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Smart home startup Light Sentry uses sensors to automate lighting year-round

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
A new startup aims to wean automated home lighting users off manual scheduling by deploying light sensors and switch devices in and around a user's home for dynamic control based on localized, accurate measurements.



Light Sentry hit Kickstarter in May as a holistic automated lighting solution. Unlike other systems on the market, Light Sentry touts sensor-based controls along with the usual time/date configuration options and specialized hardware to create an ecosystem of connected devices.

Bill Dorn, Light Sentry's creator, says home lighting should be controlled by actual sunlight at the home, not timers, schedules or Internet-based weather reports.

Currently, many mid-tier home automation solutions rely on triggers from centralized data feeds. For example, the popular Web-based automation tool If This, Then That can pull sunset and sunrise information from a local weather feed to control devices like Philips' Hue wireless lightbulbs.

What Dorn proposes is a solution more in line with automatic car lights. By taking local measurements via Light Sentry's Natural Light Sensor, the system can provide accurate and current analysis of ambient lighting to provide accurate control even during unexpected situations like fast-moving storms.



In addition to immediate feedback, the system can also be programmed from Macs and PCs to account for time, customized light conditions and time conditional scenarios.

For example, a time conditional setting could prompt a user's foyer lights to turn on at 6 a.m. but only if it's dark, say in winter. This set-and-forget feature allows Light Sentry to basically take care of itself throughout the year and is something only a sensor-based system can provide.

Like other connected home systems, Light Sentry relies on a specialized hub that communicates with an ecosystem of switches, dimmers and "Power Gates" (outlets) via Bluetooth 4.0. The hot-pluggable Portable Power Gates are especially interesting given they can convert standard lamps and appliances into controllable hardware.


Renders of Light Sentry's hub.


With only three days left in its Kickstarter campaign, Light Sentry is far shy of reaching its $200,000 goal, but Dorn says he plans to keep the project on track and expects the first products to ship in November.
post #2 of 10
Best of luck to him, then:

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post #3 of 10
Just because it is possible to do something "automatically" does not mean we should do it.
post #4 of 10

Chirp. chirp. chirp. Does it automatically turn the lights out when the birds chirp?

post #5 of 10
The correct spelling is "wean"...(head slap!)

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new startup aims to wean automated home lighting users off manual scheduling by deploying light sensors and switch devices in and around a user's home for dynamic control based on localized, accurate measurements.

So as soon as it gets dark outside, this system will turn on every light you have, indoor and out.
Great!
post #7 of 10

I use motion sensors on my lights.  My garage lights are on for 5 minutes and my porch lights are on for 3 when I approach the house.  How again is this going to save me energy and money?

post #8 of 10
I use LED lighting everywhere in the house and save about 90% of the energy required previously. Outdoor lights are on a timer which is controlled by my longitude, latitude, and sunset, sunrise. All outdoor lighting is dark night certified. Most lighting in the house is controlled by dimmers. This would be a useful addition.
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by j2fusion View Post
 

I use motion sensors on my lights.  My garage lights are on for 5 minutes and my porch lights are on for 3 when I approach the house.  How again is this going to save me energy and money?

I dunno. My condo complex has been using light sensors for outdoor/common area lighting for at least five years. Heck, I have a $2 nightlight that has a light sensor. All my inside lights are LEDs, I just turn them on/off when I enter/exit a room.

 

Maybe that's why the Kickstarter project isn't generating much interest. As a matter of fact, I just checked the page and it lost $99.

 

It appears this is "smart home solution" that might be overly complicated. Just use regular light sensor or a manual switch. Not a big deal.

 

It seems like some people think that if you append "smart" or "cloud" or "connected" to whatever, it should generate huge interest. Sometimes simplicity is the best.


Edited by mpantone - 6/11/14 at 11:12am
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

As a matter of fact, I just checked the page and it lost $99.

Wow. Never seen that before!
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