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LIFX Driver
#1
So I seem to have a knack for finding and using things that are outside of the box. We have gotten a few LIFX bulbs and like them over the Hue's . There were a few probing discussions in the forums back in 2015 when the bulbs were first release but I haven't seen anything since. I like them because they are wifi based and dont need a hub. From research people have no problem scaling other than their WAP being able to handle hundreds of devices (all solvable with some network planning). 

What would be the chances of adding LIFX to the queue for driver development? They have both an API for communication with their cloud, and a LAN Protocol to communicate directly with the bulbs. The LAN protocol is what got me excited and to grab one to try it, just one more item that can function without the cloud. 

https://api.developer.lifx.com/
https://lan.developer.lifx.com/

I'm willing to help however I can.
Robert
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#2
There's a good bit to bite off there. And, as usual, they took no account of the fact that to keep low latency status of these lights they are going to have to be polled, because they provide no asynchronous status updates that I can see. So that's a lot of ongoing network activity if you had a lot of these, when 99% of the time it's not required.

I'll put it on the list as something to look at. I have to say though that I don't think that this approach is optimal, i.e. using the Wifi for large numbers of automation widgets. It's not scalable in a way that most people can cope with, the devices are going to be potentially dangerous and now they are on your LAN and downloading who knows what from who knows where, or exposing various insecurities.

Honestly I'd use a Hue. The bridge is a small price to pay for the extra security and ease of setup. At some point here, once Zigbee 3.0 starts getting adopted, hopefully we can look at native Zigbee support.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#3
Well, I’m not to far along so I will see if I can return them. I’d rather switch now than after I get dozens of lights in.
There is no point in hacking something together that is not going to be optimal. Besides having better reviews for brightness and color throw, I don’t think the LIFX has anything Hue doesn’t.
Robert
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#4
I got a few Hue's. I don't know that I am the biggest fan. They definitely feel cheaper and are missing some basic functionality that people are complaining about in the forums (power on from not having any actual power causes the light to go full on white instead of remembering the last state). They are responsive though. There are pro's and con's to each, but I don't think I will go out and switch my whole house to Hue. For the dozen or so I might use, I would probably switch back to LIFX if a driver was ever made down the road.
Robert
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#5
Interesting. I find the opposite to be true, but back when I put in my Hue system LIFX had those similar constraints and were $100/bulb.

I just took a look and saw the price has come down, but how do LIFX integrate as a complete/standalone lighting platform? They don't seem to have switches or scene controllers, instead requiring third-party interaction. With Hue, all integration can fail and the system will still work as expected with the switches/taps.
do the needful ...
Hue | Sonos | Harmony | Elk M1G // Netatmo / Brultech
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#6
It probably comes down to differences in the setup, and I bet I am trying to go off the beaten path. I think my biggest hangup right now is if power is lost, when it comes back on the bulbs go to white and 100%. If I loose power in the middle of the night, I really don't want to be blinded all of a sudden when it comes back on.

Right now we are using bulbs in the bathroom and kitchen. We want them to essentially be blue at 50% all the time. My other half is a bat and enjoyed just being able to shower with blue light. The latest gen LIFX remembered the last setting which worked well. If you toggled the switch a few times pretty quickly it would come on as white instead (built in safety feature). When I switched to Hue I got a remote, but there have still been a few instances where the light switch was flipped during a groggy half-asleep stuper and yelling has commenced.

We are wanting to use the light switches and not have a ton of buttons and remotes stashed everywhere (we can barely keep track of the tv remote, so its only a matter of time before all the rooms get lost and mixed up in a shuffle Smile ). Im aiming for as traditional or integrated as possible. As I can build out touch interfaces, we plan on using those the most. I just finished an unplanned kitchen gut and remodel or I would have an Elk system in. I plan on bypassing the switches for power and using the switches as low voltage relays with the Elk like IVB has mentioned, using the relay to send commands to CQC and control the lights.

They are more expensive, but  they seem to be somewhat in the same range now. You would have to have some form of 3rd party controller or use the cloud platform. There is a network protocol so as long as your network is up, internet can be down and you can communicate with them or a 3rd party platform like CQC could talk to them. I think it comes down to what basket do you want to put your eggs into. If the Hue hub failed, your lights would be somewhat useless. Hue definitely would scale better for most people since you dont have to worry about the network load and architecture, but I am a network engineer by day so that side really doesn't bother me.

I'm definitely a noob when it comes to CQC so I'm sure I will do everything the long way and backwards until I get everything down. I wont be offended and will welcome holes to be poked in my ideas.
Robert
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#7
Well, Hue has already announced they will be releasing the ability for their devices to remember the last state.

But the bigger thing is on how you choose to architect your system. Personally, I prefer to use standalone systems that can be integrated into CQC, which is used to accomplish other cool features (like the Elk LV relays). If I lose my CQC server all that I lose are the cool bits - lights and scenes still work via Hue, audio still works via Sonos , my Harmony Hubs still control my video stack, my Elk still secures my home, etc ... In your architecture, if you lose your CQC server you won't be able to turn lights on or off. As a systems engineer by day, I don't trust a computer at all, and my trust for Windows is even lower, so I mitigate that risk by removing it from the equation. :-D

Since you plan on wiring the lights always on anyways, just screw a Hue Dimmer right over your junction box. That's what I ended up doing and it's worked out great.

*I am not a Hue salesman.
do the needful ...
Hue | Sonos | Harmony | Elk M1G // Netatmo / Brultech
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#8
You are definitely hitting it from the right angle. All my projects have been so derailed lately i just need to get out of the tinkering phase, step back and plan a little. Hue makes the most sense and seems to be what everyone is using. I will just need to be patient for a firmware update Smile
Robert
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#9
Hue's big downside is that their integration interface is not up to the task if you start loading up the hub with a good number of devices. It's purely polled, and it returns way too much information that never changes when you do poll it. Throw in a couple third party systems trying to get all that data with a reasonably low latency, and maybe some folks hitting it via their app, and it can overload. It's not well designed. Many of us have whined to them about it, but it's not been changed. It needs a means to report changes asynchronously.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#10
I had to increase the polling interval (manually), but once I did that the integration has been great. It takes a second or two for status to update, but control is immediate.

My bridge has 30 bulbs, 12 Switches, and 8 Taps.
do the needful ...
Hue | Sonos | Harmony | Elk M1G // Netatmo / Brultech
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