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The Ultimate LIFX Buyers Guide: Everything You Need to Know about the Philips Hue Challenger!

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The world of smart lighting is developing year after year and the present is the best time to make your home a smart one. LIFX is one such brand that has been at the forefront of the smart home revolution. It offers some of the best smart bulbs in the world. The following is a review of what LIFX has to offer and whether it passes muster or not.

About LIFX

To begin with, LIFX is pronounced ‘Life-X’. Now that that is out of the way, let us delve deeper into what LIFX is and what it has to offer. The beginnings of the company trace back to 2012. It is responsible for launching one of the first multi-colored LED Wi-Fi lights. In the last few years, the company has managed to build greater innovation into the world of smart lighting. LIFX now offers 12 products, which are available in over 80 countries around the world.

The smart home products, like several of their competitors and colleagues in the market, can also interact and integrate with other smart home systems like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Nest, etc.

In the following review, you will be taken through the gamut of products that LIFX has to offer. The products that will be reviewed below include:

  • LIFX Mini Color
  • LIFX Mini White
  • LIFX Mini Day & Dusk
  • LIFX A19
  • LIFX BR30
  • LIFX GU10 Downlight
  • LIFX Tile
  • LIFX Beam
  • LIFX Z Strip

Apart from the range of products that LIFX offers, the review will also focus on the third-party support for LIFX. The smart home system is compatible with a variety of other systems, like Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, etc. What has managed to set LIFX apart from other mobilizers in the market, like Philips, is that the LIFX system can operate even without a hub. Simply buy the bulbs, connect it to your Wi-Fi and you are done!

A Comprehensive Review of LIFX Products

In the following section, the various LIFX bulbs and products will be reviewed. The review will attempt to offer the pros and cons of each product, followed by a verdict of whether the product passes the muster. 

LIFX Mini Bulb Review

The LIFX Mini Bulb range offers three main types of bulbs — the LIFX Mini Color, LIFX Mini White and LIFX Mini Day & Dusk. Each of these products will be reviewed in the following section:

LIFX Mini Color

The LIFX Mini Color is like any other traditional light bulb except it is a smart bulb that can respond to a variety of commands. It does not require any hub and can be connected to your Wi-Fi directly. It is compatible with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant for voice control. The bulb is fairly easy to set up. The following are features the bulb has to offer:

Features
  • The LIFX Mini Color bulb offers complete lighting control through Wi-Fi.
  • The bulb allows you to choose from 16 million colors, ranging from warm to cool!
  • Lights can be controlled individually or as groups.
  • The bulb has an output of 800 lumens, which is comparable to a 60W traditional incandescent bulb.
  • You can dim the lights, change the color, etc., from your smart device. There is no need for a separate hub.
Pros
  • All the features are built directly into the app so the bulb does not require (or work with) standard dimmer switches.
  • The bulb is extremely easy to set up — it only needs to be screwed in and then it can be connected to the Wi-Fi.
  • The range of color options the bulb offers is truly unparalleled.
  • The bulbs can be accessed at any time and placed through the cloud.
Cons
  • The bulb is not compatible with traditional dimmer switches so you may have to uninstall the switches if you already have them.
  • Some customers complained that the bulbs disconnected from the Wi-Fi network often.
Verdict

The LIFX Mini Color offers a gamut of color options for you to choose from. With an output of 800 lumens, this is an incredibly bright bulb but at the same time, it does not waste energy. There have been some complaints about the bulb not establishing a strong enough connection with the Wi-Fi, but except for a few issues that need to be ironed out, this is a great LED bulb to consider. 

The product is available on Amazon.com.

