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Brief Published: 1 Jun 2015

GE Invests in Smart Lighting

GE Lighting's colour-changing bulb will automatically mirror the body’s circadian rhythm

GE Lighting, the lighting arm of US corporation General Electric, is creating a sensor-embedded light bulb that will align with the natural rhythms of the body.

The colour-changing bulb will automatically mirror the body's circadian rhythm, according to GE Lighting. In the morning it will emit brighter, bluer light to suppress melatonin production, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles, while in the evening, the bulb will glow with yellow-toned light, to boost melatonin production and promote sleep. The bulb will be compatible with Apple's HomeKit, the tech giant's smart home platform expected to launch later this year.

GE Lighting is also collaborating with US chipmaker Qualcomm to produce a smart bulb for retailers that could detect shoppers' locations and send customised coupons directly to their smartphones. No pricing details for either bulb have been released.

"Today's consumers want a customised experience – from the news they read, to the games they play, to the products they buy, they expect technology-driven personalisation," Jeff Bisberg, global general manager of indoor location at GE Lighting, said in a statement.

High-tech lighting solutions offer an accessible entry point for firms looking to gain a foothold in the smart home market. Dutch rival Philips has been experimenting with smart lighting solutions for some time – see Life-Enhancing Lighting for more.

Meanwhile, at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, tech firms announced strategic partnerships, multipurpose lighting solutions and a new component that lets people add any light bulb to the Internet of Things, as reported in our Home Electronics event report.