About this project
What is LIFX?
LIFX is the smartest light bulb you've ever experienced. It's a wifi-enabled, energy efficient, multi-colored bulb that you control with your iPhone or Android. LIFX gives you unprecedented control of your lights, reduces your energy costs, lasts up to 25 years and delivers an amazing range of experiences we think you’ll love.
Sets up in Seconds
LIFX is incredibly easy to set-up. Simply replace your existing bulbs with LIFX smartbulbs, download and install our free app from the App Store or Google Play and you're good to go.
We Need Your Help!
We [Phil Bosua, Andrew Birt, Andy Gelme, John Bosua, Ben Hamey, Dave Evans and Guy King] have designed, redesigned and reimagined LIFX many times during the past six months, pouring countless hours into thinking about the user experience, the technical aspects of the project and how to deliver the world's smartest lightbulb to you at an affordable price point. You can help bring LIFX bulbs to the world by being the very first to own them!
What is LED Lighting?
LED lighting is the future of home and commercial lighting around the world. LED's have reached a price point and level of consistency where they're now the best alternative to incandescent bulbs for their energy efficiency [they use approx. 1/10th the energy of standard household bulbs].
These bulbs will not only bring you a great experience, but are one of the easiest ways to reduce your energy bills and impact on the environment.
In addition they're unbelievably long-lasting. Just like standard LED light bulbs, LIFX smartbulbs are rated to 40,000 hour / up to 25 year standards.
LIFX is a revolution in home lighting and will allow you to save money and reduce your environmental impact. With up to 20% of homes power consumption coming from lighting, it makes sense to switch to LED technology and even more sense to switch to LIFX LED smartbulbs. But this is just part of the story, LIFX is about the experience.
What can I do with LIFX smartbulbs in my house?
- Control your lights from anywhere
- Choose any brightness for a specific bulb, a room or your whole house
- Create the colors to match any mood or decor
- Get notifications such as Twitter, Facebook, Texts and more
- Reduce your energy consumption and save money
- Visualise your music with animated colors
- Make an impression at your next dinner party
- Get creative with colors and effects
- Create a night light for your kids
- Security mode when you're on holidays
- Create groups of lights
- Robot dance like it's 1999
There's many more things you can do with LiFX smartbulbs in fact we're creating a software developer kit (SDK) and a hacker kit so hackers and developers alike will be able to release more and more apps to do things we haven't even thought of yet.
The LIFX App
The free LIFX App will be available on the App Store and Google Play and we also have plans for a Windows, Mac and Linux app. If we achieve our goal we'll fast track the development of these apps across each platform.
The LIFX app is one of our favorite aspects of the entire project, and we've spent countless hours thinking about how you can interact with your lights. We have mapped out a very smooth configuration UX from the app to the LIFX master bulb. In essence you place your LIFX smartbulb into a light socket, turn the switch on and then launch the app. You will be guided through a process of choosing your home network from a list and then entering your password. The LIFX master bulb will then auto configure itself to your router and all the slave bulbs will auto connect to the master. If you add more slave bulbs down the track these will also auto connect. Each smartbulb can be controlled individually. eg. they don't just mirror the master bulb.
Regarding security: LIFX will be as secure as your WiFi network. eg. without the WiFi network password you can't control the smartbulbs.
We're aware that while the hardware is the most visible and interesting part of this project our software is the soul.
What do I get?
LIFX comes as either a single bulb or can be purchased in packs. Each LIFX bulb is ready to install straight away. Simply choose the type of bulb you need (Edison Screw, Bayonet Cap or Downlight) and you're ready. If you ever need to purchase additional bulbs, these all form part of your mesh network, meaning every LIFX you buy can be controlled via the same app without reconfiguring.
What types of smartbulbs are available?
- Bayonet cap [B22]
- Edison Screw [E27]
- Downlight [GU10]
Some backers have recently asked for specific fixture model numbers.
After the project has finished we will be sending out surveys to all KS backers asking which type of the above LIFX smartbulb casing you want. You will be able to mix and match bulbs styles in any combination. We are preparing more details on the above casings and other options that will be available in the next few weeks including dimensions and more. The more pledges we receive the more options will be available. Please direct message us if you have a preference for casing style/type that is not on the above list.
