64 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015
cool products | LED TECH TOYS
Apple isn’t the only computer-centric player moving into lighting,
and Google, of course, intends to insert its technology in every facet
of our lives. GOOGLE and OSRAM recently struck a deal to make
the former’s Nest home-control platform compatible with the latter’s Lightify residential networked lighting platform. While Nest is
best known for its smart thermostat, the company is quickly usurping control of other home systems and may well become the hub
of a smart home enabling remote control and monitoring of systems. Lightify, meanwhile, is ZigBee based and includes a variety of
white and color-tunable LED-based products. The list includes standard lamp form factors but also includes flexible strips and even the
outdoor RGB garden lighting pictured. Osram has also struck other
interoperability deals with Lightify, for example, ensuring compatibility with the WeMo home automation platform championed by
Belkin ( http://bit.ly/1KkEfza).
GOAL ZERO’S Torch 250 flashlight is sure to come in handy as a
part of any essential emergency kit. 4000K warm-white LEDs from
Bright and half-brightness modes help to conserve power. The integrated USB port will also keep phones and tablets up and running
while you wait for automotive service, or if you happen to take the
LED Torch along for a camp-out — even just to keep yourself occupied should the power go out and you simply can’t live without the
latest version of Candy Crush.
Suitable for both weekend-warrior do-it-yourselfers and trained
industrial professionals, LARSON ELEC TRONICS offers a heavy-duty
droplight (retail about $125.00) equipped with sixty 50,000-hour LEDs.
The WAL-DL-60LED-M-GCR50 tasklight itself measures 14 in. and is
attached to a 50-ft cord reel for general work-area lighting. The UL
listed, weather- and shock-proof light is lightweight, produces less
heat than conventional worklights, and emits a 120-lm, 5000K-CCT
flood beam. The robust housing and the low-temperature operation
provide attractive safety features, and the retractable cord may also
reduce your trip-and-fall hazards if you’re anything like the average
homeowner (thus allowing you to spend the holidays injury-free in
your tunably-lit, smartphone-controlled space).
OLED technology has been slow to fulfill its promise in lighting and
in displays beyond portable devices, but LG is pushing it out to great
effect. If money is no object then you won’t find a better TV picture
than what TVs like the new 65-in. LG 65EF9500 offer. For just under
$5000 you get a 3840×2160-pixel UHD (generically called 4K) display. You may have a tough time finding 4K content for now, but LG
includes a feature called a Tru-4K Upscaler to make standard HD
content look better on the higher-resolution display. As is increasingly the case with TVs, the LG unit is as much a computer as a TV.