Best available and working "F.lux" setup with smart lights?



  • Does anybody have their smart lights emulating F.lux behavior, the sun etc with their smart lights? I've tried to do this with Philips Hue and it is a real disappointment. Wondering if people have had better luck with other smart lights.


  • f.lux team

    Which operating system are you running it off of? We are working on a few different things. You should keep an eye out for the GE C series lights, I am guessing they will have a lot of what you want.

    http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/29/9634368/c-by-ge-lights-smart-bulb



  • I'm running OSX El Capitan 10.11.1 on a late 2012 macbook pro. I also have an iphone6s, happy with it in general with the exception of the fact that apple's restrictions bar F.lux or similar blue light apps from working on it due to sand-boxing and judicious memory/ background service management.

    I signed up for the newsletter for the GE C/sleep lights, email says to expect a promotional code in early 2016, so hopefully that will be when it is released on the market. I find it interesting that the sleep bulb is 3000 K at 750 lumens whereas the life bulb is 2700 K at 800 lumens. 2700 lumens. I wonder how visibly noticeable the difference would be if the two different styles were in the same room. It doesn't sound like a huge difference by the numbers. Would love it if the sleep bulb could go warmer than 2700 K though.

    If the color temperature and lux intensity is automated and works with switches, I'd bite. Granted, it would be nice to not have to forfeit IFTT or similar but honestly the core functionality trumps everything else, (works with existing infrastrucutre, light switches, bedside lamps etc).

    I wonder how fine the transitions are from one color temperature to the other. If the transition is flat the product would lose a lot of value in my mind. I wonder if it's actually synchronized to the locale or if it's just running like an alarm clock. Hmm, will stay tuned.

    Definitely interested to learn about what you've got cooking.



  • @adamlogan Yeah, I've got to commend GE for actually creating a great light source, the GE PM align WOW! MIND = BLOWN! I'm glad they're joining the race, hey it may be for money but the end product is great!



  • Seems like a good place to mention that I designed a lamp heavily inspired by F.lux and we are talking about ways to integrate it with same. On it's own, it automatically changes direction (up, down) of light delivery, and CCT over a range of 1800K to 6500K with an output of 2400 lm. If you interrupt power (like with a switched outlet) it still knows how to light properly when switched on given it's battery backed real-time clock and processor. It is WiFi connected and creates a schedule automatically for you. An image and write up is in the Smart Light section and, and we are running a Kickstarter right now with cool videos showing it in operation. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arioliving/ario-smart-lighting-better-health/


  • f.lux team

    @arioda yes! We recommended it to him in another thread, but his room is on the small side so he's looking for a standalone or ceiling light. Any ideas for him? ^_^

    @adamlogan May I ask more about your background / how you got into circadian lighting? It's truly a rabbit hole, though a wonderful one.



  • @lorna @adamlogan Right now I have set some timers on the Hue bulbs in my office and am not too picky about the transitions. They're not good for wake up as they "snap" on to like 20% level to which I am really sensitive. Maybe your hack works more smoothly Lorna? I pick up any slight glitches in our Ario wakeup through my closed eyelids and we are fixing that as we aspire for it all to be really smooth. So, for a small space I'd get a couple small table lamps and put GE Align AM bulbs in, and load the ceiling fixture with some full spectrum CFLs and do it the old school light switch way. For auto wake up, get a Philips or a Withings Aura perhaps or preorder and wait for an Ario :).



  • @adamlogan @lorna There I go again mixing up GE AM and PM. Get a couple of GE Align PMs for the small table lamps.


  • f.lux team

    @arioda meaning they come on too bright? There are a lot of issues that I don't like either with using Hue and light switches.



  • @lorna Yes, coming on too bright is the problem. I turn on lights in adjacent rooms and do all sorts of adhoc stuff like that to avoid sudden light trauma. It really is what inspired me to keep working on the project. Manual control of LIFX works pretty well for soft start but the interface is so unreliable that half the time quite literally, I have to use the lamp switch then the app sort of hangs etc etc. Of course you can close your eyes then turn on a light switch then slowly open your eyes :)


  • f.lux team

    YES! Whoever turns on the Hue lights at night first shouts a warning of CLOSE YOUR EYES!


  • f.lux team

    Our Hue support has been shipping on Windows for 2 years. It's based on a prototype we did in 2009 so is showing its age.

    We've not shipped on Mac yet because we have Macbooks that shut off a lot, and to get good results we needed a machine that was always-on. We'll finish something here soon.

