smart LED light strips
Smart home lighting isn’t just about getting popular smart light bulbs for your living room so you can tell Alexa to turn off the lights. It’s also about creating the right mood, vibe, and atmosphere for your individual spaces, and the best smart LED light strips can help you do that. By adhering to flat surfaces with tape, light strips can reinvent your entertainment space with backlighting, guide you as you make your way down a staircase at night, or even transform your standard kitchen cabinets into ones that literally glow. These are the best smart LED light strips you can choose from to revamp and modernize your smart home.
Best overall: Philips Hue Bluetooth Smart Lightstrip Plus
Source: Philips Hue
Philips Hue creates some of the most best smart light bulbs you can get today, so it comes as no surprise that the Philips Hue Bluetooth Smart Lightstrip Plus sits at the top of this list. This 6.6-foot light strip is bright, offering 1650 lumens, and can be easily attached underneath kitchen cabinets, along staircases, and behind desks with adhesive tape. Fortunately, each light strip is very flexible so that you can bend, shape, cut, and even extend it, so it’s guaranteed to work with any odd corners or furniture. And if you need to add just a little bit more length to your light strip, you can purchase Lightstrip Plus Extensions (3.3 ft each), creating a maximum length of 32 ft.
If you already own a few Hue bulbs, you can directly connect this light strip up to your Hue Bridge and control up to 50 lights throughout your house while you’re at home or away. And if you’re new to the Hue ecosystem and don’t own a Hue Bridge, then you can simply connect your light strip to Bluetooth to operate it, though you’ll be limited to one room. Nevertheless, these light strips can be paired with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant if you want to operate your lights using your voice instead of the new redesigned Philips Hue, and they can also be integrated with the SmartThings and IFTT ecosystems.
Each light strip is dimmable and features different temperatures of white ranging from 2000 to 6500K and 16 million colors, making it an ideal way to create unique lighting that sets the mood in each space of your home. And as long as you have a Hue hub, the Philips Hue Bluetooth Smart Lightstrip Plus can also be synced up to games, music, and movies to create a truly immersive entertainment experience.
- Connects to Bluetooth or a Hue Bridge
- Flexible and can be cut or extended
- Voice compatibility with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant
- Low energy consumption
- Dimmable and offers 16 million colors
- Requires a Hue Bridge for full capabilities
Best alternative: LIFX Lightstrip Starter Kit
The LIFX Lightstrip Starter Kit is a great alternative to Philips Hue, especially if you don’t feel like investing in a Hue Hub. Because these light strips connect directly to Wi-Fi, you’ll immediately get access to voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri without needing a hub or bridge. Similar to the Hue light strips, these light strips are 6.6 ft and can be cut or extended up to 33 feet with a LIFX Lightstrip Extension. Thanks to their flexibility, you can easily attach them to the back of a TV or monitor, mirrors, artwork, or cabinets. At 1400 lumens, they are bright and have an impressive white temperature range running from 1500 to 9000K in addition to millions of color options.
Thanks to Polychrome Technology, each light strip features eight addressable color zones. This means that you can paint or animate several colors along a single strip and use app effects on them. And when it comes to gaming, these light strips can be easily attached to the back of your computer and connected to Razer gear to create an immersive gaming experience. LIFX also works with partners such as IFTT so your light strips can be integrated easily into your smart home, creating automation such as blinking lights when your cab arrives, or it gets dark outside.
- Connects to Wi-Fi
- No bridge or hub required
- Wide color temperature range
- Compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri
- Can be cut
- Smaller ecosystem
Best value: C by GE Full Color Direct Connect LED Light Strip
Source: GE Lighting
C by GE is part of one of the most reputable brands for lighting, GE Lighting, and it has its own line of affordable C by GE bulbs that connect to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The C by GE Full Color Direct Connect LED Light Strip is part of the Direct Connect line, which connects directly to your Wi-Fi router, so you don’t need to purchase a hub or bridge. This means you can immediately access Google Assistant or Alexa and adjust your lighting with voice commands or through the Cync app.
Because these light strips connect to Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to operate them while you’re away from home, which can be a useful tool when you’ve left for vacation but don’t want everyone to know. It also means that you never have to walk into a dark home again, and you can set schedules and timers. These light strips clock in at 1600 lumens, come with millions of color options, and have a tunable white spectrum to help you adjust to the time of day by dimming and brightening when you’re waking up or going to bed.
These 6.6 ft light strips can also be bent, cut, extended, and adhered to flat surfaces with removable tape. If you need more length, you can extend your light strip up to 32 feet.
- App and voice control
- No hub or bridge required
- Can be operated away from home
Best for outdoors: Govee RGBIC Outdoor LED Strip Lights
Govee may be one of the more recent players in the lighting space, having been around since 2017, but it’s certainly made its mark. With a mission to reinvent everyday spaces with original lighting, Govee isn’t limited to its top light bulbs and light strips but also offers more out-of-the-box smart lighting, including outdoor string lights, light bars like the Govee Flow Pro, unique floor lamps like the Govee Lyra Corner Floor Lamp, and even car lights. But if you’re shopping for a colorful light strip that you can use inside or outside your home, then this is one of the best brands to turn to.
