In 1990, the year 2020 seemed like a faraway place. Everything would be digital; we’d all own hover-cars, light switches are a thing of the past, and we’d all eat astronaut food.
We still have a few more years to go before 2020. But I guess it’s safe to say that reality couldn’t even be more different: tires still get our cars moving, light switches are pretty much still around, and the most significant culinary innovation within recent years is avocado toast.
I encountered the closest thing to this ideal future recently. While browsing the internet, I found the LIFX smart LED light bulb. This light bulb was different from the traditional ones. This smart light-bulb no longer required switches. All I needed to get it going was WiFi and a smart phone.
There’s a lot of things going on with ‘hands-free’ appliances lately and these bulbs are perfect for dipping my toes into wireless home technology. It’s been a while since I’ve installed these LIFX light bulbs, so here are my thoughts regarding this amazing new piece of technology! We have also recently tried out and reviewed the Philips Hue range of smart bulbs and were very impressed on them, now its LIFX turn. Philips Hue vs LIFX bring it on.
LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb review
- Can be connected to different smart-devices like phones and tablets.
The LIFX smart LED light bulb is controlled by its corresponding application over Wi-Fi. The application can be downloaded in different smart-devices. So whether you have a smart phone, tablet, or a smartwatch, you’re sure to set the lights at your convenience. Apple or Android they have an app for you.
- Easy to set up
Setting up the smart LED light bulbs only requires a few extra steps from the traditional light-bulb set up. Log into the app, find your light bulb and add it to a room, set up done.
- Easy to control
The LIFX application allows users to easily change the emitting light. The application is easy to use and has many light settings and features to choose from. Literally millions of colors and dimming levels. I actually like the Lifx app better than the Philips Hue it seems more user-friendly.
- Can control multiple light bulbs at the same time – how many?
Up to 100 LIFX smart LED light bulbs can be connected to the application. This allows it to all be controlled at once. They also make Light Strips called the LIFX Z which are a great addition to the line up which can be automatically controlled by your phone.
- Uses up Wifi bandwidth and slots
The LIFX smart LED light bulbs are controlled through WiFi connection. If you are using any other Wi-Fi connected device, you may notice a slight slow down over a congested network. Users who use multiple light bulbs at a time may notice that some may have a delayed response time due to the congested connection.
- New tech for run hours
LIFX claims that the LED light bulb can last up to 22 years. The catch? As long as it’s used for only three hours a day. If you’re like me, the lights are often on for a longer period of time. Its new tech so hopefully my bulb lasts 22 years.
- Quite costly
Making everything wireless isn’t the cheapest option as of writing. The LIFX lightbulb has to have extra electronics in it to provide the circuits for WIFI. This means extra costs. Although its price is constantly dropping, it is still pretty expensive. Price per bulb is slightly higher by a few dollars than the Philips Hue color bulbs.
As you can see the Philips Hue vs LIFX the specifications are very similar. I haven’t included the brightness and lux levels, as there are a few different bulbs in each range. They are either color or white only at different wattage’s and brightness’.
Philips Hue vs LIFX
|Model||Philips Hue Gen 3||LIFX color 1000|
|Light temperature||2000 – 6500K||2500K – 9000K|
|Lifetime||25,000 hours||25k+ Hours or 22 years.|
|Warranty||2 Years||2 Years|
|Colors||16 million||16 million|
|Where To Buy LIFX|
LIFX Product Features and Specifications
The LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light-bulb has the following specifications:
- The light bulb weighs 7.8 ounces.
- Its product dimensions are 2.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches.
- As mentioned before, this light-bulb is an LED one.
- This does not require any batteries.
- The warranty for the LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light-bulb is good for two years.
- This specific style is the A19-Single.
- Its corresponding shape is a19.
- The product number is LHA19E26UC10.
- Bright equivalent to 75 Watts.
The features that come for this product are the following:
- An app that can be downloaded from Google Play Store, iTunes, and Windows Store.
- Works with Amazon Alexa as well as Google Home. This allows user to use the light bulb via voice control. We have the Google home and its fantastic to control the lights. For example all you have to say is “Hey google turn on dining room lights” and they come on.
- There are 16 million colors to choose from. You can have electric green one moment and a crisp white the next!
- Works with Nest and Smart Things.
- The light bulb comes with a built-in WiFi!
Why I like LIFX Smart LED Lighting
Since this is new technology, there’s definitely a lot of things that I’m pretty impressed with it!
No third-party applications!
Most smart LED light bulbs in the market use third-party applications for them to be used. This light-bulb from LIFX connects to your network directly. When it comes to protecting one’s privacy, it’s best to have fewer parties involved. This smart LED light bulb makes it possible.
Philips Hue on the other hand have many 3rd party applications.
Easy to set-up.
