emberlight: Smart Lighting Platform

emberlightThe Emberlight smart lighting platform is a vertically integrated solution (EE design, firmware, cloud, mobile, security) for adding connectivity and intelligence to any lighting product. Their primary model is to enable lighting manufacturers and OEMs to build new smart lighting products in a matter of months without the need for in-house software expertise.

They are introducing the platform to the market with a direct to consumer product, the emberlight socket. The socket is a home automation product that turns any light into a smart light. It’s a plug and play adapter that screws into your existing light socket, connects to your home WiFi network and enables you to control that light from an iOS or Android smartphone. Users can control brightness, automatically trigger lights based on proximity, and monitor the status of individual lights, all through secure SSL communications between the smartphone, device, and emberlight’s cloud servers.

Kevin Rohling is the co-founder and VP of Software Products at emberlight.

Why did emberlight need realtime functionality?

This is a must have for several reasons:

  • We can control the light level on any device from anywhere in the world with very low latency.
  • We can easily monitor device connectivity and update our system if a device goes offline.
  • We can issue a command to our devices telling them to check in for firmware upgrades without any user interaction.

productHow does emberlight use PubNub?

Our embedded devices (Emberlights) connect to PubNub over a WiFi connection. This allows us to send and receive messages from our devices in real time from our cloud and mobile applications.

What challenges did you have before implementing PubNub, and how did PubNub fix those problems?

The initial challenge we were trying to solve was how to remotely control the light level for a device. Once we had PubNub in place, we found the realtime functionality was useful for other things as well.

Did you try to build realtime infrastructure/communication yourself?

No. That’s a terrible idea for a startup to attempt building something like that. We knew that from the start and shopped around for the right hosted solution.

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What can you do now that you couldn’t do before implementing PubNub?

Per previous question about the value of realtime functionality:

  • We can control the light level on any device from anywhere in the world with very low latency.
  • We can easily monitor device connectivity and update our system if a device goes offline.
  • We can issue a command to our devices telling them to check in for firmware upgrades without any user interaction.

How has PubNub made your life easier?

We didn’t have to try building a hosted solution. That would have been a prohibitively complex undertaking.

What microcontroller does emberlight use?

Our MCU is a Marvell 88mc200.

emberlights are available for pre-order online here.

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