HomeKit HomeKit?: LIFX or Philips Hue bulbs

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by Wxchaser, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Wxchaser, Feb 28, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018

    Wxchaser macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #1
    I'd like advice from those who have used LIFX or Philips Hue smart bulbs along with HomeKit.

    I am using a Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge Pro 2 with several Caseta wireless dimmers. The rooms with the Caseta dimmers are not going to be an issue.

    I want to replace my BR30 lights in my lengthy hallway (7 lights) and in my kitchen (2 lights above cabinets on one side and 5 lights above cabinets on other side of kitchen).

    I understand I need a Philips Hue bridge with no bridge needed for the LIFX bulbs. What I'm curious about, is if I use the Philips Hue BR30 lights - can I only change the color schemes within the Philips Hue app, or is that manageable using HomeKit. I already have the Lutron app well integrated with HomeKit.

    Also I would like feedback from users on reliability, do the bulbs last, do they lose connectivity, what other problems have users had.

    As expensive as these smart bulbs are - I want to make sure I am using the right bulbs that integrate reliably with my set up. For instance I had some Philips 40W G25 bulbs I ordered, and they failed miserably with the Caseta dimmers - they would blink every one to 2 seconds, tried them on 3 separate light fixtures with 3 different dimmer switches with same results. A call to Lutron came up with the suggestion to switch bulbs, so I tried some Sylvania dimmable bulbs and they work fantastic!

    Thanks for any help or advice...much appreciated!
     
  2. haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    As someone who has almost every light in my house as Hue I can say if I started over I would just use the Lutron switches. I have 2 rooms that aren't Hue and those are where my switches are. The novelty of changing colors wore off day 1 for me. Not to say that it will for you or anyone else. Looking at what I spent ($50+ per bulb) with multiple lights in each room, I would have saved significant amounts of money by just using switches. That being said, I'm still very happy with my Hue lights/setup. I've never used LIFX but have a co-worker who has a few and he hasn't had a complaint about them. You are able to change color of your BR30 lights in the Home app. I haven't had any issues losing connectivity with the lights.
     
  3. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #3
    Thanks for the info - very helpful. I just want to control the BR30's in my hallway & kitchen through voice activation or simple access thru Lutron app or HomeKit. Setting up each bulb individually does seem like a big hassle.
     
  4. vipergts2207 macrumors 68000

    vipergts2207

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #4
    If you don’t want to change color, go with more switches. I went with a mix of Hue and Caseta, as there are some places I want the ability to change color temperature, and some places I just need plain old white. FWIW, Hue has been fairly reliable. I think Caseta and my Schlage lock are the only things that have never gone unresponsive in HomeKit though. Hue has only done it rarely though.
     
  5. Dexterama macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2017
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    With the Hue bulbs, you don’t have to change the colors in the Phillips app, HomeKit works fine. The Phillips app have more controls, but I only use the app when I have to update the software for the bulbs. I only need simple colors/scenes. If you memorize the name of the colors, HomeKit/Siri will understand and change the colors just fine without having to create it beforehand.

    For example, I ask Siri to change the bulb to ‘bronze’ at night when I want to relax, ‘white’ or ‘magnolia’ when I want to study, or blue/red/green/purple/pink when I’m demonstrating to people who haven’t seen the Hue before.
     
  6. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #7
    Thanks for the perspective, that answers one of my main questions.
     
  7. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #8
    Now I am just trying to find somewhere to get the best prices on either LIFX or Hue bulbs.
     
  8. GDF macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    #9
    You will find some good deals from time to time, but the best ones are around Black Friday.
     
  9. mac.cali macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    #10
    I went with Lutron over hue. I have both, but mainly prefer the use of a switch and careless about the color function. I got over the coloring function in about a day. I also find Lutron far more reliable over hue.
     
  10. FRVES macrumors member

    FRVES

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    #11
    Does anyone have HUE lights that turn themselves on? Mine do it constantly.
     
  11. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #12
    Are you using BR30 bulbs with the Lutron switches? If so which ones have worked well for you?

    The reason I looked in Hue and LIFX is I have some switches that will be harder to replace (3 and 4-gang switch boxes).

    Agree with you that using a switch is painless and fast. Not quite sure if I use smart bulbs how responsive or reliable they will be over time.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 1, 2018 ---
    I've also noticed if auto-lock is enabled on my iPhone X - that connectivity to Lutron and HomeKit app's doesn't always work unless I wake up phone.
     
