Shade Light Switch - An Automated Lighting Controller
Shade Light Switch - An Automated Lighting Controller
Learns your routines, then automates colors and brightness levels. Designed for Philips Hue. Energy savings for any dimmable bulb.
Learns your routines, then automates colors and brightness levels. Designed for Philips Hue. Energy savings for any dimmable bulb. Read more
Imagine how many times you have turned on a light switch out of habit, only to light a room that is already lit by the sun. Shade is smart enough to know when more light is needed, or when you can conserve energy by lowering bulb output.
Shade is a wi-fi controllable light switch that learns how you interact with your lighting. It will automatically adjust the brightness of any dimmable bulb according to your preferences throughout the day. Shade is unique in that it also interacts with Philips Hue, Lux, and other smart bulbs. Other smart bulb compatible switches on the market can cost $200-300. Shade costs a fraction of that, and adds in a feature not found anywhere else.
Get your own Shade light switch starting at $78!
Shade learns and adapts to how you interact with your smart bulbs, providing automated color scheduling, and allows you to get the maximum enjoyment from your smart bulbs with minimum effort.
Save energy (and money) on any dimmable light bulb. Shade automatically dims and brightens your lights to match your desired lighting preferences. Depending on your bulb of choice, a bulb dimmed to 50% its maximum output can save up to 40% in energy!
Let the sun do the work! Shade's photocell detects outside light sources and adjusts your bulbs' brightness to maintain a consistent level of lighting throughout the day. Set your preference manually or let Shade choose the perfect settings based on your interactions. Dimmed light bulbs use less energy, saving you money in the process.
Programming your smart bulbs is complicated and time-intensive. Shade does the work for you by learning how you interact with your lights. As you adjust the color and brightness of your bulbs through your favorite mobile app, Shade identifies your lighting preferences and begins to adjust settings automatically. Transition lengths are fully adjustable, allowing you to create a seamless progression between colors.
Every interaction teaches Shade how to better light your home, whether it is sunny, cloudy, dawn, or dusk.
Leave your phone in your pocket. Using an app to control your lights is convenient when you are sitting on the couch, but quite the hassle when exiting or entering a room.
Shade returns the on/off functionality to your wall switch while maintaining your ability to interact with smart bulbs remotely. Your bulbs will always turn on to your preferred setting for that time of day, or a default setting of your choice.
We are purposefully using a physical dial instead of a touchscreen because we believe a light switch should be easy to use whether you have your hands full or are half-asleep. It's a tactile, push on/off, rotary knob that installs and operates like an ordinary dimmer switch.
Shade always turns your lights on to your preferred setting for that time of day. There is no need to adjust your lights or unlock your phone, open an app, and choose your settings. Shade sets your lighting the way you want it, when you want it -- and it's as easy as pushing a button!
Change in your routine? Update your bulb settings using your favorite mobile app. Shade will adjust to your changing life. Colors transition and bulbs dim and brighten automatically, adapting to your preferences.
Shade was designed to be used with either smart or dimmable bulbs. In addition to all of the features one would expect from a connected light switch, including wi-fi remote control, scheduling, and geolocation settings, dimmable bulb users also benefit from a light switch that conserves energy by adjusting the connected bulbs' brightness based on outside light sources.
Your lighting preferences may change throughout the day, so Shade learns how bright you like it and when, ensuring the perfect settings all day and night.
Shade takes smart bulbs a step further. Currently integrated with the Philips bridge devices like Hue and Lux, and with plans to integrate other bulbs, Shade controls both brightness AND color, learning your preferences and ensuring your rooms are lit to your liking 24 hours a day.
Some things can't be scheduled. Shade is prepared for the unexpected. Every aspect of Shade's operation can be paused, tweaked, and restarted without affecting future schedules or settings. You can even set a timer to resume operation automatically.
Maybe this is your first step with home automation and you are using traditional dimmable light bulbs. That's okay. Shade will automatically adjust the brightness level of your lights to your preferred settings. A mobile app will allow you to configure your switch, set preferences, adjust on/off schedules, toggle the lights remotely, and more!
If you are further along in your home automation strategy and already have a Philips bridge and compatible bulbs, you are ready to automate both brightness AND color settings. After using our mobile app to connect Shade to your bridge and pick your bulbs, you can use any Hue compatible mobile app to adjust your light settings. Within days, Shade will begin to learn your routines and adjust your settings for you!
For the advanced user, you can configure multiple Shade light switches to multiple groups of bulbs, automating every room throughout your home! Shade won't interfere with other home automation routines such as Nest alerts or IFTTT schedules. Just point Shade to your bridge and let it learn!
Shade began as a client-side script that allowed for turning off and on Philips Hue bulbs from a web browser. We spent the following 6 months developing the software to analyze and control smart bulbs without the need for direct human interaction.
Shade is currently prototyped on an Arduino Uno and communicates with a back-end server for analysis. We've inserted this prototype into a single-gang box to help evaluate the space needed for each component, better understand size restrictions, and plan the overall design aesthetic.
In order to complete development, we will require custom hardware, including PCBs and an in-wall enclosure. We have been through many software iterations and will continue updating and tweaking algorithms and functionality throughout the process.
Shade fits easily into any existing home automation implementation and makes a great first step into the Internet of Things. Planned IFTTT functionality will allow traditional dimmable bulb owners to easily integrate Shade into their home automation network.
If you use Hue, Lux, or other smart bulbs, you can continue to use your favorite mobile application to interact with your bulbs when necessary. It is designed with the smart home in mind, and will not interfere with other devices or automation routines. Shade works by interacting directly with your bridge through the Philips Hue API, so there is no need for re-configuring any of your existing home automation devices.
- Compatible with standard dimmable bulbs
- Compatible with Philips bridge connected bulbs (Hue, Lux, etc)
- iOS and Android
- Wi-fi connection and internet required
Will fit existing rocker-style plates
- Compatible with single-pole switches
- Not 3-way/multi-switch compatible
- Requires neutral wire
We want to get the basics right first. We have watched many projects fail from allowing feature-creep to expand the scope beyond what can be successfully delivered. Future firmware and app updates will allow for downloading pre-set schedules, sharing settings between switches, and IFTTT functionality. We believe it is important to build and complete a project that contains all of the features we have promised on day one, then expand the scope once we have succeeded. We are always open to new ideas and suggestions.
Risks and challenges
Every hardware project faces challenges, and Shade is no different. While we will be building custom hardware, we are not breaking new ground in terms of engineering design. The biggest challenge here is certifications. As an in-wall, wi-fi device, we will require UL and FCC certifications. We will use pre-certified modules wherever possible to reduce barriers to certification.
The true innovation of this product is in the software, where the back-end automation features have already been developed. While modifications and testing will be needed to integrate with the new hardware, we are confident this can be done within the timeline we have set out.
- (30 days)