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LIFX Smart Bulb Review

Updated December 3, 2018 by Derek Hales

LIFX smart light bulb review

Overall Score: 95%
Design: 96%
Performance: 95%
Quality: 95%
Usability: 96%
Value: 91%
See how we score here.

LIFX smart light bulb

The Bottom Line

Overall, the LIFX A19 smart bulb is an excellent option if you’re looking for a light bulb that you can wirelessly control from your smartphone or via voice control (when paired with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit). This bulb is dimmable, color-changing, and operates without requiring a smart hub, whether you install 1 or 100 bulbs. 

Pros

  • Smartphone control makes it easy to change up the setting or schedule settings to this bulb
  • Color-Changing LED and dimmable output gives you the look of thousands of bulb, in the body of one LIFX
  • The LIFX system works without a smart hub. 

Cons

  • Can be costly to swap out multiple lights in your home at once
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LIFX Smart Bulb Design

The LIFX A19 smart bulb is not alone in the smart bulb market, but it certainly has a look that is more unique compared to competitive bulbs. With it’s look, there are a few other bonuses that help LIFX to stand out.

Let’s take a look at the basics:

For starters, the top of the LIFX smart bulb is flat, not rounded like your standard incandescent light bulb. The material is a frosted look with a matte finish.

The base of the bulb itself is an opaque white material with a metal base that screws in like a typical light bulb. 

LIFX smart bulb review

Close up of the LIFX smart bulb

What makes it smart? 

Although the LIFX bulb installs the same way you would install any other light bulb, there are a number of design features that help this bulb to shine brighter than a typical bulb.

Some of best design features include: 

  • Wifi-connectivity
  • Voice control (use Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit) 
  • Smartphone control
  • LED color-changing capability 
  • Dimmable light output

Size & Dimensions

The LIFX smart light is comparable to your average sized light bulb. It’s 2.5″ in diameter and 4.5″ tall. It weighs only 9.9 ounces, a little over half a pound. 

  • Height– 4.5″
  • Width – 2.5″ diameter 
  • Weight – 9.9 ounces
LIFX smart light design

The LIFX bulb size easily fits in the palm of my hand, like most other A19 bulbs would. 

Accessories & Parts

The LIFX A19 does not include any additional accessories. To get started all you need is a wifi connection and a smartphone for easy control.

Want to skip the smartphone? 

You can also pair it with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit for hands-free voice control. 

LIFX A19 LED RGB smart bulb

LIFX A19 on 100% teal light mode

How do I control multiple bulbs? 

The LIFX system can easily be expanded to control one bulb or hundreds. All you need to do it just wirelessly connect the bulbs to the central LIFX app on your smartphone.

LIFX smart device smartphone app

Using the app, you can join similar bulbs together, set schedules, or scenes like “going to bed” or “going to work”. 

amazon alexa dot 3rd generation

ECHO DOT | The Echo Dot is the most budget conscious Alexa device that provides access to the same voice control option, but without the advanced speaker for high quality audio play back. Read our Echo Dot Review here.

Echo Plus 2nd Generation

ECHO PLUS | The Echo Plus is a larger version of the Echo Dot. It has a more advanced speaker and has a built-in smart home hub. Read our Echo Plus Review here.

Amazon Echo Spot - Alexa voice control

ECHO SPOT| The Echo Spot is one of the only Alexa devices with a built-in display for visual notifications, like weather the time, or background images. For an Alexa device with a more impressive display screen, check out the Echo Show

LIFX Performance & Usability 

The performance of the LIFX system really comes down to a few factors and have a big role in the overall usability of the smart bulb. 

To score this area, we’re looking at the following specs: 

  • Ease of Setup
  • Control
  • Customization
  • Light Output
  • Expansion 
Phillips Hue vs. LIFX smart bulbs

Side-by-side view of the Phillips Hue (pink light) vs. LIFX smart bulb (green light)

Ease of Setup

Setting up the LIFX smart bulb was fairly easy to process.

Since it doesn’t require a smart hub to work, it really is as simple as:

  1. screwing in the bulb
  2. downloading the LIFX app
  3. finding your bulb

From install to setup completion, it took less than 5 minutes. 

LIFX smart bulb setup

Setting up the LIFX smart bulb just takes a few minutes

Comparable systems, like the Philips Hue, require a “smart bridge” to work which basically acts as a hub to allow the bulb to talk to your smart devices. 

Read our Phillips Hue vs. LIFX comparison here.

Control

The LIFX bulb can be controlled using one of two methods: 

  1. Using the app on your smartphone
  2. Using voice control (when paired with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit) 

NOTE: LIFX is also compatible with Samsung SmartThings if you already have that system in place in your home. 

What does the LIFX smart bulb do? 

