Plessey Totem

A design case study for the Totem modular smart lightbulb created for Plessey Semiconductors. Plessey Seminconductors asked inventid to explore the value of light and data. Through our research we uncovered technologies and needs in the home that crossover with lighting. With these needs in mind we designed a modular lighting system that focused around on home security, home health and the hands-free home audio. 

Totem Smart Light

Rethinking the future of smart lighting technology.

PowaPOS T25 Universal Bezel.jpg

Designing a truly useful smart light.

‘Totem’ is an ongoing project between inventid and Plessey Semiconductors to bring truly useful, smart functionality to lighting. The system uses voice recognition to create a truly unique smart home experience, allowing users to interact with their lighting in a natural and convenient way. Our research looked into how people interact with light, with an aim to discover what 'smart' functionalities would then make sense to the modern consumer.

Smart modularity.

Finding that people use smart products in lots of different ways and have need for different applications throughout the home we decided to make a system whereby people could pick and choose which smart modules they needed and swap them. We settled on three main areas to focus on, home security, home health and the hands-free home. The light engines are also smart, being able to respond to ambient light levels and connect to each other meaning that even without the central module, the Totem bulb is the simplest a smart light can be.


A modular system enables users to adapt Totem to their needs allowing them to mix and match functionality to suit the environment it will be used in.