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“It’s not just about o ering a lighting product; it’s about creating an experience in the home,” said Todd Manegold, connected home business leader for Philips Lighting North America. “Lighting can do more for the home than consumers realize.”
Philips’ has put the lightbulb at the center of its connected lighting e orts. Hue lightbulbs not only o er 16 lighting colors and/or 50,000 shades of white, they can be controlled wirelessly through a router bridge, wireless switches and a cell phone app that all come in a starter kit. “A big bene t is that setup should take 5 to 7 minutes. It’s out of the box and not overly daunting,” Manegold said. “Lighting o ers an easy way to get started building a connected home.” Coming in June, Philips will add to its Hue o erings with Luminaires, connected  xtures and portable lighting that incorporate the Hue technology.
Lighting company Lutron has been in the “smart lighting” business since its inception 55 years
ago with the creation of its  rst dimmer switch, according to David Weinstein, VP of residential sales for the company. Recently, however, technology
has made smart lighting available to everyone, everywhere, he added.
“If you can buy an iPhone and download an app, you can set up connected home control,” Weinstein said, noting that for lighting retailers, “this is the most important new business opportunity since the invention of the dimmer.” Weinstein urges retailers to take advantage of this expanding opportunity, as demand for the technology has quickly moved from a once-luxury segment opportunity to the more mainstream consumer.
Through its Caseta Wireless brand, Lutron o ers PICO, a reliable two-way control that can schedule lights and shades on or o , as well as controlling lighting levels. The program employs geo-fencing, which lets users control lights from a distance, too— all from an app. A wireless router bridge, switch and app are all employed to make the connection.
For new homes, Weinstein is seeing connected technology built in as a standard. For consumers in older homes who want the convenience of smart lighting, it has become much simpler to design
a home solution with these new tools. Lighting showrooms and lifestyle retailers that have become adopters in connected home technology have an advantage with today’s consumer. “The specific product is so simple, [lighting] showrooms are adopting it at a very exciting rate,” he noted. “Furniture retailers should take note of this
opportunity too. These broader, mid-market products are designed for the average home.”
Connected lighting gives retailers an opportunity to provide a valuable service, the ALA’s McGowan added. They can have IT people on sta  to help teach consumers how to control their lights through di erent technologies. “There’s a service aspect here that retailers like,” he said. “They approach connected lighting in a full-service way. That’s a higher-end market position than a big-box store can o er.”
PHILIPS HUE LIGHTBULBS OFFER UP TO 50,000 SHADES OF WHITE LIGHT AND CAN BE CONTROLLED WIRELESSLY.
THERE’S A SERVICE ASPECT HERE THAT RETAILERS LIKE. THEY APPROACH CONNECTED LIGHTING IN A FULL-SERVICE WAY.
– TERRY MCGOWAN, AMERICAN LIGHTING ASSOCIATION
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