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LIFX A19 (2018) smart bulb review: The Wi-Fi bulb to beat keeps getting better

Sensible gentle bulb pioneer LIFX continues to innovate within the area, with its Frankenstein’s-head-shaped bulb proceeding to guide the pack on the whole thing from construct high quality to instrument options.

lifx app screen 1Michael Brown / IDG

Crucial firmware replace will considerably make stronger the safety of LIFX sensible bulbs.

Up to date February 11, 2019 to record that LIFX has launched a firmware replace to patch a vital safety vulnerability known via a blogger who is going via the maintain Restricted Effects. If you happen to personal LIFX bulbs, flip them on and release the app. If you want the patch, the app must notify you firmware replace is to be had for obtain. Click on OK to obtain and replace the firmware for all of the LIFX bulbs for your community. (Extra data from LIFX right here.)

Little of bodily importance has modified with the bulb within the final couple of years, because it keeps its rather unusual, outsized cylindrical design. Responding to issues that lots of the gentle emits upward from the bulb (or downward, if put in in a ceiling can) as a substitute of to the perimeters, the place it’s wanted in an ordinary lamp surroundings, LIFX has reputedly selected a brute-force answer: Now packing 1,100 lumens of energy, the LIFX A19 stands as reputedly essentially the most robust sensible gentle bulb available on the market. And in my trying out, its brightness was once unrivaled via the contest.

In easy phrases, the LIFX A19 is largely the similar bulb because the LIFX+, which provides an infrared nightlight to what’s differently a typical, color-tunable sensible bulb. Right here, the evening imaginative and prescient characteristic is solely stripped out. In comparison to the LIFX+, the bulb is similar form, measurement, and weight (each are a hefty zero.46 kilos), and it carries the similar luminosity. It’s rather smaller, slightly brighter, and a couple of greenbacks inexpensive than 2016’s LIFX Colour 1000, which has been discontinued.

The opposite new trick with the 11-watt LIFX A19 is HomeKit compatibility. Bulbs may also be arrange manually over Wi-Fi, the usage of the standalone LIFX app, or thru HomeKit, you probably have an Apple TV operating as a HomeKit hub. If you happen to do use HomeKit, you’ll in finding that bulbs seem throughout the iOS House app and behave like every other colour bulb, with dimming, colour tuning, and scheduling options all inside simple succeed in. That’s no longer a demand, regardless that; as with every LIFX bulbs, no hub of any sort is needed to make use of the A19. You’ll additionally keep an eye on any of LIFX sensible bulb with voice instructions by the use of an Amazon Echo, Google House, or Apple HomePod.

lifx installedChristopher Null / IDG

The LIFX A19 stays ultra-bright, even though its form isn’t ideally suited.

The LIFX app is, as same old, extra robust than HomeKit can come up with, and it was once remodeled final 12 months with usability obviously at peak of thoughts. Separate panels permit you to transfer between colour tuning and white colour temperature tuning, with a easy dial providing you with a very simple colour wheel to make a choice hues from and a dimming slider in the course of the circle. The app gives a number of prebuilt subject matters, starting from “happy” to “Halloween,” plus 8 area of expertise modes that vary from a tune visualizer to candle flicker to “spooky” mode (which you’ll be able to pair with “Halloween” for easiest effects).


LIFX’s colour wheel makes choosing a colour easy.

LIFX’s “Day & Nightfall” gadget, which automates lighting fixtures turning directly to an energizing chilly gentle within the morning and slowly fading to a soothing heat gentle at evening, could also be enabled for this bulb. With years of trying out underneath its belt, the LIFX app labored flawlessly in my trying out and is intuitive sufficient for freshmen whilst providing various options for energy customers.

Whilst LIFX bulbs stay at the dear aspect, that hole has closed sufficient to make LIFX a top-tier bulb price bearing in mind for any surroundings the place tunable colour is at the menu.

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