    Hue bulbs (when rebooted at the wall switch) take about 5-10s to show up in the "lights" feed from the bridge. So f.lux basically polls the feed every 15-30 seconds and tries to adjust any "new" lights as soon as they show up. But this can take quite a while to happen.

    For demos we can pretend every light is online and change them all once per second (which gets better results than the above method), but this is basically the limit of what the bridge can do, and it doesn't scale to large groups of lights. We need time-aware lighting fixtures to fix it.

    (Turning hue off and on via the app or one of their hardware switches can make this better, btw.)



  • @herf Where can I find this feature Michael? Any tricks in invoking it? Thanks!


  • f.lux team

    Extras menu!

    Push pairing button on Hue bridge within 15s of turning the feature on. It will beep while its trying to pair (but some machines don't make noise). After that f.lux will run your Hue lights until you tell it to stop.

    Better stuff on the way as you can imagine. :)



  • Hi @herf,

    I am trying to this neat Hue feature, but I don't understand the pairing from the Windows Flux app and the bridge, what is required?
    FYI: I have no issues with connecting to the Hue with Philips Hue app for android.

    Kind regards Johannes


  • f.lux team

    (Some bugs fixed in the next version...hope this is still working!)

    When you go to the Extras menu and check the "Hue" checkbox, f.lux will try to pair with the bridge for the next 30 seconds or so.

    If you have system sounds on, it will beep while doing this, but most machines have this beep turned off, so we've added a visual indicator in the next version.

    Anyway, if you check the box and then push the Hue bridge button in those 30 seconds, it should work automatically with the "full color" hue lamps (starter kit).

    I'm not sure if the 3.10 build works with "hue lux" yet, despite their choice of name. :)



  • @arioda The GE Align PM bulbs are contradicting what I thought I knew about light an melatonin. On the marketing material it says "Amber light at night doesn't suppress melatonin to help you sleep". Um… but a warm-for-a-blue-light will ???

    I finally gave up on using the 3 way light fixture in my room. I installed my philips hue into a bedside lamp where I removed the foot stomp switch (so neither I or anyone else can turn it off). It's working out better, although 5ghz still drops sometimes which means app connection to the light is not always reliable, it works most of the time though. I'm using Huemote on ios, and I've got a widget setup in today view with two cool lights (one max brightness, one moderate) and the same for warm/red lights.

    I like the Ariola lamp, but it's far too big to be appropriate for my room. I would love a table lamp version though, or something that could be mounted onto the wall, my room is basically 7 feet by 7 feet.

    I've actually started looking at smart watches for a better way to wake up, it seems like the jawbone is the only brand that I'm aware of that does sleep cycle based smart wake up. Disappointing, as there are many reports that say the jawbone 2&3 are fragile and don't tend to last long.

    @lorna I'm mostly exploring circadian lighting to help adjust my sleep pattern and improve my mood when I wake up. I basically don't even want to get up in the morning, and stay in bed until I finally force myself to get out. I'd love to become a morning person, not feel so icky waking up from staying up too late.

    @herf keep up the good work! Although I don't use Windows, I'm glad to hear the work continues. Hopefully it will come to the mac platform someday. More pressing for me is a version that works on iOS, have contacted Apple to let you in to their OS system resources so that this can happen.

    General:
    Can anyone confirm that relatively "warm" blue lights are better than Turtle Safe Red Bulbs? Seems like a totally different tangent in color temperature than I was expecting for a "PM" bulb. Or is this more like a pm bulb that you read to in the living room before retiring to the bedroom?



  • @adamlogan You do know that there is a fully functional mac version? Or are you discussing philips hue extra stuff when you say you're wanting the mac version?

    Also, it's a great idea to either go outside or get really close to a window in the morning when you wake up, so the bright light lets your body know it's daytime.


  • f.lux team

    @adamlogan "better" is a complicated word. The Feit bulbs are very red and not melanopically stimulating. There's a debate whether red light can be alerting in a non-circadian stimulating sense.

    The Ario lamps change over time in a way that combines what's known about color, brightness and directionality. They're dynamic over time, which I believe is almost always better than a static lamp. There is evidence in the literature that bright light during the day may cause light at night to affect circadian timing less. And there is evidence that the right kind of gradual color change is very effective at providing circadian cues. (And thanks for your support regarding iOS!)



  • @timpster, Hue extras. F.lux is one of the first things I install when I do a fresh OS upgrade/ install. Sitting next to windows & spending time outside would be far too easy and uncomplicated. Actually I live in areas that get a great deal of overcast gloom during the winter, Rochester NY and Salem Oregon.

