LIFX Developer Zone

Best practice for locations and groups

With the release of the 4.0 Beta app, it’s become even more difficult to work out what the LIFX UX designers consider best practice when it comes to location and group structure and the ability to control lights by function.

In the current stable app, I created a location per room and a group for each function. This worked fairly well because navigating between locations is two taps with an possible scroll.

In the new UI, more emphasis is being placed on location being used as stated, house or building. So now we’re left with just groups to create both zone and function sets.

I have a relatively standard sized Australian single storey 4-bedroom house. I have 50 LIFX bulbs currently active. I started with a group per room, but that is impractical because I rarely want unified control of a bedroom’s ceiling lights and bedside lamps simultaneously.

So, switched to functional groups, but this reveals significant UI issues with the new app: character limits mean room name prefixes can’t be used because each name needs to be visibly unique. Switching to coded prefixes greatly increases the learning curve for other people in the house.

Considering the significant redesign of 4.0, it would be really useful to see the UX flows and mock ups, or even just the sample set used, so that those of us who are all-in don’t have to compromise.

For reference, HomeKit gets this done in the most efficient way for my use case and in my opinion (Home -> Zone -> Room -> Group) but I’m also very curious to know how other large installs have handled this and if other automation environments (Home Assistant, Hubitat, SmartThings, etc) have either more effective or more flexible options.

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I have 50+ l downlights and a number of LIFX switches coming and they will be installed in a pretty standard house - sounds similar to your scenario and I am looking for some guidance re groups, etc.

Since 4.0 is still Beta is it possible that some additional functionality might be added to address you needs - and hence mine? The recently announced co-operation between Apple, Google, etc., suggests that it would make sense for a ‘standard’ to be established. In my current house I have CBus and the switches can be programmed to make it reasonably intuitive for visitors.

It would be great if this was addressed before the new switches become the norm.