The features of the LIFX smart bulb include the following: 

  1. Turn lights on/off
  2. Schedule lighting
  3. Automate lighting based on triggers
  4. Dim lights
  5. Set RGB color

There’s more to life than just turning a light on and off. Smart bulb allows you to do things you didn’t even know that you wanted from a light bulb. 

Customization

The LIFX smart bulb offers many different options in terms of lighting customization. The LED light is completely dimmable allowing it to shine at full power (around the equivalent of 75 W) or dimmable for softer lighting. 

The LIFX bulb is also color-changing and allows nearly combination on the RGB rainbow.

Changing LED colors with LIFX

Interface within the LIFX app that allows you to change color and intensity

On your smartphone app, you simply drag your finger to the color that you’re hoping to create and the color immediately changes as you drag. It’s very intuitive and responsive to quick changes. 

Light Output

As mentioned above, the LIFX smart bulb outputs around 75 W of light, which is comparable in output to a traditional incandescent bulb. 

LIFX smart bulb white light

LIFX in “Cloudy Daylight” 100% power white light mode

Expansion 

Adding additional bulbs to the app is as simple as the first install. Once screwed in and connected to the app, you can pair bulbs together for a new “scene” or you can customize them independently of each other.

Changing color themes for LIFX light

Changing color themes for LIFX light

LIFX even suggests a few “themes” that make custom recommendations in color and intensity to match the mood or feeling of each theme. 

Is the LIFX Smart Bulb a Good Value?

Overall, the value of the LIFX smart bulb is pretty good. It allows for customization, scheduling, dimming preferences, and color-changing. It can be controlled from your smartphone or using voice control and setup is basically as easy as screwing it in and downloading an app. 

LIFX smart bulb review

The LIFX system works whether it is one bulb or 100 bulbs and doesn’t require a smart hub (or Bridge like the Philips Hue system does). 

Although this bulb is certainly more expensive than buying a traditional fluorescent or incandescent light bulb, you’re getting more than what any traditional bulb has ever offered before. 

As an added bonus, LED lights are known to be low energy consumers and last an incredibly long time. This means less money spent on energy bills and less time and money replacing bulbs. 

LIFX Smart Bulb Specifications

Below is a table showing the full list of specifications of the LIFX A19 Smart Light Bulb:

LIFX
LIFX smart light bulb
Size2.5" x 2.5" x 4.5"
ModelA19
Life Span22 Years
Beam Angle135 degrees
ConnectivityWifi-enabled
Light TypeColor-Changing LED
Light StrengthDimmable
Light Output75 W
ControlSmartphone control, Voice control
Hub Required? No
PriceCheck Price

Who Should Buy the LIFX Smart Bulb?

THE LIFX smart bulb is a great option for people who want to take their smart lighting to the next level. Whether you’re wanting to control one lamp from your smartphone or an entire level of your house with a simple voice command, 

I would recommend the LIFX system if you’re looking for the following features in smart light bulb: 

  • Want customization: The LIFX smart bulb is dimmable and has nearly endless color-changing possibilities with the LED RGB control. drag your finger to whatever color you want on the app and the color instantly changes. 
  • Want easy setup, without a smart hub: One of the biggest advantages of the LIFX smart bulb over competitive bulbs (like the Philips Hue) is the ability to operate the bulb without using a smart hub / smart bridge. If you’re replacing a lot of bulbs in your house, this might not be such a big deal, but if you’re just looking to make a few areas smart, the added expense of a separate smart hub (or Bridge) can really add to the overall expense of the project. 
  • Want higher light output: The light output of the LIFX smart bulb is around 75 W, while the output of the Philips Hue, a good comparison, is closer to 60 W.

For more information on the LIFX smart bulb, see here.

LED / RGB Customization, But Not Cheap
  • 96%
    Design - 96%
  • 95%
    Performance - 95%
  • 95%
    Quality - 95%
  • 96%
    Usability - 96%
  • 91%
    Value - 91%
95%

Summary

The LIFX A19 smart bulb is system that allows you to control your light directly from your phone or using voice control (through a device like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit.) This light is dimmable, color-changing, and doesn’t require a smart hub or Bridge. Simply screw it the bulb, install the app, pair them, and you’re done.

Why did the LIFX smart bulb score the way it did?

  • Design – Great range of features, feels and looks great.
  • Performance – 22 year lifespan, full RGB spectrum, works well.
  • Quality – Seems well made, our tests over the first few months have gone great. It’s been an easy addition to our test home.
  • Usability – Easy to use, easy to setup, easy to add. Doesn’t require extra hardware. 
  • Value – Loses a few points here, but still pretty good. It’s pricey, but with a 22 year lifespan it’s not that bad in the long run.
Derek Hales

Derek Hales

Editor-in-Chief

Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, son, and poodle, Tibbers.