I am not very sure if my ideas are practical enough but I will share it anyways.
Setting up a bulb before it can be controlled involves the following
1) Connecting to the bulbs Wi-Fi AP and providing it info about the Wi-Fi networks its supposed to connect to
2) The LIFX bulb stores the Wi-Fi network info (SSID, password, Wi-Fi security etc) in its flash storage
3) Associating the bulb with a LIFX user account
All 3 steps can currently be done only by the LIFX app. There is no published API to do that as far as I know.
In theory, its possibly to use a flash memory in which your sites wifi info is already stored and use that flash memory when assembling bulbs meant specifically for your site. This would involve whoever is running this project to work with LIFX folks. I am not affiliated with LIFX so I am not sure if they even support such a model for their customers.
Another possibility which does not involve the bulb assembly line is to do the following for batches of bulbs
- Set up a provisioning lab with maybe 50 or so bulb power sockets
- Plug in and power the bulbs. They will come up as Wi-Fi AP with unique SSID names but with a known prefix
- Run a custom app on a computer which does a SSID scan and picks out the SSID's with known LIFX prefix
- Get access to the LIFX private API which allows you to set the bulb from LIFX folks and use that API in the custom app to provision bulb cycling through the SSID's collected in the previous step. You will have to talk to the LIFX folks to see if they will give you access to their private bulb setup API.
In theory, this process only needs human intervention for connecting the bulbs and removing the provisioned bulbs.