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L8 SmartLight: Gadget notifications get the silent treatment

One box and 65 LEDs make getting your e-mail, smartphone, and social-networking alerts a whole lot more fun with a whole lot less noise.

L8 SmartLight
Shine a light on your notifications and alerts.
Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

You've got mail. You've got a new Facebook friend request. Someone wants to chat. You've been mentioned in a tweet. Your mom left a voicemail. Your gadgets are constantly trying to get your attention, but bell, ringer, and buzzer alerts get old fast.

L8 notifications
These alerts must mean it's party time. (Click to enlarge.) Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Get some peace and quiet (or at least quiet) with the L8 SmartLight. The Kickstarter project consists of a small box full of 64 RGB LEDs in a grid on one side and a single super RGB LED on the other. Talk to your smartphone, connect to your social networks, and feed Internet alerts to the box through Bluetooth or USB.

The battery-powered L8 -- which measures 2.4 inches by 2.4 inches by less than an inch -- can be set to notify you of just about any event you want. Got a new e-mail? Get a flashing light. Status update from your sweetheart? Trigger a pulsing LED heart. Boss left a voicemail on your day off? Set it for an LED frowny face. A control app is coming soon for iOS. Android, and desktop computers.

The L8 has internal sensors for temperature, luminosity, and proximity. For example, you can set it to alert you when your room is getting a little too toasty. It also makes for great mood lighting. Imagine creating the ambiance for a romantic dinner with the warm glow of visual Twitter notifications.

A $69 pledge will land you your own L8 if the project is successfully funded. The gadget is open to developers, so hackers should have a field day coming up with creative uses for this clever little box.