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Light Bulbs

Lifx adds light strips to its family of color-changing smart LEDs

Stick the new "Lifx Z" smart strip wherever you like, and then control the colors and brightness on your phone or using Amazon's Alexa.

The Lifx Z color-changing light strip.

Lifx

Lifx has been pitching the appeal of color-changing smart lights for years, but their family of connected LEDs has always lacked a light strip that you can stick up beneath cabinets, behind entertainment centers, or in other hard-to-light spots in your home.

Today, that changes with the introduction of the Lifx Z, a color-changing smart strip that'll work alongside the rest of the Lifx lineup. A starter kit that includes the base plug and a 2-meter strip will sell for $90 (£70/AU$120), with additional one-meter strips selling for $30 a piece (£25/AU$40).

You'll be able to connect up to 10 meters' worth of strips to a single base station, with plugs available for outlets in your specific part of the world. Once you've snapped everything together and stuck the strips where you want them, you'll use the Lifx app on your Android, iOS, or Windows device to pair them directly with your home's Wi-Fi network.

From there, you'll be able to control the color and brightness of the strips from your phone, or with Alexa voice commands on the Amazon Echo smart speaker. You'll also be able to trigger the strips using the free online automation service IFTTT.

Lifx Z seems designed for direct competition with the Philips Hue and Osram Lightify, both of which offer their own comparably priced plays on smart, color-changing light strips. Both alternatives require gateway devices to connect with your router, though, and that might help Lifx Z set itself apart, since it connects directly with your home network over Wi-Fi.

Preorders for Lifx Z start on October 1st, alongside a new line of "Lifx Plus" smart bulbs that use infrared light to help night vision cameras see more clearly. All of it is expected to ship out in November.

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