Got a bright idea? Qualcomm’s new platform helps connect smart bulbs to other devices

qualcomm and lifx launch smart lighting platform lcm v4t image 002
When it comes to smart-home products, smart lights are, well, hogging the spotlight. It’s no wonder; they can be programmed to do a bunch of tasks, including blinking or changing color when you get a calendar alert, intruders try to break in, or a new TV show gets eerie.

But as more and more smart devices flood the market, consumers want gadgets that are less specialized and instead sync with everything, including the kitchen sink.

Before, this meant that a company that specialized in small appliances might not be able to get everything it wanted out of its new smart device, because coordinating with a separate company to incorporate lighting technology proved too difficult. Qualcomm and LIFX are trying to change that. The companies got together to build a new turnkey smart lighting platform, enabling companies or individuals — anyone interested in connected lighting — to put the technology in their devices more easily.

There are two parts to the Wi-Fi-based solution. The first is the hardware: The Lighting Connectivity Module (LCM) is small and self-contained. Havells Sylvania, a company that’s been in the lighting business for over a century, integrated the technology to turn its ordinary light bulbs into smart ones. Other manufacturers can use a standard LED bulb design instead of reinventing it on their own.

Open-source software allows the light bulbs to operate with other devices on the AllJoyn network. Leveraging the AllSeen Alliance’s Lighting Service Framework (LSF), a company such as D-Link, known for routers more than lighting, can ensure all its new smart devices are compatible with the smart bulbs, no matter who’s putting them out.

“There are no other devices that you have in every room in your home,” says Amir Panush, Qualcomm’s Director Product Management, of lights. That ubiquity makes them attractive to many in the smart home market, but the lighting industry has long been heavily regulated, says Panush. That shouldn’t bar anyone from harnessing this technology, he adds. “Our goal is to allow anybody access, whether it’s a large company or a small company or an individual tinkering in their garage.”

That’s one less thing to hold back amateur inventors trying to Kickstart their inventions. Maybe it’s no coincidence that light bulbs are already associated with bright ideas.

Product Review

Simple and small, the Google Home Hub is your low-key smart screen

What’s small, simple, cute, and lacks a camera? The Google Home Hub is the latest smart display to hit the market. Powered by Google Assistant, there’s a lot to like about this device.
Smart Home

Smart light switches have become more affordable: Here are the best ones

The ability to control the lighting in your home can have a big effect on your living space. To have more control over your lighting, check out the best smart light switches on the market. 

Fibaro smart devices are now compatible with the Samsung SmartThings hub

Samsung SmartThings now supports even more devices with the integration of Fibaro, a company known for its smart home sensors. Several Fibaro devices are already compatible, with more on the way.
Home Theater

Smart speakers are about to get an IQ bump thanks to new Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm announced a new chipset that is designed to make the next generation of smart speakers sound, listen, and connect better than ever before, and it could soon be in your living room.
Smart Home

Update your kitchen with the best refrigerators you can buy in 2019

There are tons of factors that go into buying a fridge, from size and capacity to color. It takes lots of testing and research, but we've chosen the best refrigerators to get you started, regardless of what you're looking for.
Smart Home

Walmart serves up a rare deal on the Google Home Max at $100 off

Some deals are predictable and others are pre-announced, but today Walmart posted a rare deal: $100 off the powerful Google Home Max. Since it rarely goes on sale, waiting may not be prudent. If you want one, grab it.

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.
Smart Home

The best smart locks to increase your home security in 2019

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Smart Home

Is your coffee maker hiding mold inside? Here's how to clean it

Are you a coffee drinker? If you brew your coffee at home and you don't clean your machine, you could be drinking mold, yeast, and other bacteria. Here's how to clean your coffee maker.

Amazon lowers Echo Dot cost and slashes price of the Dot and Smart Plug bundle

Amazon just unleashed extraordinary price cuts on third-generation Echo Dot smart speakers. The Alexa device is back in stock following the blowout sales last holiday season. The Echo Dot is the best-selling Alexa smart speaker worldwide.
Smart Home

These best outdoor security cameras will keep porch pirates at bay

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.
Smart Home

Your Instant Pot can do it all. Research says it has another important function

Researchers at Dakota State University tested a variety of pressure cookers for sterilization and found that Instant Pot provides enough pressure and heat to kill off food-spoiling bacteria.
Smart Home

Need some help? Here's our handy step-by-step guide on how to Airbnb your home

Getting ready to make your home a great rental? Here's how to Airbnb your home with the right amenities, insurance, supplies, and everthing else that you need. Use this guide to get started without making beginner mistakes!