Best LED Strip Lights 2020: Add a Little RGB to Your Life

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Best LED Strip Lights 2020: Add a Little RGB to Your Life

Best LED Strip Lights 2020: Add a Little RGB to Your Life 1
We’ve known about the benefits of LED lighting for years: less electricity and longer life. These things alone have driven many of us to switch purely to LED bulbs and even smart bulbs. But LED lighting doesn’t end with light bulbs: LED strip lights are one of the best ways to enhance everything from your gaming PC to your kitchen cabinets, and they’ve come a long way from the early days of PC lighting. Thanks to Black Friday deals getting underway, you’ll probably start to see some of these kits get great discounts so you can deck out more of your home.Whether you’re looking for simple, efficient lighting to lower your electricity bill or voice controlled disco lights that sync with your music, there’s something for everyone in the world of LED strips. And the good news is that you usually don’t have to spend very much to find exactly what you’re looking for, especially if you watch closely for video games deals on Amazon and Walmart on Black Friday. From the basic and tasteful, to over-the-top customizable, these are our favorite LED strip lights of 2020.

TL;DR — These are the Best LED Strip Lights

1. Lifx Z Wi-Fi Dimmable Controller and Multi Color 6.6′ LED Light Strip

Best LED Strip Lights

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Our Pick

Lifx Z Wi-Fi Dimmable Controller and Multi Color 6.6′ LED Light Strip

On Amazon

Lumens: 1400 ● Color: Adjustable White and RGB ● Wattage: 17 watts ● Length: 6.6-feet ● Extendable: Yes ● Smart Home: Yes ● Warranty: 2-yearIf you’re really looking to get an LED light strip that’s going to give you all the control you need, not just a constant light show but actual nuanced control to set a whole variety of moods, then you’ll want the Lifx Z starter kit. This kit will start you out with 6.6 feet of lighting, and there are eight controllable zones for each meter of strip. And, if you ever need more length, you can add onto the strip and expand it to a total 10-meter length.

The control you get will let you come up with some unique combinations. You’ll have over 16 million colors to choose from, and you can go from cool white in the daytime to a warmer white in the evening. It’s dimmable as well, so you don’t have to run it at max brightness all the time. Unlike some cheaper options that rely on a basic remote for control, the Lifx Z works with smartphone apps, smart home integrations, and voice assistants to let you control it, schedule it, or even automate it.

2. Govee Wi-Fi Light Strip

Best Budget LED Strip Lights

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Govee Wi-Fi Light Strip

On Amazon

LEDs: 144 ● Color: Adjustable White and RGB ● Wattage: 24 watts ● Length: 6.6-feet ● Extendable: Yes ● Smart Home: YesComing in at less than half the price of the Lifx Z LED strip is this excellent and budget-friendly option from Govee. At nearly the same length, this strip offers a trio of LEDs at each lighting point, one each for RGB, cool white, and warm white, allowing you to exactly dial in the color and temperature you’d like. It’s also Wi-Fi enabled to integrate with your existing Google Home or Amazon Alexa powered smart home devices.

Govee doesn’t provide any information on lumens or total brightness, but in our experience these strips can become quite bright. Additionally, it comes with an array of color presets, the ability to sync to music, and even act as a wake-up light.

3. Corsair iCUE Lighting Node

Best LED Strip Lights for PC

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Corsair iCUE Lighting Node

On Amazon

LEDs: 10 per strip, 40 total ● Color: RGB ● Length: 410mm ● Extendable: Yes ● Smart Home: No ● Warranty: 2-yearWhen it comes to RGB lighting, Corsair is king of the hill in the gaming PC space. This kit comes with a set of four lighting strips, as well as the Lighting Node Pro RGB Controller, which can also control Corsair’s array of RGB case fans. Most importantly, they integrate with the company’s proprietary iCUE software.

iCUE gives you more control over your case lighting than virtually any other system. Using the software, you’re able to control each individual LED and assign a huge array or presets, effects, and animations. If you’re running other Corsair gear like PC fans or a gaming keyboard, these light strips are also able to sync up for easy matching or even send animations across your devices.

