As I mentioned on the last page, the Ilumi bulbs do perform. They can deliver every color in the rainbow. The Ilumi app is chocked full of features to take advantage of the intelligence built in to the bulb. One of the fun features that is in the orginal Ilumi app, was simon says. Oh yes, just what you think. You start the game with a specific bulb or group.
Then the bulb blinks a color, and you match the colors on the simon says interface in the Ilumi App. As silly as it sounds, it was very different when your playing with the room lighting, not just an 10″ flying saucer with colored buttons. While it wasn’t very practical, it was nice diversion and an easy way to show off, just how intelligent the bulbs are.
The Ilumi app does come full of some pre-configured effects. These effects will put the chosen group or bulb into a routine of color changing cycles to produce the desired effect.
I couldn’t resist temporarily placing an Ilumi bulb on the porch. On Halloween it was the perfect compliment to our spooky decor. I chose the Haunted House effect. The bulb on the porch would then cycle through oranges, greens and purples. Matching the ghouls and ghosts that were strolling the street.
Ilumi also put some thought into adding a list of ready made presets. They took the liberty of adjusting the color, brightness and hue to create presets like Jack O’lantern, which was a nice orange candle light. Witches Brew, was a preset that put out a creepy green glow.
I realized once I used some of the available presets and effects just how much you could customize the effects in the app. Using the color interface featured in the image at the top of this page you can easily pick any color in the rainbow. Then with a tap of the arrows you can adjust the brightness and saturation to create just the color you are looking for.
As you create these colors, you can save them for quick access at a later date. These presets appear on the bottom of the screen as dots. I did like the look of this page of the app. The only issue I kept having is that you have to swipe to get to the next screen. Each time I swiped, it would change the color of the light in the room. Usually to blue or green as I was swiping right to left. I did figure out, that I could just tap the words at the top of the screen to get to the next page. That kept me from changing the color when I was swiping.
The amazing colors of Ilumi bulbs lend themselves wonderfully to the next couple features. There is a lot of new apps coming out these days to address the blue light from all of our devices. There are apps for your phones, software filters for your monitor, and lots of other solutions. The driving force behind these applications is to reduce the amount of short wavelength blue light you are exposed to at night.
As we all go through out our day, sleeping at night and being awake during the day, we have a rhythm our bodies follow. This is often called a circadian rhythm. There is a lot of new information that points to the light our brain is exposed to, may be how it determines where we may be in that rhythm. Sunlight is more blue in the morning, and more red in the evening. This is a good topic to google if you want more detailed info.
Ilumi has taken a step towards using this information to make your day more comfortable and ease you into a relaxing, restful evening. With the Circadian Schedule you can select when you start your day and when you typically end your day. You also choose which bulbs you would like to run this schedule.
Once configured, the Ilumi bulb will start out with a very blue light in the morning. As the day progresses, it will gradually become more and more yellow. Then it will transition to an even orange glow.
This is where the Ilumi tech shines! The settings are saved in the bulb. The built in real time clock keeps track of the time and adjusts the color phases automatically. Even when I used the power switch and shut the bulb off. That is right, killed the power. When I entered the room again and turned on the light, it would determine its color and adjust depending on the time. At times there was a slight delay, but the Ilumi bulb always seemed to promptly catch up.
I am not an expert, and I can’t say that there were huge benefits to using this mode. I can say, that I found it enjoyable to have it bright blue in the morning. So the room was bright as I was getting ready for the day. Then in the late evening to have the room be a nice soft yellow was comforting. After a long day, I don’t know about you , but my eyes are tired.
I enjoyed the softer light very much. I found the best combination to start my day with a sunrise, and continue with the Circadian Schedule. The full setup screen shots for the Circadian Schedule are below.
Everyone is searching for ways to have a better morning. Pop out of bed feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. The Ilumi Rise and Shine feature could be for you . I enjoyed being woken up slowly as my room filled with light that started out a deep red and began to get brighter. I went with the Maui sunrise.
I set the sunrise to begin 10 minutes before my alarm. When I started using it, I wasn’t sure if it was something that would wake me up consistently. It did wake me up, and it was very pleasing. An alarm can be a sudden shock, ripping you out of your slumber. The Ilumi Rise and Shine sunrise did a nice job of slowly pulling me from my sleep.
The first couple times, I did wake up as the room filled with light and for a split second think it was later than it actually was. After a few days it just got smoother. I think I may put some of these bulbs in my kids rooms. As teenagers, they can be difficult to rustle from their hibernation each morning.
After a week, I was really in love with the Rise and Shine setting. It really is a much more peaceful way to wake up. I was really found myself talking about it a lot. After speaking with a few friends, they are all dying to try it as well. I am sure there will be some Ilumi bulbs in their stockings. While they do not have a big interest in home automation, the ability to just buy 1 or 2 Ilumi bulbs and have all the intelligence built in, really appeals to them.
There are some very cool features in the Ilumi technology, and there are some that are just fun. In the experiences section of the Illumi app you can sync the lights with your music! Instant Party! When I first tried this, I was very underwhelmed. The lights were blinking and keeping time to the music coming out of my phone. Which was the problem, it was coming out of my phone.
You have to use the music player in the Ilumi app so the Ilumi lights can keep time with the music. No Pandora or other services are available with this feature. One really cool aspect that was a relief is that you can still pair your phone with another Bluetooth speaker. Allowing you to have better sound while still keeping the lights in time with the music. You could use the headphone jack as well. I don’t have one of those hanging out of my system. It was a great surprise to find the ability to connect multiple devices.
I was able to connect my phone with my stereo receiver and have great sounding music and the light effects in full swing. The older Ilumi app had several settings for music, picking genres and styles to adjust how the lights interpret the beat. The new app is still in beta and as of release of 4.0, I didn’t see these features.
The lights performed well. It did seem that the longer I kept it playing the more sporadic the lights became. Then they would catch up. Perhaps it was because I was connected to the receiver via Bluetooth and the lights were competing with it over Bluetooth. I was still glad it worked. I don’t know that I will use this feature often. Many of you readers may be looking for a solution just like this.
I have come across other 3rd part apps for other lighting systems that allow you to sync your lights with movie content and other 3rd party music services. It would be great if the team at Ilumi would find a way for me to sync the lights with movie content. Just to add another level of stimulation when watching an action or horror film. Even if it meant, I had to place my phone down and let the app use my mic to hear what was happening on the screen, or like other apps, use my phones camera.
Scheduling is a feature that is very common in home automation. One of the main goals is to automate things and make your day to day life easier.
The brains built into the Ilumi bulbs have scheduling covered. You can select a start time and an end time. You can also select which Ilumi are to participate. You can do this via groups or individual bulbs.
Of course while the Ilumi bulbs are smart and they do remember their settings when you shut off the power switch. You do have to have the power switch on, for them to turn on for a scheduled event.
I am sure that most people understand that, I just want to state the obvious.
You can also schedule an atmosphere. Just as you schedule bulbs to turn on an off, you can choose to schedule colors and presets. This is a great feature if you want to schedule specific scenes at different times. Even in different rooms. As they have expanded the Ilumi product line to outside bulbs, you can schedule your out door lighting colors and presets.
Continue on to the next page! I will sum up the features, my experience and the pro’s and con’s of the Ilumi bulbs. I will also go into how I made the Ilumi bulbs part of my home system.