Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Creative lighting

Being that this is a new home, one of the first things I'm going to have to go out and buy before we can actually use the house in any way (well, after toilet paper) is light bulbs.
Long ago I had already decided that everything in the house was going to be LED lighting.  It's definitely more expensive, and it's difficult to find high-kelvin bulbs still - but it's getting there.  Ultimately the power usage, bulb life and colour reproduction far outweighs and negatives in the initial purchase cost - which can be around $20 per bulb, $30-35 if you plan on buying at Bunnings.

But being a tech geek, that's really not enough.  Why stop there?

Recently a Kickstarter project popped up that provides a wireless, controllable, dimmable and colour-changing bulb called LIFX.  It was fully funded (and sold out) before I found out about it, but they end up being about USD69 each - a bloody expensive bulb - but you can do some cool things with them.

Phillips have just launched their equivalent competitor - Hue.

Price on Hue is USD199 for the starter kit, and USD59 per bulb.  It's definitely something I'd consider at the very least installing in the master bedroom and living room. Downside of both if they're designed for iOS, and I'm looking at switching to Windows Phone.  Hmmm.

The other thing I had to check with the electrical contractor is what they actually install in new houses.  They've told me everything will come as a batten fitting, which is a tad annoying because all these bulbs these days are Edison (E27).  You can easily put an E27 fitting in to the terminal block, but it does mean switching them all over.  So that'll be something that needs doing early on.

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