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
LIFX works on 110v-260v. We are considering a 12 volt version but this may be held off till after our initial production run has been completed.
We have considered security. The WiFi connection will use the standard security set-up that you are currently using. Mesh networks based on 802.15.4 will encrypt packets using AES-128. Higher network stack layers will need to handle exchange of security keys and deal with problems like “replay attacks”. In short, your lights will be as secure as your home wifi network.
Your switch will need to remain on and the dimmer at full. This provides full power to the light socket (eg. as if there was no dimmer.). You will not be able to use your wall mounted dimmer to dim your LIFX smartbulbs, you will need to use the LIFX app to do this.
Our first priority is to deliver the product to our Kickstarter backers, after the project is complete we may consider fielding these requests. You can email http://mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and we will follow up from there.
We are still working out the exact details of the warranty for the LIFX smart bulbs. To ensure that we comply with the legal requirements across a number of different countries, we decided its best that we seek legal advice to ensure that we are compliant. As soon as we have this information we will update you all.
Originally we intended to develop just for iPhone and Android devices as this makes up the bulk of the consumer market. In the past few days we have had a number of Windows phone developers contact us offering to develop for the platform. We are looking into the viability of this and will update the community as soon as we are certain that we can deliver a solid product on this platform.
Our prototype system was tested with a master and 9 slave smart-bulbs. Our choice of networking hardware and software stack will allow hundreds of smart-bulbs.
Since we will provide open source LIFX client libraries for iOS and Android and document the LIFX protocol API, if your home automation system is extensible (nearly all are) and you know how to interact with it programmatically … then it is possible to create “glue” software that integrates them. Companies in this space that we love include: Smart Things, Ninja Blocks, IFTTT, Belkin, Ubi and more. (we are not affiliated with these companies we just love them)
Until we complete the production antennae design and hardware testing, we can’t provide a final answer. However, we use a standard WiFi module and when testing the prototype the WiFi reception worked within the bounds of an normal home environment. Given the significant variation in WiFi equipment and environments … your mileage will vary. However, roughly the same range as WiFi range on your mobile device would be a ballpark estimate. In regards to the mesh networking, for the prototype we used transceivers with 2 mW transmit power and found that a separation distance of 10 metres within a home was readily achievable. As we perform production hardware testing, we’ll keep you updated.
Only the master smart-bulb has an IP address. Our aim is to use IPV6 to control the bulbs but we want to do further testing on this. Doing so would require the master to be an IPv6 connection on the WiFi side and route through to the IPv6 mesh network for the slave smart-bulbs.
Yes. All of 802.11a/b/g/n from the same internal WiFi chip.
Down the track we plan on adding a web interface to the product but our priority at the moment is building LIFX for iOS and Android devices.
Straight out of the box, you will need to be in range of WiFi. It is possible to provide remote access, but people have different internet routers. We'll provide tutorials that demonstrate how you may accomplish remote access.
Yes.The API and our choice of network protocols will permit access by multiple devices simultaneously.
No. The bulbs have been developed for indoor purposes. We may make an outdoor version down the track.
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