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This smart light bulb monitors your health — but it's a little creepy

Sengled health monitoring smart light bulb
(Image credit: Sengled)

Among a series of CES 2022 smart home device announcements, has Sengled unveiled a health-monitoring light bulb. Yes, you read that correctly.

Compared to the Smart Health Monitoring Light, all the best smart light bulbs look inane, simply turning on and off with an app or voice assistant. Sengled’s bulb is far more sophisticated, promising sleep tracking along with select biometric measurement tracking.

The question is, do I want my light bulb to know how well (or not) I snooze overnight? The Google Nest Hub (Gen 2)’s sleep sensing already creeped me out, feeling that something was watching me while I visited dreamland. I guess the fitness tracker I wear overnight earns even more intimacy, but it’s usually tucked under the covers. A sleep-tracking light bulb would always have the higher ground.

I joke, kind of. Sengled’s Smart Health Monitoring Light is seriously cool and probably the most ambitious smart light innovation I’ve seen in a while. The best attempt to elevate the basic smart light bulb in recent years has been the addition of bacteria-killing technology, though home-safe germicidal features have their shortcomings.

The question is, do I want my light bulb to know how well (or not) I snooze overnight?

The Smart Health Monitoring Light focuses on your individual health rather than your home’s antibacterial defenses. The bulb claims to read heart rate, body temperature and other vital signs through entirely non-invasive sensors. It uses a radar sensor instead of a passive infrared (PIR) sensor, meaning it can read through materials and detect more subtleties. Ideally, the higher sensitivity would allow for the light bulbs to detect different people, see movement through textiles and other complexities of off-skin health tracking.

According to Sengled, a collection of Smart Health Monitoring Light bulbs connect via Bluetooth mesh to create a virtual map in your home, relying on several points of “view” for complete health tracking. To be clear, the light bulb doesn’t have a camera or anything built in. It can’t see or record you, just sense you.

I don’t know how I feel. On one hand, it’s still creepy. On the other hand, I already live among an army of smart home devices that know my ideal sleep temperature, when to turn my lights off, who's in the living room at any given time and how long I like to reheat leftover pizza. I can ask Alexa to tell me the health metrics gathered by my Amazon Halo fitness tracker, so having an external device that actually collects some of those metrics doesn’t seem so far off. Similarly, it also seems useful for people who don’t wear a fitness tracker, but might want (or need) vitals checked regularly.

Either way, I have some time to decide my stance. The Sengled Health Monitoring Light isn't coming until Q4 of this year, with no price information available as of this writing.

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account (opens in new tab), which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.