LIFX just made a new bulb called the LIFX Plus that allows you to see better in the dark using infrared. Your room can now have a light bulb that emits infrared when the light is turned off. This allows security cameras that use IR to extend their view at night. We just got our hands on one and were able to test it out. In this LIFX Plus review we are going to see how well it works and if it’s worth the extra money.
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Disclaimer: The writers of this blog received a free sample of the product for review. They were not compensated in any other way. The opinions are 100% their own and not influenced.
LIFX Plus Review
The LIFX Plus is very similar to the LIFX Color 1000 which has an wide color range, warm and soft whites, and is extremely bright. The only difference is that the LIFX Plus has infrared, but everything else is the same as the Color 1000. If anything, this is good news because the original bulb was such high quality.
The first thing I did when I got it setup was figure out how to turn on the IR for the LIFX Plus. After going through the app and looking at the instructions and neither of them said anything about it, I realized that the infrared just turns on when the light is off. (Update) LIFX just updated their app so you can turn off the infrared or adjust the brightness. To turn off the infrared, go into the settings for the LIFX Plus in the app.
Testing the brightness
For me to turn the IR off, I had to unplug the lamp. Below you can see what the front room looks like without any extra infrared.
I plugged the lamp back in and stood across the room by the front door. Now you can see the difference with the LIFX Plus infrared on.
As you can see, the infrared from the LIFX does help. The camera I am using is only 720p and I am far away from the light. So this isn’t a fair test because in a real situation where a break in was happening the burglar would be walking around.
So for a full LIFX Plus review I took videos of both the IR on and off while walking. This should give you a better idea of how the IR from the bulb helps.
— Smart Home Solver (@SmartHomeSolver) November 22, 2016
Watching the video, it’s clear that there is a difference with the infrared on and off. I was hoping the IR light would be a little bit brighter, but you can still see me better in the video with IR. I tried with the lamp shade on and off to see which one did better. When I had the lamp shade on, the infrared seemed to illuminate further.
Most security camera’s IR light can only reach about 15 feet. You might be fine with this distance living in an apartment, but maybe not so much in a large house. LIFX Plus fills this void to brighten up those dark spots.
The LIFX Plus works with all IR cameras and doesn’t need a hub. This makes adding a bulb to a new or existing smart home setup easy. I would say that if you have an IR camera and are security minded then the LIFX Plus is worth it. If you already have LIFX bulbs and don’t have many security cameras, then this might not be worth it. Let us know if we missed anything in this LIFX Plus review with a comment below.