Philips Hue has been the king of Smart Bulb Mountain since the beginning. It was the first color-variable smart bulb to hit the market, and despite the fact that dozens of other companies have now released smart bulbs of their own, Philips Hue is arguably still the top dog.
But the competition is heating up.
LIFX, a three-year-old startup that rose to power after launching a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, has recently released a major firmware update for its eponymous smart bulb and ushered in a few features that should make Philips sweat a little bit.
- Simplified setup
- Remote control through the Cloud
- Improved security that allows guests to control your lights but not edit their labels
- Nest Protect and Nest Learning Thermostat integrations
- New IFTTT control, allowing integration with a vast array of web services such as Facebook, Twitter, weather apps, and other connected devices
- A brand-new Smarts tab, which allows users to activate themes, and even set recurring alarms
We haven’t had a chance to test drive the new and improved software quite yet, but if LIFX delivers on what it’s promising here, this update should be a big step forward. Even before the update, LIFX bulbs were arguably more advanced than Hue bulbs in terms of hardware. They’re brighter, have a broader color spectrum, longer lifespan, and don’t require a hub to connect to your home network. Their only shortcoming was lackluster software features, which this LIFX 2.0 update has presumably changed.
Stay tuned for our head-to-head comparison piece; we’re gonna hit the testing lab and get back to you.