Emberlight will turn your lightbulbs into smart connected lightbulbs
While smart wireless lightbulbs like Philips Hue are all the rage, a new Kickstarter project is aiming to make any lightbulb a smart one. It's called Emberlight, and it's a simple intermediary device that you screw into the E26/27 socket and then screw your lightbulb into. From there, merely leave your switch in the on position and you'll be able to control your lights wirelessly from your phone.
Emberlight connects over Wi-Fi, so you don't need a hub. It also includes Bluetooth, so it will be able to see when your phone is or isn't in a room and turn lights on or off accordingly. And like Hue, you can control multiple lights through the app (due for iOS and Android), set alarms, control remotely, and more.
Of course, you'll need a dimmable bulb to screw into Emberlight, which encompasses all incandescents and halogen bulbs by defaults, and a selection of CFL and LED bulbs (it's worth noting that most dimmable CFL and LED dim in steps and not a smooth gradient as glowing filament bulbs do).
Emberlight's on Kickstarter now, seeking to raise $50,000 (at publishing time they'd already raised more than $112,008 since the project had been online). The first "early bird" pledges will get an Emberlight for $49, a $10 discount over the projected retail price. And you'll be waiting for a bit — they're estimating that they'll ship in February 2015.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.