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System Integration for the Connected Home

Lighting

Philips Splits from Lighting Division

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Philips "gives independence" to the Lighting division as part of a restructuring effort also bringing together the company's Healthcare and Consumer Lifestyle businesses into a single unit.

Philips lightingThus the Lighting division, which is worth around €7 billion, is now essentially a separate entity, if one leveraging from the Philips brand. The decision follows the recently announced plan to combine the Philips Lumileds (LED components) and automotive lighting businesses into a stand-alone lighting components company.

"G]iving independence to our Lighting solutions business will better enable it to expand its global leadership position and venture into adjacent market opportunities," Philips CEO Francis van Houten says.

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Mipow Intros LED Bulb/Speaker Combo

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PlaybulbMobile accessory maker Mipow launches the Playbulb-- an integrated LED and Bluetooth speaker combo customers can control using iOS or Android smartphones.

The Playbulb features 2 Bluetooth chips for independent lighting and sound control from up to 10m distance using the low-power Bluetooth Smart standard.

It is remote controllable via app and features 4 set modes-- energy save (turns off after extended use with no changes to settings), night (gradually dims and reduces audio), sleep (dims light and turns off audio) and wake up (gradually increases light and audio).

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Lutron Expands EcoSysem LEDs

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Wireless lighting and shade control vendor Lutron expands the availability of its embedded EcoSystem LED technology as GE Lighting sets to launch a selection of EcoSystem-enabled LED fixtures from 2015.

Lutron EcosystemThe fixtures are controllable from any Ecosystem-compatible control solution (including GRAFIK Eye, Energy TriPak, Energi Savr Node and Quantum Total Light Management) without need for interfaces or additional hardware.

"Embedding the Lutron chip technology into our new LED fixtures provides customers with reliable LED control by enabling direct communication between our fixtures and Lutron’s EcoSystem dimming control systems," GE says. "The industry is experiencing rapid change, and by aligning with Lutron, we can offer our customers an integrated solution and a reliable control option that ensures compatibility between the fixture and the control system."

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GE Takes on Connected Lighting

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GE LinkGE takes on the connected LED light bulbs from the likes of Philips and Belkin with Link, basic connected light bulbs customers can control via Wink smartphone app.

Described by the company as "the first commercially viable connected bulb," Link LED bulbs eschew fancy tricks of the colour-changing variety by being simple, white lights with a price tag set at around $15.

As mentioned earlier control comes through the Wink app, with options including remote on/off functionality as well as sleep/wake up transitions.

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Philips Hue Module from URC

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URC launches a Total Control 2-way integration module for Philips Hue wireless lighting allowing URC Total Control products to communicate with the Philips LED app-controlled lightbulbs.

philips hueThe module is developed by Extra Vegetables and URC. Post-installation users can operate the Hue system with the standard Android and iOS apps, as well as use Total Control interfaces to control Hue devices, create and edit lighting scenes and groups, and add macro commands to recall specific light level, colour or colour temperatures.

The module is also compatible with ccGEN2 interfaces including keypads, the RM-2 remote and ccGEN2-iOS app.

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Lighting Design Tools, Services from Control4

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Control4 announces Lighting Design and Fixture Compatibility Services-- an array of design tools and services helping installers in the sale and installation of wireless and panelised lighting systems.

Control4 lighting“Lighting control is one of the fastest growing segments in home automation and presents massive opportunity for dealers," the company says. "The new services and tools we are unveiling are designed to help dealers expand their lighting business by providing best-in-class support through the entire sales cycle to final installation.”

Installers can submit projects to the System Design Service, a panel of Control4 experts providing verification and recommendations for use with Control4 and 3rd party products. One can also get installation guides, light fixture recommendations and modification suggestions for load schedules and construction plans.

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LG Intros Bendy, Smart Lighting

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LG showcases interesting lighting products at Light+Building 2014, including the recently launched Smart Lamp, the visually striking OLED Table Lamp and the Colour Tunable Flat Light.

LG LightingIn the case of the Smart Lamp the name says it all, really. It is the LG take on app-controllable (iOS and Android) lightbulbs complete with 9 customisable operation presets. These include a Sleep Mode where the bulb dims as the user falls asleep and brightens once the alarm clock rings.

The OLED Table Lamp is more interesting, since it uses the same kind of flexible OLED panel found in the company's curvy TVs as a light source. It looks like a piece of modern sculpture, and like the Smart Lamp is controllable via mobile device app.

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