Looking for connected lights to illuminate your smart home? The market is now teeming with options, but very few will beat Lifx. Competition in the industry is fierce, and Lifx has managed to get in the ring with the biggest brands, including Philips Hue.
In this post we aim to give you the full Lifx rundown and help you make a smarter decision. Should you go with something more available like Philips Hue, cheaper like Sengled, or is Lifx really what you need? Let’s find out!
A bit of history
Lifx products are manufactured by Lifi Labs, which is based in San Francisco. The brand was founded in 2012 and introduced its first product through Kickstarter. Their connected light was not as great as today’s, but amazing for its time.
The company managed to attract attention and raise over $1.3 million through the crowdfunding platform. They later got another $12 million from investors in 2014. Now the company is going strong, with over 15 products for sale.
What makes Lifx different?
Design and performance
Lifx lights are not cheap, with their most affordable, basic bulb going for $24.99. They are also not the most accessible, as finding Lifx products in a local store is rather uncommon. The company makes up for this with great design and performance, though. Lifx products are worth the extra cost and effort.
Lifx design is naturally pleasing to the eye.
Their design is naturally pleasing to the eye, and they certainly don’t look like your usual LED bulb. The transparent glass-like material covers a smaller area. A more streamlined and strong plastic body makes them both unique and more resistant.
Lifx bulbs look better than most when turned off, but they also (importantly) perform amazingly when turned on. In our tests, the difference between Lifx and other smart lights is like night and day. Lifx bulbs tend to be brighter, with more vibrant colors.
No need for a bridge or hub
Another factor that initially made Lifx more enticing for users is that it requires no bridge or hub to operate properly. Each unit is Wi-Fi-connected, needing nothing but the app and electricity to be quickly set up. This is now a more common feature, but in its time it made all the difference.
Going hub-free isn't always a good thing
Skipping the hub isn’t always a good thing, though. Setting up moods and themes will take more time and effort, as will adding each bulb to Apple Homekit, as you have to treat each bulb individually.
Because they act on their own, these bulbs are also not aided by any other systems like Zigbee or Z Wave. You will be out of luck if that light bulb just so happens to be in a Wi-Fi dead spot.
Available Lifx lights
Ready to jump onto the Lifx band wagon? Let’s show you some of your main options.
Lifx A19 LED Light
The A19 is likely Lifx’s most popular light bulb. It comes with a color range of 16 million hues, dimming capabilities, 11W efficiency, and an output of 1,100 lumens.
Lifx BR30 LED Light
There isn’t much of a difference between the A19 and the BR30. They offer the same features for the same price. The only main differentiator is that the BR30 is made for outdoor use, which means it can be exposed to some moisture, as long as it doesn’t come in direct contact with water.
This makes us wonder why anyone would ever get the A19 over the BR30, even if used indoors. Why not just get the bulb that can do more for the same price? The Br30 is the better option, but we can see how some users would be forced to go with the A19, as that one comes with more socket fitting options. The BR30 is only available with an E26 screw.
Lifx Plus is available in both the A19 and BR30 versions. It is essentially a technology that uses 950nm infrared light to improve night vision for infrared cameras. If you have night vision security cameras, these bulbs will make it easy for the cams to see in the dark.
Lifx Mini is the company’s more affordable LED bulb lineup. They have three versions available: Mini Color, Mini Day and Dusk, and Mini White.
The Mini Color bulb can be switched to 16 million colors, while the Day and Dusk version offers white hues that can be turned to warmer or cooler tones. Meanwhile, the Mini White only takes advantage of its 2700K color temperature.
All can take advantage of dimming, an 800-lumen output, and 9W efficiency.
Lifx Tile and Beam
The Lifx Tile and Beam lights are more about looks than functionality. They are, quite literally, tiles and beams that can be mounted to your walls to add color accents to your home. You can set these to 16 million colors and enjoy their dimming capabilities.
These are not cheap, though. The Lifx Tile set-up costs $249.99, while the Lifx Beam will set you back $199.99.
Lifx Z adds colorful accents and provides dim light. It’s pretty much an LED strip that can be dimmed and switched to 16 million different colors. It outputs 700 lumens per meter, which is not great but it is enough for what the light is meant to do.
Lifx 100 mm Downlight
the 100 mm Downlight can direct light in a more specific area, thanks to its 60-degree beam angle. It will output 800 lumens of brightness, with dimming capabilities, and 16 million color options.
Lifx GU10 Downlight
Then there is the GU10, which is another downlight with a narrow 60-degree beam angle. Its brightness is weaker at 400 lumens, but you still get the dimming and 16 million available colors.
Look at the Lifx starter kits and bundles
Lifx does have one starter kit with 2 meters of Z strip lights and a Home Kit, but that’s about it. What Lifx does have is special pricing for buying in bulk, which could be more convenient for some of you.
Most Lifx products come with significant discounts when purchased in packs of four. For example, the A19 LED Light currently goes for $53.99 for a single unit. Get a 4 pack and you can get the whole set for $195.96. This effectively brings the price of each unit down to $48.99.
How to control Lifx lights
Lifx doesn’t use a hub, but do you need it? It would certainly make things easier sometimes, but the official Lifx app will suffice for many of you. All Lifx bulbs can be controlled from there, and you can automate actions using something like IFTTT.
Furthermore, Lifx works with Apple Homekit, Nest, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, and more. Of course, this means voice actions are not out of the question. Just use your digital assistant to control these lights.
Smart lighting isn’t a complicated ecosystem to understand, but there are so many pieces to the puzzle, and it can get a little confusing — especially if no one’s there to lead you through the process. Hopefully this guide helps.
Now that you know all there is to know about Lifx, are you signing up? Maybe you are still a bigger fan of something like Philips Hue or Sengled. Whatever the case may be, you can hit the comments to give us your 2 cents and share your recommendations with fellow readers.