Smart Lightbulbs

Cool toys for the mainstream are assistive technology on the sly: lights without switches need no hands.

  1. LIFX

    LIFX started as a kickstarter project and now are sold in lots of places. LIFX are the smartbulbs we chose to buy for our house back in 2014, so I have actual direct experience of these ones only in this post (so no affiliate links here). I found them easy to set up, but I must say my sister in law bought LIFX on my eager recommendation and she sent them all back in the end because connection was too unreliable in her flat (not sure why, but feel I ought to mention!). Really the best part about LIFX is they are open and scriptable, so it is possible to build accessible interfaces for them (sip/puff, chair hookup, etc). The official app has scheduling and scenes and so on, and they also have a channel on IFTTT.

    I will post more about IFTTT Recipes in the future.

    IFTTT Recipe: It's sunrise, wake up! connects weather to lifx

  2. Hue

    Philips Hue is the smartbulb you can buy in the Apple store, and seems pretty good. You do need to deal with a separate hub that plugs into your Wi-Fi Router to make them work. I didn’t buy them because I didn’t want yet another thing to plug into my router. Philips Hue also works with IFTTT

  3. Avea

    The Elgato Avea smart lightbulbs can also be controlled from your smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android, natch). They do normal bulbs as well as these lamps and things, and the idea is you combine a few different products to make a lighting “scene”.

  4. WeMo

    The Belkin Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set is two bulbs and a WeMo Link. I use a WeMo switch (another product in their range) for my fan and the app is a bit unreliable, though the scheduling works fine. I’d say if you want to just stick to one brand for your smarthome stuff, WeMo does the most useful collection of things, if not the best example of each thing.

  5. 1byone

    The 1byone Smart LED Bulb is a cheaper option (£25) if you want to just try this idea out. It’s a screw light fitting and you can change the colour and brightness with your phone. It’s also a Bluetooth speaker, so you can play music through it.