Soraa, a lighting company that typically sells to corporate clients, plans to release its first smart LED light for general humans. Instead of relying on Wi-Fi and a hub, like other smart lights, the company’s Helia bulbs communicate with one another over a home’s existing electrical wiring. The technology, called HomePlug Green Phy, essentially turns your existing electrical lines into Ethernet. The technology has been used in various gadgets, like Wi-Fi extenders, security cameras, and routers.
After being set up through the companion iOS / Android app, Helia bulbs automatically adjust the type of color they emit, sort of like Night Shift on iOS, according to the time of day. Soraa stressed to me that its bulbs remove blue light, aka light that’s notorious for disrupting sleep cycles. Instead, Soraa says, its color technology mimics sunlight by skewing toward more violet light.
I can’t say whether violet light actually makes a real day-to-day difference in sleep patterns. Soraa says it does, but I’d obviously like to take it for a test run. I can say, however, that in my demo with Helia, the light did seem softer and nicer than other blue LEDs. The color adjusted nicely, as well, and never seemed overtly orange in an attempt to make a calmer light.
While Helia is smart on its own, it can be enhanced through what Soraa calls a “Smart Snap.” This snap might eventually include a variety of sensors, but at launch, the company will only release a snap that includes presence and ambient light sensing technology. So if you have the Helia bulb with the Smart Snap, it will turn on when it detects someone in the room. It’ll also adjust to lighting conditions, all while communicating with other bulbs and changing with the time of day.
Helia does work with the Amazon Echo and IFTTT, but only if you buy the company’s “Cloud Connect” accessory, which it says needs to be plugged into an outlet near a router. Users then just have to log into their respective cloud services and they’ll be good to go.
The Helia bulbs cost $49.95 each, and a Smart Snap costs $29.95. They’ll be available this spring.