• LIFX Z LED Strip 6.6’ Kit

  • Govee WiFi RGB LED Strip Lights

  • How We Tested

  • What You Should Know About Smart Strip Lights

  • Other Smart Light Strips We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Smart Light Strips of 2020

  1. Best Overall

    LIFX Z LED Strip 6.6’ Kit

    Pros

    • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

    • Easy to install

    • Lots of features

    Cons

    • Cord connection can be flimsy

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Value

    Govee WiFi RGB LED Strip Lights

    Pros

    • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

    • Affordable

    • Feature-packed

    Cons

    • Strip is thinner than others we tested

    Skip to the full review below
LIFX Z
Credit: LIFX Z

We fell in love with the LIFX Z LED strip lights for their incredibly simple set up, ease of use, and variety of awesome features.

Best Overall
LIFX Z LED Strip 6.6’ Kit

The Lifx Z LED Strip Kit impressed us from the very beginning. In what felt like a blink of an eye, we had these dimmable lights connected to Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. It also works with IFTTT, SmartThings, Nest, Arlo, Flic, and more. The strip is very responsive when controlled using the Lifx app on iOS and Android devices (keep in mind that HomeKit is only available on Apple smartphones and tablets).

Although these weren't the brightest lights we tested, they put off a vivid glow that easily illuminates a dark room.

These smart lights have a noticeably thicker strip than the set from Govee, but less chunky than the C by GE set we tested. The thicker the strip, the harder it can be to lay flat, but Lifx’s strip lights offered the perfect combination of sturdiness and ease of installation.

The Lifx app also offers a handy guide, which new users will find helpful. Additionally, the app is loaded with useful controls like scheduling, groups, and a bevy of fun light effects and color themes that never get old.

The starter kit comes with two strips that total 6.6 feet long. For more length, you can add Z Strips, however, there is a maximum of 10 strips per controller, which works out to about 32 feet of smart lights. Lifx Z offered the most “color zones” of the light strips we tested. Color Zones allow for different areas of the strip to be set to different colors, a rarity among the strips we tested that makes these lights even more customizable.

This premium set of adhesive LED strip lights offers a flawless setup and works very well with the three most popular smart assistants. Although we think it’s a little expensive, the Lifx Z LED Strip Kit is well worth the investment.

Pros

  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

  • Easy to install

  • Lots of features

Cons

  • Cord connection can be flimsy

Govee WiFi RGB LED Strip Lights
Credit: Govee

Govee's smart light strip is the perfect blend of affordability and smarts.

Best Value
Govee WiFi RGB LED Strip Lights

With the option to connect over WiFi or via Bluetooth, Govee’s WiFi RGB LED Strip Lights offer a slew of fun and useful lighting features, a quick and simple set up, and an all-around pleasant user experience at a very affordable price.

The lights are easy to control using Alexa and Google Assistant, but the Govee Home app is what really makes these lights a delight to use. Within the app are options to adjust the brightness, create schedules, choose between warm and cool color tones from over 16 million colors, and pick from seven premade mood-lighting scenes. Each strip can be cut to your preferred length and comes in two sizing options: 16.4 feet and 32.8 feet. The one downside here is that you can’t extend these with more strip lights like you can with the Lifx Z LED Strip Kit.

But by far the coolest feature of these string lights is that the built-in microphone syncs with whatever sound is playing—be it from a speaker, TV, or the sound of your voice—the light pattern adapts to the beat. There's no special pairing or extras required to access this feature. To make these lights boogie, select the Music scene in the Govee Home app.

Another handy extra included with this set is a pack of support clips and nails to hold the light strip in place. It’s particularly useful if you want to secure the lights underneath your kitchen cabinets, but for the most uses, the adhesive strip will be enough to hold the strip lights securely in place.

The strip on these lights is the thinnest of any strip light we tested and feels more like very thick duct tape. While that may sound like a bad thing, it actually makes these lights easier to install and maneuver around corners. However, we wouldn’t recommend moving these more than once. Because of their thin design, they can become flimsy and break if moved too many times.

Overall, this light strip is responsive, maintains a strong and reliable connection, and offers many useful features at a fraction of the price of other smart strip lights we tested.

Pros

  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Affordable

  • Feature-packed

Cons

  • Strip is thinner than others we tested

Related content

How We Tested

The Tester

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.

The Tests

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

Strip thickness
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Govee's strip light (pictured in front) was the thinnest strip we tested, making it easy to install but less ideal for moving around multiple times. For comparison's sake, the C by GE light strip (pictured in back) is much thicker and harder to arrange around corners.

