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Wireless LED Lighting Proves a Bright Idea for Americans

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Wireless LED Lighting Proves a Bright Idea for Americans


July 30, 2014

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

It may be hard to believe, but summer is already half over. As the days start to get just a little darker and a little colder—though some have been noticing colder for a while now—thoughts of keeping the lights on through the long dark of winter approach as well. For an increasing number of Americans, thoughts are turning to wireless LED light bulbs, and in such number that, according to ON (News - Alert) World, within the next five years, such technology will be “widespread in American homes.”

ON World staged a survey of over 1,000 adults in the United States, and found that a third of respondents were interested in buying wireless LED light bulbs. 48 percent were willing to pay $10 or even more for a smart version that could work with a mobile device, and just over a quarter—26 percent—were willing to pay $20 or more. Should such a concept be offered as a service, meanwhile 44 percent would pay $5 a month for an LED lighting control system service, while 22 percent would spend $15 or more per month for same. But those interested in spending on such services demanded reliability; it was the most important feature of such a service to over half of those who would adopt such a mechanism for use.

Indeed, the projections suggest that it will be important to a growing number of users; over 100 million Internet-connected wireless light bulbs and lamps alike will be in operation throughout the world by just the year 2020. In just 2013 alone, retail sales of wireless LED lighting tripled over the preceding year, and most major LED lighting manufacturers will offer some breed of wireless LED bulb, most of which will use ZigBee (News - Alert) for its primary control system.

A bit of disclosure here: I have two lamps in my home which use LED bulbs. Not wireless, but LED bulbs all the same. These are simple floor lamps, each with a pair of seven watt LED bulbs contained therein. I have had these lamps since last winter, and I have discovered that not only do these lamps do a more than sufficient job of lighting up the house, but in the event of a power outage, an LED lamp runs with very little power burned on a battery backup. It's impressive by any measure how these devices that use such little power put out a perfectly good amount of light. Sure, it's not as bright as some 100 watt incandescent bulbs I've seen, but it's still pretty bright, more than enough to read or do most anything else by, and the bulbs that are currently in those lamps have been running several hours a night, every night, for a period of several months now. That's an impressive degree of longevity, and one that makes the cost worth it, particularly when broken down over a period of months or weeks. Throwing in the wireless control option—to allow users to turn on lights when arriving home at night, or just to potentially frighten burglars away—is just icing on an already impressive cake.

While the ON World report may not ultimately pan out, it's still sufficiently noteworthy to bear watching. Will wireless LED bulbs catch on? Or will most stick with incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs? Only time will tell, but one way or another, the future for LED is starting to look pretty bright indeed.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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