Friday, February 15, 2019

Lightning Crashes

"Lightning crashes a new mother cries
Her placenta falls to the floor
The angel opens her eyes
The confusion sets in
Before the doctor can even close the door..."

I grew up in Santa Clarita California, now the third largest city in Los Angeles County, situated between the San Fernando Valley, and the Mojave Desert. The weather was always sunny and warm, and dry. In the summers, we would get some fantastic thunderstorms; rock the house kind of thunderstorms. When I was young, I used to think it was God clapping his hands. What else could have possibly been powerful enough to send a bolt of lightning hurling to the earth with such a boom that it could be heard miles away? I don't pretend to understand what causes a thunderstorm, but my father always said it had something to do with the warm dry air colliding with the cooler, wetter air. I don't know, he wasn't a meteorologist. I was so fascinated by the sound of the thunder and the flash of the lightning, I took my tiny tape recorder, and recorded about an hour of one of the storms. I listened to that tape for years when I did my homework, or just wanted to relax.


You may have read the article I wrote a few months ago On the Lighter Side about a new app called Lighter from A Better Home, LLC. When I write articles about tech, I like to get in touch with the developer. I always have a few questions. I like to discuss the features and functions, and I like to get a feel for the direction the product is moving toward, the vision. David Pewzner is the brains behind Lighter. I would describe him as bright, driven, industrious, and very creative. 

The latest from Lighter are a few storm scenes under the heading "Sky;" three scenes that are centered around weather, in particular, thunderstorms. Each scene realistically recreates a distinct and unique storm. The lights will periodically strobe to mimic the flash of the lighting; the sounds change from rainfall to a thunderous burst. David must have studied lighting storms for some time to develop this effect. I would say, for the most part, the lights and sound give off a feel of a real storm. I find it to be very relaxing.

Cloud Sky
Distant Storm
Thunder Storm

The part I like the most are the six buttons you can press to add a lightning strike at will. Each button is a different variation on lightning strikes, you can press them as often as you wish, and that's not even the best part!

Distant Lightning
Double Lightning
Lightning Crash
Lightning Explosion
Short Circuit

You can run ANY scene, from any category, press a lightning button, and get the amazing lightning effect. In fact, hidden throughout Lighter, there are other "magic" buttons. They will temporarily interrupt whatever scene you're running to give you the effect, then your selected scene will resume as normal. It's a wonderful surprise; the first time I tried it, my girlfriend nearly jumped off the couch!


Siri Shortcuts were added to Lighter a while back, and most recently a sleep/wake feature. Sleep will allow you to set a timer that will turn off Lighter; wake will allow you to set an alarm which will turn on a particular scene at a specified time. In addition, with wake, you can add music! (Crossing my fingers for Spotify integration in the next evolution).  About 50 scenes have been added since my last article, some of the new ones have a wonderful rich saturation for maximum color pop.

Lighter is the fastest growing and evolving app I've seen yet. Scenes and features are being added daily. The sky's the limit with this one. These new effects buttons are pure genius. I haven't seen any apps which allow you to do this. If you haven't checked it out, you definitely should.