Charles Sum is the vice president of R&D at Sengled, a company that’s built its design philosophy around helping customers simplify their surroundings with innovative lighting products. We recently got to chat with Charles about some of the things Sengled is doing in the smart lighting arena.
How did Sengled become a company, what was the impetus for its creation?
Sengled has been dedicated to making daily life heathy, happy, and convenient through lighting products designed for simplicity and style.
Aesthetic design seems to be an important element of the Sengled brand, what are some of the challenges that come with designing for ease-of-use as well as looks?
Our goal isn’t to change light bulbs so dramatically that it becomes difficult for users to adopt them. In the design tone and manner, we try to keep the existing form factor and appearance consistent while incorporating modern characteristics of high-tech functionality. We try to transform a traditional light bulb or lamp into smart lighting seamlessly. However, there are several real challenges to overcome. In addition to meeting appearance standards for the design, we must solve the interaction problem of cooling the LEDs, managing the high-speed circuitry of the hardware and RF design to achieve the desired aesthetic, and meeting reliability and performance standards without increasing their size in comparison with the traditional lighting products.
Tell us about some of the innovations you’ve pioneered, specifically with integrating audio and security into LEDs.
Our multi-channel wireless speaker system, Pulse, is a synchronous multi-channel speaker light and the world's first one that can play with a mobile phone. It can support up to eight lights simultaneously while playing music and can adjust each light to the sound and volume for each speaker. Integrated with an IP Camera, our Snap can achieve 1080p HD real-time video viewing, video cloud storage, and high-precision motion detection with the full function of standard waterproof PAR38 lighting.
How long has Silicon Labs been part of your solution, and can you tell us about the selection process? What made Silicon Labs the choice for you?
We selected Silicon Labs in 2015 after evaluating five zigbee solution vendors. In making the decision, we carefully considered product performance, protocol stability and compatibility, as well as in-time technical and business support.
You recently received the Innovation Award in Eco-Design and Sustainable Technologies category at CES, can you tell us about what sets Pulse Link and Element apart from such a busy market?
Pulse Link is an extension of the Pulse family. It evolved from a multi-channel Bluetooth playback speaker system into a video playback system. Its typical application is for watching TV in living room. At present, most companies designing the connected bulb only provide the most basic connection and control functions. In addition to our modern design, excellent RF performance, and stable performance, the Element is our first energy-saving LED as well as the first in our tree planting plan. The Element combines built-in, cost-effective power detection circuitry and algorithms (has been granted US patent), making our products unique and in line with the current trend of energy-saving and carbon emission reduction.
Finally, where do you see the IoT market heading in the next 5-10 years?
Integrated IoT solution with lighting and security should be the focus of the future. If the product experience and price can be dramatically improved at the same time, the progress will be accelerated.
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