Today we want to introduce you to the Luke Roberts Smart Lighting Lamp. We are very excited that we had the chance to recieve one of the luxurious smart lamps by the austrian start up Luke Roberts. The two founders Lukas and Robert, hence the name of the startup, are both originally engineers. There experince in the field of industry and management consulting helped them to release their own product. We stumbled across their prouct as they were broadcasted in an austrian start-up-show where they pitched the lamp. Soon we got into contact with them and got sent the lamp. Let's see what we think about Luke Roberts's interpreation about smart lighting.
The campaign for the luke roberts lamp started back in 2015. It pretty much crushed it and 1 year later in january 2016 the campaign already raised over 450.000$ with almost 1.000 backers. Their plan was to ship the first lamps in august 2016 but staying true to the style of Kickstarter projects the real shiping date was in november 218. During the campaign the lamp was called FLUXO which was changed to model F now that its also available in their online shop so don’t be confused if its not called the same anymore.
The model F covers more than 300 LEDs and enables lightning up and downwards. [ ab hier beauty shots ] So its not only able to light up whatever you want, but also create more ambience with indirect lighting. Using a special system of lenses the downlight can be split into 84 segments which can be dimmed individually and feature tuneable white LEDS. It can go up to 4000 Lumen, which is almost twice the brightness of the philips ceiling light.
The uplight on the other hand supports only 16 segments but enables indirect RGB lightning and can be adjusted to any color and brightness wanted going up to 1400 lumen.
If turned to full brightness is can consume up to 75 watts. That might sound like a pretty big number, but compared to how many bulbs it can replace due to the amount of light it can produce, that number doesn’t seem all that bad. It is in the energy efficiency class A after all.
75 watts actually produce a lot of heat, which has to dissipate somehow. That is achieved with a stylish big passive cooling body on top of the lamp that also gives the unit its unique look. Its connected to the motherboard with heat conductive paste to keep everything as cool as possible. The actual light distribution panel on the top and the cover of the lens at the bottom are made from plastic. In combination with the well built chasis made from metal the lamp comes in at 3.2kg and feels quite heavy, but that gives the model F a pretty premium feel to it.
So how will this lamp change the way we think about smart lighting? Well Luke Roberts compares the transformation of the lamp with that going from CD to MP3. It is happening really fast and you will have to get on the train, before it is to late. There is one exception though. The transformation of the lamp is not yet finished, which still gives room to define the future of it. Philips did a marvelous job of creating a hype around LED lighting when there was need for a low power consuming lightbulb without the flaws of traditional power-saving bulbs that would either take some time to produce their full brightness or were based on quicksilver.
Luke Roberts now tries to take the transformation to a different direction with their model F. They didn’t want to create yet another smart lighting device, which is overfilled with functionality that no one needs. They wanted to create a lamp that is exceptionally good, at what its made for. “Creating the best possible light for a certain task. That means, it lights out the right area with the correct brightness and color. Luke Roberts believes that each property of a smart lamp should be focused at lighting.”
If we take a big living room with an in built kitchen for example. You can let the model F light out your kitchen with bright white light using one scene while you are cooking and switch to a different scene which lights out your dining table with a more comfortable yellow light. If you want to read a good book afterwards, just switch to your reading scene which lights out spot on the sofa with the perfect brightness and angle.Or lets say you are an artist and want to light out different paintings and sculptures in your workshop, to give your art more depth and impression. Even here in our studio, we were quite dazzled at what this lamp is capable of. We could just light out spots we were working on, for example while we were soldering parts for our raspberry pis.
APP & SETUP
The setup process for the lamp is very straight forward and easy. Once it is mounted correctly and the light is turned on, the application automatically detects the lamp and synchronizes with it over bluetooth. (show start screen with “synchronisation”). One question we have no answer for is why bluetooth 4.2 was used instead of bluetooth 5 which would offer a power saving mode and a way wider range.
Sadly we only have one lamp here, so we do not know, how the app behaves with multiple lamps connected. After the synchronisation is done you can switch between the different scenes that you have configured in your application, which comes prefilled with seven scenes. Scenes can be added, removed and configured. In order to configure a scene more easily, you will have to align your phone with the lamp. For that one LED is light on the lamp and you can align a controller to match the direction. After that you can just draw on the circle representing the lamp to light up the different segments individually. The color can also be changed for both the down and the uplight.
After configuring the direction and color of the lights the brightness can be changed. One hint, never press the back button on your android device while configuring a scene, that will throw away all your changes without any warning at all. Hopefully that behaviour will be patched in future releases. Other than that, the app is really responsive and setting up different scenes is just a simple breeze.
If you are that kind of person, who has tons of smart devices at home and your phone is already filling up with all the different controlling apps out there, there are good news for you. The model F is compatible with voice control systems like Amazons Alexa and support for Google Home is on the way as well.
Alright so let’s sum things up. The lamp itself is just brilliant and gorgous and the build quality is top notch. It is a piece of art from a technical point of view as it is extremely bright and just does exactly what a lamp is made for … providing the perfect lighting conditions for what ever you are doing. The ambience that you can create with the indirect lighting is just marvelous. It doesn’t matter if you want a romantic evening with your partner, some none distracting backlight when watching TV or a nice atmosphere when talking with friends … the model F got you covered in almost any situation.
The app works like a charm and we couldn’t really find any annoying bugs or crashes what so ever. Some usability improvements can still be made, but those are not all to critical in our opinion. The setup process is way easier than we anticipated at first and we didn’t have any connectivity issues at all while testing the lamp out. The range that you can put between you and the lamp while controlling it, could have been improved by using bluetooth 5, but yeah we think that its still acceptable.
One downside of the model F is the lack of WIFI connectivity or support for any other smart home protocol like ZigBee, ZWave and so forth. That means, that the lamp is not able to communicate on its own with any smart home hubs. It always needs a connected smartphone or tablet with the app installed and running bluetooth nearby. Thats kinda sad, since voice controlled or automated mechanisms wont work at all, if your phone is not in range of the lamp, which kinda takes a little bit of smartness away.
Besides this small flaw, all of the remaining awesomeness comes with a whopping price of 700€. For a design lamp that price is quite normal, but the technological prowess the model F provides in comparison to any other design lamp, makes this piece of art way more interesting.