LIFX Mini White

The LIFX Mini White is a bulb that emanates a warm white light. It does not have options for colors as the previous bulb does but it delivers what is expected of it. This bulb, like the others in its range, is extremely easy to set up. The bulb is bright and extremely efficient and you can dim the light down to the degree that you require. You can trigger scenes and set the lighting according to your mood or according to the time of day. The following are some of the features the smart bulb has to offer:

Features
  • The LIFX Mini White is a dimmable bulb that allows you to experience the subtle changes in a setting when the brightness of the light is played with.
  • It has a beam angle of 250 degrees.
  • The bulb is compatible with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
  • The bulb also offers intuitive control, allowing you to set timers even for one-touch automation.
  • The bulb also offers full lighting control through Wi-Fi and does not require a hub.
Pros
  • The bulb allows you to control the light from anywhere, thanks to the in-built Wi-Fi and LIFX cloud.
  • It acts like a traditional 60W incandescent bulb but while using only energy of 9W.
  • The lights can be controlled individually or as a group and you can also set automatic timers.
  • The bulb does not require any hub, making the installation process extremely easy.
Cons
  • The Alexa voice commands are not consistent at times.
  • The bulb is often difficult to reset to another network if it has already been paired with a Wi-Fi network.
Verdict

The LIFX Mini White offers incredible brightness that is equivalent to a 60W bulb, but it only takes up the energy of 9W. With a beam angle of 250 degrees, the bulb offers great focus and allows you to brighten up your room. Again, there have been a few complaints about the bulb’s connectivity with Alexa and to the Wi-Fi networks, but this is not always an issue. If you are looking for a versatile white LED for your home, this might be it.

The product is available on Amazon.com.

LIFX Mini Day & Dusk

The LIFX Mini Day & Dusk is different from the Mini White bulb as it offers a range of hues, from warm to cool. This is another easy to bulb to use that does not require a hub to function. It offers complete lighting control through Wi-Fi and can be connected to your smartphones and other smart home systems with ease. This bright and efficient bulb provides an output of 800 lumens. The following are some of the features the smart bulb has to offer:

Features 
  • The smart bulb allows you to choose from a range of cool to warm hues of white
  • You can adjust the brightness of the light through the app.
  • The bulb offers intuitive control and allows you to set timers, as well as pick out of the default themes or set your themes.
  • The bulb is perfectly adjustable and dimmable and offers complete lighting control through Wi-Fi.
  • The bulb is compatible with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
Pros
  • The bulb offers a wide range of warm and cold hues of which the brightness can be easily adjusted.
  • You can control the lights individually or as a group, and can also trigger custom scenes.
  • It has an output of 800 lumens and is also extremely energy efficient.
  • The bulbs can be accessed from anywhere and at any time via the cloud.
Cons
  • The bulb keeps disconnecting from the Wi-Fi network, several customers complained.
  • The app throws up some glitches and issues during setup.
Verdict

The LIFX Mini Day & Dusk allows you to select and customize themes so you can create a mood based on how you are feeling. These moods can be triggered from your smartphone device and even through the cloud, regardless of where you are in the world. If you can get past the occasional Wi-Fi connection glitches, these are great, smart lights for your home that allow you to create the ideal settings based on your mood of the day.

The product is available on Amazon.com.

LIFX A19/A60 & BR30 Review

LIFX offers another great range of A19/A60 and BR30 smart bulbs that bring great innovation to the table. Both A19/60 and BR30 are available in “+” models. In this upgraded model, you can avail features like infrared light. This allows home security cameras to function better at night and provides enhanced night vision. In the BR30 range, there are a few special features that allow the bulb to be used in specific outdoor installations. 

LIFX A19

LIFX 19 is a smart LED bulb that is Wi-Fi-enabled and allows you to pick colors out of a range of 16 million options. The bulb can be easily integrated with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistance. It is meant to be extremely easy to set up the smart bulb as it does not require a hub. It can be connected to your Wi-Fi directly. The following are some of the features the bulb has to offer:

