LIFXstyle - home lighting controller for Mac OSX

LIFXstyle manual

1. Tasks

1.1 How do I get everything set up?

1.2 How do I schedule a lamp to switch on / off / change brightness?

1.2a The sunrise/set times don't seem to be accurate / how does the twilight setting work?

1.3 How do I make the computer listen for sound and respond by switching on lights?

1.4 Can I switch lamps on or off by a keystroke?

1.5 How do I use effects?

2. Troubleshooting

2.1 When first started, not all bulbs / groups show

2.2 F-key assignment doesn't work

 


1. Tasks

1.1 How do I get everything set up?

1. You will need to connect your bulbs to your network using the free iOS app. Then start LIFXstyle.

1.2 How do I schedule a lamp to switch on / off / change brightness?

1. Press the Schedules button or 'Show schedules' from the View menu (command-2 also shows this window).

2. Press the [+] button at the bottom-left of the Schedules window.

3. Fill in this box, it should all be self-explanatory. Click somewhere outside of the box to save and close those settings.

4. When setting light(s) to switch 'On & Off', the days of the week apply to the 'on' time. If the 'off' time goes past midnight, then the lamp will obviously be turned off the following day.

1.2a The sunrise/set times don't seem to be accurate / how does the twilight setting work?

If you make a schedule, to switch a lamp / group on and/or off and check "link these times to local sunrise/set". You should see the times grey out, and they'll now set to your sunrise/set times.

If the times that are used don't appear to be as expected, go to Preferences. There are a number of different definitions of sunrise/set, ranging from the time that the sun first hits the horizon (when it's still fully light) to when it's fully behind the horizon (it's pretty dark by then). Experiment with the drop-down box (Sunrise/set, Nautical, Civil, Astronomical) and see which suits you best.

1.3 How do I make the computer listen for sound and respond by switching on lights?

1. Make a preset with the lights set how you'd like them to be when the computer hears a noise. (see 'How do I make a preset') Perhaps all lights on brightly.

2. Click the Settings button in the toolbar or 'LIFXstyle > Preferences from the menu bar (command - comma is the standard keyboard shortcut for Preferences)

3. If you make a noise, you should see flashing lights in the level indicator. This uses your sound input source set in System Preferences > Sound > Input, so check there if you can't see a sound level being indicated.

4. Adjust the slider so that you see red lights if you walk around the room or open a door. Red lights mean that an action will be triggered.

5. The next box chooses which preset is selected when a sound is detected. Select the preset that you made in step 1.

6. If you wish to set a delay so that the lights aren't switched on immediately there's a sound (to hide the fact that it's an automatic response) then set a delay of a few seconds.

7. The next box sets the number of minutes that the lights remain bright before returning to their previous state.

8. Note that if you manually select a preset after the lights have been triggered, then the lights won't automatically return to their previous state.

9. Close the Preferences window.

10. To manually start the computer listening, return to the manual control window and click 'Listen' in the main toolbar. You'll see that there's a delay of 60 seconds which you can use if you are leaving the room or the house.

11. To start the computer listening on schedule (for example, to only listen at night while you are away from home) create a schedule as described in 'How do I schedule a lamp to switch on / off / change brightness' but set the action to 'Start listening'.

1.4 Can I switch lamps on or off by a keystroke?

Choose 'Assign hotkeys' From the Presets drop-down in the toolbar or go to Preferences > Hotkeys. Simply select which preset you'd like to assign to F keys. If this interferes with other software you use, you can set a modifier too. (ie if you're unable to use F1 because another app uses that key, set cmd-F1 or ctrl-F1)

If pressing your Function key does something else (like screen brightness, or volume) then you may need to press the 'fn' key at the same time as your f-key to make it work as an f-key. You can reverse this behaviour (ie it works as an f-key without the 'fn' key but requires the 'fn' key to work as brightness, volume etc) in System Preferences.

1.5 How do I use the effects designer?

The effects designer comes with version 2.0.

The Effects designer is 'pre-loaded' with some effects such as TV simulator and Fire, plus two which are designed to replace the old 'false dawn' and 'false dusk'.

The new dawn / dusk effects change colour through gold and blue while reducing or increasing the light in order to simulate dawn or dusk more realistically. More importantly, they're editable and you can customise them as you see fit.

Note that If you did have any 'false dawn / dusk' set up on schedule, you'll need to open these and change them to 'Effect' and choose the appropriate effect.

You can open the list of effects by pressing the effects button at the end of each control strip (swirly symbol) and choosing 'add / edit effects' or View > Show Effects (cmd-3)

Double-click to open one of the existing ones, or use the [+] button to add a new effect.

With the effect sheet open, add as many 'sliders' as you like (each one is a change of colour or brightness).

A slider with zero brightness will switch the bulb right off. This is important with non-looping effects such as the false dusk where we want to leave the lamp switched off rather than just minimum brightness.

2. Troubleshooting

2.1 When first started, not all bulbs / groups show

Not all bulbs respond at the same time. Give it time and if LIFXstyle hasn't added all of your bulbs / groups within say 30 seconds, try quitting and re-starting the app.

Failing that, make sure that all of your bulbs are connected to your wi-fi network using the free iOS app.

2.2 F-key assignment doesn't work

If you're using a laptop or a newer apple keyboard, you may have an fn key in the bottom-left or in the middle. Your Function keys may have certain OSX functions assigned to them - dimming the screen / keyboard etc. (They may have icons for those functions printed on them more prominently than the 'F' number). You will need to press the fn key along with the actual F-key in order to make it work as an F-key (also with a modifier if you've set one in LIFXstyle preferences).

You can change this behaviour in System Preferences > Keyboard > 'Use all F keys as standard F keys'. In that case you will then need to press the fn key to access the special feature of each key.