LIFX bulbs are a great alternative to the Zigbee equivalents from Philips, Gledopto, and the likes. Instead of relying on a hub, LIFX bulbs connect directly to your Wi-Fi access point and integrate with Home Assistant using local polling. What that means for you is that Home Assistant doesn’t need to reach out to any cloud service just to turn a light on or off. It all happens locally, making the integration much quicker and useable while your internet is down.
It isn’t just the fact that LIFX uses Wi-Fi that differentiates them from other bulbs. They offer unique and interesting designs, as well as some unique functionality I have so far not seen in any other bulb. For Black Friday, a number of LIFX bulbs are up to 40% off. Get them while they lasts.
LIFX Color A19 for indoor use
The LIFX Color A19 (1100 lumens) is suitable for indoor usage and houses RGBW LEDs, which are capable of producing 550 billion possible colour steps as well as an impressive white range of 1500-9000K. Its industrial design ensures that it illuminates a room evenly, and it also makes the LIFX bulbs installation in exposed fixtures possible.
Next, the LIFX Color A19 (800 lumens), also has a unique, dome-like design among the run off the mill smart bulbs. It produces the same colours and white range as its brighter brethren, albeit at a lower brightness, and also has the same >0.5W power draw at idle.
An outdoor LIFX bulb and one that cleans your bathroom
The LIFX Colour BR30 is suited for both indoor and outdoor usage. It can survive temperatures all the way down to -30 °C (-22 °F) and is IP65 weatherproof rated. On the other end of the spectrum, the LIFX BR30 will survive temperatures of up to 40 °C (104 °F). It features the same bright RGBW LEDs featured on the A19 bulbs.
Perhaps even more interesting than an IP-rated smart bulb is the LIFX Clean A19. As the name suggests, it can clean your kitchen or bathroom. Besides the RGBW LEDs found in all LIFX bulbs mentioned in this article, it has High Energy Visible (HEV) LEDs. The HEV LEDs will harm bacteria, but not your skin or pets. Three independent studies have shown that this sort of light will actually do what LIFX claims.
However, while the HEV LEDs aren’t dangerous like UV lights, they haven’t been studied nearly as much. And so far, the studies that have been done have focussed on bacteria, not viruses. In a surprisingly consumer-friendly statement, LIFX explicitly stats that “no claim is currently being made that the product is effective in an antiviral capacity of any kind, including on [COVID-19].” If you are not quite sure whether you should trust this bulb or not, I recommend this extensive and well-researched article by The Verge.
About Liam Alexander Colman
Liam Alexander Colman has been using Home Assistant for various projects for quite some time. What started off with a Raspberry Pi quickly became three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-blown server. I now use Unraid as my operating system, and Home Assistant happily runs in a Docker container. My personal setup includes many Zigbee devices as well as integrations with existing products such as my Android TV box. Read on to find out more on how I got started with Home Assistant.