lightmapping: bulb pairing

Greetings from #rdcHQ! We’re learning a lot configuring our bulbs to work with #thethingsystem. We recently came across an unexpected issue when we purchased a second Philips Hue Starter Pack to round out the collection of bulbs in our street level gallery. We discovered that when you buy a starter pack the bulbs are pre-paired with the enclosed bridge so you cannot easily swap between systems. After a bit of research we discovered an app known as “LampStealer”, with a clever looking icon that looks familiar (at right).

LampStealer is listed on the everyhue site (which is not an official Philips Hue site but is frequented by developers from Philips) as an approved solution to deal with the problem that we are experiencing, so we decided to give it a go instead of returning our Starter Pack for three unpaired standalone bulbs. The second bridge is useful to replace our current one if necessary, or if we would like to begin a second Hue system at another location. The ability to unpair and re-pair bulbs is a fundamental need and should be included in any app dealing with internet controllable bulbs, so we give LampStealer two #rdcHQ thumbs up (despite the unfortunate name – perhaps LampSwapper or LampPairer would be more appropriate).

When you launch the LampStealer application, you will be prompted to locate your Philips Hue Bridge so that you can unpair the bulb from the previous bridge and, in turn, pair it with the new bridge. You will first need to click on the “Find Bridge” button and then select the IP number of your bridge when it appears. Once the bridge is selected, click on the “Start Linking” button to begin the process. The bulb will flash three times and then glow to show that it has been successfully reset.

The next part is very important – your bulb must be 30cm away from the Philips Hue bridge in order for LampStealer to work. This is known as “touch linking” and can also be achieved using telnet (for anyone who might have a bias against Java). This was our backup solution if we were unable to get LampStealer to work for us.

The Philips Hue bulb will flash three times and then glow yellow when unpaired with its bridge. Music: “Gleaming Medium” courtesy of iMovie

Once we successfully completed the pair/unpair sequence for all of our new bulbs, we were able to access them in our steward and control the color and brightness. Yay!

Stay Tuned … and Stay Bright! :-)

lightmapping update

Greetings from #rdcHQ! We’re pleased to announce that our gallery and computer lab are now fully configured for bulb testing. We’ve added two new vendors to the mix, Insteon and RoboSmart (these two bulbs and our TCPi bulbs are installed in our Cobwebs Lab for a future video special effects experiment TBA :-) ), and we now have one Philips Hue bulb in every fixture in our street level gallery. We also have a Philips Hue BR30 and a LiFX to round out our lighting recipe on the ground floor. Our fixures are multi-directional, so we have the option to add more bulbs – however the current solution provides ample light for the art on display. It took a little longer than anticipated to get to this point, however we wanted to make sure that we got the right lights for our specific purpose. We are quite pleased with the results so now comes the fun part … Let the beta-testing begin!

Our groovy lightmapping initiative is powered by ⓣ the thing system — take control of your things!

We do want to mention that we have a runner-up to our ultimate favorite bulb, the Philips Hue A19: The Smartbotics RoboSmart LED. Ours took a tumble right out of the box when we were installing lights in our street level gallery. Not only did it not shatter … it bounced! You can see the scuff marks on the collar of the bulb.

the mighty robosmartOur RoboSmart after being dropped from a height of 9 ft. These sturdy bulbs do not require a bridge.

These new LED bulbs are very durable, and if they do break – they do not contain the poisonous mercury associated with their curly CFL (compact flourescent lamp) counterparts. And the big news is that we are already seeing a cost-savings in our electricity bills! We’ll be gathering data over the next few months to see just how much. This is definitely a goal of ours (as well as the aesthetic) – and we can certainly attest that it will not take long to recoup the cost of the bulbs on a building this size. So we are very pleased with our investment thus far!

Stay Tuned … and Stay Bright! :-)

Cobwebs Crew News

Greetings from #rdcHQ! All is well at 351 6th Street … the elves have been busy opening the street level gallery for the Spring season, and the Cobwebs Crew are working steadily towards their first 2014 milestone:

Nate Malamud crafts the storyline for Cobwebs — The Movie — Part Two.
Quince Nye, our resident Blender wizard, creates a 3-D forest.
Evelyn Jennings, illustrator extraordinaire, prepares visuals for animation in Inkscape.

They are making great progress, and we will have a follow-up post this week to share some of the techniques they use in their creative work. In the meantime, stay tuned and mark your calendars for ~interazione~

#rdcHQ lightmapping

Greetings from #rdcHQ! We’re deep in the mines configuring the Point.B Studio street level gallery and the Cobwebs Media Lab for The All New #rdcHQ project. We have replaced nine of our bulbs with state-of-the-art LEDs from three different manufacturers: Phillips Hue, TCPi Connected, and one LIFX which is a very nifty and BRIGHT bulb (900 lumens) that does not require a bridge in order to be controlled over wireless. The bulbs start out in the Media Lab so they can be paired with the bridge in our server room before being moved to their permanent location (a bulb needs to be at least 20 feet from the bridge in order to be paired). Our two TCPi bulbs are not shown in the diagram as they are currently illuminating the Art Attic (where we’ll host our first Cobwebs screening in May).

Our groovy lightmapping initiative is powered by ⓣ the thing system — take control of your things!

In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be using ⓣ the thing system to work with these bulbs, and we’ll also diagram the rest of the space, plus share comparisons and lighting decisions we make regarding this new technology.

Stay Tuned … and Stay Bright! :-)

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