The Ultimate Smart Home: Light Strips

Creative, custom lighting in a home is easier to achieve than ever. Light strips are an affordable way to personalize and liven up a space. Here are some popular options homeowners might consider.
Light strip under kitchen cabinets

©Serghei Starus - Getty Images

App-controlled light strips have become a trendy, stylish addition to home interiors, commonly installed above or below cabinets in the kitchen, behind a TV or bar area for entertainment, around tray ceilings, mirrors, and artwork, on shelves, and even around desks and monitors. But homeowners should consider their light choices carefully to avoid clashing colors or overstimulating effects.

When it comes to brands, Philips Hue is the most popular choice. These strips can be paired with bulbs to create entertainment areas. When paired with a bridge and the Hue Sync app, they can be connected to a TV and fill the room with color that matches what is shown on the screen. They’re also the most expensive light strips—the starter kit is 80 inches long and costs $80.

If you’re handy with soldering, you can make your own with LED strips and a compatible controller unit. But for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on options that can be used out of the box and bought from major retailers including Amazon.

Other popular light strips options include:

AduroSmart: 120 inches for $60 ($6/foot), they can also connect to Hue Bridge.
Slyvania: 72 inches for $35 ($5.83/foot) extensions are 48 inches for $18 ($4.50/foot).
Sengled: 196.8 inches (16.4 feet) for $30 ($1.83/foot).
LIFX: 80 inches for $90 ($13.51/foot), extensions are 39 inches for $30 ($9.23/foot).
TP Link: 79 inches for $70 ($10.64/foot), extensions are 39.6 inches for $25 ($7.57/foot).
YeeLight: 78 inches for $40 ($6.15/foot).
Govee: 196.8 inches for $20 ($1.22/foot).
RGBGenie Power supply and controller $69. Pair with any LEDs, such as LE’s 196.8-inch strip for $13 ($1.83/foot).

Each of these options connects directly to both SmartThings and Hubitat home hubs. Sengled also has its own hub that, when used with its app, has additional modes built in, 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.

Some strips have more advanced options for control that require replacing switches, including the Lutron Pico remote, which can connect 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 or off.