Redefining the Light Bulb

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If your routine is to light the kitchen at dinner, the living room in prime time, and the bedside for evening reading, BeON bulbs can mimic that sequence automatically.

The light bulb, an age old deterrent to burglars, has been geeked out by a start up company called BeON Home. The BeOn bulb learns the habits of your family and replicates them when you are away.

"It's like a DVR  for your lighting, and it plays back when your're gone," said BeON chief executive Alexei Erchak, whose company hopes to raise, $100,000 for manufacturing by taking pre-orders on the Kickstarter crowdfunding website. Bulbs are expected to ship in the spring.

At $199 for a three-pack, BeOn are expensive bulbs if you think of them as strictly for lighting. If you instead see them as a home security system, it is an affordable way to go.

Law enforcement agencies routinely recommend leaving a light on when out of the house. But a steady light might not fool a clever crook looking for signs of activity, such as lights flicking on and off in various rooms.

Light switch timers can make the ruse more convincing, though a burglar who rings the doorbell to check for a response will quickly detect a lack of movement. BeON bulbs have a built in sensor that can "hear" the bell and turn themselves on to simulate someone walking toward the door to answer it.

The BeON bulbs look very much like their 60 watt brothers but are outfitted with computer chips that remember the times when lights are usually turned on. By using the BeON app, or flipping a light switch in a special sequence, homeowners can set the bulbs to "away mode" for automatic lighting while away.

Just a bulb, I think not, the BeOn just might be a very simple home security system.

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