One of the much-discussed possibilities that has arisen from the slow spread of the internet of things is the increase in energy efficiency as a result of remote control of home devices. The smart thermostat is top of mind in the green-tech thinking about the internet of things — especially after Google and Nest signed a high-profile deal earlier this year in which Google bought the smart thermostat company for $3.2 billion. Indeed, forecasts have projected the smart thermostat market to increase in value to $1.4 billion by 2020. But the internet of things is just getting off the ground, and another major green consumer-goods opportunity seems to opening up adjunct to it: smart light bulbs.
VISUAL CONTEXT: SMART UTILITY CHALLENGES
There are a plethora of smart light bulbs out there; some of them have been more successful in getting off the ground than others. LG has just launched a device called Smart Lamp — which is less of a lamp and more of an LED light bulb — that can be remotely controlled by simple app software. Philips’ Hue is arguably the most well-known smart light bulb on the market — having launched in 2013 after its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show — but LG’s Smart Lamp is markedly different in one specific way: users need only a Bluetooth or WiFi connection to access the application on a smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android to remotely operate the bulbs. Philips’ Hue requires a separate ZigBee base station to achieve connectivity.
The Smart Lamp is part of the movement towards using the internet of things to cut down on energy usage for the individual home, and surveys show that Americans are on board. A study conducted by ON World back in February shows that the majority of respondents were open to purchasing smart thermostats, and around one-third of respondents would accept a smart meter as a utility for controlling their in-home devices. Lucky for LG, 30% of respondents between ages 18 and 24 noted that connection to smartphone and tablet is the most important consideration for smart utility devices. Since 18-to-24 year-olds will be the next generation of home owners, that’s good news for the energy-efficient sector of internet of things.