This is a pretty cool lighting project: The Alba, by Stack Lighting

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If your Philips Lux bulbs met the Nest thermostat and had a baby light bulb, the Alba by Stack would be that bulb. The Alba is a white-only dimmable LED light that you can control via your smart phone. In that it’s like every other connected bulb in the market, but it also learns your needs and habits and adjust accordingly.

It’s equipped with a motion and light sensor, so when you enter the room it turns on. There is also a presence detection option, and it attempts to deliver the scientifically determined best type of light based on the time of day. [company]Philips[/company] is actually really big on this as well and tries to market its Hue and Lux bulbs as capable of providing the right light for your tasks too. The Alba seems to fit more in the model of a prescriptive home as opposed to a merely automated home, which may rub certain users the wrong way.

The Alba is available for pre-order with two BR-30 bulbs and a hub costing $150 ($60 for each additional bulb.) That puts it on par with the Hue color-changing lights and makes it expensive compared to the rest of the white-only connected bulbs out there if you look only at lighting. But the intelligence and sensors built it could turn this product into a game changer for the industry, much like the learning algorithms on the Nest have paved the way for some really expensive thermostats.

I have a lot of questions about how one trains the bulbs, and how it works in situations where you come in late at night and don’t want the light to turn on and waking your family. Or would it have the problem that many other motion-detecting lighting systems have where if someone is still for too long, the lights turn off?

When [company]Stack[/company] releases these (supposedly in the first quarter of next year), I’ll be one of the first to snag a pair to see how they work.

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paul martin

Sixty dollars per bulb is one issue. The other is the timing: in the old days I would be always replacing bulbs as the incandescent filament failed, not any more – indeed I cannot remember when I last purchased one having stocked up on one dollar CFLs. As a result of the latter some have become more accepting of ugly lighting and just taked it for granted

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