Linux-based Lamp offers 'illumination as a service'

Linux-based Lamp offers 'illumination as a service'

Summary: A Sydney company will use a Kickstarter program to launch a programmable light running a LAMP stack.


After going through two name changes, inventor Mark Pesce has renamed the "illumination-as-a-service" lamp the Light by MooresCloud.

Mark Pesce's Light.
Mark Pesce's Light
(Credit: ZDNet/Spandas Lui)

Originally known as the CloudLight, Pesce was forced to rename it to the LightCloud after realising that a "CloudLight" was already trademarked in Australia. Then, yesterday, the inventor received a cease-and-desist letter from a company in the US, which had applied to use the name LightCloud 11 days before Pesce's team filed, resulting in its final name change to the Light.

The product is basically a cube containing a number of LED lights connected to a small computer running Linux with Wi-Fi, and packs an accelerometer and a web server. This means that the cube can run applications, and be commanded to perform certain light-based tasks through internet-connected mobile devices.

Mark Pesce, one of the inventors, dubbed it "illumination as a service."

The Light by MooresCloud was invented by a team of Australians with Pesce as their leader. There are currently 11 people working on the project. The MooresCloud team is seeking to get the Light in production by procuring AU$700,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, which will begin on October 16.

With the ability to display an array of colours, the Light can also be programmed to communicate and coordinate with other machines. The product runs on open hardware and software, and Pesce hopes that this will encourage developers to make a whole bunch of apps to take the Light to very different places.

Eventually, Pesce wants to have his very own app store for the Light.

"Because it's a full computer running Linux inside, essentially what you can do with it is bound only by your imagination," Pesce said.

One Sydney-based organisation, which he would not name, is already in talks with MooresCloud to use the Light to track the progress of its processors. For instance, if a processor is failing, it communicates with the Light, and the cube will flash a specific colour.

For average consumers who have no programming background, Pesce and his team are working on a browser-based HTML5 interface, where apps can be acquired that will make the Light perform set functions, such as mimicking the glow of a candle.

The Light is set to retail at AU$99. As for the Kickstarter program that intends to raise AU$700,000, donators who contribute AU$99 will each receive their own unit.

"Of the AU$700,000, only around AU$270,000 can be allocated to development, because Kickerstarter and Amazon payments take their little bit and the rest of it is going out in rewards [the Light itself]," Pesce said.

The Light will be manufactured in China. While the cube is currently powered by an adapter, the plan is to release a battery-powered version.

Topics: Consumerization, Cloud, Wi-Fi, Australia

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • Maybe it's just my imagination..

    ..But beyond various ways to make the light flicker in different colors I don't see much purpose in the apps. I hope instead he builds an API into the webserver, then it'd be really easy to automate warning signals and such from other boxes into making that thing light up in different colors depending on the state. But then the price point has to be really low, otherwise it's just too niche for it to catch on, I think.
    Also I think he should call it LAMP, that'd be really ironic considering it's linux with a webserver (LAMP is oftenly used to abbreviate Linux Apache Mysql PHP; A LAMP stack is what your average webserver is). :P
    • How I'd d use it.

      I went along to see the unveiling and these little devices really captured by imagination. I can see a few of them being at the heart of my home automation aspirations. Here are six quick use cases I came up with ...all done before 6.30am on a weekday morning :-)

      At 5am I'd like to wake (yes, I'm an early bird!) to a simulated sunrise which peaks with some intense orange-yellow light. After nudging it, it plays me a simulation of the day's weather forecast (arrrgh! rain). A final touch of the device lets it know I'm getting my lazy arse out of bed and it instructs other wifi-packing LED light bulbs/strips to illuminate the path to the bathroom for my morning routine. Of course, it knows there's little ambient light, because of the time and the weather, and calibrates the intensity appropriately.

      By the time I've had my shower and made my way downstairs, the espresso machine is mercifully pre-heated (the IP-addressable power point was switched on by Light when I interacted with it just after 5am). The Light in the kitchen has already checked my Google calendar and is counting-down, with a simulated clock face, the time until my bus arrives.

      As I churn out my coffee shots, the countdown is briefly interrupted with a rapid flashing pattern. Someone has triggered the sensor on the front gate. Fearing the worst (you DON'T want to see me in a dressing gown), I peek out the front door and realise it was just the newspaper being delivered. Yes, this gadgeteer still kick thinks some things old skool.
  • Seriously?

    A true solution without a problem.

    My next kickstarter project will be a turnip wired up to linux box. Totally pointless but look, I've connected something to a processing unit. Give me £1m. Thanks.
    Little Old Man
  • He Missed The Opportunity... call it the LAMPlight??