The day after Edison got the first light bulb to work, he probably thought, “I wish there was some way to remotely turn it off and on." And ever since, people have tried motion sensors, analog and then digital timer switches, and now LIFX - The LED, Wi-Fi enabled, Smartphone-managed bulb steps into the mix.
What makes LIFX different from the other LED bulbs and Wi-Fi Lights? It comes down to the connectivity features in each bulb. LIFX claims to give the user control over the color, intensity and timing all from their Smartphone App. The LIFX team currently runs a FAQ-type blog that attempts to answer technical questions ranging from: Will multiple devices be able to control the light at the same time? (Yes, using messaging over TCP/IP) to Why hasn't the engineering team been more responsive? (Because you have overwhelmed us).
The light source is made up of a RGB Phosphorous COB LED lamp, or at least that is where they are currently in the design prototypes.
LIFX began its life as a Kickstarter campaign seeking $100,000 and within a few days hit the sold out mark of $1,311,583 in pledges (with 50 days left on the board). There have been quite a few opinions expressed as to whether LIFX will actually deliver a functional, desirable product to its over 8,700 supporters. Wired, Rueters, and the Social Media stream are questioning the validity of their product and some are speculating if this project was the nail in the coffin that caused Kickstarter to change some of it's project rules.
Put it this way: either Lifx is a genuinely revolutionary new LED bulb, or it isn’t. If it is, then it’s going to run into huge fights just on the intellectual-property front alone: I’m pretty sure they don’t have any important patents, at least on the hardware. - Felix Salmon
Criticism and skeptics bring a certain accountability to potentially dreamy notions. That said, the LIFX bulb and App, if it delivers on the promise has might just be a first mover in an emerging industry that not only can provide some extra interactivity to a home but also deliver on other larger promises like energy savings and integrations with other devices.
You can follow the teams progress as they develop the bulb on Twitter @LIFXLabs or sign-up for project updates at: http://lifx.co/