Ilumi heads outdoors with weatherproof smart LED strip
There are plenty of indoor wireless-connected LED lighting options to choose from, but the pickings are slimmer for those looking to brighten up patios or backyards. Ilumi is looking to change that with its LED Smartstrip, which it claims is the first outdoor-rated strip with digitally addressable LEDs.
It was only a few months ago that Ilumi launched pre-orders for its weather-proof, BR30 smart bulb. While energy-efficiency, app-control, IFTTT integration, and a cornucopia of LED colors are nothing new, it's the IP64-rated resistance to rain and splashes of water that makes a difference with the BR30. And with the launch of the Ilumi Smartstrip that is currently the subject of a crowdfunding campaign, Ilumi is expanding its outdoor lighting options to include those without the light bulb sockets outdoors.
At first blush, the Ilumi Smartstrip might look like your everyday, peel-and-stick strip that features 60 individual LEDs for every 3.3 ft (1 m) of length. But the way it differs from most – aside from also having IP65-rated water-resistance – is that it is designed to combine digitally addressable control over the individual color LEDs with the analog control of white LEDs.
This means that one can have all the fun of changing colors and dynamic patterns of the former, with the practical brightness and varying shades of the latter.
As with the rest of Ilumi's family of LED bulbs, the Smartstrip features proprietary Bluetooth MeshTek connectivity. Unlike systems that require a hub, such as Belkin's WeMo line of lights, Ilumi's Mesh technology allows up to 50 individual bulbs/strips to communicate with and pass commands to other units. Considering that each has a wireless range of up to 150 ft (46 m), it's possible to adjust all indoor and outdoor lights via close proximity with just one.
The Ilumi mobile app (available for iOS and Android) is currently undergoing a feature overhaul in order to offer more convenient connectivity and control over lighting. Users will be able to choose from a greater variety of curated effects and presets, set smart schedules, sync lights to pulse with the beat of music, and enjoy over-the-air firmware updates.
Ilumi has raised over 50 percent of its US$50,000 goal on Kickstarter in a day, with another 31 days left of funding to go. Pledges start at $69 for the Ilumi Smartstrip starter kit, which includes a power supply, Bluetooth controller, and 6.6-ft (2-m) strip. Additional tiers bundle in Smartstrip extensions and/or Ilumi Smartbulbs.
The team says it has produced working prototypes and made multiple hardware board revisions. So if funding, certification, tooling, and manufacturing go according to plan, backers can expect shipments of the Ilumi Smartstrip to start as soon as this December.