Building a better bulb, the Kickstarter way

Backed with money from Kickstarter, the online funding platform, the creative minds behind a new brand of bulb have set out to change how the world views the light bulb.

The new energy-efficient LED wonder, called LIFX, is a Wi-Fi-enabled, multicolor bulb that the consumer controls with a smartphone.

"The light bulb hasn't changed much in over 125 years, and the smart bulb revolution is just beginning. It's an incredibly exciting time to give people a clean energy alternative and help make their homes smarter," said founder and CEO Phil Bosua.

Here's what's so special about it:

  • Controls the lights at home using a smartphone;
  • Adjusts brightness, color, individual bulbs, rooms or the entire house;
  • Installs simply by swapping out the old bulb and screwing LIFX in;
  • Radiates more than 16 million colors;
  • Allows homeowners to wake up naturally by automatically increasing the light in the morning and fall asleep at night by slowly dimming the lights;
  • Turns on automatically when the homeowner arrives home and switches off when he leaves; and
  • Creates mood lighting to match the beat of a music system.

The bulb is rated for a brightness exceeding 900 lumens, which is approximately equivalent to a traditional 75-watt incandescent bulb. It works on the iPhone and Android.

As a Kickstarter project, LIFX raised $1.3 million in six days.

The bulb will retail for $79 online and through its retail partners, which will be announced soon, the company said.

STAT OF THE MONTH

58% Percentage of homeowners who report that the economy is having minimal effect on their plans for remodeling. The figure is up from a low of just 33% during the depths of the recession.

Source: RemodelOrMove.com, Spring 2013 U.S. Remodeling Sentiment Report