The world is becoming more connected, and increasingly more devices are being released that connect our homes with the devices in our pockets. Whether they be connected speakers or connected TVs, we’re gaining a lot more control over our homes.
But what about the basics? What about power outlets and lights. Well, LIFX is addressing one of those with its smart light bulb, a Wi-Fi connected light bulb that puts control over even our lights at our fingertips.
Design and Setup
The LIFX bulb does away with a traditional lightbulb look in favor of a more flat-top look. While you won’t spend much time looking at the bulb itself, it does have a pretty sleek look, which is nice. Overall, the plastic body has a pretty premium look and feel. Still, the bulb is quite a bit larger than some other smart light bulbs, so if you have a small space to fit it into, that’s something you might want to keep in mind.
Thankfully, the lightbulb is pretty darn easy to setup. Simply screw the bulb in, open up the LIFX app, and follow the on-screen instructions. It will take a minute or so for the bulb to connect and be usable, but the process is pretty simple.
After the light bulb is synced with your Wi-Fi network, you’ll be able to control it from your phone or tablet using the LIFX app or another smart home app, like Yonomi.
The LIFX app is easy to use, but is helpful for little more than simply turning on the light bulb, changing the color, and applying some somewhat novel effects. While that’s true, it’s nice that it features some integration with other apps and services, such as Nest, IFTTT, Google Now, and so on. Google Now in particular is a welcome integration, is at allows you to use your voice to control your lights. Unfortunately that’s a feature I had trouble getting to work, but in newer phones there shouldn’t be any trouble.
Integration with other apps is perhaps the most useful feature of the LIFX app. The smart home trend is in its infancy, and right now it seems like each service requires a new app in order to work properly. Being able to integrate well with other apps means that users can more easily automate their home and control their home within a single app rather than a number of different apps. Of course, you can do more than control one single LIFX bulb. Homes have multiple light bulbs, and through the LIFX app you can name and control lights all over your house.
It’s also important to note that the app’s interface in general is really well designed and easy to use. It looks great and feels great, and presents controls in an easy to understand way. Sure, it gets some slack for not being able to do all that much, but lets be honest, the app is there to control your lights, how much does it really need to do?
Power and Brightness
When it comes to the light itself, it’s quite bright and has a wide range of colors to use. The light boasts 1,000 lumens, which is quite brighter than the 600 lumens offered by Philips’ Hue bulbs. There’s really not that much to say about the light bulbs power beyond the fact that it’s pretty bright and should offer plenty of power for your lighting needs.
The LIFX bulb is an excellent smart bulb, and while the bulbs are somewhat expensive, if you buy them in a pack you’ll save some cash. LIFX bulbs are easy to use, and while it’s a little annoying to have a whole app that simply turn on your lights, that app is easy to use and does what it needs to.