Ario's mood-enhancing Lamp.


According to Ario, a new company that's making waves on Kickstarter, our daily light exposure has serious implications for "sleep, mood, immune system, weight management, and overall well-being." Basically, certain light temperatures trigger our brains to release certain hormones -- a cool biological trick that helps us wake up or prepare for sleep. But the artificial lights that so many of us work under every day can pose a serious problem by sending misinformation to our brains' sensors.

Ario's solution? A lamp. The Ario Lamp is different from other lamps, though, in that it learns your daily schedule using algorithms much like the Nest Learning Thermostat's. It uses this information to light your home in a way that keeps your brain working to the right time. This should theoretically improve your sleeping patterns as well as providing other health benefits.

Ario will also use geo-location to light your rooms according to your local environment. It won't simply mimic the light outdoors, but will supplement it. So overcast days could cause warmer light inside, which will help avoid the effects of the darker months in cold regions.

The energy-efficient Ario Lamp.


Other devices, like the Sunn Light, have done things similar to Ario in the past. Ario's just trying to sharpen the idea that's already out there and make it affordable for broader audiences. The first distinction I like is its software. It will learn your particular schedule over time, so you can let it fade into the background of daily life. And although Ario won't offer colors like purple or green, as some other smart lights do, that doesn't mean it's skimping on hardware.

The Ario Lamp will have about three times the brightness of a 60-watt bulb, emitting up to 2,400 Lumens, all for $400 (roughly converted, that comes to about £260 or AU$565). With many smart light bulbs clocking in well above $50, the Ario Lamp's output is impressive, but the price is a bit steep. For early contributors on Kickstarter, though, Ario is offering pre-order prices at $200.

The biggest explanation for the Lamp's price is its integration capabilities. It will connect to your home's Wi-Fi, meaning it's got potential to work with other connected devices. CEO Brian Hoskins expects the device to work with open-API developers, like Philips Hue, Nest and maybe even wearable tech (though he didn't give any specifics there). We'll only be able to accurately gauge how well the Ario Lamp integrates with other devices when we get our hands on one, but I'm excited at the prospect of it working with other smart bulbs to act as sort of central nervous system for home lighting.

As with any crowdsourced product, doubts about production and distribution won't be allayed until it's due to be shipped to customers. But Ario's design is respectable, if only for its ambition. Instead of using replaceable bulbs, for example, the light will come from one large disc. Its outer ring will be brushed aluminum, which Ario says will diffuse light without diminishing it. And on the top and bottom of the ring, two glass domes will allow light to shine through, upward or downward. In the center of all that will be a circuit board with over 70 individual LEDs.

Ario claims the lifespan of the lamp should be at least 20 years, but I would still be a little nervous dishing out over 100 bucks for a lamp with no replaceable bulbs. Of course, Ario might just prove me wrong.