LIFX Developer Zone

Tips/tricks to film LIFX Z strips

Hey folks,

I’m trying to create video of some custom LIFX Z themes and animations and I’m having a really hard time getting it to come out because the strips are so bright, you can’t see the colours. :joy:

Anyone got any tips on placement, external lighting, incantations or otherwise that can help? I’ve tried using an iPhone X and a GoPro HERO5 (both at 4K and lower resolutions).


Have you tried putting your camera into manual mode, use a f/10 or higher aperture, and a low iso of 100 or 200? You may have to adjust the shutter speed as well to get the desired results as some phones don’t let you adjust the f-stop.

Colors are coming out white? Neither of the cameras you use have much dynamic range so as mentioned above you need to shoot dark so that the colors don’t blow out. You could also try an HDR app on your iPhone like Pro HDR X.

Finally, for best results you can rent a camera with better dynamic range. Realistically the only good option for stills is a Nikon D850 and for this would be the best affordable option for video. You could also see if you can rent a Red w/ HDRX but that’d probably be a budget buster.

I used Halide with a very low ISO and then adjusted the shutter speed as fast as possible without going faster than the LIFX Z’s LED frequency. Turned out pretty good for stills:


Now I just need to find a way to do something similar for video. Thanks for the tips, folks!

Filming light strips (or any bulbs, really) is tricky. Fancier cameras can help, but there’s no substitute for physically adding things to the scene that really pick up the light. I want to get better at this, so I look forward to seeing other tips on this thread. I wanted to do a few promo videos for new content packs added to Lightbow’s “Light Store” that synchronized to music and it took quite a few tries to get it (nearly) presentable. There’s a feature on my app to apply an overall brightness multiplier to an animating preset, and that was key in having the actual strips appear a color (rather than white) by dimming the whole show down just for filming. Here are some example videos that I never really promoted because the filmed effect was never as good as in-person.

“Winter Sports” VIDEO, INFO
“12 Days of Christmas” VIDEO, INFO