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Sometimes all it takes is a fun new gadget to completely transform your home, whether it’s a smart speaker on your kitchen counter or a video doorbell for your front porch. But one of the most noticeable upgrades you can make to your space is by adding smart strip lights under kitchen cabinets and along hallway baseboards.
A smart strip light should be fast and simple to set up, stay securely in place, and loaded with fun and useful features to light up any room. Of the 11 smart LED light strips we tested, the LIFX Z LED Strip 6.6’ Kit (available at Amazon for $80.61) stood out from the rest because of its variety of lighting features, easy setup, and overall value. There are plenty of other options to choose from, though, so follow our list below to find the strip that’s just right for you.
These are the best smart light strips we tested, ranked in order:
- Lifx Z LED Strip 6.6’ Kit
- Govee WiFi RGB LED Strip Lights
- TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Strip
- Geeni Prisma Plus Strip
- Sengled Smart LED Multicolor Light Strip
- Yeelight Aurora Lightstrip Plus
- Minger DreamColor LED Strip Lights
- Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Light Strip
- C by GE Full Color Smart Light Strip
- Sylvania Smart+ Apple HomeKit-Enabled Full Color Flex Strip
- Sylvania Smart+ ZigBee Full Color Flexible Lightstrip Starter Kit
How We Tested
Hi, I’m Rachel Murphy, Reviewed’s smart home staff writer. I live in a smart home that’s full of smart home devices like cameras, plugs, speakers, and an oven. During my tenure at Reviewed, I’ve tested smart plugs, smart water leak detectors, and other gadgets that can be controlled remotely or via smart assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. I spent a couple of months testing 11 popular smart LED light strips in my home to find out which one you should buy.
For this roundup, we put each light strip through a series of in-depth, hands-on tests to fully understand each one’s capabilities, features, and downsides.
We set the lights up in a variety of indoor locations throughout my home, testing to see which ones work the best in low light, offer the best connectivity, and integrate with smart assistants to make your home easier to control. We also tested the companion apps on both iOS and Android devices to get a feel for their connectivity, ease of use, and features.
What You Should Know About Smart Strip Lights
Smart Home Integration
There are a few things to consider when purchasing smart LED strip lights for your home. First, check to see whether or not the light strip requires a hub. Many of the strip lights we tested, including options from Sengled and Philips Hue, must be paired with a hub.
Unless you already have a smart home hub, we’d recommend avoiding the extra cost and choosing a smart strip light that doesn’t need another device to work, like Govee’s Smart WiFi LED Strip Lights or the Lifx Z WiFi Dimmable LED Light Strip Starter Kit.
The second thing to remember is to select a strip light that easily integrates with your existing smart home environment. We tested models that work with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, like the best light strip from Lifx. However, not all of these strip lights are compatible with all three popular smart assistants. For comparison’s sake, the C by GE Full Color Smart Light Strip we tested only worked with Alexa and Google Assistant. And other string lights, like Minger’s DreamColor LED Strip Lights, won’t connect with any smart assistants but are simple to control from their own apps on your smartphone.
Finally, while most of the lights we tested connect over WiFi, some use only Bluetooth, and others can do either one. We found Bluetooth connections to be unreliable and slow at times, which is why we’d recommend selecting a strip light that offers WiFi, like our best value pick from Govee.
Installing Smart Light Strips
All of the smart light strips we tested had an adhesive backing. Before installing, make sure to dust, wipe down, and dry the surface where you’ll be placing the lights. Skipping this step can decrease the grip on the back of the lights, lessening their lifespan.
And on that note, you may be wondering if you can move the lights from place to place. The short answer is yes. During our tests, we relocated each light strip to a new location after the initial installation. Almost all of the strips had no problem resticking a second time, but we wouldn’t recommend doing this more than once because, of course, the more you move them, the less they stick.
If and when your lights do lose their stickiness, you can try replacing the adhesive backing heavy duty double-sided tape for strip lights.
Strip Light Placement
This leads us to a final point you should consider: think strategically about where you need extra lighting. You may think that smart strip lights can only be used with a home theater set up, but the bendable and sticky lights are a quick and easy way to brighten up the dark spot in your home. During our testing, we installed the strip lights around TVs and mirrors, along baseboards and door trim, on bookcases and office desks, and under kitchen cabinets.
If you’re unsure about where to place your strip lights, try arranging them in an area of your home and lightly secure them in place with tape. We recommend using a gentle tape like painters tape that won’t leave any damage behind.
Another factor to consider is whether or not the light strips can be adjusted to the size of your space. The good majority of strip lights we tested can be cut to size or extended with additional light strip sections. However, not all of the lights are as customisable. For example, our best value pick from Govee only offers a way to cut, not extend, the lights. And, with any of these light strips, once the strip is cut, it cannot be reattached.
LED strips are a versatile lighting option that can be added almost anywhere in your house (but not outdoors). Smart strip lights are also a popular choice to line the interior window sill when decorating for the holidays. Some smart strip lights we tested, like TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Strip, offer in-app, pre-made holiday light settings that flash red and white like a candy cane.