Best LIFX Bulbs Android Central 2019

LIFX's smart bulbs are great, but picking the right one for your home can be daunting — especially when there are so many to choose from. The LIFX+ is the best bulb in the company's catalog and is particularly useful if you have a night vision security camera, but not everybody needs to go out and buy the most expensive bulb, and there are plenty of other great options to choose from.

Best Overall: LIFX+

Smart bulbs are one of the easiest ways to get into home automation, since they're relatively affordable and fit into any standard E26 light socket, making for an easy conversion from traditional bulbs. The LIFX+ is the most feature-packed bulb in LIFX's lineup, and moreover, it's the best smart bulb on the market.

Unlike similar options from competitors like Phillips, LIFX bulbs don't require a hub to control.

The LIFX+ gets extra bright at 1100 lumens — easily enough to light up even large rooms with a single bulb, though if need be, you can buy additional bulbs and assign them to a room to easily control multiple LIFX lights at once. You can choose from any of 16 million colors, via either the LIFX app or voice commands, since the LIFX Plus integrates with Google Assistant, Alexa, HomeKit, and even Cortana.

You can choose between two form factors for the LIFX+: the A19, and the BR30, which each direct light differently. To be clear: these aren't different versions of the bulb — they're the same price and have the exact same features and specs — but the BR30 with its wider shape and reflector is better suited for use outdoors or in ceiling lights. For floor lamps and most other fixtures, the Color is a better fit for most people.

The biggest difference between the LIFX+ and the cheaper Color is the former's infrared emission, which invisibly illuminates dark areas for infrared-detecting security cameras — perfect for distant spots in a camera's field of view, like the outer perimeter of your yard. The LIFX+ is also rated with a 22.8-year lifespan and includes a 2-year warranty in case anything goes wrong early on.

Pros:

  • Doesn't require a hub
  • Infrared helps security cameras see in the dark
  • 16 million possible colors
  • LED rated for 22 years
  • Available in A19 and BR30 shapes

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Doesn't work with dimmer switches

Best Overall

LIFX+

The best bulb in town.

$60 is a lot to spend on a light bulb, but the LIFX Plus is bright enough to fully light a room at 1100 lumens, and even illuminates night vision security cameras by emitting infrared light that's invisible to the naked eye.

Runner-up: LIFX Color

The LIFX+ may be the best bulb around, but its infrared capabilities are wasted if you don't also have a security camera. There's no reason to spend more to get a feature you won't be able to use, especially if you plan on buying more than one bulb.

The LIFX Color is an almost identical option for a bit cheaper without infrared. Just like the LIFX+, the Color is available in both A19 and BR30 configurations and supports a wide range of over 16 million colors. Of course, being a LIFX bulb, the Color doesn't require a hub for any of its controls, instead, it relies on Wi-Fi.

Pros:

  • Same features as pricier LIFX+
  • Works over Wi-Fi without a hub
  • Compatible with virtually all voice assistants
  • Very bright at 1100 lumens

Cons:

  • No infrared capabilities
  • Too large for some fixtures

Runner-up

LIFX Color

Essentially the LIFX+ without infrared.

The Color is completely identical to the LIFX+, save for a lack of infrared light. If you don't own a night-vision security camera, this is the smarter purchase.

Smaller Bulb: LIFX Mini Color

Perhaps the best part about LIFX's selection of smart bulbs is the consistency across models. The Mini Color doesn't get quite as bright as the 1100-lumen LIFX+ and Color bulbs, but its 800 lumens are still enough to light most rooms — albeit not as brightly as the others.

If you don't mind sacrificing that bit of brightness, the LIFX Mini Color has most of the same features as its larger siblings; it's still rated for nearly 23 years and emits 16 million colors. Its smaller size makes it a perfect fit for desk lamps, kitchen lights, and other small fixtures.

Pros:

  • Better fit for narrow fixtures
  • Same color range as pricier bulbs
  • Works without a hub
  • Wi-Fi still built in, despite small size

Cons:

  • Not as bright at 800 lumens
  • Priced similarly to larger Color bulb

Smaller Bulb

LIFX Mini Color

A smaller, cheaper bulb that fits better in lamps.

The LIFX Mini Color doesn't get quite as bright as the other bulbs at 800 lumens, but its 250-degree beam angle spreads light all throughout the surrounding room.

Value Pick: LIFX Mini White

The LIFX Mini White is physically identical to the Mini Color, but as you can probably guess, it doesn't change colors, instead, it sits at a comfortably warm 2700K shade of white. Don't worry; it's still a smart bulb, and you can still adjust the brightness levels and turn the light on and off through the LIFX app or your voice assistant of choice.

This cost-effective, no-frills option makes the most sense for those looking to replace every bulb in the house with LIFX on a budget. It's also a great gateway for anyone looking to buy their first smart home tech since it's simple in functionality and often comes bundled with other gadgets like a Google Home Mini.

Pros:

  • Same features as pricier LIFX+
  • Works over Wi-Fi without a hub
  • Compatible with virtually all voice assistants
  • Very bright at 1100 lumens

Cons:

  • No infrared capabilities
  • Too large for some fixtures

Value Pick

LIFX Mini White

Smart lighting without all the color.

If you just want the convenience of a smart bulb but don't care about the myriad of colors, the Mini White is the absolute cheapest bulb in LIFX's catalog.

Bottom line

The LIFX+ is the perfect full-featured option for shoppers who already own a night-vision security camera, or at the very least plan on buying one. While it's a bit pricey, no other smart bulb can match its brightness, wide range of colors, and infrared output.

If you aren't interested in security cameras, though, the LIFX Color will give you the same experience for a bit less, and the LIFX Mini gets even cheaper — especially if you go for the white-only version.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and associate editor for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman. Got a tip or inquiry? Drop him a line at hayato@mobilenations.com.

Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he's writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there's a correlation.

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