RGB Lightstrips are pretty cool when used properly, they’re cost efficient, have low energy usage and look very cool.
Whilst traditional lighting methods are used to light a whole room, RGB Lightstrips are mostly used to blend lighting or set a mood in a room, reaching places your normal lightbulbs cannot reach.
You can pickup various priced RGB Lightstrips, from $10 to $50. But which ones work best and why?
Whether you’re looking for a budget plan or something with all the features, we will cover that in this post.
In a prior blogpost, we suggested getting the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LightStrip. Whilst expensive, they do offer a wide range of options and the app is pretty user friendly.
The Philips Hue strip boasts over 16 million colour options, with timers and easy dimming.
It can be controlled by various Smart Assistants and is extremely good quality.
Compatible with Nest, IFTTT, Logitech, Xfinity, SmartThings, Razer, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit and Alexa
Lets throw the high-expense RGB lightstrip out the window and look at some alternatives.
If you’re happy to do some DIY, it’s definitely worth looking into the GLEDOPTO controllers, these will allow you to purchase any normal TGBW, RGBWW or RGB strip and control it like an industry standard RGB lightstrip.
A gledopto controller will set you back around $30 and you can pick up some cheap RGBW strips for around $10-$12, even a cheap chinese pair will do.
There’s an entire Gledopto subreddit which is based around Zigbee Light Links that are compatible with Ikea Tradfri, Amazon Echo, SmartThings, Philips Hue and more!
You will struggle to find these on Amazon, as such, definitely check out their official website as they will have a full list of requirements there.
The Nexlux LED Lightstrip doesn’t require a hub, which is great for those of you looking to keep everything compact and neat.
Unfortunately, the strips are very dim, but these are great for anyone looking to keep these behind your bed for simple light diffusion
If you’re a fan of TP-Link like myself, you may wish to keep everything locked into the one brand network.
These light strips work with all major smart assistants, require no Hub, have animated lighting effects and boast 1 million colours.
The strip is very bright, at 1400 lumens and the white temperature looks very natural. The only downside is the control via App and the price point for it. You may as well invest in Hue.
LED Light Strips (Also referred to as LED Tape) allow you to diffuse light easily in tight spaces or areas that need lighting without a bulb. They are extremely inexpensive and very easy to install.
LED strips are perfect for anyone looking to control the ambience of their rooms making them more aesthetically pleasing.
There are 2 main types of LED Strips, RGB and RGBW.
RGB simply means Red, Green & Blue. These strips utilise LEDs with those colours to create a wide spectrum of colours via an RGB Remote Controller.
RGBW uses the same as RGB however it has the addition of White LEDs which allow you to diffuse the colours, make them brighter and offer a wider array of tones with your colours.
Assuming you’ve not gone down the DIY route and simply want to plug & play, you can just plug in the LED strip and then use the sticky back tape you find on almost every single RGB Lightstrip sold on Amazon and other major vendors.
There are some hacky changes you can make to create 90 degree bends and turns which require additional parts and slicing up your lightstrip. For this, you can use scissors or a knife and some LED Strip Connectors (L Shape).
Whilst looking at your RGB Strip, you should see some plating that doesn’t have any LEDs on them, this changed based on the brand you purchase, but should look like the image I’ve provided. Simply cut in a straight line where indicated.
Much like LED Bulbs, the liftime of a lightstrip will be around 50,000 hours (Which is 50x longer than an incandescent bulb). Assuming you use the light for 12 hours a day, this would still last longer than 11 years. Read more on saving money with LED lights
Check out our breakdown of
|Average lifespan||1,200 hours||8,000 hours||25,000 hours|
|No. of bulbs needed for 25,000 hours of use||21||3||1|
|Total cost of electricity used (25,000 hours at £0.12 per kWh)||£180||£42||£30 – £35|