Lighting Industry, News, Residential

Living room lamps now pulsate, modulate to TV show

Moody: When this cast of characters from 12 Monkeys starts strutting across TV screens on 16 January, the lights in your living room will change along with the show's mood and action…

Here’s one for the early adopters: Philips has programmed its Hue LED bulbs to automatically flash, dim, change colours and pulsate in your living room along with the action as you watch the television show 12 Monkeys.

It’s the latest example of lighting’s budding, omnipresent place in the connected ‘Internet of Things’ in which anything that can be digitised will be, allowing objects, people – and of course light bulbs – to interact digitally.

Because LEDs are semiconductors – light-emitting diodes – they lend themselves well to internet and to wireless connectivity. Philips has designed its Hue line of lamps specifically to change colours and brightness in response to the push button controls of smartphone apps, computer keyboards, dedicated remote control devices and just about anything else that can trigger a change in lighting – such as the changing mood in 12 Monkeys, a series produced by the US global cable network Syfy and based on the 1995 film of the same name by Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam.

Viewers in the US can turn on the light show beginning with the season’s first episode on 16 January, using the Syfy Sync app on phones or tablets.

‘When combined, the app will detect audio cues from 12 Monkeys and translate them to the web-enabled Hue system,’ Philips and Syfy said in a press release. ‘Fans will then be enveloped in the on-screen action through ambient lighting effects designed to engage viewers in an entirely unique way.’

They described the development as ‘the world’s first-ever immersive lighting experience for an entire season of original series programming.’ 

Philips provided the same technology for home viewers of Syfy’s made-for-TV film Sharknado 2 last summer. The 12 Monkeys deal is the first time it is supporting interactive lighting for an ongoing series.

‘We constantly look for new and innovative ways to create the optimal environment in the home through unique lighting experiences, from everyday tasks to deeper engagement with your favourite TV shows such as 12 Monkeys,’ said Amy Huntington, president of Philips Lighting, Americas. ‘Working with Syfy on Sharknado 2, we gave viewers a whole new way to experience television and with 12 Monkeys our partnership pushes the envelope from a movie to the first television series with integrated light tracks.’

But will it make the popcorn? Don’t laugh. Popcorn makers are things too. Internet things, no doubt.

Photo is from 12 Monkeys Flickr Sahil Khan