Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
63,497
30,751



Lifx today introduced a new HomeKit-enabled Lifx Z Starter Kit that includes two 3.3-foot light strips and a power pack for $89.99.

The new Lifx Z setup is similar to the previous version, but it adds HomeKit support. The light strips offer 1400 lumens per two meters and can be set to 16 million colors. Multiple shades of white are also available, as is dimming functionality.

lifxzlightstrips.jpg

Lifx light strips offer eight zones that can be separately controlled per strip, which is different from Hue light strips that offer a single color at a time. Lifx products are also able to connect directly to Wi-Fi and do not require a hub.

lifxzbox.jpg

Lifx Z light strips can be controlled through the Lifx app, through the Home app on iOS devices, or using Siri, and they can be incorporated into HomeKit scenes with other HomeKit products.

While the new Lifx Z setup is HomeKit compatible right out of the box, Lifx is also introducing a new controller that allows existing Lifx Z light strips to work with HomeKit.

lifxhomekitcontroller.jpg

The New Lifx Z is available from the Lifx website for $89.99, while the separate controller for existing setups can be purchased for $39.99.

Article Link: Lifx Adds HomeKit Support to Lifx Z Light Strips
 

H.E. Pennypacker

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2017
635
1,721
NYC
Alexa is way superior to Siri and 3rd party apps are every bit as good as HomeKit. Not seeing what the hoopla is about HomeKit. I have had lifx products for years and get by just fine without HomeKit.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Vasilioskn

MK7NJ

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2017
9
3
I have Lifx too and use google home. It works great. My Lifx also work with HomeKit and I puffer to use google home.
 

poppe

macrumors 68020
Apr 29, 2006
2,242
51
Woodland Hills
Alexa is way superior to Siri and 3rd party apps are every bit as good as HomeKit. Not seeing what the hoopla is about HomeKit. I have had lifx products for years and get by just fine without HomeKit.

My Alexa takes about 1 second longer to activate home automation devices vs homekit, and for some reason, my siri which is usually awful at most everything, is much better at understanding our room names that we named somewhat uniquely (our pet's names).
 

H.E. Pennypacker

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2017
635
1,721
NYC
My Alexa takes about 1 second longer to activate home automation devices vs homekit, and for some reason, my siri which is usually awful at most everything, is much better at understanding our room names that we named somewhat uniquely (our pet's names).
Intresting. Good to know. Although personally I wouldn’t consider 1 second game changing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CarpalMac and poppe

poppe

macrumors 68020
Apr 29, 2006
2,242
51
Woodland Hills
Intresting. Good to know. Although personally I wouldn’t consider 1 second game changing.

Oh it definitely isn't a game changer at all. But it is one of those subtle things that I think people don't realize that can actually make a difference in what you might choose. Sometimes with our Alexa when she doesn't register we find ourselves waiting because we know there is a slight delay, or sometimes she is just processing. Where as if Siri misses it and nothing happens we know instantly. I love my Alexa. I wish they could work together.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrX8503

AstroRob

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2015
73
290
I am using both Alexa and HomeKit to control home lighting. I typically get faster responses from Alexa over "Hey Siri" activation (esp. using Apple Watch) by ~1 sec.

However, I find HomeKit setup and maintenance to be SO much easier and intuitive than Alexa it isn't funny. The Alexa home automation tab is a garbled nightmare list management problem, especially since I use Hue lights and have lots of color schemes.

HomeKit is particularly clean and easy, and the new multi-person functionality added in iOS 11 is excellent. Finally I can set up scenes that activate at particular times *if* either of 2 people are home, or have lights turn off after the last person leaves.

I've got a half-dozen presets in HomeKit that automate lights so effectively with arrivals/departures/timers that voice control is becoming a secondary thing for me.

So yeah, HomeKit compatibility is very important. I'm just dismayed that it will likely never support Logitech Harmony Hub, which allows Alexa voice control of my A/V system.
 

hlfway2anywhere

Cancelled
Jul 15, 2006
1,544
2,338
Alexa is way superior to Siri and 3rd party apps are every bit as good as HomeKit. Not seeing what the hoopla is about HomeKit. I have had lifx products for years and get by just fine without HomeKit.

Too bad HomeKit is years behind the rest. Lol

How do you figure?

Alexa can't even do rooms. You have to make groups. When I tell it to turn on my bedroom lights it says there's more than one device with that name. I have all of this set up in hue and homekit yet Alexa can't seem to manage it without me learning a whole new set of commands. I'm not impressed at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ErikGrim

wesley96

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2009
353
298
I looked at the technical specs of the two competing light strips.

Philips Hue / LIFX

Max Brightness (per 2 meters): 1600 / 1400
Max Power (per 2 meters): 25 / 17
Standby Power: 0.1 / 0.5
Addressable Zones: 1 / 8

LIFX is a bit dimmer but more efficient and has far more addressable zones. I’d say it’s a fine competitor to Hue.
 

kkamann

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2011
111
113
Will LIFX or Hue without a WiFi connection? Will they work with HomeKit via Bluetooth only? I would like to use and control them with my iPhone in a place with no access to WiFi.
 

Asuriyan

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2013
622
23
Indiana
I asked about a trade in program for existing LIFX Z owners and one of their executives told me I should have googled it first and to get bent. The concept of customer loyalty apparently doesn’t exist for these folks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: poppe

AstroRob

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2015
73
290
How do you figure?

