BeOn's smart bulbs left us impressed when we tested them out in the CNET Smart Home last year. Now, for 2016, the security-minded connected LEDs are adding a BR30-shaped floodlight to the lineup -- an ideal shape for recessed fixtures.
The new bulb has the same features as the original A-shaped model, and the same yellow battery that pops in and out. That battery allows the bulbs to work even when the light is switched off (or when the power is out), and it also houses the Bluetooth radio that keeps them in sync with your phone.
Also packed into the battery: a microphone. You can train the bulbs to listen for the sound of your doorbell or alarm, and then program them to turn on automatically when they hear something. It's part of the product's emphasis on security, with BeOn citing the large number of daytime robberies where would-be intruders ring the doorbell to see if anyone's home before breaking in. A few lights coming on in staggered intervals could be enough to get them to think twice.
BeOn claims that it's working on new batteries with new features that you'll be able to swap in for the current ones. None of them are ready at this point, but BeOn's placement in the Z-Wave Alliance pavilion here at CES would seem to indicate that a battery with a Z-Wave radio would be one of the first ones coming. Other batteries might might potentially add in Wi-Fi for control beyond the home, or perhaps compatibility with Apple HomeKit, the set of smart home protocols programmed into iOS devices.
BeOn hasn't set pricing for the new floodlights yet but its rep tells me that they'll be comparable in price to the originals. Those sell for $75 each, or $200 for a three-bulb starter pack. A similarly priced BR30 starter pack seems like a safe bet -- we'll know for sure when the new bulbs go up for sale in the coming weeks.
Check out the rest of CNET's CES 2016 coverage here.