I’ve got smart lights, they’re globes and even switches – but all they do is change the way we turn on and off the lights. Lifx’s latest product the Lifx Beam makes you completely rethink your approach to lighting.
Ok, so sure you can change the temperature and the colour of your smart lights too – but with the Lifx Beam you don’t just replace a bulb, you re-design your approach to lighting.
We’ve seen this before once – with the Nanoleaf Aurora, yet I still see that product as a decorative approach to lighting.
In fact you could easily see the Lifx Beam as decorative, most of their own imagery gives it that sense. Throw it on the wall, make a pattern – but there’s almost always one problem. The cable.
At the end of the Lifx Beam is a cable that has to run to a power point – so any arrangement should seemingly appear from behind furniture perhaps – that will solve the problem.
Inside the box, after your $299 purchase – are six sections of your beam, and one corner piece. Somewhat problematically the cable is entirely magnetic, as are the sections. They clip together, and the power cord clips on them. Any little movement could end the light through the beam at the broken junction, or if the whole cable comes off – so once you know what you want, you need a solid installation.
That said, I love it. I took the time to carve a channel within my studio acoustic foam, and used the supplied command tape to stick the beam sections to the roof. Running the cable in concealment and the whole thing just blends in.
Now, with the app to control it I can choose colour themes, flat colours, brightness and all that. I can even paint my own colour scheme – sadly, I can’t save the colours I create into a theme.
I’ve stopped using the ceiling lights in the studio. The four LED downlights I used to rely on for light are now redundant. Using a combination of smart lights, but capped off with a ceiling run of Lifx Beam I have all the light I need to work. It reminds me of my chat with Jake Dyson who suggested we all put way too much light into our rooms – we should be lighting “tasks”.
With full control of not just the lighting levels but the path of the light I’m getting a more subtle workspace and a greater focus.
As either a replacement lighting solution or a decorative light for almost anywhere in the home, the Lifx Beam is fantastic. Let down by the clumsy magnetic links and cable that can drop right off – it’s a great addition to a modern smart home.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.