There’s good news if you own LIFX smart home products. Although the company went bust back in April, an acquisition means that LIFX lives on.

Global lighting giant Feit Electric has bought the brand, and says that it will support existing products, introduce new ones, and improve the app …

Background

LIFX was an early player in the smart home space, competing with Zigbee – the standard on which Philips Hue products are based. As with Hue, LIFX was HomeKit-compatible.

Arguably, this was Betamax versus VHS all over again. LIFX was technologically superior, working over Wi-Fi, and without any requirement for a bridge – but Hue proved the more popular option, leading to the apparent demise of LIFX.

LIFX products have remained available, but the future of the brand was uncertain.

LIFX lives thanks to Feit acquisition

Feit Electric is one of the world’s largest lighting companies, with a 40-year history – and has now bought the remains of LIFX. Feit does offer its own-branded smart home products too, but says that it will continue to offer both product lines.

“This acquisition is about fueling the LIFX vision of reinventing lighting,” said Alan Feit, President of Feit Electric. “LIFX focused on the user experience, saying we deserved something better than the boring old light bulb. And then they delivered! LIFX products offer industry-leading bright vibrant colors, the coolest features that are fun to use, and lots of advanced control options while making it effortless and intuitive. We are excited to keep that momentum going with even more revolutionary products and new app features deserving of the LIFX brand. I can’t wait to continue what they started.”

Feit Electric will offer a suite of LIFX products and plans to expand the line with new innovations.  In addition, Feit Electric will support and evolve the LIFX app and cloud platform while maintaining a separate Feit Electric smart platform and app with possible future integrations.  No disruptions are expected to either platform. 

The Verge reports that the existing LIFX support team will continue in their roles.

A LIFX representative confirmed the acquisition on an active LIFX Reddit forum, where many users had been complaining about issues with cloud connectivity over the last few months and expressing concern that their bulbs were heading for obsoletion. 

The post assured existing customers that Feit Electric would continue to support LIFX product owners globally. “We hope this move for the brand will reassure users and customers who have been nervous in the last couple of months about the continuity and continuation of the LIFX experience and ecosystem,” wrote the anonymous employee. Feit’s Knight confirmed to The Verge that most of the LIFX team based in Australia would continue to work with LIFX.

LIFX will also support the Matter standard for future products.

As the report notes, the huge expansion in HomeKit-compatible lighting made it harder for LIFX to compete, given that it operated in the same premium segment as the much better-known Hue line-up. But with the backing of Feit, LIFX should be able to give Hue a run for its money.

9to5Mac’s Take

It’s great to see the brand given new life. Even if you are firmly in the Philips Hue camp, renewed competition from LIFX should push both companies to increase the pace of innovation.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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