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

Where to put
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The bathroom and bedroom are two areas of the home where we tested smart strip lights.

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.

Other Smart Light Strips We Tested

Geeni Prisma Plus Strip

The Geeni Prisma Plus didn't give us any trouble during setup or installation. The light strip works with Alexa Google, and Microsoft Cortana. Aside from the Minger DreamColor LED Strip Lights, Geeni’s Strip Lights are the only ones we tested that are waterproof, meaning they can be used outdoors.

Like others, Geeni’s strip lights can be trimmed to size or combined with extender pieces up to 9.8 feet. Creating schedules, choosing colors, dimming the lights, and selecting from one of nine premade lighting scenes are all possible with Geeni's Prisma Plus Light Strip.

These lights are attractive, fairly bright, and feel well-made, but the humming noise coming from the power adapter each time we adjusted the color seemed to cheapen the product. Another thing we didn’t like was the lack of adhesive tape on the remote control, leaving no easy way to attach it to the wall. We were also unable to log into the Geeni app on both an iPhone and Android at the same time, which could create a problem for households with multiple users.

Overall, we’d recommend our best value pick from Govee over these lights, since the two are similar in price. However, Geeni’s Prisma Plus Strip Lights are a great option for anyone looking to add smart lights outdoors.

Pros

  • Works with Google Assistant, Alexa, Microsoft Cortana

  • No hub needed

Cons

  • Noticeable "hum" sound when changing between light colors

Sengled Smart LED Multicolor Light Strip

Sengled’s Smart LED Multicolor Light Strip is easy to arrange and was overall a pleasant experience to use. The strip is 6.5 feet long but can be extended using Sengled's Smart LED Multicolor Light Strip Extensions or trimmed for a smaller space.

The Sengled app offers lots of features like scheduling, group control, color/temperature choice, and brightness. These lights also offer something unique that others we tested don't: energy monitoring. While it’s not a necessary feature for strip lights, it can be useful for tracking consumption.

One thing to know is that these lights do require a hub. While a compatible smart hub is an extra cost, it may be worth the money if you plan on expanding your smart home with other Sengled smart bulbs. We paired the strip lights with a Sengled Smart Hub and were almost instantly connected. Sometimes hubs can be tricky to get up and running and connected with smart home devices, but we were pleasantly surprised by the ease of the entire process. All things considered, we’d recommend this LED multicolor light strip to anyone who already uses Sengled smart bulbs.

Pros

  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings

  • Offers energy monitoring

Cons

  • Hub required

Yeelight Aurora Lightstrip Plus

With a long power cord and slim controller, the Yeelight Aurora Lightstrip Plus is simple to install, and we appreciate the strip’s slender design, which is easy to tuck away from sight. Like the Govee light strip, the Yeelight Aurora Lightstrip Plus works with Google and Alexa.

The strip can be cut to size, or you can make it longer using Yeelight extension strips, which can be connected up to 33 feet. While Yeelight’s strip lights are fairly similar to others in this roundup, Yeelight is one of three strips we tested that sync with music on your smartphone or ambient sound. However, you have to leave the app open to the Music Flow setting in order for the lights to sync up, which seems a bit unnecessary since strip lights from Govee and Minger work without any extra steps.

The Yeelight Light Strip offers 16 million color options that can be adjusted for brightness but not temperature. The lights weren't as bright as others when cranked all the way up, and for that reason they work best for illuminating smaller spaces like hallways and bathrooms.

Pros

  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Good light for small spaces

Cons

  • Music syncing feature isn't as intuitive as Govee or Minger

Minger DreamColor LED Strip Lights

You may not be familiar with Minger, but the brand is owned by Govee, maker of the best smart light strips you can get for the money. While Minger’s lights don’t offer any integration with Alexa or Google, we had no problems controlling them in the Govee Home app. One thing to note is that the lights are Bluetooth-enabled and do not connect via WiFi, limiting connection range.

Like the strip lights from Govee and Yeelight, the Minger’s adhesive LED lights have a built-in mic that automatically syncs with any nearby sound, including from a speaker or TV.

The bonding tape on the back of the lights started to lose its stick after a couple of days and we had trouble resticking the lights back in place after moving them once, but a small set of support hooks is included with the lights, so those can be used to hold the lights in place if the adhesive gives out.

Given the Bluetooth-only connection, it takes longer to connect and control these lights than WiFi-enabled options from Lifx Z and Govee. However, if you’re looking for smart lights that don’t require a smart speaker or smart assistant app, Minger’s DreamColor LED Strip Lights are the right choice.

