LED strip lights are becoming more popular. These versatile lights have an adhesive backing that means they can be installed in minutes. Plus, since they don’t need special wiring or installation (they use AC plugs) they can be placed almost anywhere.

Smart LED light strips like the ones we’ll introduce you to here are controlled via your smartphone using a free app from the manufacturer. Each one is a bit different, but by and large you can adjust the colour of the light, brightness, and set daytime or nighttime timers so it will turn on or off automatically. Some apps also allow special effects like rainbow colour morphing, or even adjusting to movies on your TV, or flashing to the beat of your music.

Use LED strip lights in the kitchen

The kitchen is a great place to start experimenting with LED strip lighting. Take the new LIFX Z LED Light strip; it’s easy to place under your cabinets to give you more light. Best of all LIFX lights don’t need a hub or starter kit to operate; just buy the individual lights you want.

I also installed an LED strip light inside my range hood. The light is permanently broken and we’re debating a kitchen reno, so we don’t want to replace it now only to replace it again later. An LED light strip has been the perfect solution to cooking in the dark.

Use LED strip lights in the home theatre

The home theatre is made for these lights. The Philips Hue line, which is a super easy to use and install lighting kit has several applications for TV and movie watching.

Hue LightStrip Plus can be wrapped around the edges or the back of your TV to provide backlighting or bias lighting to take the strain off the eyes. Set it to match the mood of your program for ultimate effect.

You can also set up the Hue lights to mimic or enhance what’s happening on screen. Using an app called Hue Camera, you set your phone up to ‘watch’ what’s on TV and the lights will mimic the colours and mood. Philips has also announced it’s adding something called Hue Entertainment, which should take over this kind of functionality within the Hue app by the end 2017 or early 2018. Similarly other third party apps will allow you to match lights to music.

Decorate with LED strip lights

LED light strips don’t just need to be practical, they can also add an element of fun to holiday decor.

Use a strip light like the Playbulb Comet to create a glowing lantern to welcome guests to a holiday party. Just coil the lights up inside a large vase, add some greenery and set it to your favourite colour or lighting special effect.

LED light strips like these from Alpena can also be wrapped around mirrors or pass-throughs to create some drama in a room. I’ve also seen these placed under furniture like cabinets, beds and sofas for floor-level ambient lighting.

However you choose to use these versatile light strips, you’ll enjoy full remote control via an app on your smartphone.

What’s the coolest or most unusual you’ve found for these lights? Do you have a question about where they might work? Ask us in comments below.

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