4. Govee DreamColor Strip Lights

Best LED Strip Lights for Your Desk

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Govee DreamColor Strip Lights

On Amazon

Wattage: 10 watts ● Color: RGB ● Length: 6.6-feet ● Extendable: No ● Smart Home: NoBuilding your gaming battlestation doesn’t end with your PC or console. Adding a backlight to your gaming desk can dramatically increase the overall look and elevate your space to new heights. This six-foot RGB strip is perfectly sized to fit even large desks, doesn’t require an extra wall outlet, and can be customized using an easy-to-use app on your smartphone.

Govee’s Bluetooth-Controlled LED Strip light is a great fit, especially if you like to keep things simple. It won’t integrate with your smart home, but getting it up and running is fast and easy. It’s also color customizable with a variety of different presets, including a handy DIY option for creating your own unique effects.

5. Corsair LS100 Smart Lighting Starter Kit

Best Hybrid Desk/Monitor LED Strip Light Kit

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Corsair LS100 Smart Lighting Starter Kit

On Amazon

LEDs: 27 (450mm strip), 15 (250mm strip) ● Color: RGB ● Length: x2 – 450mm, x2 – 250mm strips ● Extendable: Yes ● Smart Home: No ● Warranty: 2-yearIt was only a matter of time until Corsair offered RGB lighting outside the PC, and they’ve made quite a splash with their innovative LS100 Smart Lighting Starter Kit. Every LS100 lighting strip features a built in diffuser for smooth, flowing RGB lighting. Most importantly, using the software, you can choose to use this kit on the back of a monitor or any custom arrangement you choose, making it a perfect fit (and length!) for the back of a desk.

Using Corsair’s iCUE software, you can easily choose from a wide array of preset lighting effects or create animations all your own. When used as a monitor lighting kit, you can even sample your screen for outstanding bias lighting. These light strips aren’t the brightest because of the built in diffusers, but the level of customization and versatility is hard to beat.

6. Wobane Under Cabinet Lighting Kit

Best LED Strip Lights for Your Cabinet

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Wobane Under Cabinet Lighting Kit

On Amazon

Lumens: 1500 ● Color: 2700-6000K ● LEDs: 180 ● Wattage: 13 watts ● Length: 6 strips, 9.8-feet total ● Extendable: Yes ● Smart Home: No ● Control: Remote, DimmerLooking to give your kitchen a facelift? Adding under-cabinet LED lighting is a sure-fire way to add a touch of modern to your home. This kit from Wobane includes everything you need to get started and is available in both “warm” and “cold” kits to match your decor.

This kit one-ups the competition taking the guess-work out of adding under-cabinet lighting. It includes cable holders, extensions, and adhesive for a completely tool-free assembly. It also gives you the option of controlling your lights with a remote control or a mountable dimmer switch.

7. Govee Wi-Fi TV Backlights Kit with Camera

Best LED Strip Lights for Your TV

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Govee Wi-Fi TV Backlights Kit with Camera

On Amazon

Wattage: 18 watts ● LEDs: 78 ● Color: RGB ● Length: 8.6-feet ● Television Size: 60-80-inch ● Smart Home: YesTV backlight kits are a dime a dozen, but Govee takes things up a notch with their Wi-Fi TV Backlight Kit with Camera. Rather than force you to choose a static color, this kit comes with a small camera that mounts on the top of your Gaming TV and changes the backlight to match what you’re viewing! If you’re not in the mood for screen matching, you can still choose a color or preset of your choice, or have it sync to your music with its built-in microphone.

This kit mounts like most others and comes with one long strip for the top and two smaller strips for the sides, plus the camera to sample your screen. Once installed, the Govee Home app allows you to calibrate the camera to match your screen. The accuracy isn’t perfect, but this added functionality gives it an edge on the competition.

