LIFX Smart Bulb Opens Up Second Batch Of 100K Pre-Orders, Demos Gesture-Based Dimming

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Australian hardware startup and Kickstarter success story LIFX has good news for people who missed out on backing the initial project: it’s opening up a second round of pre-orders, with a new production run of 100,000 units, sold directly through its website. LIFX sold out its pre-order allotment on Kickstarter in just six days, blowing past $1M, which is 10 times its original funding target.

LIFX’s original ship date was slated for March of 2013, but as of today co-founder Andrew Birt says the first 500 units should be rolling off the line in about four weeks time with a May/June Kickstarter shipping timeframe in mind, which isn’t that much of a delay in Kickstarter time. That’s why the company has now released the video above, which shows the production prototype in action, connecting to Wi-Fi, being controlled by the remote app with light color changing features and a demo of gesture-based dimming in action.

The new second batch of LIFX bulbs is set for a September 2013 delivery date, so they’ll come after the startup fulfills its Kickstarter pledge pre-orders. All bulb types, including Edison screw, Bayonet and Downlight mounts, start at $79 (just $10 more than the original Kickstarter single-bulb price), and all have price breaks for bulk orders.

Unlike Philips Hue, LIFX bulbs don’t require a base to connect to your network, and the Edison screw and Bayonet types are rated at 900 lumens on the LIFX (around 80w), while max brightness on the Hue is just 600 lumens (roughly 50w). Philips Hue bulbs cost $20 less per unit, but you also have to buy the starter kit which includes the base to get up and running, a $199 initial investment. Of course, the ultimate test will be in performance, so we’ll have to see how LIFX compares to the generally very positive reviews the Philips Hue is garnering.