kitchen area with light blue and pink lighting
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What to Look For in a LED Strip Light

LED strip lights are available in a wide variety of options geared to suit nearly any lighting application. So, with that many choices, how do you know what to look for? You’ll want to decide a color type, how bright you need your strips to be, and any additional features you might need.

When determining a color type, know that there are generally three main options for smart LED strips: daylight white, warm white, and RGB. In working spaces or in other areas that require focus or attention, daylight white is the best choice. In rooms geared more toward relaxation, warm white is the way to go. For any scenario that could use some mood lighting—say, behind a bar, computer monitor, or sound system—RGB would be the best choice.

After making that decision, you’ll want to determine your brightness requirements. If you need high brightness for your home, make sure that you choose 5050 LED lights. Other lumen options, including 3528 or 2835 LED, are generally used to accent or create the desired ambiance and are generally not as bright.

Finally, it’s important to consider any other special features your lighting project might require. For example, if your application is outdoors or might encounter any moisture of any kind, a waterproof light strip is the safest bet. If you want your strip lights and smart bulbs to sync up, it’s usually best to grab items from the same company. It’s also important to make sure any smart features work with your smart home ecosystem, whether that’s Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit.

With that in mind, here are our picks for the best LED strip lights.

RELATED: Affordable Alternatives to Philips Hue Light Strips

Best LED Strip Light Overall: Govee 65.6ft Strip Lights

living room with govee lighting
Govee

Pros

  • Vivid, bright lights and stunning segmented colors
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Syncs with your favorite music

Cons

  • Expensive

Govee has consistently produced lighting technology that’s as innovative as it is durable as one of the frontrunners in the strip light industry. With its 65.6 ft RGB LED Strip Lights, never has there been a more stunning blend of durability and innovation.

With only two rolls, these strip lights provide bright, vivid light. Furthermore, Govee’s professional-grade lamp bead technology offers an incredible array of colors and customization features.

In addition to the light that’s both bright and soft, Govee’s strip lights are fully smart-tech-enabled and compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, giving you the ability to power on and off and adjust brightness and color by simple voice commands. They also come with a built-in, high-sensitivity mic that will sync your lights with your music.

Plus, the company’s app for Android, iPhone, and iPad allows you to create your own lighting effects with 16 million colors and a wide variety of themes in the Govee Light Studio. You can even sync up with other Govee products, such as smart bulbs and light bars, to make a fully immerse light profile.

Govee’s newest strip model, the RGBIC Pro, allows for multiple colors to be displayed on the same line at one time, which isn’t common for smart LED strips. However, unlike the traditional RGB strips, RGBIC Pro strips cannot be trimmed. We recommend the older model because they can be cut to the perfect size, and the jump in price isn’t quite worth one new feature.

Best Smart Strip Lights Overall

Govee 65.6ft LED Strip Lights

Govee's strip lights, while more expensive than the competition, offers bright, beautiful colors, a friendly app, and is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa.

Best Budget LED Strip Light: TJoy 50ft Smart LED Strip Lights

Tjoy strips in bedroom
TJoy

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons

  • Slow color transitions
  • App isn't as user friendly as competition

Want to harness the full potential of Govee’s strip lights but for a fraction of the cost? Enter TJoy’s Smart LED Light Strip. TJoy’s strip lights offer many of the same features that Govee does, such as voice and smartphone control (including Google Assistant and Alexa) and light syncing to your favorite music.

You’ll also get 16 million color combinations with brightness control through TJoy’s Tuya app (available on Android and iPhone), which is the same number of colors as Govee’s app offers. If you don’t want to deal with the app, though, you can also use a remote control to adjust the lights as needed.

The LEDs on TJoy’s smart LED strip are bright and vivid, though you only get 50ft of LED lights as opposed to Govee’s 65.6ft. This doesn’t matter much if you’re setting up for a smaller space and needed to cut the strip anyway, but might be a dealbreaker if you’re looking to deck out bigger rooms.

That being said, some users report issues with setting the TJoy strip up by using the app, but it seems like persistence and patience usually get the job done. If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, though, you may want to investigate other options. Govee’s app is more user-friendly and our favorite strip light overall, and other LED strips are optimized for voice controls with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Best Budget

TJoy 50ft Smart LED Strip Lights

If you want to try out some smart strip lights but don't want to pay Govee prices, TJoy has a strip set that will cost much less. It's slightly less user-friendly, but they're still great, especially at this price.

