The World’s First iPhone-Controlled Lightbulb

Years ago, I worked out a way to remote control my home’s lamps from my iPhone: just record the sound of somebody clapping, and play it back when you want to switch a light on or off.

Now, though, there’s a much higher-tech way to do the same thing. It’s an iPhone-controlled lightbulb from Insteon.

The bulb is a pert of Insteon’s SmartHome range, and embeds a radio transceiver in a 60-Watt LED bulb. The bulb costs a reasonable $30, and can be dimmed and switched on and off from a range of Insteon controllers.

Things get interesting when you add in the SmartLinc controller, which connects to the bulb’s proprietary network and lts your iPhone in on the action. Using a companion app, you can fine-tune the lighting all over the house from your iPhone or iPad, even switching between preset “scenes.”

The rub is that the SmartLinc will cost you $130, although you only need one per home.

I can see this being useful in a public place like a bar or restaurant, where fine-tuning the lighting is important, but for home use it’s ridiculous. The rules for home lighting are easy enough to follow:

Are you in the room? If yes, the lights can be switched on. If no, they should be off. That’s it. Did you ever wonder why the light switches are by the doors? So you can cut the power on your way out, and not selfishly drain the world’s supply of power because “it’s your right to use what you like as long as you pay for it.

The smart bulb is available now.

INSTEON

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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