LIFX Color 1000 A19 WiFi LED smart bulb review

12 comments

If you haven’t replaced all the incandescent light bulbs in your home for LED bulbs yet, what are you waiting for? LED bulbs use less energy which means you’ll see a lower electric bill, they last longer than traditional bulbs and they are better for the environment. If those aren’t good enough reasons for you to upgrade, then how about considering an LED smart bulb like the LIFX Color 1000 A19 WiFi LED smart bulb? These bulbs offer more features than a traditional light bulb. Let’s take a look.

What is the LIFX Color 1000 bulb?

The LIFX Color 1000 bulb is an LED light bulb that fits in a standard screw-in receptacle. When you flip the light switch on, the LFIX lights up and when you flip it off, the light goes out. But that’s just the beginning of what this bulb can do because the LIFX Color 1000 can be controlled with your smartphone and can be customized to shine up to 16 million colors and 1000 shades of whites.

Design and features

The LIFX A19 style bulb has a similar size to a traditional incandescent light bulb, but it definitely has a different look. Light only comes out of the top section of the bulb. The rest of the bulb is made of thick plastic. LIFX also sells a BR30 style bulb with the same smart features.

The A19 bulb has the equivalent brightness of a 75W incandescent bulb (1055 lumens), so it works well in lamps and ceiling fixtures, but where it really “shines” is the ability to be controlled with your smartphone and with services like Amazon’s Alexa, IFTTT, and more.

Installation and setup

Installing the LIFX Color 1000 LED smart bulb is no different than installing any other bulb. You just screw it in the socket. From that point, you can use it just like an ordinary bulb by using your existing light switch.  But to take full advantage to all of the features, you need to install the LIFX iOS or Android app on your smartphone or tablet.

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The app takes you through the steps to connect to the LIFX bulb. Once connected you can change the bulb’s output color. As you can see from the image above, there are several types of white light from warm to cold.

If a normal white bulb is way too boring for you, then you’ll love the LIFX because you can choose from million of colors as well as different themes, effects and dimming.

Although the colors and themes are fun to play with, I guess I’m just too boring, because I keep the LIFX bulb set to white 99.9% of the time.

I do like that I can control the light with my phone, Alexa, Smart Things and even buttons like the Flic wireless smart button which I recently reviewed.

Things to be aware of…

  • The app will show the status of the bulb as long as the bulb has power – the light switch is in the ON position and no one has turned it off. If the light switch has been turned off, the status shown in the app won’t be accurate. The app does not know if there is power to the LIFX.
  • If you have kids that like to flip the lights on and off a million times in a row, you’ll have issues with this bulb because flipping the lights on and off 5 times in a row will reset the bulb’s settings.
  • If the power flicks on and off, the bulb will turn on and stay on when the power comes back on. I had this happen last week when we had a storm in the middle of the night. The power went off and on several times in a row and each time it did, the LIFX bulb in our bedroom ceiling fixture turned on.
  • If you don’t have a local WiFi connection, the app will not allow you to control the bulb and if you don’t have a connect to the internet you won’t be able to use services like Alexa and the Flic smart button to toggle the light. The regular light switch still controlled the bulb though.
  • This bulb does not support Apple HomeKit or Google Home yet.
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Final thoughts

The LIFX Color 1000 A19 WiFi LED Smart Bulb costs about $55 per bulb. Is it worth it? If you’re only comparing the price of a traditional bulb to the price of the LIFX, it’s hard to say that the LIFX is worth the price. But, when you also realize that the bulb has an estimated energy cost $1.32 a year based on using the bulb for 3hrs a day and it should last more than 22 years, it starts sounding more attractive. Then add the fact that you can customize the brightness and color as well as control it with your phone and other services, the LIFX Color 1000 smart bulb has some benefits worth checking out.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by LIFX. Please visit their site for more info and Amazon to order.

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Product Information

Price:$59.99
Manufacturer:LIFX
Retailer:Amazon
Pros:
  • Does not require a hub
  • Can group and control multiple bulbs through the app
  • Controllable through Android or iOS device
  • Multi-color
Cons:
  • Need a connection to local WiFi network to change settings
  • Light will turn on if the power goes out and comes back on
  • Does not support Apple HomeKit or Google Home yet
Posted in: Home and Kitchen, Reviews
12 comments… add one
  • Alan Claver January 16, 2017, 5:55 pm

    Just want to comment that if it needs an Internet connection to change it’s status then it’s a cloud connected device and when whatever company this is goes out of business the bulb suddenly become a standard, expensive LED bulb.

