GE Lighting Challenge Stimulates Next Generation of Connected Home LEDs

To propel the connected home forward, GE is not only relying on inventors within its own walls, but challenging the Maker community to share their best ideas. Nearly 1,000 makers, from college students to data scientists, submitted connected lighting ideas for the home as part of an open innovation challenge built by GE, Make: and Hackster. The winning ideas, which all incorporate responsive voice command capabilities, may be considered as part of GE's connected LED product line, C by GE, in the future.     

The winning designs were unveiled today at World Maker Faire New York 2016 and include:


  • 1st Place, Rohan Pandya, Georgia Tech Student

Pandya's winning design included a robust set of connected applications within a single light source, including lighting that syncs with personal fitness devices to notify you when you are sitting idle for too long and encourages you to get moving, as well as lighting-based motion detection that syncs with paid security systems. 

  • 2nd Place, Scott Thibault, Data Scientist

Thibault's innovation uses both audio and motion-detection built inside a light source to track activity in the home, enabling the lighting system to understand who is home and where they are at, and then customizes lighting with different color temperatures and other triggers based on that individual's preferences and habits. 

  • 3rd Place, Joseph Hollmann, Researcher

Hollmann, a post-doctoral researcher from Barcelona, as well as a new dad, submitted an idea for a lit crib mobile that uses light invisible to the human eye to detect a baby's heart rate and oxygen levels to protect against SIDS, providing audio warnings around untraditional readings.     

By 2020, half of all homes will have migrated to LEDs, and revenues for connected home products are expected to grow by 50% by that same year. Lighting is a prime location as a smart connection point because it's all around us, and it puts connected technology into an affordable, compact package that can be used anywhere in the home.
"The average home has 45 lighting sockets, and those will be critical connection points in the smart home," says Jeff Patton, General Manager Connected Home Products, GE Lighting. "At GE Lighting, we're working to create a connected home experience that is easy to adopt and maintain. This challenge reaffirmed that the opportunities for lighting in this category are extensive, and we'll use the winning submissions to inspire our ongoing product development in this space." 
"The Lights for Life program has been really exciting to work on. I'm always inspired by how the maker community rallies behind challenges, and the innovative projects that they submitted with this one have been some of the best I've seen yet," said Mike Senese, Executive Editor, Make: magazine.
"This is a great example of the community-powered business solutions we're delivering through crowdsourcing and open innovation," says Dyan Finkhousen, Director Open Innovation & Advanced Manufacturing, GE Global Operations - GENIUS LINK. "We believe that by connecting the brightest minds and the deepest expertise with some of the world's most pressing opportunities - we're redefining what's possible."
To follow GE's ongoing product development in the connected home space, including insights on the latest connected products, visit

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