Apr 302016
My Lifx Bulbs - Resurrected

Some time ago (2013? 2014?) I ordered 2 Lifx bulbs: WiFi connected LED lamps did sound awesome to have. The software resp. firmware was unfortunately flakey (connecting to WiFi took many tries, and occasionally it stopped responding to WiFi). There was also no official API. In the end, it was a pair of unreliable lamps. They worked fine as “dump lamps” though. Last year I tried again, and the software and firmware improve, but I had no lamp that could handle the weight (about 300g).

However, I checked last week and the software improved: new firmware 2.0 available. And plenty APIs documented and plenty connectivity to cloud services. Worth to have another look at those Lifx bulbs.

So I bought a nice clamp light which has no issue with the weight (and a very strong clamp).

The Android app (version 3.5) works. Connecting to the bulk was still a hit-and-miss, but after 3 tries all worked. New firmware is now on both bulbs with the promise that further firmware updates won’t take 30min… we’ll see.

The more fun part is programming the bulbs to do things like “Wake me up in the morning”. I took this as a challende to program in node.js as I imagined a command (for Linux of course) would be too easy (cron+command=done).

There a neat lifx library for node.js available here which was a very good start. Took several attempts to understand how it works, but once it made ‘click’, it was straightforward. And reliable too. Kudos to Marius for the nice library. My result is here and while small, I’m happy about the result.

And because it’s running on node.js, it works on my little fanless ARM Linux machines too.