    • Julie Strietelmeier January 16, 2017, 6:34 pm

      Alan, you seem to use this as a CON for almost every review we do. Does this mean that you don’t own any internet connected gadgets? You can use the same argument for smartphones, computers, etc. Does that mean you don’t own one of them either? What about email? Do you boycott Gmail, or other email services because they might go out of business? I’m not making fun of you, I’m just curious.

      And by the way, this bulb will still function as a light bulb even if LIFX goes out of business. You just won’t be able to change the color and control it through the phone. But it will work just fine with the existing light switch.

  • Alan Claver January 16, 2017, 6:52 pm

    Well if it’s not a CON it’s certainly a Hmmm… , especially for small companies that produce Internet connected devices. That goes double for the crowded “lighting device” segment. All of these little guys can’t possibly stay in business independently.

    Even for “big” companies like Pebble that leave their business and their customers out of luck the risks are there are folks that purchase devices that require company cloud services.

    I guess I expect more from you guys than just – Oh look, new thingy. You seem to want to keep your audience informed and not everyone here is technology sophisticated to consider these things. It’s not a big deal but I think it’s something that deserves a mention.

    I also think that for home automation devices an indication if they interopt with the popular automation services is something useful as well.

    Sorry that seems negative – to me it’s an important bit of gadget info.

    • Julie Strietelmeier January 16, 2017, 7:00 pm

      I can see your point and I think I covered everything except the part where if they go out of business that you’re screwed part. I prefer not to assume that a company is going to fail.

      But your comments are noted and we’ll do a better job of pointing out these potential problems.

  • Lifxuser January 17, 2017, 11:45 am

    You do not always need an internet connection to control your lights. You do if you want to control them when away from home, but if your phone/tablet and bulbs are connected to the same wi-fi network, you can control the lights whether internet is on or not.

    • Julie Strietelmeier January 17, 2017, 11:50 am

      I didn’t find this to be the case while my internet was out the past 5 days. But it just occurred to me that it might not have worked because the bulb had been reset due to the power going on and off 5 times in a row which inadvertently reset the bulb. I’ll try some tests tonight to see if what you say is true.

      • Julie Strietelmeier January 17, 2017, 8:35 pm

        You can’t use your smartphone to control the bulb if your WiFi network is not operational. But if your home network is up, it will work even if the internet is down.

      • David Ferreira January 18, 2017, 11:05 am

        Yeah, they are “Internet” connected bulbs but like any other actual Internet device they connect through your local network. So as long as your local network is up, you can control the bulbs inside the house – just not from the Starbucks down the street (probably not a bad thing if you don’t want to creep out your SO 🙂 ).

        One consideration, though: as a direct-connect device, these bulbs could become an attack vector either inside your home or as part of a bot army. Sure, that possibility exists at some level with hub-connected devices, but most hub vendors are making an effort to put robust firewalls in their devices, something that may not be entirely possible in a single connected device (if, for example, they ever want to upgrade the firmware in the bulb). Like anything, I guess you have to figure out whether the risk is worth the reward.

        The issue I have is having invested in a Z-Wave compatible system the last thing I want is to have to load another app to control 1-x lights. This might be OK for someone investigating simple home automation, and I love the fact that they have a ton of integrations already. But for someone who has already spent the first dime, it just complicates things in an unnecessary way.

        • Julie Strietelmeier January 18, 2017, 11:10 am

          I totally agree that it is a pain in the you know what that 99% of the devices out there all have their own app.

          The thing that keeps me from liking this particular smart bulb and probably all the other ones on the market is the fact that if the power cycles, the light will be on by default. OUr power flickers a LOT, and being woken up in the middle of the night by a bright bulb shining in your eyes is not fun.

          • David Ferreira January 18, 2017, 11:24 am

            Hadn’t thought of that one. Our house is going to be 100 years old in just a few months and it still has a fair amount of knob and tube wiring. The wake in air currents from a dog walking by causes lights to flicker, so no thanks.

            The only risk I have in our HA investment at the moment is the pressure from my wife to name the lights after Top Gun call signs (Iceman for the kitchen, for example). I am not sure I have the necessary brain power to figure out that the lights over the couch are called Maverick, and I would be endlessly shouting at Alexa to “turn on Goose”…

  • Pam T. January 17, 2017, 1:39 pm

    The biggest problem I have with these bulbs, at the moment, is that they just don’t seem bright enough to me. I always feel like I need to turn more lights on to see~

    I’ve tried the Lifx and sent them back when I felt like I couldn’t get enough light from one bulb to read by. Now I’m considering whether to change out some of my floor lamps to double bulb options to be able to use them.

  • iotjunkey February 7, 2017, 10:02 pm

    any one tried this $10 echo voice control wifi bulb yet? http://www.tikteck.com

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