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Review: LIFX smart bulbs are easy to use and cheaper than other brands

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been a fan of smart bulbs for a few years now. I certainly hesitated originally – I’ve always been someone who didn’t really see the point in going full out”smart home” (because you real does everything have to be wifi enabled?) – but when i tried my first one smart bulbI was absolutely hooked.

Oddly, my first foray into smart lighting was a bad one. My partner bought any brand from Amazon and the bulbs were finicky, hard to adjust and barely produced any light. However, it was clear that there was potential. We loved the ability to change the lights to suit our mood, but we quickly realized that – when it comes to smart lighting – the brand you choose Surely Affairs. So is LIFX one of those brands? Here’s what you need to know.

What are LIFX smart bulbs?

LIFX (pronounced LIFE-ex) offers a selection of WiFi-enabled smart lighting that rivals larger, well-known brands such as Philips Hue. The company offers a whole range of different types of lamps: also traditional, color changing E26 bulbs(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab) – the kind that fit most “traditional” light fixtures – as well as LED light strips, candle style light bulbs and even their latest offerings, LIFX clean(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab). Marketed as “a light so smart we learned it to clean,” LIFX Clean lamps use high-energy visible light (aka HEV) to clean and sanitize surfaces with the click of a button. disinfect.

blue light in a bathroom

The LIFX range includes color changing lamps, disinfectant lamps and more.
Credit: RJ Andersen/Mashable

First impression

I have to be honest right off the bat – I’ve been using LIFX bulbs for years. My partner and I ditched our first smart bulbs for LIFX’s 1100 Lumen E26 bulbs and we instantly fell in love. They are incredibly bright and the colors are fantastic. They’re also easy to set up – just plug them into the fixture, download the LIFX app and follow the on-screen instructions to pair them

Even better? They are also quite beginner friendly. LIFX bulbs don’t need any kind of hub or bridge to connect them to your Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to worry about buying extras to get them to work in your home. Setup is quick and easy — the most trouble I’ve had was trying to stick one of LIFX’s color-changing LED light strips to the back of my desk — and it’s up and running in minutes. I’ve seen some Amazon reviewers talk about installation issues, but that’s not my experience.

The LIFX app is even better than similar apps I’ve tried, which is impressive for someone who’s been frustrated by poorly planned companion apps in the past. I’ve used smart lighting from MagicLight and Govee and LIFX’s app is definitely my favorite. It’s easy to use, there’s a good selection of different lighting themes to choose from, and LIFX recently added the ability to “paint” your LED light strip to display multiple colors the way you want, which was a feature that I didn’t know I needed.

The LIFX bulbs are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, Hey Google, and Amazon Alexa, though I found myself turning to the LIFX app more than anything else. HomeKit definitely worked, and it was an easy install – as long as you don’t throw away the packaging like I did, which means I had to unscrew my LIFX bulbs to get the installation code from the side – but I liked the LIFX color picker and scheduling tools better .

What I loved about LIFX Lights

Beyond the General mood from switching all my traditional incandescent bulbs to LIFX’s color-changing smart bulbs, I love the vibrant colors that LIFX bulbs provide. Other smart bulbs I’ve used are disappointingly dim when you switch to a fun color, but the LIFX bulbs stay bright no matter what color you choose. Plus, they’re easy to install, the app works well, and they’re relatively affordable compared to other high-end smart lighting options on the market.

What I didn’t like about LIFX Lights

Honestly not much. There are certainly cheaper smart lighting options on the market, but the ones I tried didn’t hold up. I was disappointed to learn that the company used to offer additional lighting styles, such as light panels that rivaled The shapes of Nanoleaf(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab) – but they stopped offering those products a few years ago to focus mainly on smart bulbs. I’d like to see more variety in their product range in the future – I’ve been putting off buying the Nanoleaf Shapes simply because I don’t want to use two different smart lighting apps – but that might not be in the cards for me.

I will say that the LIFX Clean Bulbs were not quite worth it to me. The lights are cool, but it was hard to tell if they actually did what they claimed to do. The LIFX website has a third-party report(Opens in a new window) about the effectiveness of the LIFX Clean HEV lamps and their antibacterial properties, and – according to that study – the lamps must either be very close to the surface they are disinfecting, or left on for long periods of time (more than eight hours) to be effective so it’s hard to tell if they actually disinfect my bathroom.

“It appears that some studies show that HEV does have some disinfectant properties at certain wavelengths,” explains Dr. Amest Adalja, a senior scientist and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security(Opens in a new window). “[However]…I don’t think routine disinfection of household items with these types of devices has much value and is not something I generally recommend.”

It boils down

Obviously, I’m a fan of LIFX’s smart lighting. I’ve tried the LIFX Color E26, the LIFX Color BR30 (which looks more like a large outdoor floodlight), the LIFX Clean, and the 40-inch Lightstrip… and I plan to buy more in the future. About half the light bulbs in my house have been converted to LIFX bulbs, and since the standard E26 color bulb is about $15 cheaper than the Philips Hue, I’ve been able to make the switch without feeling like I’m overspending . money in the process.

We’ve even used the LIFX app to put all our lights on a schedule, meaning our home office lights come on when it’s time to go to work, our bedroom lights turn red when it’s time to relax, and the whole house “turns off” at 11pm when we forgot to turn off lights all day.

So would I recommend them to anyone looking for smart lighting? Absolute. They’re beginner-friendly, convenient, and offer incredible smart lighting, making them a win in my book.

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