Saturday 23 July 2016

Flic button support in LIFXstyle and Hue-topia

Although it seems slightly ironic to install smart bulbs and then buy a physical button to switch them on/off, a 'smart button' is something I've been searching for for some time.

A LIFXstyle user asked me about support for Flic buttons and they looked just like what I've been looking for. And they've lived up to the promise. There's nothing for scale in the picture below. The buttons are pretty small, around an inch in diameter. They have a small battery within, which is said to have a life of 5 years and then is replaceable. They come with a fabulous sticky back and can be stuck onto a surface, pulled off and stuck to something else apparently ad infinitum (the sticky surface is washable). There's an optional clip which can be fitted if you want to wear the button.

(Let me say right out that I've had to buy my buttons like everyone else, and I'm not earning any kind of commission).

I should also point out that Flic buttons can work Hue and LIFX bulbs without my software, but maybe you're like me and would rather not be connecting your buttons and your bulbs to cloud services.

They've turned out to be very easy to use and integrate into my apps. Support on a Mac involves running the Flic Service which is currently beta.

There's now a window within LIFXstyle and Hue-topia which allows you to add and configure your buttons.

The above window is called up using the menu item View > Flic Manager (cmd-4)
Note also the Menu item LIFXstyle > Connect to Flic Service / Disconnect from Flic Service. Connection should be made automatically, but you can try toggling this if you have problems.
If your button isn't in the list, use the 'Scan' button and press your Flic button. It should appear in the Flic Manager list if it's discoverable. (Your computer may also ask for permission to pair if you've not already paired that button with the computer.) Stop scanning and check the box to tell LIFXstyle/Hue-topia you want to connect to it.
For each button in the list, choose presets (or 'All on / All off') for each action (single, double-click, hold)
Edit your button's name. If you use the keywords white, black, green, blue or yellow in the name (eg 'My black button #1') then the 'ready' icon will appear in the right colour.

The Flic service requires MacOS 10.10 or higher. Without using the Flic functionality, LIFXstyle should run on 10.9 or higher, Hue-topia should run on 10.8 or above.

All of this is available in v2.0 beta of both LIFXstyle and Hue-topia. At present these aren't available for download on the site, but please contact me if you'd like to help test either.



  1. Hi Shiela

    I am very interested in trying the Beta version so I an use Flic buttons. Would you please consider allowing me to test it for you?


    Mark 7

    1. Hi Mark, that would be good. You're welcome to download now and use. There is an issue I'm aware of: if left running, my app becomes disconnected from the Flic service, requiring you to use File>Disconnect from Flic Service, then File > Connect to Flic Service. This gets a bit tiresome, I need to deal with that and release an update. But in the mean time, here's the current beta:


      (you don't say whether you're a Hue or LIFX person.)