HomeAutomation - Networked LED bulbs

Interesting - Wifi and some other backup networking built-in. Seems like these could be nicely used for Home Automation … if not for the price.

[quote]INSTEON has decided that simply saving you money on your electric bill isn’t enough anymore. If you’re going to cough up nearly $30 for an LED lightbulb, there better be some value added features. So, the company stuck a proprietary dual-band wireless receiver inside each of its eco-friendly lights allowing them to connect to a home automation system.

There is a dedicated remote you could buy, but why bother when there’s an app available for both Android and iOS that lets you turn on, off and dim the lights from the comfort of your touch screen. You can even create custom “scenes” for preset lighting levels. Unlike most remote lighting solutions, though, all the necessary hardware is built into the bulbs themselves. In fact, each one acts as a signal repeater, passing along instructions both wirelessly and though the powerlines to make sure ever corner of your home is covered. For more check out the PR and video after the break.[/quote]

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@ mhectorgato - Very clever idea, but yeah, the price is pretty steep, particularly when you consider that you’ll be spending nearly another $50 just for a remote to control your bulbs. If you want to use your smartphone or computer, well that’s another $99. Starts to add up pretty quickly.

OTOH, if the idea takes off, it’s quite likely the prices will drop significantly as they scale up production. The trick for them is grabbing all the early adopters with deep pockets…a difficult challenge given the state of many of the world’s economies.

Well I was thinking you wouldn’t need a remote or app, just a FEZ :wink:

You’d still need the $99 wall plug, from what I can see. The bulbs don’t appear to use standard WiFi, but rather a proprietary wired/wireless protocol, so unless you were able to somehow reverse engineer it and build your own custom wireless module to communicate with it, FEZ would have to use WiFi to communicate with the plug-in base unit.

At least that’s what it look like to me based on the available information.

I guess you’re right - While quickly reading through it, I saw “So, the company stuck a proprietary dual-band wireless receiver” and read WiFi.

We just need 2 things to happen:

  1. The prices to come down for the “bulbs”
  2. A FEZzer to hack the protocol for the rest of us :wink:

What is the phone app doing? Communicating wifi to some bridge unit?

yep to their Server box ($99) that converts the TCP stack to whatever wireless protocol they are using.

I’m a big fan of Insteon, so my opinion is certainly biased, but I love this device!
They sold out quickly, so I’m on back order now.
Here are two links to the device and to an Internet enabled controller called SmartLinc:


I think you can also use this portable $45 controller instead of SmartLinc:


I have an Insteon driver for the Cobra partially finished. The driver is a small part of a larger home automation project, so I haven’t spent much time on the driver yet. Currently it can listen to, and decode, messages from other Insteon controllers such the LampLinc and 6 button Keypad. I use this USB PLM plugged into the USB Host port on the Cobra:


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