Best Waterproof LED Strip Light: Hitlights Waterproof Warm White LED Light Strip

hitlights strip roll
Hitlights

Pros

  • Smooth, bright 3528 LED lights
  • IP-67 waterproof rating
  • Can be cut to size

Cons

  • No colored light option
  • Not smart enabled
  • If cut, waterproofing needs to be resealed before use

If your lighting project runs the risk of being near water or moisture, you can’t do any better than Hitlights’ Waterproof Warm White LED Light Strips. Besides housing superior quality 3528 LEDs that provide smooth and even light output, these strips boast an impressive IP-67 waterproof rating.

The IP rating means these Hitlights strips have been tested to work for at least 30 minutes while under to 3ft of water. This LED strip can withstand a whole lot when it comes to typical water exposure. Most other “waterproof” strip lights don’t even come close to this kind of rating. So, put them anywhere and relax—these lights can handle it.

Granted, these strips do not have any smart functions, nor any RGB colors. This is just a single-color strip. In addition, if you need to cut the strip, the area needs to be resealed to keep the waterproofing intact. But if a waterproof LED strip is your main priority, you cannot beat these warm white light strips.

Best Waterproof LED Strip

Hitlights Waterproof White LED Light Strip

While this Hitlights strip model doesn't offer color or smart options, it's one of the few available with an IP-67 waterproof rating.

Best LED Strip Light for Alexa: Cozylady Alexa 50ft LED Strip Lights

family in living room with TV backlit by led strip
Cozylady

Pros

  • Works best with Alexa voice control
  • Great for kids' bedrooms
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • Cut points are widely spaced
  • Remote requires line-of-site

For all those Amazon Alexa users out there, the Cozylady Alexa might be your new favorite component to your smart home. You can control everything with Alexa voice commands, such as turning the lights on and off, adjusting brightness, and moving between various light modes. You can also do all this within the Happy Lighting app, available on iPhone, iPad, and Android.

In older reviews, some users complained that the adhesive that holds the Cozylady strips up has been insufficient, but the company claims it has replaced the adhesive with one that gets thicker and stronger over time. Cozylady also says that it’s happy to send out additional adhesives tape if needed, so if you happen to get a defective adhesive unit, you can get a replacement with minimal fuss.

One disadvantage of the Cozylady strips, however, is that they can only be cut at widely spaced intervals so that precise placement can get a little tricky. Also, users report that in order to control the lights with the included remote, a direct line-of-sight with the receiver on the light strip must be maintained. This isn’t uncommon with budget strip lights, but frustrating if you want to keep the receiver hidden.

Still, Alexa integration is highly praised, so if you want to control your lights with an Amazon device, Cozylady’s LED strip lights make a solid choice.

Best for Alexa

Cozylady 50ft Alexa LED Strip Lights

Cozylady's smart LED strips are built to work with Amazon Alexa, allowing you to use voice commands to change colors, adjust the brightness, and more.

Best LED Strip Light for Google Assistant: Gosund 32.8ft LED Strip Lights

kitchen and stairs lit by gosund strips
Gosund

Pros

  • Works best with Google Assistant
  • Can be cut
  • Syncs to music

Cons

  • Does not have separate remote
  • Not as bright as some competitors

If you rely heavily on Google Assistant to sync your devices and other smart home components, then the Gosund LEDs might be a good choice for you. You can power the strips on and off, control brightness, and adjust color, all from voice commands with your Google Assistant smart speaker or smart display.

Even if you aren’t home, you can control all your connected lights from the Gosund App on Android and iPhone, which also allows you to set lighting schedules and discourage unwanted strangers. Not all of the companies we recommended have apps that work the lights outside of Bluetooth range, so this is handy.

That being said, the lights don’t come with a separate remote, so if you won’t have your smartphone near you at all times, you might want to rethink your choice. They also don’t get quite as bright as some of the other options on our list, so keep that in mind if brightness is a concern.

Best for Google Assistant

Gosund 32.8ft LED Strip Lights

If you have a Nest smart speaker, smart display, or use Google Assistant on your Android smartphone, Gosund's strip lights are a great match for your smart home.

Profile Photo for Michael Franco Michael Franco
Michael Franco is a freelance writer for How-To Geek. He has been writing about the serious and silly sides of science, technology, and home improvement for years. His work has appeared in Discover Magazine, CNET,Β Lifehacker, Islands Magazine, BobVila.com, Mindbounce, and various Discovery Channel properties.
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