Skip to main content

Smart, camera-packing lightbulb could be used to catch home invaders

Bell & Wyson Ampoule LED 9W WIFI avec appareil photo et micro intégrés
At one point in history, the sole purpose of a lightbulb was to brighten up an area that would otherwise be dark. Now, thanks to the internet of things, lightbulbs have not only evolved from their original purpose, they’ve also gained new capabilities.

First it was custom color lightbulbs. Then came along lightbulbs with built-in speakers. Soon, though, lightbulbs might also arrive packing an integrated camera and microphone.

French lighting company Bell & Wyson has unveiled Pix+, a completely new lightbulb with a built-in security camera capable of wirelessly streaming the feed to Android and iOS devices.

At the core of the Pix+ is an 11-watt LED bulb capable of outputting 600 lumen of light, the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb. Placed atop the center of the bulb — and suggesting the sort of tech shown in spy movies — is a dedicated camera module with an integrated two-way microphone and a MicroSD card slot.

When screwed into its intended socket and connected to Wi-Fi, the lightbulb streams live video and audio to a proprietary smartphone app. Motion detection is built in, and if something moves when it shouldn’t, you’ll receive a notification on your smartphone. Video can be recorded locally on a MicroSD card and remotely using the smartphone app.

The exact specifications of the video quality are still unknown, but in a reply to a comment on the product page, Bell & Wyson says the video is streamed in HD quality and will work in the dark, even without the lightbulb on. Like other smart lightbulbs, the Pix+ can be turned on and off both locally and remotely.

The Pix+ is currently available through Bell & Wyson’s online store for approximately $105.

Editors' Recommendations

Gannon Burgett
How to protect your home security camera from hackers
Google Nest Indoor Security Camera

You've probably seen the stories in the news about trouble with do-it-yourself Wi-Fi home security cameras. There are home camera “invasions,” where user video is stolen from private cameras and posted to the internet, or straight-up hacking where an unknown person can access your camera and the microphone attached to it, and speak to you, threaten your children, or otherwise harass you from afar.

While these instances are rare, they do exploit certain vulnerabilities in wireless home surveillance cameras, so it's important to know how it happens, how you can tell if your camera's been hacked already, and how to secure your home network and evaluate whether your cameras are at risk and fix them.
How do hackers get into your cameras?
Why hackers hack security cameras is a whole separate question, but there are two common ways hackers can access wireless network information.
Local Wi-Fi network hacking
The first involves the hacker being within the range of your Wi-Fi. The hacker either guesses your Wi-Fi password or creates a duplicate or spoof network that looks like your Wi-Fi network. Next, they suppress the real network so that you sign in to their network instead. Once they have your password, they log in to your actual Wi-Fi network, and that's where the trouble begins.
Remote hack attack
While these local attacks are possible, they’re much less likely than a remote attack. Remote attacks occur when hackers gain your actual password info. How do they get your password? Sometimes if people use weak passwords like 11111, password, or 123456, hackers can simply try a bunch of the most common and default passwords until they hit on the right one.

Read more
Best places to install a home security camera
Ring cameraa's wide view of a room and a cute dog.

Home security cameras are a quick, easy way to add peace of mind to your home. Today’s cameras are small, wireless, and unobtrusive, meaning you won’t feel like you’re living in a reality TV show when you look around your home.

But where should you place your cameras? After all, they have a job to do, whether that’s monitoring the comings and goings of tradespeople or your kids, or watching over the area in case there’s ever a break-in.
Where NOT to place a wireless home security camera
Before we get to the best places for a home security camera, let’s start with a short list of the places you should not opt for a security camera: The bedroom and the bathroom.

Read more
5 ways geofencing makes your smart home smarter
philips hue outdoor sensor review benefit welcome

Have you ever wished your smart home would react to your presence (or absence)? There are a lot of smart home features that work based on when your device connects to Wi-Fi, but you can use geofencing to achieve the same result at a greater distance.

A geofence is a virtual perimeter around your home. It detects when you enter or leave the perimeter and acts according to its programming. If you have smart home accessories that work with geofencing (or can connect to IFTTT and be connected to a geofence that way), you can take advantage of the service to make your smart home even smarter.
Automatically arm or disarm your security system

Read more