Features
  • LIFX A19 bulbs offer 16 million colors, ranging from warm to cool hues (including white), for you to choose from.
  • This is a bright and efficient bulb, equivalent to a 75W bulb.
  • It has a beam angle of 135 degrees.
  • The bulb has a temperature ranging from 2500K to 9000K.
  • The LED light has a lifespan of 22.8 years (based on everyday usage time of 3 hours).
Pros
  • The LED bulb has a gamut of colors that you can choose from.
  • It comes with an easy-to-read manual which makes installing the bulb even easier.
  • It is meant to have a very long life span, provided the bulb is used responsibly.
  • The bulb uses less energy and therefore wastes less energy.
Cons
  • Often when the app malfunctions, the bulb requires a power cycle so it can be used glitch-free.
  • Depending on the color you settle on, the bulb tends to get very hot.
Verdict

The LIFX A19 is an omnidirectional bulb that disseminates its light all around the room with ease. If you opt for the Plus version, you can also avail of the infrared settings which enhance the night vision of your home security system. The bulb also offers 16 million colors for you to choose from. There are a few complaints that the bulb heats up too fast, but this is not always the case. This is certainly a good option to consider for a smart bulb.

The product is available on Amazon.com.

LIFX BR30

LIFX BR30 has similar features to offer as its colleague, the A19 series. If you opt for the Plus version, however, you can also use the bulb in specific outdoor locations. The LIFX BR30 also works easily with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant. The following are some of the features the LED bulb has to offer:

Features
  • The BR30 has a more focused beam of light, great for using with downward-facing lights.
  • The bulb is weather resistant and can be installed in an outdoor area (provided it is not exposed in a weather-exposed area).
  • It offers 16 million colors and warm to cool whites that you can pick from.
  • The brightness of the bulb is equivalent to a 75W incandescent bulb.
Pros
  • The LED bulb can easily be installed in outdoor fixtures, provided the area is not exposed to the weather.
  • It offers several options for colors and moods.
  • It works perfectly without a hub and can be integrated with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
  • The light produces up to 1,100 lumens and offers incredible brightness.
Cons
  • There have been some complaints about the bulbs losing connection with the Wi-Fi or with other smart home systems.
  • Some people complained about poor customer support.
Verdict

The LIFX BR30 is similar to the A19 in design but the main difference is that the light in this variety of bulb is more focused. The BR30 also offers several color options and the brightness can be adjusted based on your needs. This is a great bulb to set the mood with and best of all, it can be installed in an outdoor fixture — certainly a great option to consider. 

LIFX GU10 Downlight Review

LIFX GU10 is one of the most compact bulbs the company has to offer. The following is a brief review of the features the GU10 range has to offer.

LIFX GU10 Downlight

The GU10 Downlight is a relatively new addition to the LIFX family. This is the most compact bulb LIFX has to offer. There are several color options you can choose from, apart from experimenting with the various hues of the light. This bulb offers incredible brightness given its size and the amount of energy it uses. The following are some of the features the bulb has to offer:

Features
  • The LIFX GU10 is the most compact bulb of the series.
  • The light offers a brightness of 400 lumens using the energy of only 6W.
  • The bulb offers 16 million different colors to choose from.
  • You can use the Day & Dusk feature to schedule your lights.
  • It has a color temperature of 2500K 9000K.
Pros
  • This is a compact light fitting that offers a sleek and sophisticated view.
  • This is the perfect bulb to install into your spotlight fittings.
  • It offers a brightness of 400 lumens and takes up only 6 watts at full brightness.
  • It has an elegant pearl white finish.
Cons
  • The light is brightest at white but when you select a different color, the full brightness of 400 lumens is not necessarily achieved.
  • This is a fairly expensive bulb compared to others in the range given what it offers.
Verdict

The LIFX GU10 is a great, compact and lightweight light bulb. It offers all the smart features that other bulbs in the range offers. However, this is certainly an expensive light bulb. Since it is a bulb perfect for spotlights, you will have to buy multiple to replace your existing spotlight bulbs. This can be an expensive affair. The LIFX A19 offers greater brightness and versatility for the same amount of money. 

The product is available on LIFX.com.

