The smart lighting industry has exploded in recent years, and there are more options than ever before for bringing customizable control and vibrant colors to your boring old light sockets.
The LIFX vs. LIFX Plus vs. LIFX Mini comparison can be difficult, as they are all excellent products in their own right. Which one is best for you will depend on your priorities when it comes to lighting, and we’ll break down the details of each model below.
Let’s dive into the similarities and differences between all three models to make it easier to decide which bulbs are the best choice to light up your life!
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LIFX vs. LIFX Plus vs. LIFX Mini — Things in Common
Color Range & Dimming – While there are different aspects of each light bulb that set them apart from one another, they all have the same impressive color range and dimming to offer. With 16 million colors and cool to warm whites, you should be able to find the perfect color to suit your mood regardless of whether you decide on the LIFX, LIFX Plus, or LIFX Mini. The dimming feature is also standard across all three models, which allows you to choose the perfect brightness and shade — whether you’re throwing a lively dinner party or watching a movie before bed.
App Control – All three bulbs use the LIFX app as their primary method of control. With a simple tap on your phone, tablet, or watch, you can adjust the colors and brightness as needed. With the 16 million colors mentioned above, you should be able to find the perfect hue from wherever you have an internet connection — even if you’re thousands of miles away from home.
If you’re not connected to the internet, however, you can still control your lighting through normal switches. For colors and other smart features, however, you’ll need an active WiFi connection.
No Hub Required – While competitors like the Philips Hue lights require a hub in order to function, the LIFX light bulbs actually connect straight to your router. The bulbs connect using a 2.4 Ghz band b/g/n signal, and do not support 5Ghz connections. Make sure that your WiFi equipment is compatible with the LIFX product family before you make the purchase, as these smart lights will be a whole lot less smart without an internet connection!
LIFX Cloud – As mentioned above, all three of the LIFX bulb families can be controlled form wherever you have an internet connection, and the way that they do so is through the LIFX Cloud. The cloud also enables IFTTT functionality, which allows your LIFX bulbs to work with all sorts of conditional triggers — making it easy to do things like dim the lights when music starts playing, or make the house brighter when it starts to get dark outside.
Voice Assistants – Regardless of your preference for a voice assistant, you should find it easy to control your LIFX bulbs. Each of the three products supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Microsoft Cortana for the ultimate in hands-free convenience.
Fitting – One advantage that is common to all three bulbs is their flexibility in fitting. Each of LIFX products comes in E26, E27 Edison Screw, and B22 Bayonet options, so it should be easy to find the right fit for your existing lighting application.
Outside Use – There’s no reason why you have to contain your 16 million colors to the indoors! All three of these bulbs can be used in outdoor fixtures that aren’t exposed directly to water. This also means that LIFX bulbs are the perfect fit for bathrooms and other damp areas inside the home, since it stands up well to humidity. Just make sure you’re not placing the bulbs in weather-exposed areas, as they won’t stand up to a torrential downpour.
LIFX vs. LIFX Plus vs. LIFX Mini — Differences
Difference #1: Brightness – The LIFX, LIFX Plus, and LIFX Mini all offer the same dazzling array of colors, but they do differ in how bright they can get. You won’t find any brightness differences when comparing the LIFX and LIFX Plus with both bulbs featuring 1100 Lumens and a full brightness of 11 watts. The LIFX Mini, being the smaller model, only has 800 Lumens and a full brightness of 9 Watts.
Difference #2: Night Vision – One feature of the LIFX Plus that sets it apart from its competitors is its support for night vision. Using 950nm infrared light, it can help infrared cameras see in the dark. Not every security camera can take advantage of this feature, however, so make sure you check your specific model for any compatibility information. The LIFX Plus only allows existing night vision cameras to see better, rather than providing the capability to a non-compatible device.
Essentially, this feature simply causes the LIFX Plus to emit infrared light when it isn’t turned on. This light isn’t visible to the human eye, so it will still look like everything is turned off, but it will be much easier for security cameras to record video in low light conditions with the room illuminated by infrared.
Night vision cameras are able to record because they project their own infrared, but there is a limited range to this light since it is projected from the camera itself. With LIFX Plus bulbs placed strategically around your house, there should be no dark areas from a security standpoint, even when you turn off all the lights.
Difference #3: Beam Angle – While the LIFX Mini might not have the same brightness as you’d see with the other two models, it does have an advantage when it comes to beam angle. With a 250 degree beam angle, the light will be spread out over a wider area — allowing each bulb to have more reach. The LIFX and LIFX Plus each have 135 degree beam angles, which definitely pale in comparison to the coverage of the Mini.
Difference #4: Light Bulbs Options – One other advantage that the LIFX Mini has over the two other bulbs is that it comes in two additional formats — LIFX Day & Dusk, which offers adjustable whites and LIFX White, which only comes with a single shade of white. All three light bulbs offer smart remote control via LIFX app. The only difference between them is the color of light that they emit. So, if you don’t really care about the 16 million color capability and just want a white color smart bulb that works without a hub, you can save a significant amount of money by purchasing one of these alternate versions.
This is a similar approach to what competitor Philips Hue offers with their Philips Hue White, Philips Hue White Ambiance, and Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance. Check out our take on Philips Hue 1 vs. 2 vs. 3 to learn the differences between all three Philips Hue light bulbs.
Difference #5: Dimensions – The LIFX Mini’s smaller dimensions of 2.36 x 2.36 x 4.13 in are designed to fit more lamps without peeking out over the top. As all three of these smart bulbs fit pretty much any type of socket, you likely won’t ever need to opt for the Mini out of necessity. However, having a profile that hides the bulb from sight is definitely an advantage for smaller lamps.
