Please note: This review is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own. I received this bulb for free through a giveaway, but I have carefully ensured that this review is not biased based on how I got this product.
While they are not exactly new to the smart home category, LIFX brings some amazing products to the table, including their White 800 Bulb. This wifi-connected, sans-base light bulb is sure to get your lazy on in the most high-tech way possible.
Let’s start out with the basics. The LIFX White 800 comes in the standard A19 size, but it is a bit large at 114 by 63 millimeters, and 236 grams. This bulb is capable of displaying every color temperature between 2,700 and 6,500 Kelvin. Since 6500 Kelvin is the color of natural light, this bulb will work great for videography. The White 800’s expected lifetime is up to 23 years, and it operates at an estimated yearly energy cost of about $1.32.
Inside the box is the bulb itself and a user manual, but as long as you have some common knowlege of light bulbs, you shouldn’t need it. Installation is easy — just screw the bulb in and open the app. One word of caution though: on the bulb is a message saying it will likely overheat in enclosed fixtures, so be careful where it is used.
Once inside the iOS, Android, and Windows-compatible app, there is a + button. When tapped, a menu with three options shows up. Press “Connect Light” and follow the on screen instructions to connect your new light.
The integrated LIFX app has a variety of features – creating scenes and schedules for lights, as well as changing the brightness and color of each one. For example, a schedule could be created to slowly turn your light on over the course of an hour as the sun comes up. You can also group your lights, which can be helpful when you have multiple lights in a room.
In addition, the LIFX app has a couple of effects built in. Among these effects are strobe mode and candle mode, as well as a sound-sensitive mode. In my experience, this effect has some lag, so it may not be a great party effect, but it is definitely fun to try out.
One of LIFX’s most useful features is its integration with smart home devices and services. All LIFX bulbs work with IFTTT, Amazon Echo, Samsung Smartthings, Nest, and Logitech Harmony. While LIFX claims to have integration with Google Now, I could not get it to work. This was a big disadvantage for an Android fan like myself. On the plus side, LIFX has an Android Wear app for basic tasks so you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket, but for me, it didn’t always work.
Another great feature of LIFX is the absence of a base. Products like the Philips Hue need a base station connected to your router to work. This drives the starting price up unnecessarily, and unless you are committed to having a fully specced-out smart home using only one type of bulb, base stations are cumbersome and annoying. With each bulb connecting directly to your home’s wifi, LIFX is able to start your smart home off for only $22 per bulb, a small price to pay compared to the competing Philips Hue system, which requires a $150 kit including the base station and two bulbs.
The no-base solution has its cons as well. With more and more devices on your network (remember, each bulb connects individually), your network speed will likely slow down over time. Don’t worry, however, unless you have more than about 15 to 20 bulbs. This system will work fine for a while, especially if you have a relatively new router. If you someday decide to graduate to a more connected home, products that do include a base station will have you covered.
In conclusion, my time with the LIFX White 800 has been great. Integration with other services, barring Google Now’s incompatibility, has been both helpful and fun, and LIFX has built a very user-friendly app for their products.
I would definitely recommend the LIFX suite to anyone interested in getting their hands dirty with smart home tech. LIFX is also introducing a few new products soon, so make sure to stay tuned to their website, www.lifx.com for more information.
LIFX provides a stable and easy consumer experience that offers many of the same features as its higher-priced brothers which is a huge advantage when starting out building your house of the future.
Now it’s your turn to get into the smart home space. I encourage you to try out different products and see which ones you like. One thing is for certain – with the LIFX White 800 (as well as the rest of LIFX’s product line) – you won’t be disappointed.