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Best Buy Guides Find the Best Smart Light Strips for Your Smart Home in 2022
Find the Best Smart Light Strips for Your Smart Home in 2022
Best Buy Guide

Find the Best Smart Light Strips for Your Smart Home in 2022

LED light strips are a great way to add some extra light to a room, and with the advent of smart home technology, these devices have become even more useful. They can now be controlled by other accessories in your home and automated to your needs. In this article, we will discuss what light strips are, how they work, and what the most important manufacturers offer.

How Light Strips Work

Light strips are long, thin strips with embedded LED diodes. They can be used either as ambient lighting, for example when installed behind a TV or in a wall recess, or you can use them as work lighting by placing them under a kitchen cabinet. They come in a variety of lengths, and their back side is adhesive so that they can be attached to any surface.

Most light strips are controlled by a remote or by an app on your phone. When integrated into a smart home with a hub like Homey, you can use the Homey mobile app or any remote paired with Homey to change the color of your light strips, set a timer for them to turn off, or even control them in unison with other devices in your home.

The Best Smart Light Strips

For many years, Philips Hue has been the best-known manufacturer of light strips, and their products are high quality. However, many manufacturers entered the market in the past decade, and the most notable brands include the likes of Yeelight, Innr, Wiz, and Twinkly.

Let's take a look at five light strips produced by these companies and see how they compare.

BrandModelPriceLengthProtocolMaximum BrightnessHomey Pro SupportHomey Beta Support
PhilipsHue Play Gradient Light Strip€179+2.2+ mZigbee1100 lmYesYes
PhilipsHue White and Colour Ambient Lightstrip Plus€632 mZigbee1600 lmYesYes
YeelightLight Strip 1S€492 mWi-Fi600 lmYesYes
InnrFlex Color Light Strip€49+2+ mZigbee600 lmYesYes
WiZLight Strip€532 mWi-Fi1600 lmYesYes
TwinklyLine€391.5 mWi-FiN/AYesYes

Philips Hue Play Gradient

Available at EUR 179

Philips Hue Play Gradient
  • Displays color gradients
  • Great color accuracy
  • Expensive
  • Requires a Hue bridge

This light strip is a recently released addition to the Philips Hue lineup. It's a great option if you want to add some extra pizzazz to a room – as its name suggests, this light strip can light up in multiple colors at once, showing an ever-changing gradient of colors. This experience definitely takes ambient lighting to the next level.

With a Philips Hue Sync Box, this light strip can be mounted behind a TV and react to media content like movies or games, keeping the ambience unified across your living room. In practice, this is identical to having a Philips TV with the Ambilight functionality.

The Play Gradient Light Strip is supported by Homey Bridge and Homey Pro, so you can easily change the color of the light strip or its brightness, and when you leave for work, all your lights can automatically turn off. Thanks to Homey, the light strip is also compatible with any switch or button paired with your smart home, and it will respond to the voice assistant of your choice.

If you already own some Philips Hue lights, you know how costly the ecosystem can be. Albeit pricey, the Play Gradient is a fun device, especially if you spend a lot of time watching movies or playing games. With this light strip mounted behind your TV, you'll find it a worthy investment.

Philips Hue White and Colour Ambient Lightstrip Plus

Available at EUR 63

Philips Hue White and Colour Ambient Lightstrip Plus
  • High brightness
  • Great color accuracy
  • Requires a Hue bridge

The Philips Hue ecosystem also offers more affordable alternatives. Although its functionality might be quite basic, the Ambient Lightstrip Plus comes with a friendly price tag and offers a lot of flexibility in terms of brightness and color.

With the impressive output of 1600 lm, there's enough illumination to be used as functional lighting. That means you can create a consistent atmosphere in any room suitable for any occasion – be it a bright, eye-popping color for a party, or a minimal warm ambience for a relaxing evening, or a bright white light to put under a kitchen cabinet.

This flexible indoor strip light allows for shaping and bending it to suit the needs of your space. The base length is 2 meters but you can attach extensions to up to 10 meters in total, if you need to cover larger surfaces.

The setup of this light strip is a snap with Homey Pro or Homey Bridge, but you'll need an extra Philips Hue bridge to access all of the strip's advanced features. The bridge represents an extra expense, but fortunately, it's optional.

Yeelight Light Strip 1S

Available at EUR 49

Yeelight Light Strip 1S
  • Budget-friendly
  • Wi-Fi connection with LAN control available
  • Low color accuracy
  • OK maximum brightness

The Yeelight Light Strip is another great option for people looking for extra lighting. Thanks to the Yeelight App for Homey, the light strip can be controlled through the Homey app on your smartphone or via any physical accessory paired with Homey. Of course, you can change the color and brightness of the light strip to suit your needs, but it will only display one color and not an entire gradient.

The strip itself is quite bright, but its color accuracy leaves a lot to be desired when compared to Philips Hue or Innr products. However, as is typical for a Xiaomi spin-off, Yeelight accessories are very budget-friendly, and the buy-in price might win you over.

