Sooner or later, LIFX absolutely heard the complaints one too many occasions: Your bulbs are nice, however they’re too massive, too heavy, and—properly—they only look bizarre. Clearly bowing to shopper sentiment, LIFX has launched a second sequence: LIFX Mini. Because the identify implies, these three bulbs are certainly a bit smaller and simpler to suit into most fixtures. One in every of them takes house TechHive’s Editors’ Alternative award.
Ejecting the cylindrical design of its earlier sensible bulbs, which stay available on the market, the bulbs within the Mini line look a bit extra conventional. However it’s nonetheless not excellent: The general look of the bulbs is extra akin to a Lite-Brite peg than an Edison bulb, nevertheless it’s a step in the correct course. These bulbs are about zero.four inches shorter and a couple of.four ounces lighter than the LIFX A19.
The shrinkage, nonetheless, comes on the expense of energy. These bulbs put out a rated 800 lumens, in comparison with the 1,100 lumens the A19 emits. Alternatively, they eat simply 9 watts in comparison with 11. The distinction in brightness is noticeable in all three bulbs within the sequence—the Mini Colour, Mini Day & Nightfall, and Mini White—however the bulbs are in any other case functionally equivalent to the A19. The setup course of can also be the identical, and so they join on to your Wi-Fi community with out want of a hub.
LIFX Mini Colour
The Mini Colour delivers the identical vary of coloration manufacturing because the A19, and people colours all look improbable. The bulb is simply as speedy to modify colours, dim or brighten, or activate any variety of enjoyable celebration modes, together with a music visualizer and a strobe mild.
The bulb is appropriate with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s HomeKit platforms. Whereas the Mini Colour isn’t as brilliant because the bigger A19 sensible bulb, it’s nonetheless in keeping with many of the market, and the form of the bulb permits for extra mild to be delivered to the perimeters of the bulb slightly than emitting most of it straight up—a perennial subject with the A19.
The smaller bulb can also be cheaper than the colour A19—$40 versus $54—and it’s even inexpensive than its prime competitor: the $45 Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance. Sure, you’ll discover even less-expensive bulbs from lesser-known manufacturers, however given the depth of options and high quality of the sunshine the LIFX Mini Colour produces, this bulb is definitely definitely worth the extra money.
LIFX Mini White
In case you don’t want any color-tuning options—or actually any tuning options in any respect—the LIFX Mini White provides an answer. It’s the identical bulb because the LIFX Mini Colour, producing 800 lumens max, solely it’s locked at a coloration temperature of 2700Okay (although you’ll be aware that the LIFX app incorrectly shows the temperature as 3500Okay).
Whereas the bulb is about up and managed the identical approach as different LIFX bulbs, it lacks lots of the options of its brethren. The colour wheel shouldn’t be obtainable, and the white color-temperature wheel is grayed out. Most of the particular celebration mode results aren’t obtainable right here, both, though you’ll be able to nonetheless use the candle flicker, strobe, and music visualizer results. The bulb could be dimmed in software program, too.
The bulb labored positive in my testing, with the exception that after I scanned the HomeKit sticker, the digital camera picked up a 9 as a substitute of a four, inflicting me to need to reset the bulb earlier than it will hook up with my community.
The largest promoting level right here is worth: At $25, that is the most cost effective Lifx bulb available on the market by far, although it’s nonetheless a modest premium in worth over different producer’s non-tunable, white-only sensible bulbs. Whereas the bulb has the benefit of tying in seamlessly to the LIFX community, provided that lots of the LIFX app’s greatest options merely aren’t obtainable on this stripped-down mannequin, it’s most likely greatest reserved for customers who’ve already made a big LIFX funding.
LIFX Mini Day & Nightfall
“Day & Nightfall” is LIFX’s shorthand for a white sensible bulb with tunable mild. This bulb is successfully the identical because the LIFX Mini White, solely as a substitute of being locked to a coloration temperature of 2700Okay, it could actually shift by a modest vary: 1500Okay to 4000Okay. The gimmick is that the LIFX app can mechanically tune the sunshine for you over the course of a day, beginning with “energizing” cool mild within the morning, then fading to extra soothing, heat mild after hours. In a single day, the bulb can be utilized as a really low-brightness nightlight.
As with many bulbs of this ilk—the C by GE kit, as an example—I discovered the default temperature settings to be imperfect: too heat within the morning, and far too cool within the night. Additionally, the default brightness settings run at round 80 % for all occasions of day (besides the nightlight), which didn’t make a lot sense to me contemplating the 9-watt bulb places out solely 800 lumens at full energy. You possibly can change all of those settings within the LIFX app, however, in contrast to the opposite features of the in any other case well-crafted app, it’s not terribly intuitive.
The larger subject right here is that the bulb merely doesn’t have a broad sufficient coloration temperature vary. 4000Okay is pretty middle-of-the-road with regards to temperature; most competing bulbs stretch as much as 6500Okay, which is taken into account a “true daylight” temperature. Whereas the Day & Nightfall’s means to succeed in all the way in which right down to 1500Okay is exclusive, I don’t discover that something beneath about 2500Okay—the place the sunshine takes a cartoonish, brilliant orange coloration—is all that helpful.
You possibly can, in fact, flip the Day & Nightfall function off altogether and use the app to manually tune the sunshine and brightness as you see match. 4 special-effects modes are additionally included. At $30, the bulb is roughly in keeping with the competitors, however the restricted vary of coloration temperatures finally make it one thing of an also-ran on this class.