre 10 - they'll last you 10 years too!

    With every lightbulb in the house now wanting an IP address, I'm going to need another subnet or two...

    $7.17 on ebay
    http://www.amazon.com/Multi-Color-E27-Light-Bulb-Remote/dp/B001JHZSEG

    I know I've seen others too with iphone control.

      Oops Amazon, not ebay.

      Here is another, looks to be very close in design for $25
      http://www.amazon.com/New-BrightChoice-Changing-Control-Brightest/dp/B0085OS2RQ/ref=pd_sim_hi_3

        Umm, they both use a remote, not wifi. All the ones I've seen on eBay and Amazon use IR remotes. You could put an IR blaster in each room and use an App to control the blasters via wifi or bluetooth, but then you'd have to buy more stuff.

        Comparing the linked items to the LIFX is a bit like saying you have 'smart' TV, except it doesn't have ethernet or wifi (and so can't connect to the internet, so it isnt, you know, 'smart') .

    It constantly uses electricity. What a great idea......

      Ah but only when the circuit is complete, you know when it's switched on at the switch.. When it's off it is off.

        You're missing Johns point Marc, these will sit in "standby" mode quietly running up your electricity bill.. suddenly that ROI isn't as good as it seems.. 25 years of trickle power ... energy WASTED

          And you're missing Marc's point, these are designed to go into your normal light fittings. If you turn the switch off on the wall no power will get to the light fitting and no standby mode (unless the include a recharging battery in them or something)
          However if you turned them on and off with your phone and left the switch on then yes you would use more power.

          So you're telling me now that when I turn the light switch off that a non complete circuit will be draining power. Okay. I don't know why you would want to use a standby mode on a light honestly.

            The actual globe itself isn't drawing power but if the whole point is that it is wi-fi enabled that wi-fi connection will need to permanently be on.

            I'd assume you'd want it on standby so that you could turn it on via your phone, you know, as it's the main feature of the product.

              It would probably be less hassle if you got up and turned it on at the light switch, well that's if you're in the same room and such.

              Would be interesting to know the power usage for said stand by mode.

      From the Kixstarter page
      "LIFX uses a mesh network. The standby power usage of each bulb is very small, in fact a AA battery would keep a LIFX smartbulb in standby mode for approximately 1-2 years. [note: The master bulb requires a WiFi connection which uses approximately 2-3 watts. Only 1x master bulb is required in each home/office.]" only the master globe has wifi, the rest use a different mesh network

    Brilliant. But imagine having 20+ wifi connections.

    Make these wifi repeaters and I'd be keen. Would give you fantastic coverage.

    I'd have one of these. As a photographer it would make for some great mood lighting when doing a shoot in addition to coloured gels and such.

    I call citation needed on 25 years, but if it is the case, then sign me up. Also good to see that Google's lightbulb idea (remember that?) is now becoming a reality..

    To all the pledger's that'll eventually (at least 58 days away) be disappointed!
    It's very unlikely that this device will meet its specification or the requirements of lighting.
    Likely fail points; light output, life expectancy due to use of under rated components to meet space restrictions, wireless range between devices due to the attenuation caused by the aluminium enclosure, safety and emissions requirements of lighting also due to the space restrictions.
    Lighting is a major cause of building fires, be careful when purchasing non-compliant & unproven devices!
    And don't forget, this product does not even exist yet....

      For someone calling themselves "Engineer" you sure are hurling around assumptions made from very little information rather callously.

      As for your "non-compliant" comment it's pretty confusing why you would think they'd break the law to release their product? They are a team in Australia who will HAVE TO comply to Australian standards. Assuming they won't for absolutely no reason is just stupid.

      Also saying the product doesn't exist yet is kind of redundant. I guess this is the first time you've ever heard of Kickstarter? Most projects on it are for things that haven't been made yet. Although it seems like, in your opinion, nobody should bother trying making anything new because there's a small chance it may not work o.0

        I know how much space is available inside these units, and I know the restrictions.
        There is a HUGE chance that this product won't comply to Australian standards or any standard for that matter. I'm just trying to give people that aren't experienced in the area heads-up.
        But good luck to you Corteks, pledge all you've got, no harm to me. And I heard there's a time-machine project coming up, you should pledge towards that too you genius.

      Well, it's 2015 and the bulb works, however long they work will remain to be seen. They still don't work over the internet and their scenes are broken and support takes their sweet time responding, well, actually that's a guess as it's been 24 hours so I'm still waiting. So that remains to be seen, on wifi they're cool bulbs, for 80 bucks..... not so much, yet.

    So how much of the time will you be using these on the "white" setting?

    They should get together with the company that puts speakers in light bulbs. Then they are good for deaf and blind people.
    http://www.techhive.com/article/240312/screw_it_audiobulb_wireless_speaker_system_as_easy_as_twisting_in_light_bulbs.html

    They last up to 25 years, because it may take that long before they work over the internet or turn on when you get home or have scenes that actually work. Working on wifi they're cool, however scenes are broken.

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