LEDs: Indoor Lighting of the Future

In response to my post about wearing orange goggles at night, a reader of this blog writes:

Philips Hue:www.meethue.com

The starter pack includes three bulbs and a controller. One small drawback is that the bulb returns to white when you cut the power. It’s annoying to have to repeatedly reset a smart device. The bulbs are well-made, and the light quality is very good across the colors. It will be a great system when they get the price down and refine the controls.

Random LED multicolor bulbs on Amazon

These have varied in quality. One cycled rapidly through the colors (in demo mode) whenever you turned it on, rather than defaulting to white–great fun when your kid likes to flick the lights. One had poor color balance between the red, green, and blue LEDs, so the blended colors came out wrong. Some were great. Having the little remote control nearby was convenient, as long as a kid didn’t lose it. These don’t put out a lot of lumens, especially in single-LED colors, but that worked fine for us. The bulbs are much lower quality than the Philips Hue, but the low price makes them a good starting point.

5 Responses to “LEDs: Indoor Lighting of the Future”

  1. Jeff Winkler Says:

    It’s cool that Philips is building these bulbs and paying for studies… though those are pretty fancy/expensive. This podcast with Richard Hansler (PHD, 42 years at GE Lighting) is good – http://notjustpaleo.com/podcast-30-dr-richard-hansler-lights-influence-cancer-sleep-obesity-depression/

    I’ve ordered Bulbrite orange bulbs – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000COZ92S/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1for our two-year old’s room for storytime. 2 bucks each. The reviews say the 100 watt are enough to read by. Hopefully that’ll reduce his sleep latency.

  2. dearieme Says:

    “our two-year old’s room for storytime”: I remember that. She’d jump up and start trampolining. We eventually had to give up storytime.

  3. Brad Says:

    There’s also a computer program called fl.ux, available for most operating systems and even mobile devices, that automatically adjusts the color temperature of your displays with the sunrise/sunset cycle at your location – adding significant red to displays in the evening to reduce this kind of circadian disruption. The latest version works even with those Phillips bulbs.

  4. Reanna Says:

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but what about an orange lamp shade?

    Seth: it’s not easy to put orange lamp shades on all of the lights in one’s house…and you only need the orange light at night.

  5. Alex Says:

    Brad, thanks for pointing out that I can use f.lux to control Hue lights. I didn’t notice that in the May release notes, since I wasn’t using Hue at the time. I use f.lux on all my computers, and I love it.

    Reanna, it wouldn’t be enough to have a typical cylindrical lampshade in orange. Light with blue spectrum would still be emitted at the top and bottom. The goal is to avoid night-time exposure to blue spectrum, which is absent from orange light, rather than to increase your exposure to orange spectrum.