LIFX vs Hue?

I am considering replacing my living room TCP bulbs with a colored smart bulb. The decision seems to be between LIFX and Hue bulbs. I have no experience with either.

Reviews say that LIFX are brighter and have truer colors. Reviews also seem to say that Hue are more reliable.

One concern that I have is the hue hub. I am over run with hubs it seems…TCP, Smartthings, Arlo, etc…

I would love to hear from users from both sides. I am looking at about 4 bulbs to start thats $200 plus no matter which way I go.

Thanks in advance

That pretty much sums it up as I understand it. I have Hue stuff looking to switch to LIFX.

LIFX is ‘hubless’ but you still need to go through their cloud to interface with the bulbs (although there are apparently some hacky direct ways).

Just an FYI with LIFX and a 4pack you should be able to use the code ‘save10’ to save 10% which gets you in under the door at $171 or ~$42.75/bulb to get you started, whereas you’re looking at the best part of $260 to get you started with 4 Philips Hue ‘White & Colour’ bulbs (three in the starter pack including Hue bridge + one extra bulb).

So that’s ~$90 extra for the Hue route which ironically would buy you another two more LIFX bulbs for a total of 6 Vs 4 Hues.

I’ve seen some people say they have issues with LIFX and some say they have no issues. I would imagine the stability has a lot to do with how good your WiFi is and how much 2.4GHz interference you have in your house.

For reference, I hate using ZigBee for this reason (which Hue uses) my ZigBee devices (bulbs or sensors) are much more unreliable than my Z-Wave devices (in fact I have next to no issues with Z-Wave ever). With that being said, as much as I hate ZigBee devices and the issues I’ve had, I have to say my Philips Hue devices have worked flawlessly since day one. Not one single issue ever.

This is true when the brightness is at 50% or below. Above this, the white LED kicks in and it desaturates the color LEDs. In fact at 100% brightness, I only see tinted bright whites. I’m not sure if this is the case for the Hue but I am buying a few to compare.


I only have tested LIFX, and can therefore only give you my side of the experience.

I choose LIFX due to being hub-less. With my 10 bulb setup I first had some trouble with bulbs disconnecting mysteriously without any reasonable explanation. LIFX support was responsive and the problem turned out to be a bad router in my case together with bulb firmware upgrade. Have been pretty much rock solid since I got a new router.

I got ST afterwards, so ended up having a hub after all, but the benefits of having access to Circadian Lighting outweighs that IMO.

I am in the process of changing all my bulbs in the house to LIFX the integration is seamless and after updating all the bulbs the service is very reliable. A Benji stated you can get the bulbs from Lifx for around 42.75 per bulb I suggest the 4 pack but still go to your local best buy and purchase a bulb there and get a 3 year warranty, this way if any of your bulbs fail you can return them to best buy. I have compared the hue to lifx as far as color and brightness goes and lifx wins hands down, plus not having to use a hub makes things a lot easier.
Its also nice when I set up a security routine that if there is motion in my house when Im not home all my lifex bulbs turn red and I get a notification. When ST hub decides to work properly.
Another thing to not is that if you use a light switch the lifx bulb will turn back on the previous color in the program I don’t believe this is the case with HUE.

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There is one further consideration as well, from someone that uses Hues/Osram/LIFX the Lifx bulbs are easily my favourite as they are IMHO a 100W incandescent replacement. but they are also very heavy, so you need to ensure your ceiling rose wiring is tight as loosely attached wiring will get pulled. but the biggest consideration is regarding your wireless router, check how many concurrent wireless clients it will support. if you are planning one introducing these as standard you could tip it above the concurrent devices threshold and all wireless clients will be affected and its not easy to troubleshoot.

I recently had to replace my router as it just could not host enough wireless clients properly. numbers wise as you expand the number of bulbs you would hit this limit as there are a lot of routers that will only support less than 20 concurrent clients. in my house this limit would be exceeded twice over. I now only have 29 IP’s remaining out of my main class c subnet before i need to rethink, and at the rate they are being consumed by IoT devices i imagine that wont be long.

the long and short is that i would rather host a Zigbee hub in my house rather than a wireless router dedicated for bulbs as the channel footprint of a zigbee channel is far smaller than a Wifi channel. I am now running out of usable 2.4ghz frequency range where they do not conflict.

