GE gets into e-commerce to sell its HomeKit connected lightbulbs
Who says the Internet of things can’t change business models? General Electric is launching its own online store to sell a newly launched connected light bulb for the residential market. Like many startups in the connected home space, these bulbs (called C by GE) aren’t even available yet. If you sign up now, your lights won’t arrive until January.
The lights cost $49.97 for a starter pack with four bulbs, but there’s a 20% discount for people who sign up now. That’s a great price for connected light bulbs, given that the cheapest bulbs on the market today are about $15 for the GE Link bulbs.
The bulbs come in two flavors. One is the C Sleep, which is for bedrooms and is designed to mimic the sun’s natural light throughout the day and help people end up sleeping better at night. There’s also a C Life bulb which offers a warm, white light that can be dimmed or brightened for a variety of everyday tasks such as reading or working.
The lights are the ones that GE pre-announced in May that would work with Apple’s (APPL) HomeKit home automation framework. They will also work with the Wink hub and with your smart phone using Bluetooth. That means you won’t actually need a hub (or even an iPhone) if you want to control them.
For consumers, lighting is low-cost and low-risk way to experiment with the smart home, and for GE (GE), lighting has so far been a good way to experiment with unique business model associated with the Internet of things. I can’t imagine what it may come up with if it can build a product that attracts a large number of consumers.
For more on GE’s innovations watch this Fortune video:
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