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Apr 12, 2001
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LIFX, a company that makes a range of smart light bulbs and other lighting products, recently embraced HomeKit and introduced several HomeKit-compatible lights that are an alternative to the popular Philips Hue line of smart lights.

One of the new products that's been updated with HomeKit support is the LIFX Z, a $90 light strip that's comparable to the LightStrip Plus from Philips, which I was able to test this week. The LIFX Z is a multi-zone light strip that supports up to 16 million colors, and like the Philips Hue LightStrip Plus, it measures in at 6.6 feet. You can buy extensions to make it longer.

lifxzcomponents-800x600.jpg

I'm deep in the Hue ecosystem with seven Hue lights in my office alone, so it was interesting to try an alternate solution. LIFX products, unlike Hue, connect directly to WiFi and thus don't require a bridge for functionality. This is nice because it means there's nothing to connect to your home router, but I did notice that the LIFX Z can be slower to respond to input than the Hue products.

lifxhuecomparison-800x600.jpg
LIFX Z bottom, Hue LightStrip Plus on top​

Design wise, the LIFX Z looks a lot like the Hue LightStrip Plus. It's a strip of LED lights with an adhesive backing that can be attached to cabinets, desks, walls, and more. At one end, there's what I assume is a controller for HomeKit, which can also be attached next to the lights with adhesive, and a power adapter that needs to be plugged in.

lifxleds-800x600.jpg

The LIFX Z light strip is thinner than the Philips version, and it comes in two pieces that attach together with thin metal prongs. The Hue LightStrip is all one piece and is thicker, so it feels sturdier. I'm worried about the longevity of the LIFX Z, especially if I choose to move it sometime in the future because of the delicate prongs and the thinner design.


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Article Link: LIFX's HomeKit-Enabled LIFX Z Light Strip Adds Smart Multi-Color Accent Lighting to Your Home
 

Nunyabinez

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2010
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For $90 this seems like a solution looking for a problem. I just don't have an idea about where I would use something like this, at least at this price.

I have a Bias Light set up behind each of my TVs, but they cost lest than $10 each.
 
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SafariKC

macrumors newbie
Jul 17, 2002
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For $90 this seems like a solution looking for a problem. I just don't have an idea about where I would use something like this, at least at this price.

I have a Bias Light set up behind each of my TVs, but they cost lest than $10 each.

For the use case you mention, sure. But not all light strips need to be hidden behind a TV. The use case i use it for is the Effect animations and color Themes across the 20 meter run along my living room balcony guard rail and banisters. It brings some interest/excitement to the open concept space we have and allows for much more fine control over the ambiance.
 
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acarney

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2007
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The density of that might make it an ideal solution with a diffuser. That way you could view it direct on and not have a glaring or cheap looking experience. Think a continuous light "bar" around the top of your wall trimming your room. It would be like you see in all the SciFi movies with a soft ambient light bar that is an off yellow or cool blue or something. Could look really nice, but would be fairly expensive, even just to cover a bed room sized room. Also, the buzzing would drive me insane. Would be interested in some reviews testing the Hue vs this with 3rd party diffusers so they don't have to just be hidden indirect light sources.
 
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H3LL5P4WN

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Along with themes for painting specific colors onto the LIFX Z, there's an "Effects" feature and an option for automating it to come on at dawn and dusk. Effects is unique to LIFX - this is also something Hue lights can't do.

Article Link: LIFX's HomeKit-Enabled LIFX Z Light Strip Adds Smart Multi-Color Accent Lighting to Your Home

After re-reading this section, I feel that it was just grouped poorly but for the sake of clarification, Hue indeed does support automation, EDIT: including sunrise/sunset.

EDIT 2: You can update Hue firmware when you aren't at home on your WiFi. :eek:
 
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jclo

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Dec 7, 2012
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This review is 100% on point. FYI: They are aware of the issue with the Themes/Commands not making it down to their strip. I suffered much like you did. I'm surprised if they gave you the strip to test they didn't offer you early access to the app update noted on reddit below.

https://www.reddit.com/r/lifx/comments/7haj72/lifx_z_homekit_themes_not_working_well/

I just heard about the upcoming firmware update and I added it in. Glad it's getting a fix, it is definitely the most annoying thing I was dealing with when using the light strip.
[doublepost=1512673896][/doublepost]
After re-reading this section, I feel that it was just grouped poorly but for the sake of clarification, Hue indeed does support automation, EDIT: including sunrise/sunset.

EDIT 2: You can update Hue firmware when you aren't at home on your WiFi. :eek:

Yes, Hue does absolutely support automation. What I meant here was that it doesn't support themes and effects, and you're right that this should be worded a bit more clearly. I'll fix it up. Thanks!
 
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jclo

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illmatic41

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2012
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These and the Sylvania kit were on my radar for alternatives for Hue lightstrips as gifts...but Amazon and Bestbuy had me sold on the Hue strips at 49 bucks last month.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
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I'm a rolling stone.
I just got a LIFX bulb, nothing wrong with the bulb, the App isn't too good though, I try to set up a wake up light, but when I change the time it reverts back to the default 07.30 time no matter what I do.

Edit: got it working but it wasn't there where I expected it to be, I had to setup a new schedule instead of the Day and Dusk setting.
 
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