Confusion at the Bennington Hardware Store
Just as watches, phones, and household appliances have gotten smarter and become more versatile thanks to technology, so, too, have light bulbs. Light bulbs are evolving rapidly from objects that simply illuminate dark rooms to smart, multipurpose devices.
Light bulbs are commonly available today with some useful built-in features. Using a smartphone app or a Bluetooth connection, you can dim these bulbs, turn them off and on, or even direct them to change direction or color; special features allow you to conserve energy and enhance a home’s security.
Beyond that, there are specialty bulbs with built-in speakers that can be controlled with an iPhone or Android device, and bulbs that have integrated Wi-Fi radios, which extend the coverage of a wireless network.
Other ideas that are currently on the drawing board include LED light bulbs with built-in security cameras and smoke detectors, including a prototype smoke detector that has its own battery so it works even when the light is off or the power is out.
In today’s market, smart light bulbs are still a bit pricey, and some may require special apps that are not universal and do not work with all systems. Nevertheless, the market is growing for enhanced light bulbs. And as with all things technological, the cost will likely come down and standards will probably be adopted over time. Just imagine: One day we’ll wonder how we ever got by with a bulb that just turns off and on.