Review: LIFX Mini is a bright and hub-less HomeKit bulb

LIFX added support to their Wi-Fi connected bulbs, making them one of the most enticing options in the smart home lightning market. The LIFX Mini requires no hub, supports HomeKit, and a variety of special effects within the LIFX app.

Especially with the range of colors and effects, you really need to check out the hands on video to get the best idea of the LIFX Mini.

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The HomeKit smart lighting category continues to get crowded as more and more companies add support, or introduce new products. LIFX belongs to the former, as they retroactively added HomeKit support to their existing product line.

The LIFX Mini is a more compact version of their flagship bulb. The big difference, other than size, is that it is not quite as bright as its big brother. It maxes out at 800 lumens, while the standard LIFX bulb reaches 1100. Compared to others on the market like Philips Hue and Sylvania, 800 lumens is plenty, as they about max out at that.

HomeKit support makes the bulbs even more useful, but the LIFX app really starts to set them apart from others.

Setup process

Setting up the LIFX Mini is easy, and straightforward. You simply screw in the bulb, turn the light on, then use either the LIFX app, or the Home app to add it to your Wi-Fi network and HomeKit setup.

You aren’t limited to just HomeKit and LIFX’s app either. There is a whole list of other supported smart home platforms you can integrate with.

You’ve got options for HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and even Nest.

Since I use HomeKit as my platform of choice, and the fact we are an Apple-focused site, it was my main focus when testing out the LIFX Mini.

Using HomeKit

Like any other HomeKit bulb, once connected to your Home, the bulb will be available via Siri, and in any HomeKit capable app.

You can turn it on and off, change the brightness, temperature, and color.

Since we are talking about colors, the colors in the LIFX Mini are exceptionally vivid. More vivid than my Hue lights by far, but sometimes they could be a bit too saturated. For instance, when I set the bulb to a warm white light, it came off as more of a deep orange color instead of a warm white.

Other colors look great, and they were able to nail the more difficult colors. Green, yellow, and blue were all colors that Philips has struggled with, but LIFX gets them down.

HomeKit also allows you to automate your lights. You can tie them to your location, motion sensors, wall switches, or time.

I have some that turn on when I arrive back from the office, other rooms that turn on based on a motion sensor, and even outdoor lights tied to a contact sensor on the door.

LIFX app

The LIFX app has a ton of other neat effects you can run with your lights. For instance, one of their newer ones allows you to automatically adjust the color of the bulb based on the time of day. Kind of like Night Shift, but for your home’s lights.

There is also a section of cool effects including a candle flicker, music visualizer, and strobe effect.

Wrap it up

LIFX Mini is a surprisingly solid option when it comes to home lighting. I obviously came for the HomeKit support, but stayed for the additional effects in the LIFX app. Dimming it with the candle flicker effect is a nice romantic option for dinner time, and the music visualizer is cool for parties, especially with multiple bulbs.

Since the bulb connects directly to Wi-Fi and doesn’t require a hub, it means there are no additional purchases to get going. Hub-free also means less delay when controlling the lights.

If you want to try the LIFX Mini for yourself, it is available for $43.50 on Amazon for the full color version, $29.99 for the day to dusk version, and only $24.5 for the white-only.

Let us know if you own the LIFX Mini, or what your favorite smart light is down below.