8. Maxonar Wi-Fi Enabled LED Strip Lights

Best LED Strip Lights for Your Room

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Maxonar Wi-Fi Enabled LED Strip Lights

On Amazon

LEDs: 600 ● Color: RGB ● Wattage: 40 watts ● Length: 32.8-feet (x2 16.4ft rolls) ● Extendable: No ● IP Rating: IP65 ● Smart Home: Yes ● Warranty: 18-monthLED lighting can enhance the look of any room. This kit from Maxonar comes with two 16.4-foot rolls, each packing twice the LEDs of competing brands for a total of six hundred emitters. It also comes with a full DIY kit to cut, connect, extend these strips to match your dimensions exactly. Whether you’re lighting up a display cabinet or adding mood lighting to an entire room, this kit will deliver the brightness and customizability you need.

Since mood and accent lighting work alongside the other lighting in your room, smart home compatibility is more important than ever. Thankfully, these strips are Wi-Fi enabled and will work with Amazon Alexa and Google Home and even integrates with online systems such as IFTTT.

9. Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagon Smarter Kit

Best LED Strip Accent Lighting

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Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagon Smarter Kit

On Nanoleaf Shop

Lumens: 100 ● Color: Adjustable White and RGB ● Wattage: 2 watts (per panel) ● Length: 7.75-inches (per panel) ● Extendable: Yes ● Smart Home: Yes ● Warranty: 2-yearThe Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagon Smarter Kit is a great way to get started with an LED strip accent light particularly because it doesn’t confine you to an actual strip. Rather than being just a long row of LEDs that can only really go on a corner or tuck away somewhere, Nanoleaf’s shapes are designed to stand out, creating a stylish, light-up piece of art for your walls. The Shapes Hexagon Smarter Kit includes seven panels which you can combine together however you like. You can put them in a row, zig-zag, or make a shape.

Nanoleaf’s Shapes lights can also combine together across different shapes. So, if you start with the Hexagon Smarter Kit, you can later add on more hexagons, large triangles, and small triangles. The kit includes a controller that can manage up to 500 panels and a power supply that can support 21 hexagon panels. With the hexagons, multiple triangle sizes, and full RGBW lighting, you can really use Nanoleaf’s lights to create a unique look in your room.

What To Look for in LED Light Strips

Just as the market for LED light strips has expanded, it’s also become more complicated to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you hope for, be sure to follow these tips.

Don’t worry too much about brand name, instead focus on features and reviews. Most of the LED light strip market is dominated by small brands you’ve probably never heard of before. This can be confusing and a bit intimidating, but try not to worry too much. Instead, focus on the features the light strip offers. Does it have the Bluetooth connectivity you’re looking for? Is it single-color, RGB, or RGBW? Remember, while RGB strips can produce white, only RGBW strips can produce a clean white like true lightbulb. Once you’ve decided that it meets your needs, look carefully over the pictures, and then see what other users have to say in the review section. Those three things will offer you the best insight into whether the company is rebranding a cheap strip or is actually in the business for the long run.

The second thing to look for is the type of lighting the strip actually provides. Don’t rely on the picture alone, especially if you’re purchasing an RGB strip. If you’re searching for white lighting, be sure it has the color temperature you’re looking for. If you’re shopping for RGB, you’ll want to find out how its RGB lighting works. Can you set it in sections or is it whole strip only? Is the lighting static or does it flow? Are their presets and, if there are, can you customize them or create your own? With so many options, don’t be afraid to move on to another listing if these answers aren’t clear.

Third, pay close attention to how you control the lighting. Many low-costs strips use a remote while more expensive often features smartphone apps. While the remotes can work just fine, you’re often more limited in color, brightness, and customization than app-enabled lighting strips. If you do choose an app-integrated strip, be sure it connects the way you intend. Bluetooth light strips offer more fast and easy setup, but smart home integration, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, require Wi-Fi.

Finally, keep in mind how long of a strip you actually need. It’s possible to cut many LED strips to size, so you don’t have to be exact, but if you’re going for RGB, shortening the length could impact what lighting is able to be displayed and how well your strip matches the app. Don’t cut the tail off your rainbow.

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Chris Coke is a tech critic that cares way too much about mechanical keyboards. Check him out at IGN, MMORPG.com, or PC Perspective. Follow him on Twitter @gamebynight.

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