LIFX Tile Review

The LIFX Tile is a great way to elevate your home decor and offers an alternative to the Nanoleaf Canvas and Aurora, which occupies a similar space in the market. The tiles can be fitted together to create a pattern or can be used separately in your home based on how you want to arrange these feature lights. The following is a brief review of what LIFX Tile has to offer.

LIFX Tile 

LIFX Tile is an incredible way to elevate any space. This is a bright and colorful way to enhance the look of a room. Not only does it work like a light fixture, but it also acts as an interior decoration. The following are some of the features the LIFX Tile has to offer:

Features
  • The tiles come with command strips that allow you to place them the way you like.
  • The tiles can be configured into any layout based on the requirements of your home.
  • You can choose from 16 million colors and can also dim the brightness between 0% and 100%.
  • Every tile has 64 individually addressable colorful mixed soft zones.
  • Each kit includes five tiles, a power cable and a plug.
Pros
  • The tiles are meant to be easy to set up and look great in your home.
  • It is even more versatile than bulbs as the tiles can create patterns or can be used individually anywhere in your home.
  • There are 16 million colors that you can pick from.
  • The tiles are completely adjustable and dimmable.
Cons
  • Despite the manufacturer’s declarations, the tiles are not easy to set up, several customers complained.
  • The software is often glitchy, affecting the performance of the tile.
Verdict

This is a great, colorful and versatile product that is enough to liven and brighten up any room. You can use the tiles as a set or even individually, there are no restrictions with this product. However, there are a few glitches that need to be ironed out before this becomes a perfect product. The software is not smooth and several people have complained that the tile is not easy to set up. Apart from these things, this is a great product.

The product is available on Amazon.com.

LIFX Beam Review

The LIFX Beam Kit is an incredible piece of decoration that brightens up your room from the get-go. It has a multicolor feature, can be adjusted for brightness and works without the need for a hub. The following is a review of the LIFX Beam Kit.

LIFX Beam

The LIFX Beam Kit is meant to be easy to set up. The beams simply click together end to end and are ready for use. The beam is adjustable and dimmable, allowing you to create the exact scene and mood you are looking for. The following are some of the features the LIFX Beam Kit offers:

Features
  • The beams come along with command strips so you can arrange the beams however you like.
  • The beams fit to length and can be arranged into any layout that suits the decor of your home.
  • There are 16 million vivid colors you can choose from.
  • The beams have individually addressable colorful mixed zones.
Pros
  • The beams click together from end to end and allow you to create the pattern of your choice.
  • This is a highly customizable device and allows you to decorate your home however you like.
  • Using automation, you can set the mood for any time of the day, from anywhere in the world.
  • You can paint your space how you like with the gamut of colors the device offers.
Cons
  • The app has raised a few concerns and complaints as it tends to complicate the setup process.
  • There have been a few complaints about customer support.
Verdict

The beam kit elevates the look of any room within seconds. You can customize patterns and paint your room in the hues of your choice. It is also meant to be easy to set up and you can click the beams on, end to end. There have, however, been complaints about the app, Wi-Fi connectivity and customer care. If these issues can be ironed out, this is a great decorative lighting device. 

The product is available on Amazon.com.

LIFX Z Strip Review

The LIFX Z Strip is a device that can be plugged into the wall and then stuck using adhesives. The strips are meant to be used strictly in indoor settings, however, you can adjust several variables like length, brightness, color, etc. The following is a review of the LIFX Z Strip.

LIFX Z Strip

The LIFX Z Strip is a versatile and flexible device that can be plugged into a wall and arranged into any pattern. The light is adjustable and dimmable, offering 16 million colors to choose from. The following are some of the features the LIFX Z Strip has to offer:

Features
  • The LIFX Z Strips offer full lighting control through Wi-Fi and cloud.
  • There are eight individually addressable color or white zones per meter of the strip.
  • The strip can be adjusted to your preferred length, allowing you to choose the best fit for your settings.
  • Using a sticky adhesive, you can place the strips exactly how you like.
Pros
  • The strip is great to install in corners and edges where the strip will not be seen but only the light emitted can be seen.
  • The strip is very versatile and can be molded into a pattern you like.
  • You can create patterns and custom waveforms, painting in the hues of your choice.
  • The strips also come with built-in Wi-Fi and LIFX cloud.
Cons
  • The adhesive has room for improvement.
  • The patterns are not always as easy to create as the strip is stiffer than has been advertised.
Verdict

