In a world obsessed with hygiene and cleanliness, imagine if you didn’t have to wipe anything down. Imagine if your lights did it for you. Lifx intends to make this a reality with the announcement of the Lifx Clean, a fully functional white and color smart light that also uses germicidal and antibacterial lighting to disinfect surfaces as well as the surrounding air. If it sounds like something out of science fiction, ask yourself: Is smart home technology really that far off?
The Lifx Clean will have all of the same capabilities as the Lifx A19 and A60 bulbs, including mobile app control and integration through Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. You can customize the colors to suit your mood. It comes with the added benefit of emitting light at a wavelength of 405 nanometers, a specific range of high-energy light that has a disinfecting effect on bacterial microbes.
UV-C light is commonly used to clean surfaces but is not safe for humans and animals in extended amounts. High-energy visible light, or HEV light, has no harmful effect on humans or animals and doesn’t require protective equipment to use. However, it takes longer to disinfect. While HEV light isn’t going to clean the surface in 5 to 10 seconds, continued use of the light will keep bacteria levels low. By integrating it into lights designed for everyday use, Lifx hopes to make your home a cleaner place overall.
Early tests show that 70% of bacteria are killed within about two hours. The closer the light is, the more effective it is at cleaning. If used as under-cabinet lighting, the Lifx clean shows an efficiency greater than 80% over two hours or up to 99.99% overnight.
While the Lifx Clean will initially be sold as a standalone bulb, Lifx expects to include it as part of a lamp or light fixture to hold common, everyday items like wallets, keys, and phones — items that are commonly exposed to bacteria and would benefit from frequent disinfecting. With regard to COVID-19, Lifx Clean is currently undergoing tests to measure its efficacy. No claim is being made about whether the light will have any antiviral properties or not.
The Lifx clean is expected to launch for $70 sometime toward the end of the year in markets such as Australia, the European Union, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, although no date has officially been given. As for North America, they’re still being tested for approval in the United States and Canada due to different regulatory requirements.