Several companies have introduced smart LED strip lights in recent years to varying degrees of success. Some have been cheap; some have been expensive, and some have been good. One new company looking to make inroads into this new market is Meross — you may remember them from when we reviewed their garage door opener earlier this year (which is still working immaculately btw).
Meross sent us their new smart LED trip light to put through its paces and to say we are impressed with it would be an understatement. Read on to find out why.
|10 metres included in the box||Only a single power supply included|
|Supports all digital assistants||Can’t make LED strip white from Meross app|
What’s in the box?
The first big win with the Meross Smart LED strip lights is that in the box you get 2 x 5 metres of strip lights — that’s a long area you are going to be able to cover. Unfortunately, there is only one power source though so it will need to be a continuous 10 metres or 2 x 5 metres with the same starting point of LED strip lights if you are going to the entire length. Also in the box is the button and splitter for the LED strips to connect to the power supply and sticky hooks to attach the strips to (even though the back of the strips is 3M-sticky anyway.
According to the box there was meant to be a remote control included but there was not one in the box we received. I can’t imagine having to ever use the remote anyway with the ability to already control it using multiple phone apps and voice control using your digital assistant.
Setup is super easy — sort of
Setting up the lights is incredibly easy. Unroll them and plug them into the power adapter. Plug in the power adapter and you are good to go. If you need it longer there are extender joints included in the box to attach the other 5 metre length and if you need it shorter you can cut them down at certain intervals along the strip.
If you are happy using the two x 5m separately, both attached to the power supply then it is a piece of cake but if you want to extend a 5 metre length to longer you will have to make a choice. Connecting the end of another length means you will have to make a choice to not use that length separately.
Obviously the 12V line, the R, the G and the B lines need to be lined up with the other strip but to do that you will have to start from the other length of the strip — the end that connects to the power supply. If you want to extend to 10m it will be a final decision but if you only want to make the length 7m then you can cut just 2 metres off it and still have 3m that can be connected to the power supply. Not ideal but unless they crossover the signal in the adapter then it must be this way.
For Android users you will need to head into the Meross app after turning them on and waiting for them to flash a few times. Select the add device icon and from here select the LED strip. The app will then “find” the strip, connect, ask you to connect to it via Wi-Fi direct, and then once it has done that you connect it to your home Wi-Fi by punching in your password. Then you are good to go.
Connecting the lights to your chosen digital assistant is also incredibly simple. Open the Google Home or Alexa app and you will see the lights listed in there (after they are connected to your Wi-Fi). Simply add them to your home placing them in the correct room and you are good to go.
Apple HomeKit connection and setup was even easier with just a simple scan of the HomeKit pairing code — no need for the Meross app. The advantage of the Meross app though is that you can set up routines and scenes in so even if you don’t use it to setup the lights it is worth having for everyday use.
Easy to use as well
Speaking of everyday use, it is incredibly simple. You can control the lights from the Meross app or from your digital assistant app. All digital assistants will respond to commands to change the colours of the lights too, and dim/brighten them. We found that as per usual Alexa was able to make the lights respond a lot faster than Google Assistant or Siri. Within each assistant app you just choose the colour you want (and there are a set number of colours in each of these apps) and then the brightness.
Another advantage of the Meross app was that you have nearly as many different shades of colour to choose from as you’d ever want. Unfortunately though, and I have confirmation from the company on this and I have no idea why they have done this, you cannot use the Meross app to make the light strips white or a shade of white (you will need to settle for a shade of yellow). You will need to do that through your digital assistant app or via voice control.
The Meross app has preset scenes (or effects as they call them) which you can edit but are basically quick, one-tap scenes where you have set colours, flash mode etc based on your preference for that scene. There is of course a party flash scene where it flashes through various colours at full brightness — you can also change the speed of the flashing. Other options are static lights and breathing lights.
Do I recommend the Meross Smart LED strip lights?
Most definitely. Their quality is better than the quality of those you see at K-mart and they are a lot cheaper than the other high quality versions such as those from LifX (2m = $100) and Philips (2m = $129). To get 10 metres for currently less than $60 with free Prime shipping from Amazon it is a difficult option to pass up.
Although they are not perfect — they could do with a second power source in the box and extending past 5 metres can be fiddly — they will fit the needs of nearly all people. If you are after some LED strip lights for your entertainment setup, your bedroom, office or wherever then I highly recommend you check out the Meross Smart LED strip light at just $69.99 on Amazon AU — especially with Amazon Prime Day coming up this week.