Govee RGBIC Outdoor LED Strip Lights are one of its more recent products and come in at about 33 ft. Because this light strip is Bluetooth-enabled, you can operate your lighting through the Govee app as long as you’re within an approximate 200 ft range or with the provided remote up to 98 feet. These light strips are perfect for creating holiday lighting, hosting outdoor parties, or simply reinventing your outdoor space. Since these lights are water-resistant with an IP65 rating, you don’t have to worry about water and dust getting in the way. They’re also easy to install with a 3M adhesive and can easily be bent around sharp corners, though you won’t be able to cut these strips.
What makes these outdoor light strips stand out is that in addition to 64 different scene modes and a DIY mode that lets you create the right vibe with customized light effects and color options, you can further personalize each light segment thanks to RGBIC technology. You’re actually able to display multiple colors simultaneously to create a rainbow or ombre effect. And thanks to a built-in mic, there’s a music mode so that when you have guests over and are playing music, you can actually sync your lights to the beat of each song.
- IP65 water-resistant rating
- 196 ft Bluetooth range
- RGBIC technology
- Music mode, DIY mode, and 64 scene modes
- 16 million colors
- Cannot be cut
- Not compatible with voice assistants
Best budget: Daybetter Smart Wi-Fi Led Strip Lights
Source: GE Lighting
Daybetter may not be as recognized as a brand as Philips Hue or LIFX, but it’s certainly cost-effective. You can choose between a 50 ft or 100 ft light strip for a quarter of the price other smart light strips would cost you and still be able to connect your lights to Wi-Fi to operate them through an app or with a physical remote that’s included.
By connecting to Wi-Fi, you’re also able to control your lights while you’re away from home, as well as use voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. These smart light strips can even be grouped with multiple LED light strips, which is pretty convenient if you’re hosting an event, and they’re able to be cut. You’re also able to take advantage of cool features like syncing your lights with your music so that the colors match the rhythm of the song you’re listening to, as well as setting up timers and schedules to turn your lights on and off or change colors at a certain time.
Daybetter light strips are ideal if you don’t need all the smart home integrations you will get with a more expensive product or as many lighting effects. With 44 color options, you won’t come close to being able to customize your lighting as you would with another light strip, but sometimes that’s enough—especially if you’re hosting a big party or a wedding.
- Extremely affordable
- 50 or 100 feet
- No hub required (Wi-Fi enabled)
- Works with Google Assistant and Alexa
- Small ecosystem
- Weak app experience
Best for screens: Govee Immersion TV LED Backlights
Govee is a go-to when it comes to non-standard lighting for your home, including light strips as well as entertainment lighting. Govee actually creates some of the best smart lights for gaming, which brings us to the Govee Immersion TV LED Backlights. The lights are comparable to the Philips Hue Play Gradient light strip, but they cost much less for an equally immersive experience.
Attached to the back of your 55 to 65-inch flatscreen TV, the Immersion TV LED Backlights uses a 1080p HD camera to capture the action on-screen while you’re gaming or watching a movie to mimics the screen’s vibrant colors. Though the camera may get in the way for some, its high resolution does an excellent job at accurately recognizing colors and extending the universe of your screen by adding depth to each image. These lights also work with all major voice assistants, including Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, so you don’t have to get up to turn off the lights, adjust the brightness, or change their colors. You can, of course, also use the Govee app.
Like other Govee products, these lights feature a music mode so you can sync the sounds from your screen with your lights. This is particularly useful when watching a concert or hosting a karaoke night with friends. There are also 12 scene modes, including a gaming mode, or you can personalize every segment on a single strip light thanks to RGBIC technology.
- ColorSense technology
- Works with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant
- HD camera
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Clunky camera
- Only works with 55-65 inch flatscreen TVs
Smart light strips are a great way to personalize your children’s bedrooms, tranform your entertainment area with backlighting, or simply add a soft touch of color throughout your home or your backyard. Though there are many choices out there, if you’re building your smart home with smart lighting, then it’s hard to compete with the Philips Hue ecosystem. If you already own a Hue hub, then the Philips Hue Bluetooth Smart Lightstrip Plus is the most logical choice to help you create mood lighting throughout your home. It works with all major voice assistants and ecosystems like Samsung SmartThings and is easy to install and use.
But if you’re hoping to save some money and rather find a product that connects directly to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, then Govee makes some fantastic lighting products at a much more enticing price, including its TV LED Backlights and water-resistant outdoor light strips. The TV backlights can help you revamp your entertainment space with immersive lighting, while the outdoor light strips are guaranteed to impress your guests when you host your next holiday party.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Olivia Lipski is a freelance writer for Android Central and loves testing out the latest smart home tech and discovering the best cell phone plans. When she’s not busy running around NYC trying to find great food or coffee, she’s in her kitchen trying to make it herself.
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