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Light Bulbs

The Lifx color-changing smart bulb gets a big price cut

Originally priced at $100 per bulb, you can now buy the Wi-Fi-enabled, color-changing Lifx LED for $60.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Lifx color-changing smart LED received a price cut this week, and will now sell for $60 per bulb (about £40, or AU$80, converted roughly). The lights were initially priced at $100 each (£65/AU$140).

With a Wi-Fi radio built into each bulb, Lifx LEDs connect directly to your home's Wi-Fi network, which lets you control them remotely on your Android or iOS device. Along with full color controls and a complete white light spectrum, you can program the lights to fade on in the morning to help wake you up, or to change colors in rhythm with whatever music you're playing.

Outside integrations with the Nest Learning Thermostat and with the online automation tool IFTTT offer even deeper controls, letting you sync your lighting up with other smart home gadgets for more practical purposes. You could program your lights to turn on automatically when a motion sensor sees you entering the room, for instance, or pair your bulbs with your smoke detectors and tell them to flash red during an emergency.

$60 is still an awful lot to pay for a light bulb, (albeit an app-enabled one that changes colors), but it's worth noting that you'll pay the same amount for a single Philips Hue LED . Lifx sets itself apart from Hue by offering more brightness -- 75 watts' worth of light output from a 17-watt power draw, as opposed to the 60 watts' worth of brightness you'll get from a 10-watt Philips Hue bulb.

Another selling point: unlike Hue bulbs, Lifx bulbs don't require a hub. That means you can buy a single Lifx LED and start playing with it right out of the box. With Philips Hue, you'll also need to buy a separate $60 Hue Bridge, or splurge on a $200 three-bulb Hue starter pack that comes with the Bridge included.

Even at $100, that made Lifx the better option for anyone who just wanted to try a single bulb out. The $60 price just cements that positioning.

In addition to its original, color-changing LED, Lifx sells the Lifx White 800 LED for $40. That bulb dials the brightness back to the 60-watt level and ditches the colors, but it keeps the tunable white-light shades. Both bulbs are available internationally, with E26 and E27 sized screw-in bases for North America and Australia, as well as a model with a B22 bayonet mount for the UK.