A clever idea that meets both your lighting and audio requirements has won a coveted 2010 CES Innovations Award. The Klipsch LightSpeaker unit combines an efficient LED light with a wireless 20 watt speaker that can be screwed - just like a light globe - into an existing downlight fixture. This means consumers can illuminate their rooms and listen to music from an MP3 player or laptop throughout their house without having to cut unsightly holes in their ceiling to install standard speakers.

The patented LightSpeaker has a dimmable energy-efficient LED bulb that is rated for 40,000 hours of use and can last over 15 years. The full-range speaker has a low-distortion digital amplifier and the dispersion driver uses digital signal processing which optimizes high and low frequency output in order to deliver high-quality audio. The unit screws into five and six-inch recessed light fixtures that have a standard Edison socket. Soon-to-come accessories will allow consumers to use the LightSpeaker in hanging light fixtures and floor and table lamps.

The LightSpeaker can deliver music wirelessly thanks to its standalone 2.4GHz transmitter. You connect your laptop, CD player or MP3 player to the transmitter and the sound is sent to the speaker. The transmitter can accommodate up to eight speakers giving you stereo sound all over the house. You can also connect two music sources creating different listening zones if your music taste differs from other members of the family. Lighting levels and volume can be controlled by the remote control or the transmitter.

Klipsch president, Paul Jacobs, said, "Today's consumers are overloaded with complex technologies, and the LightSpeaker is designed to enrich their lives without complication. It offers brilliant light, reduces energy costs and creates a multi-room ambient music system in mere minutes. There's no wiring, no retrofitting and no software to deal with."

The LightSpeaker will be available from Klipsch at the end of January 2010 with wider distribution expected from March 2010. For US$249 you can receive two LightSpeakers, a transmitter, radio frequency remote, mini jack to RCA plug cable, lenses and trim.

UPDATE May 2011: The product is no longer available according to the Klipsch website.

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