State of the Light Bulb, revisited

Posted on February 11, 2016
Tags: lifx

Cree TW

I don’t recommend the Cree TW anymore, because of the six bulbs I bought a year ago, two have died. (True, I was using them in a bathroom, so maybe they were unhappy about that.)

In any case, though, the Cree TW only came in one color temperature, which was lower than I wanted.


three light bulbs in descending order of size

Photo, from left-to-right: Yuji VTC Series, incandescent bulb, Yuji BC Series Remote Phosphor

The last time I wrote about light bulbs, I had two issues with the Yuji bulb: it was fairly dim, and they were only sporadically in stock.

A few months ago, I bought some of the new Yuji VTC Series bulb, which is 725 lumens. That’s still not quite as bright as a 60-watt incandescent, but it’s significantly brighter than the Yuji BC Series Remote Phosphor bulbs, which I had before. For obvious reasons, I will refer to the VTC Series bulb as the “big bulb,” and the BC Series Remote Phosphor bulb as the “small bulb.”

Sadly, the big bulbs are just too big; they hardly fit into anything. I wish Yuji would make an A19-sized bulb that was at least as bright as a 60-watt incandescent.

I guess the big bulbs were a big flop, because they aren’t even listed at all on Yuji’s web site anymore. The small bulbs are still available.

I still like the small Yuji bulbs a lot, though, even if they aren’t very bright. None of mine have died or had any other problems, even though I’ve been using some in a bathroom even longer than the Cree TWs.


LIFX is a nice piece of hardware, but as a dumb bulb, it’s quite expensive. It also isn’t quite possible to use it as a dumb bulb, because it can accidentally get reset to 3500K, so it’s necessary to keep the app around to change it back to the desired color temperature.

As a smart bulb, I’m still none too thrilled with it. The official app is still buggy, and although LIFX employee Daniel Hall is incredibly helpful on the developer’s forum, I feel like the higher-ups at LIFX aren’t really on-board with the notion of “Developers, Developers, Developers” as they had once promised. So much functionality is reserved for the official app that it feels like third-party apps are just an afterthought.

I’m continuing to work on my Haskell library to interface with the LIFX bulbs, although I keep asking myself whether it’s really a worthwhile thing to work on. (My answer is that since I’m using it to learn Haskell, it is definitely worthwhile, but it might not be otherwise.) I’ve had a low-level library and command-line utility working for a while now, but I’ve been holding off releasing it because I want to have a typeclass that abstracts the backends, such as a LAN Protocol backend and a LIFX Cloud backend. I might eventually add backends for lightsd and/or AllJoyn, too.

I haven’t been spending too much time on my LIFX Haskell library lately, but I think I’m finally starting to get close to something that I’d like to release.