Light Sentry is a newly-launched Kickstarter campaign by Sonne Industries. The main components include a central hub, a natural light sensor, and a gizmo (called a portable power gate) that acts as an intermediary between your connected light fixture and the hub. This hardware is designed to help you automate and optimize your home lighting schedules.
Existing devices that turn your lights on or off on a set schedule don't necessarily account for power outages or changes in sunset/sunrise time. Light Sentry does. It relies on real-time lighting conditions and time to auto-adjust your lights based on rules you set. After that initial setup, you're supposedly done -- there's no need to worry about making adjustments based on seasonal changes like Daylight Savings Time, etc. The whole concept kind of reminds me of transitions lenses (You know, those glasses that change from clear indoors to sunglasses in full light?) or auto-headlights.
Sonne Industries claims that its Light Sentry setup is DIY. Simply plug the Light Sentry hub into an outlet, stick the natural light sensor anywhere (inside or outside) that has direct access to outdoor light, and the sensor is supposed to transmit light readings back to the hub. Then, connect your portable power gates to any lights you want to program.
The portable power gates can be set to dim incandescent, LED, or CFL bulbs at 25, 50, 75, or 100 percent brightness. They are designed to work with lamps and other gadgets up to 600W, and have an override option in case you want to temporarily stray from your established lighting schedule. You can use the Web-based interface to create custom commands for every portable power gate.
You can set commands (on, dim, or off) based on light, dark, time, or a combination of the three. In addition to the convenience of a fully automated lighting system that self-adjusts based on real-time cues, Light Sentry could also help with money and energy savings. And while it's currently only available for indoor use, outdoor portable power gates are in the works, contingent on the success of the Kickstarter campaign. The Light Sentry funding period started on May 14 with a $200,000 goal. The last time I checked, it had received $13,788 in funding, but there's still 28 days to go -- in case you want to back this project.