Lighting Ideas

Tech: LIFX LED Bulbs Are Not Worth Your Money

LIFX bulbs are a waste of moneyConsider this a consumer warning, LIFX LED bulbs are not worth your money. They are unreliable at best, do not work at all at worst, at least with Apple HomeKit. If you desire programable lighting, this may not be for you.

I fell for the hype, the perception of innovative technology, the idea of programable lighting. The promise of having indoor and outdoor lights which I could program was awesome. The concept of being able to integrate bulbs with Apple HomeKit to create customized automations with both indoor and outdoor lighting sounded fabulous. One of the big reasons for selecting LIFX bulbs over other bulbs or smart home lighting options was the simplicity of being able to set this all up over WiFi without any additional hub or accessories. Do Not Buy LIFX BulbsI spent over $150 on four lightbulbs, two for indoors and two outdoor bulbs. This was like throwing money in the trash.

Less than a month after installing the outdoor bulbs, both which are within 12 and 60 feet of easily accessible WiFi both bulbs went offline. They quit working with Apple HomeKit. After following all instructions online and after many resets of the bulbs and rebooting WiFi, then completely blowing out my entire Apple HomeKit app and reinstalling, the bulbs worked… for a few days.

Days later, one quit then the other also one stopped working via HomeKit. After going back and forth with LIFX tech via email, HomeKit still would not recognize one bulb, surprisingly the one closest to the WiFi. Sometimes the LIFX app would see the bulb and work, but so what, the LIFX app isn’t programable.

Each time I had to locate the instruction booklet in the original box and scan the QR code. Opening the box, unfolding the booklet, turning the light on and off five times, scanning the code and then wait, would it take or not. What a colossal pain in the ass.

Apple HomeKit: “Couldn’t Add Accessory.”

Remember I also bought indoor bulbs. These worked better, though are within the same proximity to the WiFi. One would work, one would quit being recognized by HomeKit and visa versa. Ten minutes before sitting down to write this I had to reset one of the indoor bulbs. First try was met with the dreaded, Couldn’t Add Accessory, so I rebooted and started again. I reloaded everything, redid the automation, checked it, 40 minutes later the HomeKit app, in glaring red, No Response. Foiled again.

LIFX UnreliableOut of 4 bulbs currently only one works… sort of, kind of, when the moon and stars align.

The latest response from LIFX: “Regarding HomeKit;
Our engineers are aware of some connectivity issues affecting a small group of customers using HomeKit on firmware v2.77. There is a firmware update (v2.80) on the horizon that should address the issue.”

Nobody buys a product to be met with such a response. When I purchased my lightbulbs, I couldn’t have said my payment would be “on the horizon.” I paid for a product which does not work as advertised or intended. My last request was for either a refund or new light bulbs. It has been 10 days since I’ve received this response, “I have organized for your warranty replacement to be shipped. Pending stock availability.” Then send me my money!

Let me point out one more glaring example of a poorly designed product which was not properly thought through. The serial number for the bulb is under a rubber housing which is almost IMPOSSIBLE to budge enough to get a glimpse of the number. What one can’t do is, hold the rubber back, and write down the number at the same time – it takes two hands to see the serial number! Note to the tech guy at LIFX, the serial number is on the QR Code sticker, only the other four digit number required was way under that rubber housing.

Worth knowing, the whole point of buying these bulbs was AUTOMATION and PROGRAMABILITY. The LIFX bulbs are only programable via someone else’s smart home app, Apple HomeKit, Google, etc. All one can do with the LIFX app is turn the bulbs on, off and change colors. Stupid.

Like many new tech items, this was a great idea. Had some legitimate brainpower went into the actual limitations of creating a product which relies on another independent party to work as advertised, one would have realized how creating a consistently working solution is not realistic. This is a great example of how not to run a consumer product company.

Do not waste your hard earned money on a LIFX light bulb.

LIFX Bulbs in the garbageThese LIFX lightbulbs are garbage. If the programing capabilities are sporadic or unreliable, the bulbs do not work as intended, advertised or as sold. LIFX is an example of over promise and under-deliver.