Today, we’ll be talking about light strips — what you can do with them, their functionality and more. We’ll also chat through the different brands that are available on the market today. First, let’s start off with some of the ways they can spice up a room.
Popular places to install light strips include above or below cabinets in the kitchen, behind the TV or bar areas for entertainment, tray ceilings, around mirrors, artwork, shelves, desks and monitors. However, you have to be careful — there’s a fine line between classy and trashy.
As far as brands go, Philips Hue is the most popular option out there. The brand’s products can be paired with bulbs to create entertainment areas. Not to mention, when paired with a bridge and the Hue Sync, they can be connected to your TV and fill the room with color that matches what’s shown on the screen.
That said, they’re also the most expensive option. The starter kit is 80 inches long and costs $90 (so that’s $13.5 a foot).
Of course, if you’re handy with soldering, you can make your own with lengths of LED strips and a compatible controller unit. However, for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on options that can be used out of the box and purchased from major retailers including Amazon.
A few lower-cost alternatives to Philips Hue include AudroSmart, Slyvania and Sengled. Each of them connects directly to both SmartThings and Hubitat home hubs. Sengled also has its own hub, which, when used with their app, has additional built-in modes similar to Philips Hue.
Smart light strips can easily be controlled via an app on your phone, voice assistant, a Philips Hue remote or Lutron Aurora, which is a part of the Friends of Hue program.
More advanced options for control — which require replacing switches — include using a Lutron pico remote programmed via a bridge to Hubitat hub, an Inovelli Red Series switch with scene control, a Brilliant Controls panel or RGBgenie wall controller.
These solutions provide great control over the light strips right at the wall, allowing anyone, including guests, to change the color, brightness or quickly turn them on and off. For more on each of these products’ perks and drawbacks, check out this week’s video.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.