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My TCP bulbs do this routinely. Hence, my aversion to another hub system. However, my Z-wave is rock solid. Smartthings has been very reliable for me. I was thinking that ST have direct control (no hub) would be a good thing.

I have to admit, Philips marketing is very effective and make the Hue look very attractive…

The hues are attractive, and the ecosystem is growing. In case you didn’t know, the bridge operation is completely local (no internet required), so while they integrate with SmartThings, they are not dependent on it. Several very cool third party apps, and a wonderful local API.

Is the communication between Smartthings and Hue cloud to cloud?

No. It is Cloud (SmartThings) to LAN.

Philips did their Bridge right. When you’re on your LAN, everything is local. Timers, alarms, groups, scenes, are all stored on the bridge. But when you’re away, the Hue app talks to the bridge via the cloud.

Thanks for that info.

Let me ask you a very subjective question…how bright (white) do the hues get?

As I get older I find that I need more and more light. For example, I prefer 75w incandescent to 60w, daylight to soft white, etc…

Do you find the Hues adequate in that regards?

and simply put the Hue hub is bulletproof unlike ST, i would never dream of putting my hue bulbs direct to ST. if you use one of the custom handlers that utilises hue groups you can turn on/off large numbers of lights without any failures which just doesnt happen with directly attached bulbs

Difficult question for me to answer. I preferred subdued light in my environmental, and don’t have Hues installed in a scenarios where I do a lot of reading.

I do have two over my kitchen island, and have no problems reading and handling a knife (and my bifocal assisted eyes aren’t all that great either). But if you’re after office level light, multicolors might not be for you.

the Hues are definitely duller, but the i have many hue lights in each room to give accent lighting which i prefer and think looks good, but you are in duller rooms.

bright lighting and hue are not two phrases that go together.

Yes. In the two plus years I’ve had, only one glitch early on when a light fell off the bridge. Since then not a single glitch through numerous firmware upgrades… NADA!

I control them extensively though the API, setting minutes long transitions times. I have one sequence that goes from blue to orange, timing the shower to let me know when the water is warm, and another to remind me to wind things up (big drought here).

Transition times can be up to 30 minutes, which is wonderful for subtle changes. I have a third party app Hue Disco, which can cycle lights through set ranges, and even do it via sounds heard on a mobile device. Wonderful for listening to music while in the jacuzzi.

I would do it again in a heartbeat. My only annoyance is in some cases they don’t dim low enough. But I got one of the new GO’s for the bedroom, and it dims to a faint glow, not to mention simulating candlelight, and having its own battery for hours of light if the power goes out.

The intended location is my living room which serves as a multipurpose room which has 4 lamps, Originally, I intended to replace the TCP bulbs in that location with color…Maybe…just three color and 1 BRIGHT bulb…

It seems that everyone definitely is polarized on the subject, Hue | LIFX. That speaks well of both systems but makes my decision that much harder. Kinda looking like either option is a good choice.

well in which case me personally i would go for both, i would get the Lifx for the bright and Hues for the accent, puerly because of their reliability

Ultimately I think the decision comes down to: Do you want reliability or do you want performance?

Hue being reliability and LIFX being performance.

While this is entirely my opinion, I’m kinda done with Hue and I’ll take the (slight) reliability hit (after all I AM using SmartThings :smile: ) for the HUGE performance increase and cost savings per bulb. Philips pretty much pioneered the smart colour bulb but as time has gone by competitors are starting to come out with ‘better’ products, Philips had an opportunity in their Gen 2 refresh to stay ahead of the competition and warrant their high price but it seems they chose not to.

@bigmike3516 the Hue (bulbs) do indeed default back to white when physically switched off.

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I would agree on the ZigBee vs. Zwave bulbs. My zigbee bulbs are NOT as reliable as I would like.

Can the color be changed for lifx within Smartthings?