LEDVANCE Has a New Hub-Free Option
Upgrading to an Automated Home is Even Easier
The quest to make our devices, gadgets, and “things” do even more for us is never-ending. A mere 20 years ago you were considered cutting edge if you even had a keypad on your deadbolt. Today, it’s not that rare to have a deadbolt that is connected to the internet, and can be operated from anywhere in the world.
Upgrading to an automated home, something we wrote about last fall, has some huge benefits. The best part is it’s actually really affordable to get started, and you can set it up in pieces rather than spend a small fortune to automate everything at once. With the new LEDVANCE bulb, it has gotten even easier.
LEDVANCE Goes Hub-Free
If you read our previous article, it was focused around which hub is best for your home. The hub is a small device that can grab the signals and send them off to the proper device. For instance, let’s suppose you use the Wink Hub. From your Wink account on your phone, you send a signal to turn off the living room light to your Wink Hub via your Wi-Fi. The Hub relays that signal to the appropriate light bulb. Pretty simple.
LEDVANCE has made it even simpler. Their newest innovation skips the use of the hub completely. It syncs right up with the Home Kit app on your smartphone. Sync it together and you can control the bulb. Turn it on and off as needed, change the hue from daylight to warm, or even change to one of any color on the entire color spectrum.
For those who just want to dabble with home automation, this is a pretty easy way to get started. Although, it may not be the best way if you are using more than a couple of bulbs.
Downsides to the LEDVANCE Bulb
First, and most significantly, is the cost. Pre-orders are available and they start at $45. That means three bulbs and you’re already past the cost of a Wink Hub starter kit ($119 for 2 bulbs and the hub; additional bulbs are as low as $12).
The other potential downside is that the bulbs connect via Bluetooth. Most hubs work with your Wi-Fi and Zigbee (or often Z Wave) to create a network within your home. In essence, one smart device will relay the message to the next. Will the Bluetooth work the same, or will the transmission distance be too diminished? Only time will tell which method of home automation will win out.
Finally, because the hub is basically built into the bulb itself, the bulb ends up being bulkier than a traditional bulb is. That isn’t really a problem for most uses, but it could cause issues in some circumstances.
Is Hub-Free the Future?
In the not-too-distant future homes are going to be automated. We have had the precursors for many decades (programmable clocks, coffee makers, etc.); the next step is just connecting these devices that are already being able to be programmed to the internet.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is actually even further out. Iot isn’t just automated devices, it’s devices that learn. For instance, IoT uses sensors in your car to tell that you’re moving toward your home. It sends a signal to your home to turn on a couple lights, bring the temperature to a comfortable range, and open the garage door as you pull into the driveway. That’s a whole other realm of automation.
For the time being, hub-free is a great way to dabble, but it appears that for truly automated, a hub has much more functionality than the hub-free version.
Of course when these things break, bring them to iDoctor. We do more than fix phones in Billings.