Alexa can't even do rooms. You have to make groups. When I tell it to turn on my bedroom lights it says there's more than one device with that name. I have all of this set up in hue and homekit yet Alexa can't seem to manage it without me learning a whole new set of commands. I'm not impressed at all.

Yes, this. Anyone saying Alexa is way beyond HomeKit has either never used Alexa or HomeKit. HomeKit is elegant and powerful and does things (like geofencing, timers, multiuser) that is probably not even on the horizon for Echo.

But also I think people are confused about the difference between Alexa/Siri and Alexa app/HomeKit. Alexa home device/scene management is a total hot mess. Between Alexa and Siri, opinions vary depending on who you talk to.
 

wesley96

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2009
353
298
Will LIFX or Hue without a WiFi connection? Will they work with HomeKit via Bluetooth only? I would like to use and control them with my iPhone in a place with no access to WiFi.
These solutions do not use Bluetooth, so no.

To elaborate on Hue, it doesn’t use Wi-Fi by itself, as it’s based on ZigBee. However, the Hue Bridge must be wired (using an Ethernet cable) to a Wi-Fi router in order for smartphone controls to work.
 

DiscoMcDisco

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2013
166
40
London
I asked about a trade in program for existing LIFX Z owners and one of their executives told me I should have googled it first and to get bent. The concept of customer loyalty apparently doesn’t exist for these folks.

LIFX Support have been golden for me, replacements for kickstarter units, tech support and early firmeware updates to try and fix things. I’m less whingey I guess because I know I’m an early adopter, I’ll likely swap all mine out for LIFX mini now it’s available and give my old ones as gifts to family and stuff.

Perhaps you just need to get the controller and not worry? The strips will still interconnect from old to new power wise so a ~£30 fix isn’t so bad to get the support (if you don’t already have Alexa or whatever)
 

H.E. Pennypacker

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2017
635
1,721
NYC
Find it interesting the the newbie accounts are anti Homekit and the older accounts are pro....

Not saying I have a dog in the fight, I use HomeKit because that’s what I use
I’m far from anti HomeKit. I just don’t see as much value as the hardcore Apple fanboys. I have all Apple products from top to bottom but I feel that between Alexa and 3rd party apps work every bit as good as HomeKit. There is a reason some of these companies are slow to support HomeKit correct?
 

hlfway2anywhere

Cancelled
Jul 15, 2006
1,544
2,338
I’m far from anti HomeKit. I just don’t see as much value as the hardcore Apple fanboys. I have all Apple products from top to bottom but I feel that between Alexa and 3rd party apps work every bit as good as HomeKit. There is a reason some of these companies are slow to support HomeKit correct?
Can Alexa do geofencing, turn things on with timers, and detect rooms I set up in the philips hue app? Because I haven’t been able to get it to do any of those things, which are extremely simple, obvious, and reliable on Homekit.
 

H.E. Pennypacker

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2017
635
1,721
NYC
Can Alexa do geofencing, turn things on with timers, and detect rooms I set up in the philips hue app? Because I haven’t been able to get it to do any of those things, which are extremely simple, obvious, and reliable on Homekit.
I personally don’t need geofencing. But the 3rd party apps can do all of that and more. So if the reason why HomeKit is so special is because of geofencing you haven’t sold me.
 

hlfway2anywhere

Cancelled
Jul 15, 2006
1,544
2,338
I personally don’t need geofencing. But the 3rd party apps can do all of that and more. So if the reason why HomeKit is so special is because of geofencing you haven’t sold me.
So if I use a combination of iHome smart plugs, philips hue lights, sylvania lights, iDevice outlet, and Koogeek plugs, what third party app do you suggest I use to create rooms and set scenes that I can control with Alexa? Or would I need to use 5 third party apps and not really be able to use alexa to control my scenes at all?
 
  • Like
Reactions: CarlJ

H.E. Pennypacker

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2017
635
1,721
NYC
So if I use a combination of iHome smart plugs, philips hue lights, sylvania lights, iDevice outlet, and Koogeek plugs, what third party app do you suggest I use to create rooms and set scenes that I can control with Alexa? Or would I need to use 5 third party apps and not really be able to use alexa to control my scenes at all?
I use lifx (1 app for scenes timers etc works with Alexa) lutron (1 app for scenes timers etc but also works with aleax for my scenes). But I also don’t have 30 different brands like you do. Stick with HomeKit. Clearly it works for you I’m just saying for what I do there is no added value to me.
 

Pbrutto

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2015
611
1,276
Eastern PA
I’m far from anti HomeKit. I just don’t see as much value as the hardcore Apple fanboys. I have all Apple products from top to bottom but I feel that between Alexa and 3rd party apps work every bit as good as HomeKit. There is a reason some of these companies are slow to support HomeKit correct?
They are slow to support because Apple needs you to put their own chip in it for security reasons. In the beginning it took a while to get those chips out to people. I think it may also be a cost issue, I dont know what Apple charges for the chips, but I am sure most manufacturers aren’t jumping to add them unless it is seen as a potential benefit. We are finally at the point, I think, where there are enough new products that it is easy to add the chip during the design process.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CarlJ

CarlJ

macrumors 604
Feb 23, 2004
6,971
12,134
San Diego, CA, USA
Too bad HomeKit is years behind the rest. Lol
Citation needed ("Lol" is not proof and Siri is not HomeKit, just a voice interface to it). HomeKit is a well-designed protocol that was engineered with an eye towards security from the start (I think Apple has done well in playing the long game here).
 
  • Like
Reactions: ErikGrim
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.