Lucis NuBryte Review

on Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lucis' $199 NuBryte console reminds me of Kronosight's Sentri or Wink's Relay; it's a wall-mounted security and automation hub, with accompanying app, that acts as an additional access point to your connected home devices.
This sort of static console is pretty common among professional security firms like ADT or Vivint, but we're seeing them pop up with increasing frequency in the DIY home automation sector, too.
Like the Wink Relay, NuBryte is supposed to replace existing one- or two-switch lighting panels. However, instead of the Relay's one-per-household approach, you're supposed to install a NuBryte in every room to tackle lighting control, security and energy usage reporting. No sane person would do this given the $199 price tag.
Optimized for dimmable LEDs and incandescents (you can use smart bulbs, but there's really no point since Wi-Fi smarts are packed into the NuBryte unit itself), you can use the interface to adjust your lighting by room. Lucis says that built-in NuBryte sensors can actually adapt to your routine, much like the Nest thermostat, and auto-dim to your preferred settings after an initial "learning" period.
NuBryte also has specific modes, like "Morning Light," which slowly brightens your bedroom bulbs to gently wake you, or "On the Move," which automatically adjusts your lights as you and your family move between rooms. "Welcome Home," "Bedtime Dimmer," "Night Light" and "Vacation Mode" round out the rest of NuBryte's custom settings.
I can see how this active approach to lighting control could help families lighten their electricity usage. NuBryte is even supposed to display your energy consumption so you can track your progress over time. Of course, you can always override the lighting modes directly from the console or on the app if it starts to feel a little too invasive.
A 120-degree security camera is another integral NuBryte component. When it detects unexpected activity, it will flash the lights in your house to disorient potential intruders, send you an alert on your phone, and give you the opportunity to enable the camera's recording functionality. The camera can't record 24/7, but you do have the option to capture clips as needed.

NuBryte's 5-inch touchscreen has a few other handy features: a calendar, an intercom and weather information. There are no monthly fees associated with the cloud-based NuBryte, either.
As an extension of the Wink Hub and app, the $300 Relay does seem like a more comprehensive smart home product than NuBryte. The Relay works with a variety of different third-party products, including security cameras like the Dropcam Pro and lighting solutions like Lutron dimmers. Although NuBryte has an open API for potential third-party integrations, it strikes me as a smart light switch with some interesting accessories rather than a complete connected home solution. Still, it's pretty intriguing.
NuBryte units are available for pre-order now and are slated to ship sometime in the first half of 2015. Lucis will be at CES as well, so we'll be sure to track down this Wink Relay competitor for closer inspection.


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