Australian Review: LIFX Color 1000 – The future is bright

As a whole, smart home appliances are still a little niche. While the functionality they provide is useful, they're not always compelling due to a higher price point and complicated software. LIFX has nailed simplicity with the Colour 1000 and its overarching ecosystem, but you're still looking around AUD$80 per light bulb (although discounts are available if you buy in bulk).

If you want to save a little bit of money, LIFX also offers white bulbs (where you can change colour temperature, but not colour) for a somewhat more palatable price of AUD$52 a pop. While LIFX bulbs are quite pricey, the company says they'll last for over 20 years (based on three hours of usage a day).

It's worth noting that you'll probably want to buy more than one Colour 1000. To get the most out of smart bulbs, you'll want to make every light connected to a switch a smart bulb. When you turn off a smart bulb, you turn it off via the LIFX companion app, while keeping your light switch on. If you turn off the light switch, your smart bulbs will stop responding (and as such, won't wake up as scheduled). But if you're keeping the light switch on, any regular bulbs on that same circuit remain on, which kind of defeats the point.

Personally, I don't think replacing all of your lights with smart bulbs is a good idea yet. I've got my lounge room and bedroom wired up as "smart rooms", as that’s where I get value out of the smart functionality, whether it's having a light automatically turn on before I get home, or just being able to dim lights and change colour temperature for watching TV and night time reading. On the other hand, I've got no need for a smart bulb in my bathroom.

If you're ready to make the plunge in the world of the connected home, the LIFX Colour 1000 is perfect starting point. It's easy to start with just one or two bulbs, and grow from there if you want, and between scheduling and IFTTT integration, there's now more than enough "smart" functionality to make them a worthwhile investment. Colour changing light bulbs may seem like a gimmick, but the Colour 1000 offers so much more.

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