July 22, 2020:
With the lion’s share of our previous selections still proving to be great choices for the category, it was a relatively straightforward round of updates. The only two options we did decide on removing were the WenTop Safety and GE 10434, both due to availability issues. These options were replaced by the — an 82-foot option that’s appropriate for users looking to install large sections of feature lighting, and the — which comes with a 44-button remote control and several styles of mounting hardware:
A few things to think about for this category:
Length: It might seem obvious, but the first thing you’re going to need figure out is exactly how much strip lighting you need. While some options – like the GE 10434, which we removed during this round of updates – can be as short as 12 inches, most models in this category will be at least a few feet long. Options like the can be less than seven feet, while alternatives like the are longer than 80 feet. Just how much you need will depend on the nature of your specific project.
Usually, users looking for a very particular length of strip lighting can buy a size up, and trim down to the length they need. However, some options – like the – cannot be trimmed, so keep an eye out for that. Even in the case of options that can be trimmed, there will be some variability in how precisely this can be accomplished. For example, the is designed to be trimmed at three-LED intervals, while some of its competitors are built with clusters of five LEDs. For most users, this difference is of little significance, but for some perfectionists it may be worth noting.
Power Source: Since this style of fixture was introduced to the industry, they’ve garnered massive popularity, not only because of their affordable price point, but also because of their simple, plug-and-play and self-adhesive designs that make installation a breeze for average homeowners. That being said, you’ll want to make sure that the unit you’re considering is compatible with the situation you have in mind.
In most cases, this boils down to making sure that you’ve got a standard 120-volt outlet available to power this fixture. However, in some situations – as in the case of the – these models are powered via USB. So, unless there’s already a USB port closeby, you’ll need a separately purchased to get that unit running. Also, many models in this category – including the – don’t come with a power adapter, which amounts to an extra cost for you, and often quite a lot of frustration, if you don’t realize that it’s not included until your package arrives, so keep an eye out for that.
Control: While options like the and feature built-in control options, infrared remote controls tend to be the standard in this category, and are featured with many models we ranked, including the and . Advanced models like the and feature app connectivity, and some choices – like the – are even compatible with smart-home systems like Alexa and Google Home.
June 30, 2019:
Thanks to their energy efficiency, color options, simple installation, and low price, LED strip lights are popular for both residential and commercial use. Many models are highly customizable, giving you control over the colors, brightness, pattern, and even the times they’ll turn on and off.
New to the list, the GE 10434 provides warm lighting that’s great for showcasing your prized possessions in a curio or china cabinet. It features a long cord that makes for easy positioning, and a handy on/off switch if you’d rather not have to unplug it. Rather than consisting of a soft, flexible strip, like most of the models featured here, this piece is unbendable, but can be attached to up to five additional ones, for those who want their lights to go the distance.
The have everything you’ll need liven up a party, including lots of color and the ability to sync with music, thanks to their high-sensitive mic. You can control them conveniently on your smartphone via the downloadable Govee Home app. This includes multi-colored flashing and single-color modes, as well as a programmable timer for turning them on and off.
The third new addition is the Nexillumi RGB, which are ideal for providing some colorful lighting behind a computer or TV screen, or for brightening up your backyard deck or patio at night. Their bendable wires make them easy to install around corners without any special cutting or connecting, and they adhere via the included 3M sticky foam tape. You can buy them with confidence, thanks to their 18-month warranty.
Leaving the list in this update are the Nexlux RGB Kit and the Topmax Bluetooth, due to issues with availability, as well as the Amir USB, due to some reports regarding quality. No matter which set you ultimately choose, take note of the voltage they use. For instance, a 24-volt strip will not work with a 12-volt power supply and can be dangerous if plugged into it. As such, it’s very important to choose lights that are compatible with your power supply, and vice versa.