If you love colour or love to party, it’s time to check out the recently-released LuMini light bulbs. Produced by TABU Design, a firm in Hong Kong that specialises in playful home-automation accessories, the LuMini provides a cheaper alternative to Philips Hue for tech lovers who want to get started in the smart-home field. The project received more than $75,000 USD funding on Kickstarter to get launched, and offers a much lower barrier to entry than products like the Hue system from Philips (although of course there are some trade-offs when it comes to features).
For those that want to test the waters when it comes to lighting technology, the LuMini is currently the most affordable option in the smart-lighting arena. At just $30 USD, it comes in at less than half the price of TABU’s larger Lumen TL800 Bluetooth smart-bulb, although it is also less powerful than its big brother. The Bluetooth-enabled LuMini smart-bulb fits into any standard lamp or light socket and can be paired with a smart-phone app (for either iOS or selected Android devices so far) once installed. From there, users can simply and easily set the mood with lighting in their home as they please.
Designers TABU have said that the LuMini is perfect to use as a night lamp but have not, as yet, specified the actual number of lumens the bulb puts out. The information provided by the company does show though that it uses three watts (compared to the TL800’s seven), so it seems that it will be around half as bright. While the bulb allows lighting colours to change depending on a user’s mood, it should also be noted that because of its smaller size, there are no white diodes and as such it does not replicate incandescent light well. Having said that, the LuMini is a LOT less expensive than something like the Philips Hue Starter Kit, so is a great way to enjoy changing light colours on demand.
The LuMini can be used straight out of the box and, like the larger bulb from TABU, connects with smart-phones over Bluetooth 4.0. Using the companion app, purchasers can control not only the colour of their lighting but also the brightness and the schedule. The system has a smaller range than some of the more expensive options (it is around 6 metres), but it still offers a number of different modes, as well as light-based notifications of incoming calls. Users can choose from modes such as Wake Up, Party, Romance, Relaxation and Proximity, setting the mood in the room as needed.
The proximity sensor in the bulb automatically turns the light on to a pre-determined colour whenever the product detects a user’s phone is within range. In addition, there is also a music sync mode. When it comes to changing colours on the bulb, customers simply need to swipe their fingertip around on the app’s colour wheel to choose the desired mix of hues. As well, up to six different bulbs can be added into a single group and then controlled all at once with the app.
At this point in time, the LuMini can be purchased for $30 USD from the company’s own www.iWorldOnline.com.au for $59.95 AUD. The app is free to download.