Smart strip lights are versatile. They’re a trendy toy for teens and beloved by social media influencers for their eye-popping visual effects. But they also work great for more grown-up needs, like creating over-counter task lighting in the kitchen or a decorative element around a fireplace mantel or window.
Designed to be more permanent than seasonal string lights, smart strip lights are made of a flexible rubbery material with LEDs embedded, and many can be extended or even trimmed down with scissors to meet the needs of your space. Many have special modes, like being able to sync to music, and they can be put on Schedules or triggered on or off by other smart devices.
We like the TP-Link Tapo Smart Wi-Fi Light Strip L930-5 because it delivers bright, accurate colors, yet it’s easy to use and includes several special features at an affordable price.
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings
The TP-Link Tapo Smart Wi-Fi Light Strip L930-5 provides the best user experience we found in a smart light strip. There’s no learning curve here: Setup and control are both simple, and all of the features are straightforward and easy to use. This smart light strip also produces accurate colors and brightness on a par with or better than other strip lights that cost the same. The Tapo L930-5 also includes preset Scenes and Animations (having different colors cycle through the strip), as well as an Away Mode (for triggering the lights to a specific setting when you leave the house).
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Matter
If you want a strip light that can also light up a counter, or even a room, while also adding decorative ambiance, get the Govee LED Strip Light M1. This model has more LEDs per meter than any product we tested, and as a result it’s able to emit more lumens and also bolder colors. Like our top pick, it has a protective polyurethane coating, so it’s sturdy and resistant to moisture. The Govee M1 also has more included special effects and customization than any other strip light we’ve tested. The companion app does present a learning curve which may be off-putting to some. And for anyone interested in using Matter, we found the experience hit or miss, especially if you like to use more than one smart-home platform.
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT
The Wyze Light Strip Pro makes it easy to add accent lighting in your living space, whether it’s to jazz up a dank basement, add character to a dull dorm room, or give your kitchen space a stylish dash. It produces good colors and brightness and includes music sync features, but there aren’t many special effects or scene presets, and the Wyze app doesn’t allow you to create your own. Because this model is so basic, it’s also very easy to use, making it a good option for anyone who just wants something that works.