The LIFX Z Strip is a great way to add some spunk to a room without attracting too much attention to the light fixture itself. The strip is practically invisible and only emanates the colorful light, which can be adjusted and tuned according to your requirements. There have been a few complaints about the adhesive, as well as the flexibility of the strip. But it is a great product apart from these issues.

The product is available on Amazon.com.

Accessories

There are a variety of accessories that come along with the LIFX range. The following is a description of their uses and features.

Z Strip Extensions

The Z Strip Extensions can be bought separately if you want to use the LIFZ L strips over a larger area. They are available as 3.3’ extensions, 13.2’ extensions and 19.8’ extensions. The strips come with special adhesives that make it easy to install the strips on the wall.

Z Controller Pack

The Z Controller Pack consists of a Z controller and a US power supply device. Z Connector cables can also be purchased separately and are available in short and long lengths. These cables allow you to extend your LIFX Z strips to the right places without wasting precious space. It allows you to turn corners and make optimum use of the space. 

Beam Extensions

There are two beam extensions available at LIFX — beam sections and beam corners. There is also a controller pack, which offers a controller and a US power supply. All beam accessories come with 3M adhesive binds which allow you to place them on flat surfaces like walls.

Tile Cable

Tile cables are available in short and long lengths. There is a distinction between short and long cables that can be used in the US and Canada and those that can be used in the rest of the world. Tile cables allow you to place your tiles anywhere in your home without worrying about whether there is a plug point nearby.

Tile Power Supply

Tile power supplies, again, are available in three different formats. The US Plug Type A, UK Plug Type G and EU Plug Type C. You need to keep in mind where you will be using the plug and purchase the appropriate one accordingly. The tile cable is sold separately from the tile power supplies. 

Integration & Connectivity — LIFX App

The key to integrating LIFX systems to the Wi-Fi and other smart home systems is the LIFX App. The following is a brief review of the LIFX app, which is the backbone of all the LIFX products.

Features

  • The LIFX app is available for both iOS and Android.
  • The LIFX app allows you to connect the bulbs to voice control systems like Alexa, HomeKit, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana.
  • Among Smart Home controls, the app is compatible with Nest, Flic, Xfinity, Logitech Harmony and Brilliant.
  • The app is also compatible with apps and services like IFTTT and Sisence.

Pros

  • Without the app, you cannot get complete control of the bulbs.
  • The app is the backbone and nucleus of the entire LIFX system.
  • The app and the cloud functionality allow you to control the bulbs from anywhere in the world.
  • The app has a smooth and easy user experience.

Cons

  • If the bulbs ever malfunction, it is usually because of a glitch in the app.
  • If the internet connection drops, it creates trouble for the light fittings.

Verdict

This is one of the easier and more user-friendly apps. Sure, there have been complaints about glitches and issues with the app and the LIFX system but this is not always a problem. Several people have come back with great feedback for the app. Besides, without the app, there is no LIFX system.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the frequently asked questions about the LIFX range:

Can You Control LIFX away from Home?

The simple answer is ‘yes’! All LIFX devices come pre-installed with built-in Wi-Fi and LIFX cloud. By accessing the bulb through the cloud, you can control it from anywhere in the world.

How Long Does a LIFX Bulb Last?

The lifespan of a LIFX bulb has been calculated to be 22.8 long years! This figure has been arrived at after estimating that the bulb will be used for 3 hours per day. This is what makes the LIFX line of smart bulbs so energy efficient — the fact that they can offer brightness while also consuming as little energy as possible allows it to have a long lifespan.

Does LIFX Require a Hub?

