MusicLites results from a partnership between the Artison high-end audio firm and Osram Sylvania, a leading lighting company. Their pitch: entry-level do-it-yourself home automation without complicated wiring.
The MusicLites system consists of an LED light that you screw into a standard socket either for indoor lighting or outdoor LED sign, as with any ordinary bulb. Inside the bulb is a hidden high-fidelity loudspeaker. A separate transmitter connects to a stereo receiver, computer, smartphone, digital audio player or TV and communicates wirelessly with the light and speaker.
A remote control lets you brighten or dim the lights, adjust the audio volume and choose which of up to five "zones" in your house you want to hear music raining down from the ceiling. Each zone can be outfitted with up to 12 speaker-lights and operated independently or in tandem with the other zones.
The light socket supplies the power for the lights and the music. You control what's playing from the source of your music. Versions of the transmitters connect to the various devices via USB, Toslink cable or the 30-pin connector on the iPod, iPhone or iPad. The transmitter and speaker communicate through the 2.4-gigahertz frequency band and have a typical range of 30 to 90 feet.