  12. CPTmom2wp macrumors 6502

    CPTmom2wp

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    #13
    I have 9 Hue BR30 in my kitchen ceiling and two on the island canopy. All the ceiling fixtures are white and the two in the island are color available. I only need the color on holidays, e.g., orange for TG, Red for Christmas, Purple for Easter etc. Just two bulbs are sufficient with color with the rest white. Around the house, I have multiple Hue A19's in lamps, but only a few color in strategic places, except the TV area, where all can be colored and dimmed as a group. For a long hallway where you are locating yours, I would just use the white, which can be as dim as you want. I just use %'s, e.g., Siri, dim the upstairs hallway lights to 20%. Better yet, you can automate them on a timer. I love that feature. As to functionality, I just leave my regular switches on and use Siri. Rarely, one bulb won't go on and I just have to repeat the "Hey Siri, turn on ceiling lights in kitchen", and the recalcitrant bulb will comply.

    As for bulbs vs. switches...........I prefer the bulbs since I won't have to climb a ladder to change them or purchase them again for hopefully, 20 years. You can also automate the bulbs on timers and in groupings via the app. I am hoping that in time, I can include music playlists in the Scenes through HomePod. I told my skeptical husband it's an "investment" that will pay off in both $$'s and labor. He was not convinced, so I just sneak in a few more bulbs each month and hope he doesn't notice.....lol:)
     
  13. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #14
    Thanks for the fantastic feedback. Are you invoking Siri through your iPhone?

    Here I'm using primarily HomePod, but also using iPhone X & Apple Watch Series 3 (the Lutron app works really well on the watch which surprised me - not as robust as the smartphone app).
     
  14. CPTmom2wp macrumors 6502

    CPTmom2wp

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    #15
    I primarily use my phone, now that I think about it, but also use HomePod. I haven't done much more than play with the watch. However, I will look into the Lutron app as I do happen to have two Lutron switches in my box of electrical gizmos that I planned to use for a future remodel of a guest room. I am also enjoying newfound freedom with the geofencing aspect of the Schlage exterior locks (2) and front hall lights. It's great to have the door unlocked and the lights on when I get up the front steps. I should add the thermostat (Ecobee), but currently have it on a timer.

    Now.....if I could just get Siri......which I renamed Sir E, and revoiced as a male with an English accent..... to play some soft jazz and hand me a glass of wine, then I would have a proper English butler!;)[/QUOTE]
     
  15. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #16
    [/QUOTE]

    Sweet - now all you need is some Grey Poupon.
     
  16. x34 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #17
    i'd say go with an IKEA TRADFRI set-up, works reliable, is affordable and it does homekit as well.
     
  17. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #18
    Maybe I missed it, but does IKEA have BR30 bulbs? Their prices look good and I see it requires a gateway. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  18. sargein macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #19
    Have not used LIFX bulbs, but did try their light strip for under-the-cabinet kitchen lighting. It is brighter than Hue and some would say better colors too. However, it lost connectivity easily and the only way to fix was to unplug and replug. That didn't inspire a lot of confidence and I switched to Hue, and they have been absolutely fine and never lost connectivity.
    For the most part though, Lutron caseta switches all over the house have been excellent. They also fit fine in a 3 gang box (all 3 replaced with Lutron).
     
  19. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #20
    I've only thus far installed Lutron switches and dimmers in a 2-gang box (I have several that are 3 & 4-gang so more of a hassle. As far as the Lutron Caseta switches and dimmers are concerned - they are top quality and non-problematic.
     
  20. GDF macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    #21
    One negative of Hue and the only one so far for us is during a power outage when the lights are off and the power comes back on, the lights come back on. Very annoying feature when we have the Hue BR30's in our bedroom. Not like we have a lot of power outages, but last night, during the snowstorm, the power quickly went off about 5 times and each time the Hue lights in our house were at full brightness. Another thing, what if we were traveling and that happend? They just stay on the whole time?

    I wonder if LIFX stay off and if they do, that would be the winner in my book.
     
  21. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #22
    You bring up a very good point about power outages and response upon restoral. I emailed LIFX to ask about this and will post their response when I get one. We have frequent power outages where I live due to severe thunderstorms, high winds and heavy snow.
     
  22. haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #23
    I was reading on reddit I believe that there is a fix coming for the power outage issue. Should be coming soon and when power goes out the lights remember what state they were in previously.
     
  23. MacintoshDan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #24
    I have a HomePod and a LIFX bulb in my bedroom, works fine, no issues. Looking to get more LIFX bulbs. Reason I picked it over Hue? The full size LIFX bulbs are 75 watt equivalent, most smart bulbs and all Hue bulbs are 60 watt equivalent.
     
  24. Wxchaser thread starter macrumors regular

    Wxchaser

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #25
    Thanks Dan.
     

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55 February 28, 2018