The world’s first multi-color LED wifi light bulb

Product / LIFX

In the early days of the modern Internet of Things, LIFX emerged with a vision for connected lighting in the home. Their wifi-enabled light bulbs were cutting edge. Their software was in need of an upgrade.

As highly skilled electrical engineers, the founders of LIFX are intensely interested in the creation of technologically-advanced light bulbs. In 2012, they came across a completely novel idea: a wifi connected bulb. On the strength of that idea, they launched one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in history. They went on to secure even more funding from Silicon Valley VC’s.

Yet even as they received praise for the ingenuity of their hardware, they knew they needed help with their software. It was understood that commercial success and mass adoption would depend on a fluid user experience, which would require skills that lie beyond their areas of expertise. Two Bulls/DEPT® was able to partner with LIFX, understand their objectives and help them achieve success and redefine lighting.

We took over full stack development of all software that powers LIFX’s wifi bulbs. 

The Internet of Things was still young. No one had thought much about issues that might arise with a service that exclusively features wirelessly networked devices. Without a physical connection to the internet, our technical solutions had to be solid and reliable. After looking closely at the competitive landscape and learning how users interact with lighting control systems, our team rewrote LIFX’s firmware, cloud architecture, and mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile (still a player back then). We improved the speed and efficiency of the system. We reimagined the interface so that users could more intuitively control, group and manage multiple lights. The engineering of this full stack solution required close partnership with LIFX. We worked together to overhaul and expand their digital ecosystem for several years.


LIFX has become a major player in the smart lighting industry. 💡

The software overhaul dramatically improved the performance of LIFX systems. Before we stepped in, it could take 30 minutes to update a single bulb. We got that down to under 1 minute—and gave users the ability to update multiple bulbs at once. With our help, LIFX became one of the first products to participate in the Works with Nest program, Google’s since retired connected home initiative. After a string of new product releases and further expansion onto other connected home platforms, LIFX was acquired in 2019 by Buddy in a deal valued at $70M AUD.

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