CentraLite Solves Pesky Problem of Light Switches & Smart Bulbs

The problem with smart bulbs is that you always have to keep the switch on, and you rarely have local control. Enter CentraLite’s clever little solution … plus more new ZigBee HA 1.2 devices.

Introduced at ISC West 2014, CentraLite's patent-pending ZigBee HA 1.2 Smart Switch makes smart bulbs smarter. LifeTags serve as panic buttons and location devices.
Julie Jacobson · April 11, 2014

This new rash of smart LED bulbs is interesting – simply replace your existing bulb and screw in a smart one – but there is one big problem: The light switch must always remain on if you want to keep the bulb “smart,” and typically you don’t have control of the light from a local switch.

CentraLite, maker of lighting controls and ZigBee solutions for most of the cable-companies’ home automation solutions, has a nifty little problem solver that addresses “the fundamental issue with smart LED bulbs,” says VP of sales Sean Bryant.

Demonstrated at ISC West 2014, the patent-pending Smart Switch sits on top of an existing paddle switch in such a way as to lock the switch in the “on” position.

Two buttons on the (new) switch allow on/off control of the smart bulb, without actually shutting off power to the lamp, meaning even in the “off” position, the bulb still can be operated via smart phone or other device.

The switch communicates via the ZigBee Home Automation 1.2 standard, which means it should communicate with bulbs and other devices that employ this standard. Otherwise, CentraLite will work with smart bulb-makers to ensure interoperability, Bryant says.

RELATED: Smart LED Bulbs: The Future of Lighting Control?

The product is expected to retail for less than $40.

In other CentraLite developments, the company also introduced “LifeTag” at ISC. The tiny ZigBee device can serve as a panic button, but also as a notifier that indicates when someone joins or leaves the network.

Bryant imagines parents putting a device in the kids’ backpacks to determine when they come home from school.

Other new items in the CentraLite ZigBee HA 1.2 portfolio (images below) include:

- Pearl thermostat with touchscreen (only $169)
- Lamp and appliance module
- Water sensor
- Temperature and humidity sensor
- Door sensor
- Garage door controller
- In-wall dimmers
- International plugs
- Azela thermostat (no touchscreen)
- “Blue Wire” in-wall switch

Centralite at ISC West 2014

New ZigBee HA 1.2 sensors from CentraLite

CentraLite’s full suite of new ZigBee HA 1.2-compliant products

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

News · CentraLite · ISC · Smart Bulb · ZigBee · All Topics
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