The Lum light bulb/smoke alarm concept by Arthur Brault is a great idea. By integrating a standard medium screw-in base as well as a medium screw-in socket into a smoke alarm, Brault has created a great safety device. Designed to work in concert with compact fluorescent light bulbs
, the Lum (once released) should become quite popular.
Energy Efficient Technology
The smoke alarm base is relatively large, so this light bulb gadget won't fit everywhere. The best place would probably be either an open fixture, or one with a lot of room around the socket. One of the "install and forget about it" features is the rechargeable battery in the smoke alarm base; when the compact fluorescent light bulb is running, the battery is also being charged. This allows the base to accurately detect smoke while the light bulb is off. If smoke is detected, not only does the smoke alarm very loudly let you know aurally, but the light bulb is also turned on to help you find your bearings in case it is night time or just too dark to see.
Smart Smoke Alarms?
It sounds like a pretty cool piece of technology, but one thing I'd be concerned about is whether or not the smoke alarm portion could distinguish between actual smoke, and just steam/hot air from cooking. It's so painfully annoying to have a smoke alarm go off when you're taking a pizza out of the oven or something like that. The scramble to find a towel to buffet the air away from the smoke alarm, the piercing wail of the smoke alarm getting louder and more mind-melting as you get closer… Yeesh! I'd really like a smoke alarm that can somehow tell the difference between smoke and harmless hot air/steam.
The Lum concept from Arthur Brault may or may not be the device to do this, but in any case it's a promising new gadget! I look forward to its arrival on the market some day.