This is the most unique aspect of the LIFX system of bulbs. It is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that can be connected with a variety of different smart home systems, like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant. It does not require any hub and can be connected directly to your Wi-Fi once you have downloaded the LIFX app.

Can I Use LIFX with Hue?

Yes, you can absolutely use LIFX with Philips Hue bulbs. Sure, the main difference between Philips Hue and LIFX is that the former requires a hub while the latter can be connected to the Wi-Fi directly. However, both fixtures can also be used together by grouping them on a common hub like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and SmartThings. Otherwise, both bulbs can be used natively using their respective apps. 

Does LIFX Work with HomeKit?

Yes, LIFX bulbs work with Apple HomeKit. The beauty of the LIFX system is that it is compatible with a variety of different smart home systems, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit. You can use these hubs to trigger voice commands and allow you to use the bulbs remotely. Imagine being tucked into bed on a winter night, only to realize you forgot to turn off the light! If your bulb is integrated with Apple HomeKit, you can simply command Alexa to turn the light off for you! 

How Does LIFX Bulb Work?

LIFX bulbs are meant to be extremely easy to install. First things first, you need to download the LIFX app. Once you have the app, it will allow you to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Configuring them with your Wi-Fi network is crucial because these smart LED bulbs are Wi-Fi enabled and require the internet to work. Connecting to the Wi-Fi network will also allow you to integrate your smart bulb with other smart home systems like Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, etc. 

How Bright Are LIFX Bulbs?

Depending on the type of LIFX bulb you get, the brightness may differ. There are bulbs which provide a brightness of 800 lumens, which can be compared to a 60W incandescent bulb. Some bulbs also offer a brightness of 1,100 lumens, which can be compared to 75W incandescent bulbs. More than the question of brightness, however, what is significant about the LIFX bulb is that though they can be compared to bright incandescent bulbs, they consume far less energy than most traditional incandescent bulbs.

Does Alexa Work with LIFX?

As has been mentioned above, the LIFX system is compatible with a variety of smart home systems. In fact, Amazon Alexa is one of the best systems to integrate LIFX bulbs with, apart from Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, to name a few. 

Does LIFX Work without Internet?

The LIFX system offers Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs. To install the bulbs, you will certainly require Wi-Fi as you need to download the app and configure the settings. You need to keep your Wi-Fi on at all times to get complete control of the lights. If the Wi-Fi signal is lost, the bulbs, in most cases, work as regular bulbs that can be controlled through switches. But you will not be able to adjust the brightness or change the color settings. 

Are LIFX Bulbs Dimmable?

Yes, LIFX bulbs are dimmable. The LIFX system does not require a hub. It comes built-in with Wi-Fi and LIFX cloud. You can control the bulb completely through the app, including dimming the light, increasing brightness, changing color, etc. All these commands can be carried out without the need of a hub. It is important to note that while LIFX bulbs are dimmable, they are not compatible with traditional home dimmer switches. This is something you will need to be careful about. 

Does LIFX Sync with Music?

The LIFX range is a rather versatile system of lighting. One of the great things about the system is that it allows the bulb to integrate with a variety of third-party hubs like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, etc. for voice commands. To sync with music too, there are a few different third-party systems you can employ, such as Thundr, Music Blitz, Light DJ, etc. These are all the apps that are easily available on Google Play and the Apple Store.

Can LIFX Bulbs Be Used Outside?

Yes, LIFX bulbs can be used with outdoor fixtures, depending on the variation of the bulb you use. The BR30 series has been designed especially for outdoor fixtures. The bulb is weather resistant and can be installed in an outdoor fixture, provided the area is not exposed to the weather. In other words, the bulb is suitable for patios, driveways, garden gazebos, etc.

Conclusion

The reviews and breakdown of the features that LIFX has to offer have demonstrated that the company has a lot of exciting things to offer. If you have a Wi-Fi connection at home and have also invested in a smart home system like Amazon Alexa, you should definitely consider bringing LIFX smart bulbs home. The gamut of colors and features the LIFX range offers is sure to brighten up your home and make it more comfortable.

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