Micah Jamal Streiff, most recently a Senior Design Engineer at Acuity Brands and currently a Masters student at Georgia State University, is our latest addition to Security Baron’s Expert Network. We sat down with Streiff to ask him about his work designing smart light bulbs and his recommendations for your everyday customer.
Tell us more about what products you work on at Acuity Brands.
I designed luminaires (fancy term for light fixtures) for two Architectural Lighting brands under the Acuity umbrella: Mark Architectural Lighting and Peerless Lighting. The Mark product I worked on most was a long linear fixture (also called a slot fixture) with options for 2″ or 4″ wide illuminated surface that offer direct (down light), indirect (uplight) or bi-direct lighting. The slot fixture uses energy efficient LEDs and offers seamless controls integration and color temperature options.
Peerless Venue combines complex curvatures with large geometric shapes to offer unique luminaires for a variety of spaces including universities, stadiums, auditoriums, amphitheaters and concert halls. Venue options include: 3k-20k+ lumen packages, static or color tuning LED’s between 2700-6500 kelvin, various controls and dimming to 1%.
What should customers look for in a smart light bulb?
Color temperature is always the first thing to consider when choosing any bulb. Making sure you match the color and temperature of the rest of the bulbs in the space (if you want to keep it consistent) or understand the difference in the environment that is created when you introduce different colors is critical for creating the intended mood. Some bulbs offer variable color temperature in addition to light color, but not all do, so pay attention to details.
Connectivity and integration are the next things to consider to make sure your product will work with your existing (or new) equipment and allow for the user interface you hope to use. Amazon Alexa is the most common to connect with, but not all smart lights work with all products so watch out. Some smart bulbs even require a hub to connect to Wifi, but not all.
Lumen output and efficiency are also important to understand. All LED bulbs are going to be more efficient than your standard incandescent bulb, but some bulbs are more efficient than others. Just divide the total lumen output by the wattage to calculate your efficiency and compare bulbs.
What are some features that you’d like to see in smart light bulbs in the future?
Built in sensors to maximize efficiency would nice. Also, bulbs that change color or color temperature during the day based on the time of day and the intended mood would be sweet. You can set this up with some systems manually, but it takes time and research to understand the effects of different lighting scenarios that lead to increased productivity or enhance your mood.
How do smart light bulbs fit into a larger smart house equipped with smart home security?
There are so many control options that integrate well into a smart home security system. Using smart bulbs is a cost effective way to control lights from anywhere you have wifi, set a schedule when you are home or away and create an environment that fits your mood and stimulates your senses. Compared to a more traditional, controlled in home lighting environment, the smart bulb offers a way to achieve affordable, effective results without a large upfront investment.