Since there are only two parties are involved in this light bulb, (you and Lifx) it’s easier to set up everything. It may take a few extra steps than a regular light bulb, but it is a lot less hassle compared to Philips Hue which needed a Hub to make their bulbs work.
Very good smart-device application!
The LIFX application is basically the smart light bulb’s remote control. With it, one gets to control the colors of the lights or how dim and bright they can be. A lot of other wireless LED light-bulb applications have that, but the LIFX app is nicely developed. The user interface is intuitive and beautifully designed. Everything is neatly organised so that you can get to whatever you need with a few taps on your smart phone.
So many light features to choose from!
Speaking of the light colors, the application gives you a variety of options to play around with the light bulb. You can edit the color and brightness of the light. And when I say color, I mean a variety of color 16 million to be exact. The available hues range from cool whites to neon pink. The shades are presented in a color wheel format, like a rainbow which makes it easy to choose from the different shades you want your light bulb to emit.
There are also four special effects options to choose from. These effects are namely candle flicker, color cycle, strobe, and music visualiser. The music visualiser effect is one of the most interesting features. Simply allow access to your smartphones microphone, and the light bulb will ‘dance’ to the beat by changing colors or brightness.
The LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light-bulb also has smart settings. These settings allow you to create schedules for the light bulb to turn on or other effects, or you can also choose some of their custom-made themes.
Not very economical to start off with.
The LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light-bulb is an expensive upgrade. If you want to make your home complete with wireless light bulbs, it will be an expensive renovation. The one saving grace is that it only uses 11w of power. When off it will consume less than 1 watt of power.
So if we do some figures if you had this light bulb on all day and night for 24h day for 1 year it will use about 96 KW of power or cost about $24 to run depending on your electricity cost.
If you used a regular incandescent light bulb at 75w for 24h a day for 365 days a year it would use 657kw of power and cost you about $164 to run. Now thats expensive.
So straight away you can see how in efficient incandescent light globes are over the LIFX bulb for the same light output. So if you have a light that stays on all day and night get a smart bulb it will pay for itself after 6 months.
How to Use LIFX LED Bulbs
Setting up the light bulb
- Turn off the switch for the light bulb you wish to replace with the LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light bulb.
- Unscrew the light bulb you want to replace.
- Screw the LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light-bulb into place. Turn on only this smart globe you want to set up.
- Download the LIFX application for your device.
- Turn on your Wi-Fi and connect to the LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light bulb’s wi-fi connection.
- Go back to the LIFX application and reconnect your phone to your home wi-fi using the SSID and WIFI password.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where is the best place to install the LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light-bulb?
LIFX recommends users to install the light-bulbs in open areas with little to no physical barriers. These barriers include large furniture or walls. In addition, the light-bulbs must be away from metallic surfaces or areas surrounded by metal surfaces on three sides.
The light bulbs are not to be used behind furniture or inside cabinets. If you have a microwave oven, a 2.4 GHz phone, or other gadgets that can give a signal interference, place the light bulb at least 25 feet (8 meters) away.
- Which items can cause poor wireless communication between my device and the LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light-bulb?
Electrical devices such as power lines and stations, and electrical railroad tracks can cause interference. Direct Satellite Service (DSS) radio frequency leakage and cordless telephones that have a range of 2.4 GHz can also give a bad experience in using the light bulb.
Household appliances, like microwave ovens and the original coaxial cable that may come with a satellite dish, are also objects that may affect the performance of the light bulb.
- I want to use my LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED light-bulb everywhere! Can I?
The LIFX Wi-Fi smart LED lightbulbs are not designed for certain areas. To avoid any danger from the use of this light bulb, kindly refrain from using them in the following situations:
- Enclosed fixtures that limit air flow
- Enclosed fixture that trap excessive amounts of heat
- Emergency exits or emergency lights
- Light fittings that incorporate dimmer switches
- Sockets that are not rated for the light
- Sockets that utilise a third-party adaptor
- Hot environments
- Wet or damp environments
- Outdoor areas
- Electric shock prone environments
Philips Hue vs LIFX Conclusion
We have a few of these bulbs now working in tandem with my favourite Philips Hue Bulbs. This means a few different apps to control some different lights. But like most things in life I like to try out the best of the best. So far I am liking the Hue brand of bulbs. mainly due to the huge range of extra accessories like smart motion detectors and mechanical dimmer switches.
It will come down to the Hub I think. Some people hate the Philips Hue Hub, just another piece of hardware to have powered up. I don’t mind it. The fact it keeps my WIFI slots free and bandwidth low its good for my heavy WIFI usage.
At the end of the day find an echo system that you like either LIFX or Philips Hue and stick with it. You can’t go wrong with either. It’s now a battle for your home smart lighting automation. Bring it on.