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- Smart light strips are a great way to add accent lighting in your home while also being able to control that lighting from your phone or with your voice.
- Generally, smart light strips are expensive, but the Koogeek LS1 does away with the high price tag and comes in at $39.99, which is half the price of many other popular light strips.
- The device isn’t perfect, but it’s especially compatible with HomeKit and the price is unbeatable.
If you’re in the market for a smart light strip, you’re going to shell out a fair amount of cash. After all, light strips from the likes of Philips Hue and LIFX may have a ton to offer in terms of compatibility, features, and ease of use, but that’s all reflected in the price. I would know — I’ve reviewed a ton of them in our buying guide here.
Thankfully, those aren’t your only options. There are more affordable smart light strips, like the Koogeek LS1.
The Koogeek LS1 works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, while coming in at only $39.99. It’s a solid choice for those who want accent lighting in their home without shelling out the cash for it.
Read more: The best smart light strips you can buy
The first thing you’ll notice about the Koogeek LS1 light strip is its design, and — surprise, surprise — it looks like any other light strip.
Out of the box, the light strip is 2 meters, or around 6.6 feet, in length, but you can cut it into smaller increments to better fit your needs if you want. On the back, there’s adhesive to secure it to a table, desk, or wherever you want, which is helpful.
One design element that sets the Koogeek LS1 apart from other light strips is the fact that it’s powered via USB. You’ll need a USB adapter if you want to plug the device directly into a power outlet, as it doesn’t come with one. Part way down the cable, there’s also a small control module which turns the light strip on or off without you having to use the app all the time.
That’s really all there is to the design of the Koogeek LS1 light strip. It’s basic and similar to other light strips, but it serves its purpose well, which is all you’d really need anyway.
- Works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa
- 6 feet long
- USB powered
- 16 million colors
- Connects through Wi-Fi
Setting up the Koogeek LS1 is pretty easy, though the actual process depends on how you want to use the device and what smart home system you currently have.
For HomeKit users, setup is really simple. Plug in the device, boot up the Apple Home app, tap the "Add Accessory" button, and scan the code on the bottom of the light strip control module.
Setting up the device to work with other ecosystems is a little more involved and will include the use of the somewhat frustrating Koogeek app, which is available on iOS and Android.
The app is a little buggy and not super well-designed, but once set up, you’ll be able to enable Alexa or Assistant through the Skill or Action, respectively. We found that using the device through these two were a little hit-or-miss, but it still generally worked most of the time.
To get the most out of this particular light strip, it’s worth using it with HomeKit, which had the smoothest experience personally.
Read more: The best smart outlets you can buy
What makes it stand out
The main benefit of using the Koogeek LS1 has nothing to do with its features, but rather, its price.
The device isn’t quite as bright as the $80 Philips Hue Lightstrip, but it does seem to be a little brighter than some of the other light strips in this price range, which is great news for anyone on a small budget. And at around half the price, the Koogeek LS1 is an excellent choice for those that want to add accent lighting to their home but don’t want to spend a ton of cash.
There’s also the fact that the light strip supports 16 million colors, meaning that you can pick and choose any color you want. And because you can cut the strip into your desired length and use the adhesive on multiple surfaces, you can set up the light strip in any area of your home to fit the aesthetic of the room.
The Koogeek LS1 is also pretty versatile as it works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa, so you’ll get a lot of use out of it no matter what smart ecosystem you use. It’s especially reliable with HomeKit and can be used for automations. For example, we set it up to automatically turn on when other lights in the house are turned on as well.
Ultimately, the Koogeek LS1 is a great value because it’s so inexpensive. In terms of light quality, it’s better than most of the light strips in this price range, and almost as good as light strips that are twice the price.
Cons to consider
The Koogeek LS1 makes a few trade-offs to get the price down, but if you can look past those, you’ve got an impressive device on your hands. For example, as I mentioned, the device doesn’t come with a power adapter and the accompanying app is pretty unimpressive. But those are easy to forget given the price, especially if you plan on using the device exclusively with the HomeKit anyway.
The bottom line
The Koogeek LS1 is a great way to get accent lighting in your home, especially if you’re a HomeKit user and don’t mind powering the device through USB. You’ll love the versatility and automation capabilities of the device, as well as the ability to control it quickly and easily through the HomeKit app.
If you’re a Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa user, it may be worth looking into something with a better-rated Alexa Skill or Assistant Action. But at this price, it would be hard to get too frustrated at something that’s a little slow to respond.
For $39.99, the price can’t really be beat and we’d take a slow app and less bright ambient lighting if that means keeping our wallets happy.
Pros: Very inexpensive, colorful, easy to use with Apple HomeKit, brighter than others in price range
Cons: Not the most reliable with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, buggy app, less bright than other more expensive light strips
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