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129 Stars 15 Forks GNU General Public License v3.0 274 Commits 8 Opened issues


A daemon with a JSON-RPC API to control your light bulbs

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lightsd, a daemon to control smart bulbs

lightsd acts a central point of control for your LIFX_ WiFi bulbs. lightsd should be a small, simple and fast daemon exposing an easy to use protocol inspired by how musicpd_ works.

Having to run a daemon to control your LIFX bulbs may seem a little bit backward but has some advantages:

  • no discovery delay ever, you get all the bulbs and their state right away;
  • lightsd is always in sync with the bulbs and always knows their state;
  • lightsd act as an abstraction layer and can expose new discovery mechanisms and an unified API across different kind of smart bulbs;
  • For those of you with a high paranoia factor, lightsd let you place your bulbs in a totally separate and closed network.

.. _LIFX: .. _musicpd:

Current features

lightsd discovers your LIFX bulbs, stays in sync with them and support the following commands through a JSON-RPC_ interface:

  • power_off (with auto-retry);
  • power_on (with auto-retry);
  • power_toggle (power on if off and vice-versa, with auto-retry);
  • setlightfrom_hsbk;
  • set_waveform (change the light according to a function like SAW or SINE);
  • getlightstate;
  • set_label;
  • tag/untag (group/ungroup bulbs together).

The JSON-RPC interface works on top of TCP/IPv4/v6, Unix sockets, or over a command pipe (named pipe, see


lightsd can target single or multiple bulbs at once:

  • by device address;
  • by device label;
  • by tag;
  • broadcast;
  • composite (list of targets);

lightsd works and is developed against a variety of LIFX firmwares from the oldest ones to the newest ones.

.. _JSON-RPC: .. _mkfifo(1):


lightsd is packaged for Mac OS X, Arch Linux, Debian based systems and OpenWRT. Check out for installation instructions and a walk-through some interactive examples.

lightsd and monolight, an user interface for a programmable button array, were presented at Fosdem 2017. Check out the slides for a presentation of lightsd's capabilities, architecture and an example of project built with lightsd:


lightsd aims to be highly portable on any slightly POSIX system and on any kind of hardware including embedded devices. Hence why lightsd is written in C with reasonable dependencies:

  • libevent ≥ 2.0.19 (released in May 2012);
  • CMake ≥ 2.8.9 (released in August 2012): only if you want to build lightsd from its sources.

lightsd is actively developed and tested from Arch Linux, Debian, Mac OS X, OpenWRT and OpenBSD; both for 32/64 bits and little/big endian architectures.

Native Windows support has been kept in mind, but isn't really the focus.


Feel free to reach out via email or irc (

_ on Freenode, insist if I don't reply). As the project name implies, I'm fairly interested in other smart bulbs.

Check out the

contribution guide
_ for the vision behind the project and how to contribute.

Join the conversation on the

LIFX forum

.. _#lightsd: irc:// .. _contribution guide: .. _LIFX forum:

.. vim: set tw=80 spelllang=en spell:

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