THE LUKE Roberts Smart Lamp – officially known as Model F – is the ultimate end-point of recent technologies, including individual addressable LEDs, Bluetooth technology and smart phone apps.
It was first introduced to the world in the Austrian version of the TV show Dragons’ Den (known as Shark Tank in the US) and it’s probably telling that it’s an invention from outside the traditional lighting industry.
The idea behind it is that you can do a myriad of lighting effects and scenes from just one light fitting all controlled by a smart phone.
The downlight section of the up/downlight pendant has 84 individual clusters of tuneable white LEDs (varying between 2700K and 4000K) while the uplight side has 16 segments of both RGB and white LEDs.
There’s a pokey 4000 lumens in the uplight and 1400 from the downlight.
The company describes it, rather hyperbolically, as ‘the world’s first truly smart lamp’ which can illuminate any part of a room dynamically with individual light settings.
What is unique is the directional lighting capability, which allows users to move the light in any direction and, in effect, use the pendant as a spotlight or even spotlights.
So for instance you could have a light spot on the couch for reading or illuminate a dining table, while having a colourful uplighting on the ceiling.
Perhaps the most impressive element of the Model F is its app, which is one of the best we’ve used.
It’s beautifully simple to use, and you can effectively paint the light with your finger which is oddly addictive.
Besides the control via the app, the lamp can also be controlled by a traditional light switch as well as a voice assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri.
The lamp also learns from the user’s behaviour and automatically selects the best light scene when switched on based on day time, usage pattern and lighting conditions.
The lamp is heavy and solidly made, and the set-up is effortless. However, we think it’s let down slightly by the visual appearance of the downlight LED elements – one of our team compared them to ‘looking like a dentist’s light’ – but you could argue that only lighting geeks squint directly into an illuminated pendant.
The visible RGB ring on the upside isn’t elegant either, but this is comfortably above the eye line and you only really see it on set up.
It was probably inevitable that this product – or one very like it – would eventually be developed.
After all, the technology to do it is all freely available and just needed bringing together. And Luke Roberts have done a solid job of it.
However, we’d question why you need to spend €699 (£630, US$790) on a single luminaire to do an – albeit impressive – range of illumination options when it would be simpler to just have a few more lights.
Although it’s unlikely to be a hit in the specification market, the Model F will appeal to a certain demographic of early adopters – it’s certainly a bit of a conversation piece if you’re having dinner guests over – who will relish its playful app and endlessly customisable lighting effects.
- See the latest smart lighting technology at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition, taking place at London ExCeL on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2019. Entry is free - see the full programme and register for free HERE.