This year has seen a whole plethora of home gadgetry which can be controlled from your smart phone, including heating, sound, lighting and many more. At the exepensive end of the spectrum are bespoke designed systems with unique control panels, but increasingly more available are a new breed of user-installable, smartphone-controlled home tech products.
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your very own geek, then a WiFi-connected lighting kit has great novelty appeal. After all, it’s a color-changing, LED light bulb package you can program from a smartphone. What’s not to like? But seriously, beyond its remote on/off and scheduling functions you’re geek will love to get into those extended features. Do us mere mortals even know what geofencing and IFTTT support are?
So we’ve established that these features won’t appeal universally, but they will have their niche fans. What house party DJ or Loft apartment Lothario wouldn’t love an automated, multihued mood-setter?
And what social media addict couldn’t fail to be drawn in by the ability to set the lights to blink with every tweet and retweet?
Add to this that the manufacturers have left the door open for future apps, then even if you don’t appreciate the advanced features now, someone might one day write an app for it that perfectly fills some until now unrealised need.
If what you’re after is a basic remote controlled lighting system, then this choice of gadget probably isn’t for you, but if you want to inject some fun personality into your home lighting scheme then these systems, which are mostly easy to use could be the perfect solution. Making use of a plug in hub, which connects directly to your router seems to be the best way for the control panel system, which allows connectivity between your WiFi connected smartphone and the LED bulbs. Whilst getting rid of a hub (or bridge) would be preferable, these systems are significantly cheaper and if you really find it unsightly you could always buy a longer Ethernet cable and hide it away somewhere.
So once you’re connected to the hub and you’ve installed a few bulbs, you simply download and install an iOS or Android app and within seconds the control panel will have you all connected. Create your own mood with a lighting “recipe”, choosing from either pre-set shades of white or dipping into a spectrum of over 16 million colours; you’re sure to find something to suit every taste and mood and once you do pick a colour set, the app lets you assign specific behaviours easily enough.
All in all, if you’re looking for a great gift for your geek, this could be it!