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Lifx Beam is a color-changing, voice-activated stick-up light

Here's the third new Lifx product in the past two weeks: a set of smart, color-changing light bars that work with Siri, Alexa and the Google Assistant.

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Expertise Smart home technology | Wireless connectivity Credentials
  • 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Ry Crist
3 min read

Stick them up on your walls, and Lifx Beam light bars will provide a colorful, app-enabled light show whenever you like.


Here's how you can tell that Lifx is betting big on Apple HomeKit support to help sell lots and lots of color-changing lights: In the less than two weeks since that long-awaited support for HomeKit finally went live, the smart lighting manufacturer has unveiled three new products.

The latest is called Lifx Beam, and it's a set of color-changing light bars that you'll stick to your walls to help liven the place up a little. Each bar is about 12 inches long and contains 10 distinct "zones" of color that you can control, program, and animate using the Lifx app on your Android, iOS, or Windows device. You get six bars plus a power adapter for $200, AU$280 in Australia, or €230 in Europe and the UK (about £205, converted roughly). Kits ship out this November, Lifx says.

From the sounds of it, the Lifx Beam light bars and their amazing Technicolor dreamzones will work a lot like the Lifx Z color-changing light strip. You'll stick both up using 3M sticky tabs, which come included, and connect segments together at their ends to form a continuous line of color-changing light. The only difference: the Lifx Z is flexible, while the Lifx Beam isn't.


Each Lifx Beam starter kit comes with a power adapter, six color-changing light bars, and one color-changing corner piece.


It still bends, though -- at least, sort of. In addition to the six beams, each starter kit comes with a single, color-changing corner piece that can connect two bars at a 90 degree angle like in the picture shown. Lifx tells me that each power adapter can support up to eight beams and two corner pieces. No word yet on how much an extra beam or corner piece will set you back, though.

Like other Lifx products, the Lifx Beam kit uses Wi-Fi to connect directly to your router, so you don't need any extra hub hardware. It will also work with all three major smart home voice control platforms -- Alexa, Siri and the Google Assistant. You'll also find a Lifx channel on the free, online automation service IFTTT, as well as integrations with other third parties like Logitech and Nest.

All of that helps Lifx stay competitive with its color-changing competitors. The closest as far as the Beam is concerned would be Nanoleaf, which already sells a set of triangular, color-changing "Aurora" panels that also work with the major voice assistants. No major competitor currently offers stick-up light bars, though.

At the same time, the Beam seems like a bit of a niche novelty (which is really saying something in the color-changing smart light category). Folks looking to outfit their smart homes with modern, eye-catching displays will likely be intrigued, but time will tell if that's enough to gin up the sort of sales Lifx is probably hoping for.

Combined with the Lifx Z strips and with the Lifx Tile wall panels (one of the other new products announced in just the last few days), the brand seems to be expanding its emphasis on decorative lighting. At the very least, the company seems quite comfortable thinking beyond the bulb, which might indicate a potential trend for smart home lighting.

Of course, you can still stick with Lifx bulbs if you so choose. The newest of which, a lineup of small Lifx Mini bulbs, is set to start shipping by the end of October.

Alexa? HomeKit? Google Home? These gizmos work with all three

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