It took a little while for investors to see the light, so to speak. Corey Egan and Swapril Bora developed a smartphone controlled LED light bulb, but needed two crowd-funding campaigns, prize money from winning new product contests they had socked away and a deal from Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban before the ilumi smart bulb could enter the market.
Tens of thousands of bulbs have sold in the year they’ve been in production. It won’t take quite so long for the second generation to begin lighting homes and commercial spaces.
With 20 days to go on Kickstarter, ilumi far exceeded its $50,000 goal with a newly designed bulb that includes new experiences – like turning it on and off the shake of your phone – and a new antenna that will pick up commands from 150 feet away.
ilumi also redesigned the smartphone app that controls the bulbs based on feedback from customers of the first bulbs. It is available for both iPhone and Android.
LED lighting is $36 billion industry and growing, according to the research firm A.T. Kearney. ilumi is trying to establish itself against lighting giants, like Phillips and GE, in the budding smart home space.
Its bulbs uses SmartMesh, a low-energy Bluetooth technology that increase the range and number of bulbs controlled by the app. ilumi bulbs feature a range of colors on-off functions via the phone, a Torch mode where the light turns on automatically as you enter the room, a Rise-and-Shine feature for getting out of bed and other functions.
The newer bulbs have improved on the experiences and functions. It looks more like a traditional light bulb. Gone from the bulb is a grill-like trim that went around the bulb.
The second generation of bulbs will also be about $10 cheaper, eventually retailing for $59.95 for the room bulb and $69.95 for a large flood light. Kickstarter backers can get the bulbs now for $29 and $35.