I have 4 LIFX A19 bulbs whose boxes I can’t put my hands on.
And even if I did, I’m not sure there was a leaflet with a Homekit code in them.
They don’t have a Homekit pairing code printed on them
I went through the Homekit recovery process on my Android 13 (reset with on/off 5 times and so on) but I am never shown a Homekit section in the light settings of the app with the Pair and Get code buttons like on the screenshots of the aforementioned site
The HomeKit option is only displayed on the iOS app, AFAIK. Also, the LIFX integration has far more features than the HomeKit Device integration, which will restrict the bulb to color only and not provide temperature adjustment. Also, none of the effects are available.
The current LIFX integration is pretty solid these days. About as solid and responsive at the HomeKit Device, and both are completely local.
Oh! now that I re-read Lifx’s instructions, they don’t mention Android so it all makes sense.
I was not aware of those major differences between the Homekit and the Lifx integrations.
Once in a while a Lifx bulb would go unresponsive and show as “Unavailable” in Home Assistant.
I was under the impression this was a cloud issue but maybe I’m mistaken and there are several reasons at stake here.
Although I read several threads about the Lifx integration in HA, I was not sure it was fully local.
For isntance, on the integration page, there is only one mention of “Local polling” at the top so the local part is not clearly explained
And I thought using the Homekit integration instead would make things more snappy.
So I’m not sure what to tweak to improve the WAF (and whether it’s on my side or Lifx’s…)
PS: on the other hand, my Zigbee bulbs are rock solid through HA but yes, that’s a different protocol, not cloud-based so I cannot really compare.
The core LIFX integration is completely local. The LIFX Scenes integration syncs from the cloud on a recurring schedule but applies scenes locally. LIFX bulbs going offline is almost always a wifi issue (and they’ll go offline via the HomeKit integration too, though that one is less obvious and tends to hide that fact better).
I bought those wifi bulbs (Lifx and Yeelight) a few years ago when I was not tech-savvy enough in the smarthome world.
I have learned since then that wifi is not a future-proof and reliable protocol for smarthome devices and that I should prefer ZigBee for instance.
I have over 140 wifi devices (60 of which are LIFX bulbs) on a Ubiquiti UniFi powered wifi network and they are rock solid. This includes devices as old as the original LIFX Z to two of the recently released LIFX Strings. I also have over 60 Zigbee devices.
Wifi and Zigbee each have their strengths and weaknesses. Matter over Thread aims to combine the strengths of both while reducing their combined weaknesses. My recommendation (and personal intention) would be to prioritise that for future device selection, though it may still be some time before there is a wide range of available options.
Well, good for you if your wifi network is strong
But it seems like it requires to buy an expensive wifi router (and satellites) to achieve this.
Let alone the settings that can be tedious
I feel like it’s cheaper and easier to create a mesh Zigbee-based network with some devices acting like routers.
But like you said, both protocols have pros and cons.
One last question: what if Lifx goes bust tomorrow?
Would we be left with dumb bulbs or would they still be be controllable locally with Home Assistant?
With brightness/temperature but without the effects like you said above?
(because that’s my fear with wifi-based devices)
LIFX lights can be fully controlled locally with no access to the Internet or the LIFX Cloud. You can even block outbound connections (or disconnect the bulb from the Cloud) with zero loss of functionality. For a while I ran with all my bulbs disconnected, though they are again now mostly for testing purposes for when I update code in other projects.
Top tip: if a LIFX-compatible utility says it uses the HTTP API, then it will require cloud access. If it says it uses the LAN protocol, then it works locally without any external dependencies.