updated 03:46 pm EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
Campaign provides plus whole-home integration of audio
Welcome to this Thursday's Crowdfunding Critic here on MacNN and Electronista! We promised that every Tuesday and Thursday we'd highlight a new crowdfunded project -- this week's campaign is the Lightfreq LED light bulb with what the company calls HD audio. We aren't endorsing projects, nor have we been compensated to write about them -- everything we talk about is just something we think might be interesting to our readers. As with all crowdfunding campaigns, even funded projects come with risk, so do your research before you commit!
Simply, this campaign is for a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible, multicolor, energy-efficient LED RGB-W Lightbulb with a built-in speaker. The company is aiming for the ability to control up to 50 Lightfreq bulbs playing simultaneous audio over Wi-Fi, or up to two through A2DP Bluetooth streaming.
The light itself is 3000k -- approximately the same as an incandescent bulb -- and projects at a maximum of 800 lumens. The Lightfreq claims to have 16 million color combinations, and can strobe or slowly transition between colors. Even with the "smart" features of the bulb, a maximum of 17w of power is used, making it very energy-efficient. The light fits into any standard fitting (E26 Edison) or Euro B22 or B22D bayonet connections, and is 5mm longer than a standard CFL.
The speaker integral to the bulb is 5w, with a 60Hz through 20kHz frequency response. The microphone has a sensitivity of -16 to 30db.
As with everything else these days, there is a companion app. Using the app, users can drag and drop a notification icon whether text, a phone call, received email, and push notifications from other apps into the color wheel, so a LightFreq light bulb will change color when you have a new notification. The app also has a "tap to speak" function, where users can communicate across other LightFreq bulbs, or to all of them at once.
Other functions that the app boasts of are gradual wakeup, with a slowly-increasing bulb brightness at a certain time, lights turning on and off through proximity sensing, and music following the user between rooms.
The campaign is now funded, sitting at 120 percent of its original goal. That said, the bulb prototypes aren't yet UL, CE, or FCC-approved, and we think that may be the biggest holdup in delivery. The company is expecting a February 2015 delivery.