LIFX uses a master/slave concept to connect to your home router via 802.11n and then onto all the other LIFX smartbulbs via 802.15.4 mesh network. Each LIFX can connect to all country electricity systems from 110V to 260V. This includes USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia and 95% of other countries around the world.
Your light switch needs to remain on for the smartbulb to be accessible with the LIFX app. However you can use any light switch to turn your smartbulbs on and off like you do with traditional bulbs.
LIFX uses a mesh network. The standby power usage of each bulb is very small, in fact a AA battery would keep a LIFX smartbulb in standby mode for approximately 1-2 years. [note: The master bulb requires a WiFi connection which uses approximately 2-3 watts. Only 1x master bulb is required in each home/office.]
The LIFX prototype uses an RGB phosphorous COB LED lamp which is approx. the equivalent of a 60 watt incandescent bulb or 50 watt halogen downlight. We are looking into all the options on the best type/brand of LED lamp to use in the production model. Getting this right is something we are very passionate about. (real world comparison - actual lumens of LIFX rated at higher levels than 60w incandescent bulbs)
We couldn’t have done this without our distributed systems hacker Andy Gelme who is the lead engineer on LIFX. He’s been at the forefront of automation technology for many years creating systems that run on top of open industry standards.
We will be releasing a LIFX Software Development Kit (SDK) that will allow mobile App developers and home automation hackers full control over their LIFX smartbulbs. This includes using a small scripting engine that runs within the LIFX smartbulb. Stay tuned for more details. We can't wait to see what amazing hacks you come up with.
We have set up a LIFX Tech blog where you can interact directly with our lead software engineer Andy. Just pop on over to that page if you have some curly questions.
We are receiving lots of awesome comments. Keep them coming. One of our favs below.
"Out of all Kickstarter projects I have pledged for the LIFX is the first one which, when I showed my wife the intro movie, she immediately said "Oh, I HOPE you're backing THIS!" - so, LIFX is as of now officially WifeApproved (tm) in our home, which kind of makes me want to up my pledge to about three dozen lamps." - KS LIFX Backer - Nick Sakellariou
- On the back of questions and information we are receiving from the Kickstarter community regarding wattage and lumen output of bulbs in general we have adjusted the video to more accurately reflect this new information. One of the things we love about the Kickstarter process and community is it allows people like us to crowd source funding but more importantly ideas and smarts. We are committed to creating the worlds best smartbulb and will adjust our thinking and approach to achieve this. Given the overwhelming response to our project we are also now planning to hire the best darned LED experts we can find!! Thanks again for your support - we're glad we can share this journey with you.
- Removed IPV6 from the main info page. Our aim is to use IPV6 but we prefer not to guarantee this until our development matures over the next few months.
The Internet of Things
We love the internet of things, home automation and the overall concept of the smart home but we also understand for most people it is a large chasm to jump. This understanding has been one of the guiding forces in the design of the LIFX smartbulb - to start with one commonly used household item and make it smart, easy to use and accessible to everyone.
LIFX Smartbulbs have been designed and prototyped in Melbourne, Australia and San Francisco, USA and we plan to manufacture via a trusted partner with operations in based in Melbourne and Shenzhen. We realise that whilst we're reinventing the lightbulb this doesn't mean we have to reinvent the manufacturing process. We are using as many standard LED lighting components as possible. These components have undergone rigid testing and stood the test of time. We are also very excited to create our own LIFX customised computer board "the brains" of this project. Also fully featured FREE apps will be available on the App Store® and Google Play® designed by Bonobo Labs.
"LIFX answers a need that is well and truly overdue. Everyone in the world needs light bulbs. Existing light bulbs are based on an archaic technology that threatens our environment. Light bulbs consume approximately 20% of electricity in homes around the world. They need to be more efficient, smarter and last longer. In the twenty-first century, people need lighting that matches the "smart culture" and eco aware sensibilities of our day."
Phil Bosua - Inventor of the LIFX smartbulb
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