LIFX is a WiFi enabled, multi-color, energy efficient LED light bulb that you control with your iPhone or Android. Read more
This project was successfully funded on November 14, 2012.
Living with Color
This week some of the tech guys and I got away to the country for a couple of days of undistracted LIFX work in the country.
Things are progressing smoothly on the hardware front the remaining big decisions heading into production are final enclosure design and LED head layout. It's not possible to make final calls on this until we perform detailed thermal modeling and standardized measurements of light output, color rendering index, white balance agility, etc. of our LED shortlist. We'll keep you posted on this of course.
I did want to share a couple of things that happened during the tech retreat which struck me as pretty interesting at the time.
Here’s one for the techies (or the video’s a good insight for anyone interested).
Andy Gelme (our lead engineer responsible for the software stack) spent an hour or two one evening whipping up another proof-of-concept variation of the audio visualizer. He used Quartz Composer to access his laptop microphone and perform a simple mapping of frequency levels to color. These were then sent as TCP/IP based messages over WiFi to a prototype LIFX bulb. And it worked surprisingly well- clap and it would pulse white, chat away and it would cycle through colors depending on frequency.
Here’s Andy diving deeper into exactly how he developed this variation. We think it’s pretty neat.
The speed and ease in which Andy could build something as cool as this, plus the responsiveness of the bulb in this further test tells me that the choices we've been making at a software/networking/standards level are spot on. We can't wait to hack more on these things and see what the wider community can cook up too. Kinect anyone?
The other event that stuck in my mind was one evening when we were all sitting around a large, oak table sharing wine, chatting and tapping away on laptops.
In the middle of the table was a LIFX lamp which we were taking turns controlling via the prototype Android app. After a few rounds the light seemed to settle on a nice peachy, sunset type color.
Then, around half an hour later, the light was switched off suddenly and it was absolutely striking how bland the scene appeared compared to the warm glow moments before. I don't think any of us fully realize the impact of accurately and simply controlling the color of our environs just yet, but I'm finding the more I experience it, the more I miss not having it all the time.
Even small, subtle shifts in color impact the ambience/mood of a space on top of the fun you can have with audio visualization and other effects are what I really look forward to being able to explore with you all.