Business

The age of the smart lightbulb is coming

Above: Robosmart: the smart lightbulb you control with an app.

Image Credit: Smartbotics
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A Silicon Valley inventor has created a smart lightbulb that you can control with a smartphone app.

Kelly Coffey, the founder and chief executive of Smartbotics, told the San Jose Mercury News that the Robosmart lightbulb is selling in his hometown of Los Gatos, Calif., and he hopes it will be in stores across the country by the holidays.

The Robosmart lightbulb works with an app on Apple’s iOS platform for iPhones, iPads, and other devices. It lets you turn the lights on or off, even if you aren’t in your house. Android devices are expected to be compatible with the Robosmart bulbs in the next month. The bulb has a Bluetooth sensor that communicates with the smartphone, and it has a built-in timer that lets you switch on the device from afar.

“We wanted something that would work even if you don’t have an IT guy in the house,” Coffey said.

Coffey launched the company last year. He was previously an engineer at Broadcom. The 40-watt lightbulb is smart enough to know if you walk away from it. If there isn’t an iPhone or iPad around, it will shut itself off. The light-emitting diode bulb can send out omnidirectional light and monitor its own power usage. It has a 10-year life expectancy if used for three hours a day, and it sells for $40. That may sound steep, but the average annual cost works out to about 72 cents over 10 years.


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