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Samsung's bright idea: a Bluetooth-controlled LED light bulb

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Samsung announced it will soon ship its Smart Bulb, a Bluetooth-enabled light bulb that will be controllable through any smartphone or tablet.

The new LED bulb is part of Samsung's latest lighting effort that should make it even simpler for the average, not-to-handy person to start getting into home automation. By going with Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi it eliminates the need for a Wi-Fi bridge. A bridge is a tertiary device that normally plugs into an outlet and acts as the central control hub for Wi-Fi enabled appliances.

This essentially makes it a plug and play device that can be controlled from any smartphone or tablet. Users just have to download the Samsung app to have the ability to control 64 separate bulbs within their home.

The one downside is the person and mobile device have to be within Bluetooth range, usually around 15 or so feet, for the bulb to connect with the phone or tablet. This is a major difference from the Wi-Fi variety that can generally control such a bulb or other home automation product from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

The Samsung's Smart bulb has an expected lifespan of 15,000 hours or about 10 years, and can be dimmed down to a minimum output of 10 percent of its total rated power for additional energy savings.

"Based on our extensive experience with semiconductor and LED technology, as well as our knowledge of the appliances industry, we are in a unique position to deliver exciting smart solutions for the LED Lighting industry," said Hee-Chong Yoon, Vice President of LED Lamp Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "Our ultimate goal is to connect the digital dots in our customer's lives and Samsung is well positioned to deliver LED solutions for the Smart Homes of the future."

The bulbs will be part of Samsung's exhibit at the Light + Building show in Germany starting on March 30.  Pricing and availability were not released.

LG announced its line of remote controlled Bluetooth light bulbs earlier this week in South Korea. The LG bulbs will carry a price of about $32 each.

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