The LIFX and LIFX Plus are slightly larger with dimensions of 2.48 x 2.48 x 4.52 in.
Difference #6: Price – When it comes to price, you’ll notice that the LIFX Mini bulbs are significantly less expensive. As mentioned above, the brightness is not quite at the same level, so you don’t exactly get the best of both worlds, but it’s an attractive option considering they have many of the same features.
The regular LIFX model falls in between the Mini and the LIFX Plus — which is more expensive largely due to the infrared capabilities.
|LIFX Mini||LIFX Day & Dusk||LIFX White|
|16 Million Colors||Yes||–||–|
|Day & Dusk Automation||Yes||Yes||–|
|Brightness||800 Lm.||800 Lm.||800 Lm.|
|App & Cloud Control||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Leading Voice Control||Yes||Yes||Yes|
LIFX vs. LIFX Plus vs. LIFX Mini — Comparison Chart
|Colour Range||16 million colors||16 million colors||16 million colors|
|Dimming||1% — 100%||1% — 100%||1% — 100%|
|Night Vision||No||950nm infrared light||No|
|App||iOS 9+, Android 4.1+, Windows 10||iOS 9+, Android 4.1+, Windows 10||iOS 9+, Android 4.1+, Windows 10|
|Full Brightness||11 Watts||11 Watts||9 Watts|
|LED Life-Span||22.8 years (based on 3hrs/day)||22.8 years (based on 3hrs/day)||22.8 years (based on 3hrs/day)|
|Bulb Types||E26, E27 Screw or B22 Bayonet||E26, E27 Screw or B22 Bayonet||E26, E27 Screw or B22 Bayonet|
|Beam Angle||135 degrees||135 degrees||250 degrees|
|Wi-Fi Router Requirement||2.4Ghz 802.11b/g/n||2.4Ghz 802.11b/g/n||2.4Ghz 802.11b/g/n|
|Requires a Hub||No||No||No|
|Product Dimensions LxWxH||2.48 x 2.48 x 4.52 in||2.48 x 2.48 x 4.52 in||2.36 x 2.36 x 4.13 in|
|Weight||0.46 lbs||0.46 lbs||0.31 lbs|
LIFX vs. LIFX Plus vs. LIFX Mini — Integration
The LIFX product family works great with pretty much any voice controller, with support for Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Microsoft Cortana. This allows you to control the lighting situation at will without having to pull out the app or connect to a hub, which is definitely one of the primary benefits of the LIFX product family.
However, the three bulbs also integrate with other smart home products. Some of the most compatible systems are the Nest product family, which allows your lights to cooperate with Nest Protect, Nest Thermostat, and Nest Cam.
With Nest Protect, you can set up your LIFX lights to turn on and off randomly while you’re away from home — giving heightened security and making it look like you’re in the house when you’re actually away on vacation. The lights can also be set to turn on when the Nest Cam detects motion, which makes sure you aren’t left in the dark in emergency situations and in midnight trips to the bathroom alike. Nest Away features and Rush Hour awareness can help your lights conserve energy when it’s unlikely that anyone will be at home.
In addition to working well with Nest, LIFX also interfaces seamlessly with IFTTT. Set your lights to gradually increase in brightness as the sun starts to set, so you never have to worry about your room getting dark. For sports fans, setting the lights to flash your favorite team’s color when they score is an excellent way to make victory feel even more victorious. If you have a smart doorbell, you can even program LIFX lights to flash when someone is at the door. These are just a few of the ways that IFTTT can allow you to tweak and customize your lighting for fun, convenience, and safety.
LIFX vs. LIFX Plus vs. LIFX Mini — Accessories
These traditional LIFX color-changing bulbs are just a small part of the LIFX smart lighting product family. If you’re happy with your purchase and want to take your lighting to the next level, you can augment your regular bulbs with something like an LIFX Z Light Strip or the all new LIFX Beam. If you’re feeling really fancy and have some money to spare, the LIFX Tile is an excellent way to provide a fun and heavily-customizable lighting fixture that will fit perfectly on that empty wall.
LIFX vs. LIFX Plus vs. LIFX Mini — Our Thoughts
There isn’t a clear winner in this comparison, and the best bulb for you will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish. With a smaller size and brightness, the LIFX Mini Color is perfect for bedside lamps or small fixtures that won’t notice the lower lighting capabilities of 800 lumen and 9 watts of brightness. For the main lights of your home that are responsible for illuminating an entire room, you’re better off with the LIFX or LIFX Plus bulbs that are much more luminous.
With that said, the only real reason that you’d want a LIFX Plus bulb is if you’re using an infrared camera, and even then there’s no reason to fill your entire home with those expensive bulbs.
At the end of the day, we recommend the LIFX Plus for strategic infrared illumination, the LIFX for general purpose colored lighting, the LIFX Mini for smaller lighting fixtures, and the non-colored variations of the Mini for those who are just looking for a smart light bulb without the 16 million hues. Another option to look into are the LIFX Tile, which are a newer product from LIFX. Check out our take on NanoLeaf vs. LIFX Tile for more information.
- LIFX Plus
- LIFX Mini
Let us know what you think!
Have you noticed other differences between LIFX vs. LIFX Plus vs. LIFX Mini? Feel free to add them or share your experience with the products in the comments section below. Your input can help other people make the right choice!
Last update on 2019-04-21 at 09:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API