LIFX and Works with Nest

Surprised no one has discussed the LIFX/ Works with Nest Integration. LIFX cloud is now live, but very limited. It appears the extra functionality between LIFX and Nest comes and goes; sometimes the options are available in the LIFX app, and other times not. I see no changes in NEST app yet. I can’t wait until the LIFX cloud is expanded to include scheduling and hopefully Smarthings Integration. Looks like we’re close.


I was excited about LifX as well, but they are not taking developers seriously, and in our experience the product is inferior to Philips Hue. I now have four expensive paperweights on my desk.

In my opinion cloud support for LifX will be of very little benefit here. The SmartThings hub needs to be able to directly communicate with the bulbs on the local network. Adding a LifX cloud reflector is another single point of failure.

LifX functionality will require two things - to actually take their developers seriously - and actually document the protocol. Importantly though SmartThings will need to give the Hub access for devices.

Sockets have been discussed here a fair bit, and in offline discussions we have been told that it may not be something that the hub in its current form will be able to support.

I posted a little about it in a different thread:

I’m with Troy… I’ve found the bulbs themselves to be solid, but software seems questionable at best. I haven’t even heard that the cloud is live yet.

I’m also really disappointed with how LIFX has developed. Their integration with 3rd party services has been non existent. It seems Phillips Hue would have been a better choice. It’s frustrating to have Smartthings control 90% of my home but then every night I have to launch the damn LIFX app that is incredibly sluggish to turn on 2 lights.

Yeah I’m trying to decide whether to dump Lifx for Hue… Wait to see if better integration comes, or wait to see how Zipato RGBW work with SmartThings when they come to the US market.

We have 11 or so Philips Hue bulbs, four of those were LifX.

We’ve asked to return our LifX bulbs a bunch of times, and each time they have said just to wait a week (or two) for the new firmware, new developer information, new iApp, new Android app, new cure for hunger (okay - not that last one - but everything else was promised).

We did, and each time either nothing was released / fixed - or if there was an improvement it was imperceptible.

Now - when we try and return them - we’ve been told that we waited too long, and there is nothing they are prepared to do.

Even in our last correspondence with them - in one breath telling us we can’t return them and in the other saying things were just about to improve.

My strong recommendation - move to Philips Hue… In the last few days I have had a few long chats with Philips, including the lead developer of the platform. They seem very committed to improving the product/platform - and have a renewed energy for engaging with developers.

LifX on the other hand will not engage with developers, or even their customers. I get the impression that LifX are going to be short lived, or relegated to a geek novelty fairly quickly.

I think the Nest integration works subscribing data using Firebase. I am not sure they are using cloud to control the LIFX. What I understood is that the client application subscribes data from Nest and whenever a change occurs take action based on the sensor value. But here I am not sure about that.

I agree LIFX developer support should improve drastically. But LIFX can be controlled through Internet by using an local intermediate server. To communicate from outside the network we can use MQTT, Server Sent Events, etc… I created a demo application that turns on/off the bulb using node.js lifx module and MQTT module. The application using Eclipse MQTT Sandbox to send messages. I created a sample Device Type with “Switch” capability and whenever the switch turns on send MQTT and the local node.js server receives the message and control the bulb. Only on/off is implemented. I am working on to incorporate complete control, but as of now only on/off.

@eran, create another comprehensive LIFX example, you can find it here.

Here is a demo video of the sample in action and here is the GitHub repo of my sample…

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One of thing things I originally really liked about the Lifx was the lumens were pretty high, and not needing a another basestation.

But I’ve found that really I’m only using them as accent lights right now. I prefer to have my switches to still be able to manually control my lights when I need too. But I (or my wife or my kids) are flipping the switches off that control my Lifx bulbs then I can’t do anything with them over the net, so it sorta defeats the purpose.

Not to get this thread too far off track, but can someone give the basics of what can be controlled by the ST re: Hue lights?

Obviously you can turn them on/off, but can you adjust color from within SmartThings?

@chrisb, from my initial understanding we can control the LIFX properties like color, hue, etc… But I am trying it now, may be in couple of days I can finish the thing.

@chrisb re your question about what can be done with Hue on ST - the short answer is everything that the bulb can do is accessible.

The longer answer is that it is elementary functionality - On, Off, Hue, Saturation are all controllable. Things like setting a long fade time etc are still not yet achievable.

I had similar thoughts about retaining light switch control over lamps, but to be honest - now that it is all automated - I don’t actually touch the light switches at all, and I find them an inconvenience (please, stop turning off the switches :wink: the lights will go off shortly by themselves)

@kvarma I wasn’t aware of any LifX functionality at all?

Are you talking about using a local server to interact with the bulbs? or is there some way of talking with the LifX devices directly now?

@troykelly, LIFX bulb can only be controlled locally right now, we cannot connect to the bulb from outside network. But as a workaround we can use local server (like the node.js server I used) to look for messages from outside network and controls the bulb,

This is exactly what I have done, I created a node.js server running on my local network. The server uses MQTT to listen for incoming events. The ST sent events and node.js receives and control the LIFX.

The LIFX has comprehensive APIs to control the bulb but only within the network. We can control virtually everything using the API.

What I am trying to do is ST make calls to the MQTT server and publish the events with LIFX command as payload, the node.js server interprets these command and control bulb.

I see.

I was only after local control anyway, but the problem I have is I don’t want to run a node.js (or any other) server - the hub should be capable of talking to the bulbs directly.

As far as I am concerned, LifX needs to sort themselves out. They need to publish their protocol, and the bulbs themselves need to provide an interface to their API that doesn’t require high level protocol use. Eg like the hue hub

You are correct @troykelly, they need to sort themselves out, from the very beginning they are saying Internet connectivity is coming, but still not. Also the protocol they didn’t open source it officially, but the source code is available for Android, iOS and Ruby. People reverse engineered the protocol and made different libraries like the node.js one I am using.


The setup you have on github, Can you send on/off commands to groups? Or it just sends a on/off command to all the bulbs?

@ymilord, the node.js server I created only sends to all bulbs, but the library lifxjs supports sending to individual bulbs. I think we can easily incorporate this.

Is anyone able to make the color selector work in the iOS app?
I have this code :

controlTile("rgbSelector", "device.color", "color", height: 3, width: 3, inactiveLabel: false) {	
    state "color", action:"setAdjustedColor"

That doesn’t do anything, the color selector shows up in the app but when you tap it, nothing happen.
With he old app it use to show an error but now nothing happen.

If one of you can share your code that would be greatly appreciated.

Did you get this to work, Nicolas?

Yes my code now works correctly. I just needed to add “command “setAdjustedColor”” on line 29.
Basically “setAdjustedColor” was a custom method, that the APP didn’t know existed. Event if it was a public method, the somehow the tile in the app didn’t interact with it. So that’s fixed.

However after talking to Smartthings, there is a bug in the iOS app where the color wheel doesn’t reflect the status of the object. Meaning if you select blue, you can see your light change blue, and the color wheel’s pointer will be in the blue. But if you close the app and reopen it, the light stays blue but the color wheel’s pointer will now be in the center instead of blue.

Which server solution did you do with? Getting my LIFX integrated with Smartthings would close the last, glaring hole in my setup!