Knbor: When a Smart Ceiling Lamp Meets a Wi-Fi Router

This very discreet ceiling lamp can provide optimum brightness up to 4,000 lumens.

A new smart lamp was launched on Kickstarter lately: Knbor, a ceiling lamp developed by the Hong-Kong based eponymous company. The product boasts a multitude of programmable lighting options, the most unique of them being the ability to extend Wi-Fi coverage throughout the house.

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At first sight, Knbor looks like a 15.75 inches square slab, 1.18 inches thick. However, this very discreet ceiling lamp can provide optimum brightness up to 4,000 lumens. This brightness level is very high – rarely reached by other dimmable light devices – and can be directly controlled via a smartphone thanks to the dedicated mobile app.

All the important basic functions of smart light systems are included: remote control (a switch is also provided), color variation, music-sync, customizable mood modes, dynamic lighting (the device will auto-adjust as the light changes throughout the day) and a wake-up alarm mode with a gradual lighting. The users can also add features thanks to the IFTTT recipes.

Wi-Fi connection

But the most interesting of Knbor’s functions is its Wi-Fi signal-producing capability. The smart ceiling lamp is also a Wi-Fi router which allows the users to benefit from a stable and strong connection, even in the rooms located far away from the Internet modem. Indeed, signal quality tends to decrease when it crosses walls.

How does it work? The smart ceiling lamp uses power-line communication (PLC) technology, a communication protocol which uses electrical wiring to carry data. It consumes less electricity while delivering a powerful Internet signal. Unlike some of its competitors, Knbor chose not to use Li-Fi technology, a wireless communication technology similar to Wi-Fi which uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to deliver high-speed communication. The technology used is also different from the one smart light bulbs that act as a Wi-Fi repeater use, which tends to alter the original signal.

As for the setup, a plug can simply be added on an existing mural plug to make the lamp work, as long as it is connected to the modem via an Ethernet cable. There is no need to call a professional installer.

Mission accomplished

Funded through Kickstarter until the 20th of November, the project has already reached its first $30,000 goal. If the company raises $100,000, they will add IFTTT recipes. From $200,000, buyers will be able to have a dynamic lighting option, and from $400,000, the synchronization between light and video. The manufacturing could begin in February 2017.

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