WiFi connected light bulbs at one point we’re neither here nor there. Now, in the last few months we’ve seen two WiFi connected light bulbs emerge: the LIFX and the HUE from one of the world’s biggest consumer electronics manufacturers, Philips. In fact, the HUE is already available for purchase at Apple retail stores for $200 – LIFX will go on sale next year.
However, one of the major drawbacks to the aforementioned products is their life span. Light bulbs by there very nature are fragile, which means they have a tendency to break or just flat out die. Sure, the HUE and the LIFX are of the LED type, meaning their filament will last the majority of your natural life, provided you baby the bulb, don’t drop it and nothing goes awry. But as in life there are no guarantees.
The Spark ditches the light bulb in favor of a WiFi connected fixture. And while it doesn’t include a color changing LED bulb, you can add any type of your choosing, provided it fits the standard light bulb threads. Unlike the HUE, which requires a separate box to bridge your router to the bulb, the Spark connects directly to your home’s router, and can be controlled using an accompanying iPhone or Android app. Dimming or setting the lights to turn on at a set time is a default option, though the company promises more features to arrive as developers sign on and use their free and open API. In fact, the inspiration for the Spark was from the founder’s father, who is deaf, and often misses phone calls and text message. With the Spark, you can make your lights flash when you receive a call, arrive home, leave the house – the options are almost endless.
The Spark is currently seeking funding via Kickstarter, with an estimated delivery date of July 2013. Each Spark will cost about $60, though if you’re looking to just turn the lights on and off at set times by way of your iPhone, we suggest you turn to Belkin’s WeMo, which cost $50 each.