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LIFX smarbulbs gain long-delayed support for Apple's HomeKit

Several LIFX smartbulbs are now compatible with Apple's HomeKit, the company announced on Thursday, in a move which could bolster attempts to compete with Philips' popular Hue series.




Compatibility currently includes various LIFX, LIFX GU10, LIFX Downlight, and LIFX+ models. To upgrade, owners must download the LIFX 3.8.1 app update, then install new firmware. The app will guide users through setting up HomeKit, including generating authentication codes, which would normally be printed on labels for supporting accessories.

Once HomeKit is enabled people should be able to control their lights through the iOS Home app, watchOS, or Siri. Access away from home requires an iPad or Apple TV configured as a hub.

Perhaps more significantly, HomeKit allows devices from multiple manufacturers to work together in rooms and scenes, solving a common problem with home automation. Previously LIFX owners had to use the official app or platforms like IFTTT and Amazon Alexa.

LIFX has promised HomeKit support for some time. The addition may have been made easier by Apple policy changes, above all support for software-based authentication instead of requiring a dedicated hub or chip.