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LED Lighting Manufacturers Partner with Home Automation Providers in Play for IoT

June 19, 2015
Osram Sylvania and Cree Inc. both made announcements recently of partnerships to make their lighting systems compatible with key offerings in home automation and the emerging Internet of Things marketplace.

A round of announcements over the past couple of weeks revealed how enthusiastic lighting manufacturers are about lining up partnerships to integrate their systems into residential energy management and control systems. The moves bring LED lighting a few steps closer to being a fundamental system for the Internet of Things and allows manufacturers to tap into the expected growth of consumer engagement with networked devices throughout the home.

Osram Sylvania, Danvers, Mass., introduced three new WeMo-enabled Lightify starter sets as a “fun, easy entry point to smart lighting.” WeMo is a brand introduced by computer peripherals manufacturer Belkin International.

Each WeMo Lightify bundle includes a WeMo Link ZigBee-to-WiFi bridge and a combination of Lightify products including Osram’s Gardenspot Mini RGB, Flex RGBW and tunable white A19 LED bulb, the companies said in a press release. Through the WeMo app, users can change colors and color temperature, schedule lights to come on or off at a certain time or at sunrise or sunset, control lights individually or in groups, control brightness, or set a sleep fader to gradually fade to dark.

“The new WeMo + Osram Lightify starter sets expand the variety of lighting options for WeMo users with approachable and decorative smart lighting solutions for the whole home — from the kitchen to the backyard,” said Peter Taylor, director of product management for WeMo. “With a wide range of features, including full red, green, blue color spectrum and color temperature support and IFTTT compatibility, the Lightify sets are the first WeMo-enabled partner products to ship with a WeMo Link included, opening up the WeMo ecosystem to a whole new group of connected consumers.”

Osram announced its partnership with WeMo at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). In addition to lighting, WeMo’s system now includes offerings for a growing line of home automation products including smart switches, cameras, appliances and sensors.

Cree Inc., Raleigh, N.C., meanwhile, announced that its Connected Cree LED bulbs will be compatible with SmartThings, a home automation system developed by Samsung’s Global Innovation Center. Cree, which also announced a partnership with WeMo in May, touts its Connected Cree line as the “most compatible connected LED bulb on the market.”

“Cree is committed to collaborating with other industry leaders to provide connected bulbs that deliver better light experiences by addressing the shortcomings of today’s lighting solutions,” said Betty Noonan, Cree chief marketing officer. “The Connected Cree LED Bulb is designed for compatibility with existing market-leading platforms, as well as those yet to come, so consumers can feel confident that their investments are protected and designed to work with new smart hubs well into the future.”

Cree said its 60W replacement Connected Cree LED bulb is fully dimmable and controllable through the SmartThings app, and consumes 81% less energy than legacy incandescent technologies. It delivers 815 lumens at a soft-white 2,700K color temperature and has a rated lifetime of 25,000 hours, backed by a three-year warranty. The bulb is available at The Home Depot for $14.97.

Earlier this month, Philips Lighting and Lutron both introduced product lines compatible with Apple’s new HomeKit residential control system.


Image from Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center website
Light-enabled communication is one of the areas studied by the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center.
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