Wi-Fi light bulbs are almost here. Plug them in to an ordinary light socket. Fire up the Wi-Fi device that comes with them. Grab the app.
Now, you've got yourself an instant "smart home" where you can program your home lighting from your tablet or phone, no rewiring required.
GreenWave Reality, the maker of the Wi-Fi light-bulb system, has just gotten approval to sell it in the U.S. market.
Wi-Fi lights let you do things like turn all your lights off at once, program your outside lights to turn on at certain times, or turn lights on and off when you are on vacation, so it looks like you are home.
Here's a diagram of what GreenWave's setup looks like:
GreenWave plans to sell the system through utility companies and other partners. This will allow it to qualify for Energy Star rebates and other incentives that utilities offer to get people to move from old-fashioned incandescent bulbs to energy-saving options. The starter kit, which includes the Wi-Fi device and four LED bulbs is expected to cost around $200. Extra bulbs are priced at about $20 apiece, reports Brent Rose at Gizmodo.
For those using incandescent bulbs, the switch to Wi-Fi bulbs could pay for the whole setup in a little over a year. Replacing 10 incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs could save the average consumer $150 a year on their utility bill, GreenWave says.
If $20 per bulb sounds steep, think about this: an LED bulb can last about 25,000 hours—or 22 years if used about three hours a day.