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GE Smart Home Panel Shares What’s New, What’s Next for Connected Living

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Leaders and influencers from GE Lighting, Quirky, The Home Depot and CNET joined together Friday for a panel discussion on the future of smart home technology and how the “Internet of Things” is changing the face of the home industry.

GE Lighting President & CEO Maryrose Sylvester and GE General Manager, North America Consumer Lighting John Strainic helped guide the discussion at GE Lighting’s Global Headquarters, Nela Park, in Cleveland, Ohio. Panelists included:

  • Ben Kaufman, Quirky CEO
  • Amanda Parrilli, The Home Depot Director of Strategic Business Development – Home Automation
  • Ry Crist, CNET Associate Editor and Tech Writer

“With this new world we live in, the currency is speed,” said Sylvester. “We’re reinventing the light bulb as we know it. Consumers are looking for ways to make their lives simpler, better and more efficient; and now we have a solution that allows consumers to manage their home in a much more contemporary way.”

GE entered smart home lighting with its introduction of GE Link, a smart LED bulb that consumers can remotely control from anywhere in the world and sync with other connected devices. Enabled by the Wink app, GE Link is an easy way for consumers to light up their smart homes. GE Link smart LED is available at The Home Depot starting at under $15.

“We’re making a statement with GE Link smart LED, and we’re changing the way we market to consumers,” Strainic said. “Our challenge is to get people to think differently about their home lighting. Lighting is no longer a commodity. We now need to think about lighting just as we do when buying any other consumer electronic.”

Parrilli agreed that consumers are changing the way they think about smart home technology. “We find that many consumers are doing research online before they purchase smart home products. And as a result, in addition to educating our store associates and doing in-store product demos, we provide helpful, educational online content to help them consider home automation, including product reviews, demo videos and other online resources.”

GE’s partnership with Quirky and Wink is a prime example of how partners can build on one another’s strengths and how traditional companies can swiftly enter the connected age, Kaufman said. “We have over 100,000 people using Wink, and the partnership that we have with GE and the lighting business has been a huge accelerant of Wink’s adoption. We think lighting is the gateway to the connected home.”

Crist shared insight from his readers and the central themes he considers when evaluating smart home platforms and products. “Security has to be front and center and taken seriously with all smart home products. Consumers are comfortable with having an online presence and sharing their thoughts on social media, and they need to feel the same sense of security when it comes to using smart home products.”

To hear more highlights from GE Lighting’s “Internet of Things” panelists, including how GE and Wink make sure their smart home products are secure, watch this video. For more information on GE and its latest lighting options, visit

About GE Lighting

GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs about 13,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the reveal(R) and energy smart(R) consumer brands, and EvolveTM, GTxTM, ImmersionTM, InfusionTM, LuminationTM, AlbeoTM and Tetra(R) commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE:GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information, visit

About Wink:

Wink is one, quick and simple way to connect you and the products you rely on in the home. Wink allows you to confidently interact with and operate many different products – all from an Apple or Android mobile device. Through retail partnerships with The Home Depot and, as well as partnerships with everyday household brands, Wink extends the comfort you have with your home products to the smart technology that runs them. For more information, visit

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