The LIFX X Wi-Fi Z LED strip is a 1m long, thin, self-adhesive strip of RGB and White LED lights that can dim from 0-100%, and display 16 million colours and temperatures from 2500K to 9000K in eight zones. You can join up to ten strips for ten metres and even make up to 90° bends in the strips.
But the thing I like most about the LIFX X Wi-Fi Z LED is, “OK
Google, turn on Z”. It can use Alexa or Siri as well.
Price: 2m (2x1M) starter kit including charger $129.99
Before you think about buying a LIFX Wi-Fi Z strip think
about how you can use it. Caveat – they are not waterproof so that rules out
the bathroom or outdoors.
First, each 1m strip can generate up to 700 lumens
(dimmable) without glare or blue light. That is for a paltry 8W of power (at 100%
brightness) – roughly equivalent to the light output of a 45W incandescent bulb.
Second, you can voice control them so no more fumbling for a
light switch that could be metres away. Remember that these have no ‘reflector’,
so you are bathed in light emanating from the strip/s.
It could be as
A task light at a desk/nook or in a workshop.
Add light above the kitchen bench (under the kitchen
Highlight an Objet d’art – painting, TV, sculpture
Voice-activated light in difficult lighting environs
like entrance hallways or stairwells
Emergency lighting (activated by voice or IFTTT)
In the man/woman/person cave for fully adjustable
As bedroom night light (low-energy lighting)
As Christmas tree lights (that can match the light pulsing to music)
My point is that light need not come from a single bulb (as
we are conditioned to believe) and if you think about it you will start to see
where energy-efficient, stick-on lighting strips may improve lighting, safety
and convenience. Just add a powerpoint.
Download the LIFX App for Android (tested) or
Set up a LIFX account
Plug in the power adapter (24V/12.5A/30W) and at
least one strip (do this initially near your router)
Use the app to discover the LIFX Wi-Fi Z LED strip
and link it to the router 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi (it does not use a Zigbee hub)
It will ask you to add a room location and name
Add it to OK Google (easy with the new ‘OK
Google Sync my lights’ command) or Alexa or Siri
Then you can clean the surface to apply it to (alcohol sachet
provided), remove the 3M self-adhesive backing and stick. Simple but the adhesive
is there for keeps!
My only issue is that the 1m strips don’t have a locking
joint mechanism and its very easy to pull them apart. And you can’t screw them
to a wall. A: use some sticky tape over the joints and clean the surface thoroughly
– it does stick to stay!
I really like that you can address up to eight zones per strip
(via pre-set themes) so you can tailor the light strip by brightness, colour
and degrees Kelvin. For example, you may want 100% over the kitchen sink and
50% over the bench – no wasted energy here.
Or if you are using it where you do not want to see LEDs in front
of you then turn those zones off.
The app also allows you to use pre-set themes, schedule
light times and more.
Voice assistants (Google) is limited to (we call the test strip
Turn on/off Z (nominated light) – defaults to last
setting unless you specify a brightness and/or colour
Turn on/off lights (generic term for all smart
lights) in (nominated room)
Dim the lights (to nominated % brightness) in
the (nominated room)
Are the lights on in the (nominated room)?
We are testing Z as an over the kitchen bench lighting strip
so it is activated by “OK Google turn on/off Z at 50% warm white”. When we are
washing up, we increase that to 100%.
I know that a few will gag at $129 for 2m, but this is the
cost of energy-efficient lights. A Philips Hue Shape strip is as similar price.
LED Lighting, especially standard Edison Screw and Bayonet
cap white-only lights are now about $30, but the colour versions are still up
at around $90 (and some need Zigbee hubs as well).
Yes, these will save you big energy bucks over incandescent,
CFL or halogen lighting so using them sparingly to replace these lights it is a
GadgetGuy’s take – LIFX Wi-Fi Z LED strip add colour to a boring white light
An Australian invention, long-lasting, low energy, low blue
light setting with many uses. It does not use a hub. I love the voice
A hub can be handy if lights are out of Wi-Fi range and
Philips Hue has its place too.
Which brings me to the statement about Wi-Fi setup. Early
reviews of LIFX products commented on Wi-Fi dropouts. It was not so much the
light but the Wi-Fi at fault. If you have an underpowered router (you need
Wi-Fi AC 3600+ or Wi-Fi AX or a damned good mesh system with at least AC2600
coverage), then you will subject any Wi-Fi device to the vagaries of the router
and the internet. Poor routers and Wi-Fi connections account for all the ‘slow’
When I was having major issues with Telstra NBN experiencing from 3-300 dropouts a day (and it is Telstra’s fault but more on that in another article) anything Google or Alexa based was totally unreliable. We would have to reset the router, reboot the Philips Hue hub and reinstall LIFX and other Wi-Fi connected products – until the next day, and the issues would start over.
So read our Mesh Tutorial and heed our advice that whatever router you have, make sure it has correct placement, adequate power to support all the IoT devices and covers the areas you place them in. You can extend the coverage by using extenders or Ethernet over Power etc.
Not wanting to brag but I have no issues with over 40 IoT devices in a three-bedroom home with either the D-Link AC5300 router or NETGEAR’s new AX6000 AX8 router. Let me tell that you before these our experience with mesh was a disaster.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating1 Vote
No hub required but too many Wi-Fi devices can clog your home network
Eight addressable colour/temperature zones per 1m strip
#Stop the energy rip-off - power efficient
Needs to the app for full functionality – voice control is limited
Can require a reset after a power or internet outage