We live in the era of the smart home. Everything is connected, including smart lights. In fact, the lighting we choose in our homes influences its esthetic and our mood and well-being too. For that reason, people should assess their home lighting and see how they can improve it with smart lights.
I reviewed the Cync Direct Connect Smart LED Light Strip, which can transform any room with tunable, voice-activated lights. As the name suggests, this is an RGB LED light strip with a built-in power supply that directly connects to your home network. It pairs well with the Cync A19 Smart LED Multi-Colour Light Bulb. Both products work together, so I highly recommend you read my review of the smart light bulb as well.
Notable specs: Cync Smart LED Light Strip
- 80-inch LED strip length with 6-foot cord and power supply
- Optimized settings from warm to cool light tones to support sleep/wake cycles
- Customized schedules to control lights while away
- Easy installation without the need for a hub or a bridge
Design of the Cync Smart LED Light Strip
I have a lot of experience with RGB lighting strips. Compared to what I’ve used in the past, the Cync light strip is constructed with quality material. It’s designed for indoor use, but looks like it was made for outdoor use as well.
The 6’8” LED strip is housed in a rubber enclosure with a transparent top. On the front are designated cut areas marked with a scissor logo. This is where users can safely cut the strip to size. On the back is 3M tape to stick the strip onto surfaces during installation. On one end is the power module where the power cable connects to it. It has a button on the front to manually power the strip on and off. It’s also used to reset the strip for a new connection.
On the other end is a plastic cover. Removing the cap reveals a connection port. An additional Cync light strip extension can be purchased and connected to extend the strip. In total, the light strip can be extended up to approximately 32ft.
Setting up the Cync Smart LED Light Strip
Cync light products do not require a hub to be connected to your Wi-Fi router. This makes the entire setup process a breeze. After plugging the lights in, the entire setup occurs on the sync app. Before the setup, the Cync app will go through instructions on how to cut the LED strip and stick it onto a surface. It will then locate the strip and asked you to name it. After that, it will connect the strip to your Wi-Fi network and let you assign it to a room and group.
In all, the entire setup took me less than 3 minutes. Once connected, the Cync app asked me if I wanted to connect the strip to my voice assistants. This is actually a critical step a lot of people forget to do. With previous strip lights, I would have to go to the Google Home and Amazon Alexa app and manually connect the lights. The Cync app allows users to do everything within its app. Finally, there’s now better integration with smart home products and smart speakers.
Installing the Cync Smart LED Light Strip
I was provided with a single unit for this review. I installed it in my kitchen along with the Cync Smart Light bulbs that was installed on a desk lamp. This provides me the ability to group the lights together and control them as a single group.
I installed the strip above my kitchen cabinets. The 3M tape stuck on firmly and I ran the power cord to the nearest outlet. As great as 3M tape is, my worry was that if I installed the strip under the kitchen cabinets, it would eventually fall. Therefore, I recommend screwing in some cord clips under the cabinets. If the tape loses strength, the cord clips should still hold it in place. In my case, the strip is above the cabinet so it’s not fighting against gravity.
Strip bending options
With my setup, I was lucky because I just ran the strip in a straight line. The Cync Smart LED light strip can bend at a max 90-degree angle. It can also do curves with a radius greater than ⅛ inch. Another option is using a separate connection to connect two strips together at a 90-degree angle. However, the kit did not include any connectors. I’m sure Cync will provide additional accessories in the near future.
Using the Cync Smart LED Light Strip
My kitchen has black cabinets, wooden countertops, and dark-painted walls. Without lights on, it’s dark even during daylight hours. I did this by design because I wanted to light up the entire space with LED lighting. By having the LED light strips above the cabinets, the room lit up without having to see the LED strip light itself. I don’t like the look of exposed LED strips, but I love the light it gives off when you can’t see it.
Once everything was set up, I grouped the strip light to my Cync A19 light bulb. I then used my Google Home speaker to turn the lights on and change the colours. What surprised me was how incredibly bright the lights were. At full brightness, the kitchen lit up like a Christmas tree. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. If I had more of these lights, I could easily adjust the mood and atmosphere of my kitchen with just my voice.
I’ve been a fan of LED light strips since they first hit the market. They’re great behind TVs, and under desks and tables. In fact, when I renovated my kitchen, I added additional outlets for LED strips above and below the cabinets. That’s usually the issue, finding a power source. If you have one nearby, installing these light strips is a breeze. I love that I can change any Cync light or group of Cync lights via voice. It’s like the Clapper 2.0.
That said, I did find the Cync app to be very basic and simplistic. Hopefully, over time, they will add more features such as a circadian mode where the lights change depending on the time of day. In fact, I doubt I will use the Cync app much anyways as it’s much easier to control the light strips via voice.
Also, I wish it came with a long strip version. As mentioned, the power supply can handle up to 32 feet, but one pack only comes with 6’8” of length and adding additional light extension kits can get expensive. Hopefully, they will come out with a large, affordable 32 feet version. At that length, I could install this above crown molding all around a room.
Nevertheless, if you’re ready to transform your home with innovative smart lighting, I highly recommend you get the Cync Direct Connect Smart LED Light Strip.