GE boards the Wink train with new ‘smart’ LED bulb
GE is following closely on the heels of Quirky’s recent announcement that it was launching a smart-home offshoot (called Wink) for incubating various technologies, as well as an integrated app to connect them all.
The GE Link connected LED 60-watt replacement (A19) bulb is a smart LED bulb that’s enabled by the Wink app — one of several new (and incumbent) products that are beginning to emerge within the Wink suite.
The bulb allows consumers to control their lighting from afar, as well as to sync the bulb with other devices. The primary selling point: the lack of need for expensive add-ons that usually come with connected devices.
There are also three options: a 60-watt replacement soft white LED bulb, an indoor soft white floodlight LED and an indoor/outdoor-rated bright white spotlight LED.
“Our very own Thomas Edison built the first commercially viable bulb, and today we’re proud to announce the first commercially viable connected bulb designed for Wink users,” said John Strainic, general manager, North America Consumer Lighting for GE. “We know the quality of light consumers love and want in their homes, and we’re a brand they trust.”
The bulb, which will retail around or below $15, is now available for pre-order on the Home Depot website. It’ll make its appearance in retail locations this fall.
Wolf Steel recalls Napoleon Propane Gas Fireplaces
Ontario, Canada-based Wolf Steel is recalling several of its Napolean-model propane gas fireplaces, citing a laceration hazard.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the glass front has displayed a tendency to break due to the pressure from the propane gas igniting.
There has been one reported incident so far in Canada, in which a customer had to seek medical attention after getting cuts to the face and neck. No incidents have been reported in the U.S.
Consumers are being urged to stop use immediately and to contact their local Napolean Fireplace Hearth Dealer to have a free upgrade kit installed.
The recall, which involves the GD3200-P flush glass front and GD3200B-P with a bay window, affects about 600 units in the United States and 2,400 in Canada. Both fireplaces are black and measure about 33 inches tall and 31.25 inches wide, accented with gold designs on the top and bottom. They were sold at Hearth Fireplace stores from August 1992 through May 2001 for about $1,500.
Lennar posts profits, record margins for Q2
Net income for home builder Lennar was $137.7 million for the second quarter of 2014, up slightly from the $137.4 million it reported for the same period of 2013. Revenues from home sales increased 28% in the second quarter of 2014 to $1.6 billion from $1.3 billion in the second quarter of 2013.
The rise in revenue accompanied a rise in the number of homes Lennar delivered — from 4,449 homes in the second quarter of 2013 to the 4,976 it delivered this past quarter.
From the beginning of March to the end of May, the company also saw an 8% increase in the number of home orders, which is value at about $2 billion.
Lennar’s CEO, Stuart Miller, expressed satisfaction with the second-quarter numbers, which brought margins to record quarter highs for the home builder.
"Our core home-building business is hitting on all cylinders,” Miller said. “Fueled by a 14% increase in our average sales price and continued momentum from our land acquisition strategy, our gross and operating margins increased to 25.5% and 14.7%, respectively, the highest second-quarter margins in the Company’s history."
The results from this quarter, according to Miller, were actually less than expected, but he said they’re indicative of a recovering market.
"While the spring selling season was softer than anticipated by us and the investor community, the home-building recovery continued its progression at a slow and steady pace,” Miller said. “The fundamentals of the home-building industry remain strong driven by high affordability levels, favorable monthly payment comparisons to rentals and overall supply shortages. Demand in most of our markets continues to outpace supply, which is constrained by limited land availability."
Lennar’s operating earnings also rose by 31% to $234.5 million.