Price (RRP): $from 29.99
LIFX Wi-Fi LED smart lights are the easiest way to add smart lights to your dumb home. Being Wi-Fi all you do is download the app, connect to Wi-Fi and optionally add that to Google Home et al.
What you may not know is that LIFX Wi-Fi LED smart lights are a product of Australian inventor Phil Bosua. It has strong local support, and its headquarters are now in San Francisco, California.
Research shows that smart lights are the third most popular retrofit DIY product to add some smarts to a dumb home. Although before you rush out and buy something read our new guide to adding intelligence to your home as there are a few decisions you need to make first.
Fortunately, as long as you have decent home Wi-Fi, LIFX bulbs are relatively risk-free as they connect to Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, most smart hubs and talks IFTTT (If this then that). And if you purchase from LIFX online you have a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee.
Let’s look at the LIFX Wi-Fi LED smart lights range – note that typical office lighting is 500 lumens!
- A60 is an 1100 lumen dimmable offering 16.7 million colours from white to whatever. At the time of review, these are $89.99 each, a four pack for $359.96 and a six pack for $539.94 – less a promotional discount to $71.99/287.96/431.94. These are replacements for your standard light bulbs
- Mini 800 lumen dimmable – White only (warm 2700K), White and Day and Dusk (1500-2700K), or White/Day and Dusk/Colour. These are $34.99/44.99/69.99 and are on special at $27.99/35.99/59.99. They use the same ES or BC mount and have better prices for four and six packs. These are replacements for reading lamps and areas that don’t need as much light.
- G10 downlight 400 lumens from 2500-9000K (white to colour). Note that these don’t use the standard 2-pin halogen bulb socket, but the thicker LED GU10 fitting. These are $84.99 (special $67.99 and four and ten pack pricing). A terrific way to add software dimming and colours (2500-9000K) to your existing compatible overhead lights.
- G10 100mm downlight including fitting, bulb transformer and 240V plug. $99.99/79.99. These use an 800-lumen bulb
LIFX also has a night vision A60 (uses IR LEDs and perfect to help your security camera see in the dark, 2M strip with 1M extensions, A BR30 1100 ‘flood’ with night vision
Review LIFX Wi-Fi LED Smart Lights: A60 1100 Lumen bulb in Edison E27 screw or B22 bayonet
The most appealing feature is that unlike the Philips Hue, LIFX Wi-Fi LED smart lights connect directly to Wi-Fi and the app or a voice assistant controls them.
I am not putting down its competitor Philips Hue that requires a bridge – it is very good in the right places. But Wi-Fi adds lots of flexibility for outdoor use, and you can extend the range using an access point or range extender.
- Download the LIFX app and set up an account
- Plug in the LIFX lights and power them on. They work as default lightbulbs, so it is just a matter of flicking the power switch
- The app will find all the bulbs and update the firmware if required
- Select each light individually, connect it to Wi-Fi and name it individually or in a group
- It really is that easy, and you can control them individually or collectively from the app
I read somewhere that LIFX will also mesh to a router. In other words, set up the one nearest the router first and then the others can join to the next nearest light – that could expand distance from the router quite considerably.
Adding them to Google Assistant or Alexa is as simple as linking the accounts. I did not try Apple HomeKit, but I understand its just as simple.
LIFX Wi-Fi LED smart lights A60 specs
Out of the box, it is an 1100 lumen, 135° beam, 11W (<.5W standby) cool white light – slightly brighter than similar CFL lights. It should fit all light sockets at 69mm round and 140mm. It is bathroom proof and is fine for use under cover outdoors.
The app, not a physical dimmer switch, controls dimming from 1-100% and colours from cool white (2500K) to 16.7m colours (9000K).
Linking to Google or Alexa (Siri not tested)
It is as simple as adding the LIFX Wi-Fi LED ‘skill’ to either. In Google, you can address the lights by name (kitchen left) or group (kitchen) by “OK Google turn on the kitchen lights (or kitchen left)” and optionally set the dimming percentage or colour scheme. (a.k.a. scenes). All work flawlessly. Google can now add new lights without going via the app.
Under Alexa you have to ask the skill to do something, “Hey Alexa (ask LIFX to) turn on the kitchen lights.”
The manual states it is not necessary to ”Ask LIFX to” but we found it was necessary and it’s a pain. We also had some issues with getting it to use scenes despite the manual stating, “Your Scenes from the LIFX app will also carry over.” It was fine when you said any colour from the pallet including Warm/soft/day/cool/white.
You can also set up routines or schedules in Google et al., or the app
Create an IFTTT account. Link LIFX to it. After that, you can interact with any other IFTTT IOT devices like security cameras and motion detectors. It also opens up geofencing to turn on lights in
GadgetGuy’s take – LIFX Wi-Fi LED Smart Lights are the easiest addition to a dumb home.
Over the two weeks test with a D-Link AC5300 router about 6 metres away they are flawless. But I did read a couple of reviews that found spotty performance with low power Wi-Fi networks. In this case, consider Philips Hue and its Zigbee bridge. I own a Philips Hue setup, and it has been great.
My advice for poor Wi-Fi – buy a better router. Although you can use both systems at the same time.
As a party trick turning your kitchen lights on by voice impresses the neighbours. But making them change colours is very impressive.
The only elephant in the room is the price – eye-wateringly expensive for Joe and Jan Average, especially if you want to retrofit most of your home. I have not done the energy saving calculations (as that would take months to years to see differences), but I expect these would pay for themselves in under 10 years of their 22+ year lifespan.
Here is a video with the IR light function – very good