LIFX

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

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. They then launched one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in history. 

Yet even as they received praise for the ingenuity of their hardware, they knew they needed help with their software. LIFX sought assistance to revamp their software, realising that achieving mass adoption depended on a fluid user interface. DEPT® partnered with LIFX to help them achieve success by redefining lighting powered by AWS. 

Cutting-edge light bulb software in need of an upgrade

LIFX sought assistance to revamp their software, realising that achieving mass adoption depended on a fluid user interface. The focus was on enhancing speed, efficiency, and user control over multiple lights. This undertaking demanded a close partnership with LIFX, developing a multi-year relationship to overhaul and expand their digital ecosystem.

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

In an era when the Internet of Things (IoT) was still emerging, unique challenges arose from wirelessly networked devices without physical internet connections. 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 reworked LIFX’s firmware, cloud infrastructure, and mobile apps for various platforms. 

Our technical challenges included making sure the light bulbs were flexible, responsive, and compatible with different WiFi setups. We moved some of the complex logic to the bulbs to minimise the need for frequent changes, and we used a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) to make testing easier. We also built a strong cloud infrastructure to handle the scaling of bulbs to customers and enable smooth over-the-air updates.

LIFX has become a major player in the smart lighting industry

Our software overhaul significantly improved the performance of LIFX systems by utilising Amazon Web Services (AWS). 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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VP Growth APAC

Evan Davey

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