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Meet the $100 lightbulb that could reshape modern offices

Why it matters to you

If you're looking to buy the smartest and most versatile LED lights in the world, Ketra has you covered.

LED efficiency and a few key smart controls might have been the biggest innovations in consumer lighting in recent years, but innovations in the commercial space can take things a whole lot further. Offering high-efficiency RGB customization and constant self-checks to maintain a cohesive lighting scheme, Ketra’s bulbs have begun to reshape modern offices. They aren’t cheap though, with each individual bulb costing as much as $100.

Ketra isn’t a company that is going to sell much to the general public at that sort of price, but it isn’t trying to. It’s instead focused on large-scale business installations. Its most recent project was advertising agency, R/GA, which spent over a million dollars on the lighting in its new offices.

The advantages are worth it though, we’re told. With a combination of clean, white light, bulbs that change to match the hue of the sun’s rays throughout the day, and the ability to manage all of it in a smart zone system, Ketra’s bulbs are turning heads.

While the customizable nature of Ketra’s LED bulbs is impressive and their ability to go from daylight to disco in a second is a fun feature, it’s the bulbs’ error-checking capability that really sets them apart from the competition. Ketra’s bulbs check their own light emissions six times a second to confirm that they are sending out the desired lighting tone and intensity.

More: Light up your life with the best LED lighting solutions on the market

That’s an important backdrop feature for the ability to tweak lighting on the fly. The idea is that spaces can change their theme with a color change, rather than having multiple rooms for different purposes. A showroom Ketra uses to show off that function is a typical kitchen, that switches from morning breakfast to an evening party atmosphere with a change from white to blue and purple light.

While Ketra’s health claims about simulating the sun are a little less tangible (and not supported by government-backed health regulators) they are there as part of the marketing and are helping Ketra make big strides in the commercial sector. It seems unlikely consumers will ever be willing to spend as much as $100 per bulb, even if they’re unlikely to ever need to replace it. But if the cost comes down, who knows?

How much would you spend on a smart LED bulb?