Pros

  • App is easy to use

  • Light syncs with any sound

Cons

  • No integration with smart assistants

  • Bluetooth-only

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LightStrip

We had high hopes for the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LightStrip, since the brand makes the best smart bulbs, but unless you’re already running a Philips Hue ecosystem, we’d recommend skipping this light strip.

However, Philips Hue is known for its high-quality lumenience and vibrant colors, and these strip lights do deliver on those fronts. Offering 1,600 Lumens, the Philips Hue Light Strip is slightly brighter than our best overall pick from Lifx Z. You get what you pay for with this high-end light strip that’s comparable to our best overall pick, but doesn’t offer “color zone” control. This means that the entire strip can only be one color, unlike strip lights we tested from Kasa Smart and Lifx.

These lights also need a hub to work, which is an additional cost on top of what you’re already paying if you don’t already have one. And, while the ability to sync them with your home entertainment system is a really cool feature, the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is required to make it work. That’s another additional cost when you can get it for a fraction of the price from brands like Govee and Yeelight.

The installation process is also unneccessarily cumbersome, as the backing comes off in multiple small strips instead of one or two long pieces like most others we tested. It created a lot of extra work and extra clean up. Another thing we didn’t love was that, when we went to move the strip to test it in a new location, some of the adhesive goop was left behind on the side of the TV.

Overall, we think this light strip is sleek and mostly easy to use but, due to cost, is best for people who already have other Philips Hue lights at home or those interested in creating a singular smart lighting system.

Pros

  • Loaded with features

  • Ample brightness

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Left behind sticky residue

  • Expensive

  • Hub required

C by GE Full Color Smart Light Strip

The C by GE Full Color Smart Light Strip felt noticeably thicker than other models we tested, which made the light strip difficult to arrange in anything but a straight line. The C by GE app isn’t loaded with lighting features like Govee and Philips Hue but, at 1600 lumens, provided as much light as our favorite smart light strip from Lifx.

To access Alexa and Google Assistant, a C by GE Smart Plug with Smart Bridge is needed. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck controlling the lights via Bluetooth, which limits range and isn’t always the most reliable connection. Once paired with the plug, these lights can be controlled over WiFi, offering a much more reliable and stable connection.

The 80-inch light can be trimmed at the appropriate markings on the strip. For more length, a 40-inch extension strip can be added to the end.

Pros

  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Bright

Cons

  • Difficult to arrange

Sylvania Smart+ Apple HomeKit-Enabled Full Color Flex Strip

Sylvania’s Full Color Flex Strip is one of the few HomeKit-enabled light strips we tested. Unlike Philips Hue and Sengled, a hub isn’t required— and you don’t even need a WiFi connection. However, as was the case with other Bluetooth-only lights we tested, response times were slow and the app takes a few seconds to connect to the lights.

Like others we tested, Sylvania's HomeKit strip lights come with millions of color options, adjustable white light, and dimming capabilities. To control these lights away from home, you need an iOS device that functions as an Apple home hub, like an iPad, Apple TV, or Apple HomePod.

We struggled to connect these lights with Apple HomeKit and, for that reason, would recommend the Lifx Z smart strip lights for a faster and simpler set up with Apple products. A couple of other things to note: the adhesive backing isn’t as strong it could be, and the plug is also larger and heavier than other models we tested.

Pros

  • Works with HomeKit

Cons

  • Difficult setup

  • Bulky power adapter

Sylvania Smart+ ZigBee Full Color Flexible Lightstrip Starter Kit

Sylvania’s Full Color Flexible Lightstrip relies on a hub like a Samsung SmartThings, Wink, or Amazon Echo Plus, to work. The setup took a few tries when paired with the Samsung SmartThings hub but didn’t give us much trouble after that. Sylvania’s Smart+ ZigBee Strip Lights come with three 24-inch lightstrips, a controller, and power supply. The lights work with Alexa and Google Assistant.

We didn’t find the Sylvania’s adhesive grip to be as strong as other lights we tested, so it’s best to install these lights and leave them in place. Overall, we think Sylvania’s smart light strips are a good option for anyone who already owns a ZigBee hub, but other users will likely want to look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • ZigBee hub required

  • Setup took a few tries

Meet the tester

Rachel Murphy

Rachel Murphy

Staff Writer

@rachel_murphy

Rachel Murphy covers smart home for Reviewed. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for several major outlets and as an associate editorial producer for ABC News' Good Morning America.

See all of Rachel Murphy's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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