A great thing about being a hub for great deals on gear and gadgets is being surprised by what shows up. This week we’ve got some especially enticing new deals, from a Kevlar-encased Lightning cable and a massive library of design assets to a Bluetooth-enabled LED smart bulb and an award-winning first-person horror game.
If you found the transition from incandescent to fluorescent painful, you will be relieved to know you are in the midst of a lightbulb moment. This is the year when the price of LED-based smart bulbs, with the color and quality of light controlled by mobile apps, falls far enough to go mainstream.
Entering the highly competitive space is Ontario-based Nyrius, which today rolls out a light bulb for $39.99.
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.
All that remains of the original Thomas Edison invention is the socket fitting. That and it still only takes one person to screw in the light bulb.
The rest of the ilumi smart bulb, which is slowly lighting the way to smart home and office living around the world, would be unrecognizable to Edison or any of the other early inventors of incandescent bulbs.
It is too soon to know whether the names Corey Egan, Swapnil Bora and their company ilumi Solutions will assume a place on the list of lighting pioneers with their smartphone-controlled LED lights. But with a growing list of patents, financing from a certain well-known “Shark” and a steady stream of orders, the David-like startup is holding its own against bulb big shots like GE and Phillips.