Lowe’s adds to its Iris smart home device portfolio

Fans of the Lowe’s Iris smart home platform can now automate their pet doors, garage doors, hoses and window blinds. The hose timer is actually pretty interesting, especially for folks that might not have an irrigation system or just want to water some plants while they are on vacation. The automated blinds will likely also prove popular. Lowe’s has been offering the Iris platform since 2012, and was one of the first DIY providers in this market, but this summer Home Depot has gotten aggressive offering the Wink platform and a variety of other connected devices.

GE launches a $15 connected bulb for Wink. That’s seriously cheap!

As part of the fanfare around the launch GE-backed Quirky launching Wink as a separate company dedicated to the connected home, GE is opening up pre-orders for a connected light bulb that will work with the Wink app and only costs $14.97. For a connected, white-light LED that is a crazy low price tag. The upcoming Belkin, LG and Philips Hue light bulbs that will be white-light only are between $30 and $40 per bulb and the colorful connected bulbs are in the $60 to $100 range. TCP has connected white bulbs that are between $27-$33 per bulb, and are on the market today. The GE lights will be in Home Depot stores in the fall, so I can’t wait to see how they work.

Quirky throws Wink into the crowded smart home arena

Quirky will launch Wink, its connected home brand, as a separate company. But the real test of Wink’s success in the market will depend on awesome software and a distribution channel that educates consumers.