In recent years, technology has taken off in a big way. The gap between real-life and sci-fi movies is getting smaller and smaller. And sometimes it might be hard to keep up with these technological advances. What is a “smart strip light” and how can you use it to turn your house into a digital, glowing paradise?
A smart strip light is a strip of LED lights that use integrated circuits and wireless technology to change color based on decisions you make using your Alexa, Google Home Assistant, or apps on your phone. They can switch to any color scheme you like and adjust brightness.
But are they all exactly the same? What are the best smart strip lights, and how do they work exactly? Don’t worry; keep reading, and we’ll answer all your questions.
How They Work
Most smart light strips are Bluetooth, and so when you buy them, they can connect wirelessly to your phone. But in order to do that, you first must download the app that corresponds with the light strip. Once you download the app, you can connect the light to your device and gain access to all the features of your light strip.
Connection isn’t difficult–it’s very similar to connecting to any other Bluetooth device. The process will vary slightly depending on each light strip, so it’s important to read the instruction manual that comes with it. But generally speaking, you should download the specified app. Then make sure your device has Bluetooth turned on and has a strong WiFi connection.
Press and hold the Config button of the light strip for six seconds until the lights start blinking. Once that happens, the device is in pairing mode. It should show up on your app, and once you click the option, it will pair to your app. The features available for the light strip will vary from model to model, but here are some things that smart light strips can do:
- Color and Brightness: Many smart strips are multi-colored, meaning you have the option to choose between a bunch of different colors, depending on the color model. You can pick the colors in the gradient of the strip, and you can also change the brightness. If you want mood lighting, you can set the strip to a lower brightness. But if you need it to keep a room lit enough to see (maybe for a haunted house), you can ramp up the power.
- Photo Color: Some light strips have a “color capture” mode where you can pick a certain picture, and then the light strip will shine with colors based on that picture. To do this, you have to allow the app to access your pictures, but it’s worth it.
- Lighting Effects: Some color and lighting combinations are prepicked for you, and you can search through them in “Scene Mode.” Scene mode predicts what kind of lighting you’d want for different scenes, and instead of making you configure the lights and brightness by yourself, it’s already set up for you. All you have to do is pick from the preset options.
- Music Mode: Have you ever wanted your light strip to “hear” the music you’re playing, and change the lights up to the beat of the song? Well, your wish has come true. You can set up your smart light strip to “listen” to music being played, and to change its color scheme/brightness depending on the song. Long story short, the music mode is awesome. It’s great for parties and entertaining your cats.
- Time and Scheduling: The smart light strips are so smart, they’ll turn on and off whenever you want them to, even if you’re not there. You can set up a schedule on the app for them to turn on and off. If you want to wake up earlier in the morning, you can set the light strips to turn on at 5:00 a.m. Or if you’re going to bed early, but other family members aren’t, you can set the light strip to stay on for another hour by going to the “Left” timing option, and choosing “one hour.” It’ll turn off in an hour, even if you’re asleep.
Despite all of these cool options, light strips aren’t perfect. There are some things you should look out for before you buy the first smart light strip you find on Amazon.
Things to Know Before Buying a Light Strip:
- Some smart light strips require secure 2.4GHz WiFi networks to work properly. If your WiFi isn’t secure (i.e., doesn’t require a password for access), then you won’t be able to connect the device to the WiFi and it won’t work properly. If it’s set to a 5.0GHz WiFi network, you can open the router and change the settings so it becomes a 2.4GHz network.
- Some people might think that the strip will change colors for each LED light, so the gradient will change really slowly throughout the whole strip. Most of them don’t do this–instead, the light changes after a section of lights. So if you have a gradient that changes from red to blue, it might have a red section, a purple section, and a blue section.
Best Smart Light Strips
Would you like to find out How To Control Smart Strip Lights With Your Phone? Check this article that we wrote on the topic!
Here’s a list of the best smart light strips for 2021:
- Govee WiFi RGBIC LED Strip Lights (Basic light strips for interior design)
- HitLights Waterproof LED Strip Lights (Good for Poor/Outdoor Use–but only one color)
- Pangton Villa LED Strip Lights (Made to attach to the back of the television)
- Micomlan Music Sync LED Strip Lights (Best Music Mode)
- Govee Interior Car LED Strip Lights (Use inside cars–but can be distracting)
Home Streamliner’s Take
Smart light strips have a million different uses, as you can see in the “Best” section. You can use these lights for cars, to backlight your TV, to line your pool, and virtually anywhere else.
You can change the color scheme for each holiday–instead of buying Christmas dangly lights with bulbs that burn out, you can wrap a light strip around your roof. Set black and orange for Halloween and then switch it to red and green for Christmas.
The possibilities are endless, and if you have an extra $40, we recommend buying some to try out all the fun, fancy, sci-fi features.
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