Photons requires a UNIX-like operating system (Linux, macOS, Windows Subsystem for Linux) with Python 3.6 or newer installed.


Photons is best installed in a Python virtual environment. The following commands create a virtual environment named .photons-core in the current user’s home directory and installs the latest version of Photons:

$ python3 -m venv ~/.photons-core
$ source ~/.photons-core/bin/activate
$ pip install lifx-photons-core


the virtual environment can be located anywhere on the file system by changing the ~/.photons-core path to the desired location.

After installation, the Photons command-line tool lifx is available in the virtual environment:

$ lifx lan:transform -- '{"power": "on", "color": "red", "brightness": 0.5}'

Activating the virtual environment

The installation method above installs Photons into a virtual environment which needs to be activated prior to use. The activation command can be included in larger shell scripts to make the lifx utility available to those scripts.

To activate the virtual environment created earlier, run:

$ source ~/.photons-core/bin/activate


Replace ~/.photons-core with the location of the virtual environment, if necessary.

To deactivate the virtual environment, run:

(.photons-core) $ deactivate