The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
- You can instantly control smart light strips from your phone, and the best ones can even change colors.
- The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is our top pick because it is reliable, easy to use, and very versatile, thanks to its many color options.
Light strips can seriously enhance the look of your home. Traditional light bulbs are great, but they’re usually more functional than beautiful. Light strips, on the other hand, can bring fun illuminated accents to your home while still lighting a room well enough that you can see properly.
Light strips are getting smarter, too. A number of companies have been incorporating smart home tech into their new light strips, allowing you to control the strips with your phone or voice and integrate them into your existing lighting setup.
There are a number of things to consider when buying a smart light strip, but most important of all considerations is the smart home ecosystem that it fits into. If you have a Google Home setup, you’ll want to ensure that the light strip works with Google Assistant. The same is true for Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit setups.
You’ll also want to consider a few other things. Smart light strips can come in different lengths and offer different brightness levels. If you want something that can really light up a room, you’ll need a light strip with a higher brightness level. You’ll also want to think about where you’re going to put your light strip. If you’re going to put it outside, you’ll need to ensure that you get a light strip that’s waterproof and specifically built for outdoor use.
Here are the best smart light strips you can buy:
- Best light strip overall: Philips Hue Lightstrip
- Best smart light strip for the wall: LIFX Beam
- Best budget smart light strip: Koogeek Smart Light Strip
- Best Zigbee smart light strip: Sylvania Smart+ Zigbee light strip
- Best multi-color smart light strip: LIFX Z
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best smart light strip overall
- Phillips Hue
Why you’ll love it: The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is reliable, easy to install, and works with the great Philips Hue app.
If you’re looking for a great smart light strip and want the most reliable one, then the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is the way to go.
This light strip measures 80 inches and works with the Philips Hue range of smart lighting. Philips also sells a 40-inch extension for the Lightstrip, so if 80 inches isn’t enough for your needs, you can extend it. And, if the 80 inches is too much for your space, you can cut the Lightstrip to better fit.
You can also control the strip with the awesome Philips Hue app, and integrate it with Google Home, Alexa, or HomeKit. It’s important to note that if you do want to use the Philips Hue Lighstrip Plus, you’ll need to buy a Philips Hue hub as well, but if you already use Philips Hue lighting, then you already have a hub set up.
One of the best things about using Philips Hue products is the app. The app is well-designed, easy to use, and you can integrate it with your favorite smart home ecosystem.
There are a few downsides to the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus. Perhaps the most important is that it’s relatively expensive, coming in at $80. As mentioned, it also requires a hub, so if you don’t have a hub already, you’ll need to buy one, which adds to the cost.
Pros: Reliable, works with range of ecosystems, great app
Cons: Expensive, requires hub
The smart light strip for the wall
Why you’ll love it: The LIFX Beam is a great way to get accent lighting in your home, plus it works with a range of smart home ecosystems and is very customizable.
If you’d prefer to get a light strip for accent lighting, then you may want something that’s specifically designed to attach to a wall. The LIFX Beam is built to hang on a wall and you can even hang the strip in an L-shape, which makes it easier to fit into certain spaces.
One of the best things about the LIFX Beam compared to other light strips is that you can set different segments of the strip to show different colors. In other words, the Beam can show a range of different colors at once, which allows for even more customization than you would otherwise get.
LIFX, in general, has been building smart lighting for years now, and as such it has built quite an ecosystem. Unlike Hue lights, LIFX’s lights don’t require a hub, and the LIFX app is pretty easy to use. LIFX lights work with Apple’s HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
So what about the downsides? Well, the main one is that the LIFX Beam is expensive, coming in at $130. Because the system works with Wi-Fi, there can sometimes be a little bit of lag in response. Still, if you like the idea of an ultra customizable light strip that can be attached to a wall, then the LIFX Beam is the way to go.
Pros: Highly customizable, great for accent lighting, works with a range of ecosystems
The best budget smart light strip
Why you’ll love it: The Koogeek Smart Light Strip may not have all the fancy bells and whistles as some others, but it’s very inexpensive and works with HomeKit and Google Assistant.
If you’re looking for a great smart light strip and don’t want to spend too much cash, then we recommend the Koogeek Smart Light Strip, which is 6.6 feet long and very easy to use.
Unlike some of the other light strips on this list, the Koogeek Smart Light Strip only has a USB connector on the end of it, so you will need to plug it into a USB adapter. It also only works with Apple’s HomeKit and Google Assistant, though you can control it with a dedicated Koogeek app that’s available on iOS or Android, too.
While the Koogeek Smart Light Strip is cheap, coming in at $40, there are a few downsides to it. For example, we would have liked to see integration with Amazon’s Alexa, too – though HomeKit and Google Assistant integration is pretty good.
Pros: Inexpensive, works with HomeKit and Google Assistant
Cons: No Alexa compatibility
The best Zigbee smart light strip
Why you’ll love it: The Sylvania Smart+ Zigbee light strip is relatively inexpensive and looks good, plus it works with Zigbee-compatible systems like Samsung SmartThings and Wink.
Not everyone uses Apple Home, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa for their smart home. Plenty of people prefer to stick with Zigbee, a standard that was built for connected homes. Thankfully, there are plenty of Zigbee light strips out there – like, for example, the Sylvania Smart+ Zigbee light strip.
The light strip uses the Zigbee standard, which means it’ll work with Samsung SmartThings, Wink, or the Amazon Echo Plus and Alexa. With those ecosystems, you should be able to set up automation, voice control, and more.
The light strip comes with three 24-inch strips, and you can use just one, two, or three of them at any given time, allowing you to adjust the length of the strip. If you want an even longer strip you can buy extensions for it, too.
Another awesome thing about this light strip is the fact that it’s relatively affordable. It comes in at $44.83, making it a great way to add light strips to your home pretty inexpensively.
Pros: Pretty inexpensive, has Zigbee compatibility
Cons: Perhaps not as bright as some others
The best smart light strip for multiple colors
Why you’ll love it: The LIFX Z light strip not only works with a huge range of digital assistants, but it also has customizable lighting zones, allowing you to set it to show multiple colors at once.
The LIFX Beam isn’t the only light strip that LIFX makes. The company also builds the LIFX Z, which is another light strip that can be tweaked to show multiple colors at once, so if you want different segments to have different colors, this is the light strip for you. The LIFX Z has eight different zones that you can assign colors to.
Like other LIFX lights, the LIFX Z works with the LIFX app, which is generally pretty easy to use and well-designed. The app works on most smartphones, plus it works with a range of smart ecosystems, too.
You can control the light strip with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or even Microsoft’s Cortana. It also works with smart home systems like Nest, SmartThings, and IFTTT, which is very helpful.
Of course, there are a few downsides to the LIFX Z light strip. For example, while the strip isn’t as expensive as some of the other premium light strips on this list, it’s still a little pricey, coming in at $70.
Pros: Works with wide range of smart home ecosystems, nice app, customizable zones
Cons: Still a little pricey