    Asides from adjusting my circadian rythyms and sleep habits, I'm also looking for a smart alarm solution, dawn/dusk simulator. I love that stuff, but there doesn't seem to be one package or combo that does it all well yet that is suitable for me. My old SunRizr is still the best product I have for this purpose as of yet. It does not have a battery though, so a power outage could mean being late. Could pick up a power strip that can allay that issue though. But I would still need to manually set the alarm time oh noes.

    @loma Interesting, I just assumed that it was as simple as pretty much any color of light that had a blue component would inhibit melatonin production, and that a red bulb like the FEIT bulbs were devoid of blue light (or had very little of in the case of amber/orange lights), therefore melatonin production could proceed.

    The way you described the dynamic directional element of the Ario lamp triggered flashback memories of a month long retreat I did at the Great Vow Zen Monastery in Clatskanie Oregon during the Summer a couple years ago. We would do sitting meditation in the hall with a considerable amount of exposure from the light outside. The effects of the light were quite powerful, sitting there for a couple hours with our eyes slightly open, I remember seeing the movement of the window frames on the floor and the walls, and how hard it was to stay awake when the light fades, it's as if the movement taxes our energy and the diminishing light is the finisher.

    It takes serious will-power for me to go to bed and get out of bed early without other people expecting/ depending on me. But yeah, there's a low tech solution if there ever was one.

    @arioda I don't know how I missed it, but I just checked out the Withings Aura, not bad for a first generation device, I wonder if they will improve on it. The speakers would be useless for me, as I am partially deaf. I wear hearing aids in both ears, I sleep with them on. Otherwise, close. I wonder if the music can be played over the smart phone only, as I have many roommates, wouldn't want to wake them for nothing. Part of the reason why I'm looking at lights and watches for an alarm. Would you consider making a bedside lamp if the floor lamp version you have rolling is popular enough?

    General: I looked at the Amazon reviews and customer pictures for the GE Align PM, it appears pretty warm compared to the promotional materials. 2000 K, not bad at all, probably the warmest semi regular bulb I've seen without going red.

    I quite like the Drift light, I wish it could do Dawn simulation and that it was a bit warmer color temperature wise. Also I read complaints that it does not fade all the way to black, that it shuts off abruptly after 37 minutes.



  • Update: I've worked on better utilizing the single Philips hue bulb I have. I Worked with technical support to get over a software update hurdle that has plagued me since owning the hub/bulb. The update kept failing mid install. I found it really strange that in order to update, I had to use my iphone, I would think the networked BRIDGE should be able to do the update. It keeps irking me how helpless their supposed bridge is, it should do a lot more considering it takes up a precious lan port on my home router.

    I've setup some scenes in Huemote ios app (presets, not the gimmicky image color picker thing like in the official Philips Hue app) and added them to my Today widget on my iPhone. It works, and works relatively fast since I can get to my widget from my lock screen. Still not a replacement for a light switch, and it's not dynamic, but it works well enough for me for now. I'll wait for something more along what I want to come out on the market. I've got a single scene for blue and green that is 100% brightness (doesn't seem very bright for some reason) and 2x of each, yellow amber (100%, 50%) and 3 for the red (100%,50%, 10%). Asides from that there's the global all on all off toggles.

    I had bought the Lightbow app hoping to create my own dawn and dusk simulations, but I found that while the animation features are robust for multiple bulbs, it couldn't do more than about 2 minutes of animation for any single bulb. It seems like it's more geared towards patterns that repeat with one cycle spanning no more than ~2 minutes total. You can't put 2 minute animations back to back for a single bulb, so it's truly a dead end for what I was trying to achieve. Disappointing there. It's a nice app, it just can't do what I want.

    Anyways, Philips Hue and Huemote works In the meantime, I will wait for something better to come out on the market before spending more. I find my rechargeable Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp is a very cost effective solution for red light at night. The spread is not even (can see the circles while reading) but again, it works, and I like that it's rechargeable and versatile. The red leds are not dimmable, although the whites ones are. Imagine if a headlamp could emulate dawn dusk. But who would wear a headlamp to bed? lol. I could only see this working as a dusk simulator while reading a book leading up to sleep.



  • FYI I received an email today from GE, here's the online version of the email. Looks like release of the C series bulbs is imminent. "C-Live and C-Sleep connected LED bulbs will be ready to order on March 8th"



  • GE C Series lights are available for order in starter packs as of a few moments ago. Coupon code for 20% off the retail price, introductory price is $50 right now, will jump to $70.

    The fine print says discount code ( Sleeptight ) expires 3/22/16. Offer is good for up to 5 starter packs.

    I'm putting in my order today! Now, the only question is how many to place and order for…


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