TECHNOLOGY

There’s a wealth of apps available for smartphones – be they iPhone, Android or BlackBerry – and some of them promise to be useful, or at least entertaining, for those in the lighting business. We put a few of them through their paces

 

LIGHT BULBS DE LUXE

DEVELOPER Ajani Infotech
PLATFORM BlackBerry
PRICE £4.20

If, like this reviewer, you spent your teenage years in your bedroom connecting GLS lamps (I can still smell the smoke from the potentiometers), this teasing game by Ajani will bring memories flooding back.You have to connect lots of incandescent light sources to a power station so they all light up. It’s a Chinese puzzle essentially but none the worse for that. Before you commit yourself to parting with your hard-earned cash, you can download a free version with a sample level. It’s been entertaining the Lux team all week, but hey, we don’t get out much.

LUX RATING ★★

 

LIGHT

DEVELOPER 3ight LLC

PLATFORM iPhone 4

PRICE Free

Trapped in a dark place and need a torch? This free app lets you turn your iPhone 4 in to one of the most expensive torches in the world. It’s quite simple. On the front LCD screen you have a switch icon that illuminates the powerful white LED flash on the back of the phone producing enough light to help you to find a circuit breaker in a dark plantroom. There are loads of these free light apps, but this one lets you customise the switch interface, from a hi-fi on-off type button to a traditional US style light – it would have been nice to have an old UK bakelite option. Leave it on for too long and you have a free hand warmer and battery-wasting device.

LUX RATING ★★★

 

LITEFAIRE FREE

DEVELOPER LiteFaire

PLATFORM Android

PRICE Free

LiteFaire is one of a whole sub-genre of apps on Android that promise to work out how much money you can save by installing new-fangled efficient light sources. This one appears unusual in that it is not a marketing gimmick from a large lighting equipment maker or distributor – the developer has a comprehensive website. The downside is that the whole enterprise is very US-centric, and of limited use to those outside the land of the free (speaking of free, there’s a paid for, ad-free version of the app available). The app even includes electricity costs for most US states, and there’s probably no reason it couldn’t be customised for use in the UK. But overall it’s probably one for the householder, not the professional.

LUX RATING ★★★

 

THE LOUIS POULSEN UNIVERSE OF LIGHTING

DEVELOPER Louis Poulsen

PLATFORM iPhone

PRICE Free

A grand title for what is really the Louis Poulsen catalogue on an iPhone. It’s easy to navigate around the product range and find the design classics, with good quality photographs and dimensional drawings. If you want more information – the full catalogue page or photometric files, say – an email request form pops up. Chinese imitators will love this app, no need to visit trade shows to photograph the real thing. Louis Poulsen is one of the first manufacturers to put a whole lighting catalogue on line, but would I use it in the real world? Probably not, I’m still waiting for my email request to be answered.

LUX RATING ★★

 

LIGHTMAP

DEVELOPER IALD
PLATFORM Android and iPhone
PRICE Free

You know how it is.You’re stuck in a remote corner of the world on business and, keen to spend your evening productively, you seize upon the idea to seek out some local examples of good lighting. LightMap promises to do that for you from the comfort of the hotel bar. Sadly, you may think you’ve had one too many when you try to use the app (on Android at least) because the project descriptions are difficult to see and the map interface doesn’t appear to zoom properly. Projects in and around our location (London) include St Paul’s and the Sackler Crossing at Kew Gardens, which features on the app’s splash screen. Makes you right proud to be British don’t it?

LUX RATING

 

ELECTRIC CIRCUITS

DEVELOPER Filippo Pellegrin

PLATFORM iPhone

PRICE 59p

‘With Electric Circuits you can learn the basics of a home circuit, you’ll learn by playing, every level brings up new components. Tell your friends about Electric Circuits and challenge them.’ That’s an extract from the sales pitch to get you to part with 59p. The hours will fly by as you try to wire up light bulbs in series, or in parallel with one-way and two-way switching. It’s a brave person who will tell their friends about Electric Circuits – and the team behind Angry Birds won’t be having any sleepless nights…

LUX RATING

 

LIGHTSABER UNLEASHED

DEVELOPER Alex Price

PLATFORM iPhone

PRICE Free

If you have to sit through endless sales review or strategy meetings, this is the app for you. When you’ve had your fill of low-hanging fruit, ticking all the boxes and blue sky thinking, simply whip out your iPhone, launch the Lightsaber, and chop off the offending party’s PowerPoint arm. Okay, so it can’t do it for real, but with sounds and vibration feedback you can at least feel what it would be like to unleash the power of the dark side. Upgrade to the paid for version then managing and finance directors can slog it out in a Bluetooth-enabled lightsaber battle.

LUX RATING ★★★★

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