9 brilliant ways to use smart light strips at home
"Hey Alexa, turn on the kitchen cabinet lights."
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Looking for a quick and easy way to upgrade your home? Smart light strips may be the answer. Offering fun and useful features like syncing with entertainment systems, creating schedules, and even designing your own light display, they can do a lot more than you might expect.
Most strips can be trimmed to size or extended for more length and can be controlled using smart assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, or by using the companion app, giving you total control over your own DIY smart lighting set up. If you’re unsure about how to incorporate these adhesive lights into your home, here are several ideas to get you started.
1. Light up your kitchen cabinets
One of the most common places to put light strips is underneath kitchen cabinets. Overhead kitchen lighting can be too bright, harsh, and not effective at lighting up all of the dark spots in your kitchen. That’s where smart strip lights come in, adding brightness to the nooks and crannies of your kitchen. Our favorite light strip, the Lifx Z LED Strip Kit, lets you adjust the brightness and color of the lights using Alexa, Google, or the companion app on your device. Most other smart light strips are similarly controllable.
2. Have a light show dance party
It’s been a helluva year, and there's nothing to brighten the mood like an at-home dance party, right? Right. If you’re looking for a fun way to blow off some steam (or if you need to occupy your kids to save yourself from going off the deep end), bust out your favorite smart speaker (or any speaker), crank the jams, and watch as Govee’s WiFi LED Strip Lights put on a colorful light show to the beat.
These string lights come with a built-in microphone that syncs with whatever sound is playing—be it from a speaker, TV, or even your voice—so the light pattern adapts to the beat. There's no special pairing or extras required to access this feature, just select the Music scene in the Govee Home app to make these awesome lights boogie.
3. Illuminate dark hallways at night
Smart strip lights are discreet enough to be placed along baseboards, providing ample light during nighttime hours. The ability to finetune the brightness, schedule on and off times, and choose from millions of colors makes smart lights an ideal option for illuminating dark hallways, entryways, and staircases to light the way at night.
4. Decorate with bright and brilliant colors for the holidays
Smart strip lights don’t care if you put up your holiday decorations months early or the day before—they can help your home look festive at any time of the year. Some smart strip lights we tested, like TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Strip, even offer in-app, predefined holiday light effects like “Candy Cane,” “Christmas,” and “Hanukkah.” You can use the light to line the interior window sill when decorating for the holidays, creating a joyful display for neighbors to admire.
5. Add a pop of color to a kid's room
From iPads to Disney+, we’re all looking for ways to entertain our kids these days. And while smart light strips may not immediately spring to mind, they can actually make for a really fun bedroom activity for kids. While testing the 11 best smart light strips on the market, I placed them in all areas of my home—including my 7-year-old daughter’s bedroom, where we outlined her bookshelf. I set her up with the companion app on her iPad and she was instantly hooked. Her favorite thing to do? Choose from over 16 million colors to light up her room.
6. Sync them with your TV for an awesome DIY home theater
A top-notch TV and a highly-rated soundbar are the main ingredients for an awesome home theater setup. But why not take it a step further and add immersive smart lights that integrate with your TV? Philips Hue's White and Color Ambiance LightStrip can be paired with the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box for a mesmerizing lighting experience. It’s an investment, especially since a hub is also required to set this up, but there’s no denying it’s a really cool feature of these smart lights—and an awesome way to seriously upgrade your home theater experience.
7. Refresh your outdoor lighting
Although many smart light strips cannot be used outside, there are a few models, like the Geeni Prisma Plus Strip, that do just fine outdoors. Since the Geeni smart strip is waterproof, you can line your porch, windows, balcony, and other outdoor areas for a seamless outdoor smart lighting setup. For more length, additional extender pieces up to 9.8 feet can be added to the light strip. Or, the strip can be trimmed to size for smaller spaces.
Creating schedules, choosing colors, dimming the lights, and more are all possible with Geeni's Prisma Plus Light Strip, making it possible to achieve your desired outdoor lighting setup right from your phone, or using a compatible smart assistant like Google or Alexa.
8. Jazz up your home office
With many people pivoting from traditional offices to working from home, you may be looking for ways to spruce up your workspace. With smart strip lights, the possibilities for decorating your home office are aplenty. Desks, computer monitors, and bookcases are just a few spots where you can incorporate smart strip lights into your at-home work arrangement. Heck, you can even use them to improve the lighting on your next video call and control the brightness right from the companion app or using popular smart assistants like Alexa and Google.
9. Add mood lighting to your bedroom
Whether it be around a headboard or a full-length mirror, bedrooms are another popular spot for strip lighting. Sure, you’ve probably got an overhead light and a lamp on your bedside table, but neither is likely full of color options to match your mood like smart strip lights are. I prefer a darker, moodier hue like blue or purple at bedtime, and a warm white glow in the mornings to kickstart my day.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.