Smart security, with camera, motion sensors, and facial recognition, in one light bulb

One of the great things about CES is that you see innovators that combine two ideas or products to make a single unit greater than the sum of its parts. There’s Kube, which is a speaker that also keeps your drinks cold. Fly6 is both an HD camera and bike light. Sengled embraces this concept with its Pulse light bulb: an LED bulb that also acts as a wireless speaker. The company unveiled Snap, another multi-functional bulb, but one aimed at security, at CES 2015.

Safety is one of the first and biggest issues that draws people to smart homes, so it’s not too surprising that Sengled is moving into the arena. Unlike a lot of smart security products, the Snap light is designed to be a little something extra that’s super easy to install.

There’s a reason “How many fill-in-the-blanks does it take to screw in a light bulb?” is a classic joke: It’s a simple process that should only take one person (not some obscure number you’ve never heard of, as hipsters would have you believe). That’s the draw of Sengled’s products: You get a long-lasting (over 20 years!) LED bulb, with an added benefit that requires no extra effort on your part.

Photo credit: Digital Trends / Jenny McGrath
Photo credit: Digital Trends / Jenny McGrath

“We don’t believe in trying to create the ‘God light bulb,’” said Robin Foreman, Sengled’s VP of business development. In other words, the light bulb isn’t meant to be everything to everyone. Instead, it’s trying to focus on innovations that consumers actually want, without overburdening them with tech and too many bells and whistles.

The Snap encapsulates lots of security feature in one understated bulb. It comes equipped with speakers, a microphone, and motion sensors, and it streams video to your smart device. Its facial recognition feature can let you know when there’s a stranger on the porch, while geofencing alerts can be programmed for when the kids enter or leave the vicinity of your house.

The bulbs are designed to work with your existing infrastructure. They won’t be released until later this year, so there’s no price available yet. However, Pulse retails for $170, while Boost, a bulb that amps up your Wi-Fi signal, costs $50.

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