LIFX Developer Zone

If you are thinking of buying Lifx bulbs – READ THIS.

I’m going to give a very bad review for Lifx smart bulbs but let me start with the good. When the lights worked (which was not often) they are awesome. The colors, control and the ability to creatively light your home are super fun. Unfortunately, it was short lived fun followed by unbearable frustration getting everything to work – and stay working. You should know before I go farther that when it comes to computers and all things IT – I consider myself above average. I’m far from an expert, IT geek but I am the one family and friends usually call to help them with their home tech needs. I really thought I could get it all figured out but it was impossible. Ok, let’s get into it.

I purchased (4) - 11W Dimmable A19 LED Light Bulb5W Equivalent – Multicolor & (1) - LIFX Z Wi-Fi Lightstrip Experience Kit 9.8’ – Multicolor. I downloaded the App and was able to get them connected pretty easily. The first thing you need to know is the bulbs will ONLY connect to the internet on your 2G WiFi network. That means if you have other peripherals in your home that you control with your phone and they are connected to your faster 5G WiFi network you have to switch your phone back and forth between the different WiFi networks. To really take advantage of your LIFX bulbs it’s best to also connect your smart bulbs to Apple Home, Alexa or whatever home hardware you have. It took numerous times to get the LIFX App to pair with my Apple Home but eventually I got it to work. For a brief period, everything was great and working well – got about one full day of enjoyment before things went bad. The first thing you will notice is sometimes the bulbs appeared and the LIFX App and sometimes not. It was kind of random and I couldn’t keep thing stable. It could sometimes take me 5 or 10 minutes just to get the lights on.

Then things got really bad when my Spectrum internet went out for a brief period of time. I got the internet back up and running but suddenly my the LIFX App could not see the bulbs anymore. I got error messages that bulbs were offline. I had to physical reset each bulb by unplugging and plugging back in 5 times, syncing it again to the LIFX App, renaming each bulb and assigning it to a room. However, once I got all the bulbs work again on the Lifx App I could not the LIFX App to pair with my Apple Home. I used the bulbs for about day just using the Lifx App and it was slow and cumbersome. I liked the lights so I suffered. Then my internet went out again and I had reset and rename all the bulbs again and assign them to rooms. Resetting the bulbs my sound easy it is DEFINITELY NOT. It takes numerous attempts for each bulb. What a colossal pain in the ass! The internet going down is not LIFX’s fault but if you live in the real world you know that sometimes happens. I had NO way to turn the lights on until I reset the bulbs.

There may be easy solutions to all the technical problems I had but LIFX support page is not very good and did not have answers to my specific problems. Also, all the “how to” videos I watched were for older versions of the LIFX App so nothing looked the same. Lastly, and most importantly LIFX Support is does not exist. I submitted numerous tickets on their support page and the only responses I received were robot emails with lame messages like:

We believe any response is better than no response. We’re busy working away on tickets, but we haven’t gotten to yours quite yet.

We apologize for the delay, we’re doing our best to get to you.

We appreciate your patience.

Hang in there!
Best,
LIFX Team

The follow responses never came, except once someone named Amber sent me a link to their support page but did not respond to my very specific questions. There appears to be no way to speak with an actual live person.

The bottom line is LIFX will be great one day but not now. Do not waste your money or hours of your life wrestling with technology that is not ready for market.

Second opinion. FTR I have eight Mini Color C bulbs.

Yes the bulbs connect only via 2.4 GHz, however lights can be controlled using LIFX or Home apps by a device on either (2.4 or 5.8 GHz). Works for me, anyway.

I’m able to pair two of my Mini’s that are still on (old) v3.48 firmware, but the rest were upgraded to v3.50 and don’t pair with Apple Home. No solution from support, just “wait for the next firmware.”

Happens to me as well. Since most of my bulbs can’t pair with HomeKit I have to use the LIFX app, otherwise I’d just use Home app and wouldn’t care about this behaviour. Very frustrating.

I haven’t experienced any issues with reconnecting after wifi or power outages. Perhaps you just didn’t wait long enough? It’ll take a few minutes for devices to reconnect once the network is back up. Not sure what you mean by “the internet going down,” but whether your router is connected to the internet won’t affect the bulbs connection to the local wifi (as in, an internet outage doesn’t affect local wifi connections, just their ability to communicate outside the local network).

Yeah, pretty dismal experience here too. My ticket eventually got a reply but wasn’t helpful since “wait for the next firmware” is taking a while.

I only have the one product (Mini Colour C) but experience hasn’t been great. The bulbs are awesome, the LAN API is super cool, but I just want to use them with HomeKit and for the past four months I haven’t been able to. For all I know a new firmware version is about to be released and I’ll be a happy camper, but at the moment I tend to agree, at least for these bulbs, LIFX earns a “don’t buy” rating from me as well.

It is important to understand that it doens’t matter if the bulbs are on 2.4Ghz and other devices on 5Ghz or wired or whatever. The whole point of IP is that the packets can get routed from A to B though any path available. It is not a direct connection or separate network.

The caveat is that there is still a local/global (LAN/WAN) split but that’s another issue and one that you can work around.