Imagine waking up to the colors of a sunrise slowly filling the room. Phillips Hue Lights make this possible. The LED light bulbs feature adjustable brightness and the ability to shift colors. Using 11 LEDs in 3 different colors, Hue lights can create 16 million color combinations. The energy efficient bulbs are meant to last up to 15 years and use 80% less power than traditional bulbs.
The Hue system connects to a central bridge and uses the open source ZigBee Lightlink wireless standard. The bridge can control up to 50 bulbs, allowing them to be managed remotely with the Hue app for iOS or Android. Colors can be chosen from the app’s premade “scenes”, creating lighting effects based on that image. Users can also create scenes from their personal photos, replicating the lighting of these images in their home. Dragging the color picker across a photo allows the user to select the color they want from within the image. The app also contains “recipe” options, featuring hues of light specifically designed to compliment a state of mind, such as focus and relaxation. A timer can be added to each scene, setting the lights to brighten over time.
In addition to these household uses, Notre Dame is exploring how the Hue lights can be coded for further application. They can be programed to change color for various notifications, such as weather conditions, or incoming emails and messages. The Hue lights also have the potential to work with Microsoft Kinect, allowing the lights to shift color as they detect movement.