The installation is pretty straightforward. These strips typically stick well, and the adhesive on them seems to be about just right for various surfaces. However, the performance may vary based on the surface type.

The Light Strip 1S connects easily to WiFi, update with no problems, has a decent app, and in our experience, it will last long. Moreover, there are cheap extensions available for the 1S, so while the basic model is only 2 meters long, it can be extended all to way to 10 meters.

Innr Flex Color

Available at EUR 49

Innr Flex Color
  • Budget-friendly
  • High accuracy
  • Supports Hue and Ambilight
  • Low maximum brightness

The Innr Flex Color is an amazing alternative to Hue, and in fact, the brand was started by former Philips teammates. That's why Innr offers great build quality and color accuracy, almost identical to the Philips experience. Innr even works with the Philips Hue bridge and supports Ambilight out the box, but of course, you can skip Hue and simply connect Innr to Homey Pro or Homey Bridge.

There are 3 versions of this light strip available: a 2-meter one or a 4-meter with a power plug, or the 4-meter with an LED driver that can connect directly to wall wiring.

The biggest benefit of using Innr lights over Hue ones is the cost – the light strips are generally 20-25% cheaper than Hue. The only thing that we would like to see here is the ability to show more than one color at a time, but the one-color functionality is identical to entry-level Hue strips.

Innr light strips are easy to install and the adhesive sticks well to various materials. You might only run into trouble if you try to bend the light strip around corners, as there isn't much flexibility or 90-degree adapters available.

Innr develops a Homey app for Homey Pro and Homey Bridge that will let connect your lights via Zigbee and perform all kinds of operations with your lights. For example, you may easily select between warm white light for a cozy atmosphere or cooler white light when you need to focus on work. Of course, you can select from 16 million colors any time.

WiZ Light Strip

Available at EUR 53

WiZ Light Strip
  • Super bright
  • Fast response time
  • Great price
  • Wi-Fi-based control

You may have never heard of WiZ, but wherever you look, the company's product reviews are always encouraging. WiZ usually available at half the price of Hue, and when it comes to build quality and functionality, the Wiz light strips are definitely on par with Hue.

The basic Wiz Light Strip is perfect if you want to add some extra light behind a counter or your TV to ease eye strain at night. You can easily change the color of the light strip or turn it on and off via the WiZ App for Homey.

Thanks to its connection to your local Wi-Fi, the response time of Wiz tends to get blazing fast with Homey Pro. Moreover, these strips are surprisingly bright, so if you need a work light or one suitable for the showcase of your collectibles, WiZ is perfect. Of course, you can keep the strip dim at night and use it as a handy night light for yourself or your children.

Twinkly Line

Available at EUR 39

Twinkly Line
  • High color accuracy
  • Display color gradients
  • Integration with other Twinkly lights
  • OK maximum brightness
  • Shorter than competitors

Twinkly is a well-known player in the smart lighting industry. If you've already bought lighting equipment for your smart home, chances are that all your Christmas lights are by Twinkly.

Now, you should know that the company doesn't limit itself to producing holiday decorations, and there are many Twinkly products suitable for everyday situations. For example, the 1.5m Twinkly Light Strip is perfect if you want to add ambient light to your living room or bedroom. As per usual, Twinkly lights comes with a mobile app that allows you to choose from a variety of different light patterns.

However, you can also integrate Twinkly into Homey and control it from there or via accessories paired with Homey. Thanks to its adhesive and magnetic back side, the light strip itself is very easy install on various surfaces, and it's even easier configure. The main highlight of Twinkly Line is its ability to display color gradients, and it excells at this job.

Moreover, for those who like to party at home, the Twinkly Music sync box can animate all Twinkly lights based on music input. The number of synchronized animation modes is awesome. The cost with Twinkly Music is relatively high if you consider that there are other LED strips with a built-in microphone. However, the main advantage of Twinkly Music is that it can synchronize multiple lights at once.

The Best Light Strip For You

So, which light strip is right for you? It really depends on what you're looking for. If you want basic ambient lighting, you can't go wrong with Yeelight or Wiz. If you want a premium light strip with various accessories and extra functionality, then the Hue Play Gradient or the Twinkly line are good options.

No matter what your needs are, there is surely a light strip that's perfect for you. And of course, it talks with Homey. Happy shopping!

Conclusion

Light is an important part of what makes a house a home. As you've seen above, light strips are a great option for people looking for extra ambient light to cozy up the space.

They come with millions of color options that can easily be changed at a whim. Thanks to integration with a smart home hub like Homey, light strips become compatible with various types of controller and voice assistants, too. They can also be automated in various ways, be it based on geo-location, time of day, or other triggers.

However, Homey is not limited to just smart light control – it can take care of home security, manage your heating, and much more. Go ahead and check out all the functionality of Homey!

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