Best Smart Lights for Gaming Android Central 2020
Smart lighting isn't just limited to turning your bulbs on and off from your phone or changing their colors. With the right smart bulbs, you can even soup up your gaming rig with lights that follow the rhythm and beats of your games, turning your entire room into a living visualizer.
- Bulbs for your lamps: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance
- Ambient glow: Philips Hue Light Strip
- Light up your wall: Philips Hue Play Light Bar
- Lighting panels: Nanoleaf Rhythm Edition Smarter Kit
- Another light strip: LIFX Z Strip
- Colored fans: Nzxt AER RGB 2
If you don't already have an elaborate smart lighting rig, why not start simple with a couple of bulbs? The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance kit comes with two bulbs that connect directly to your phone via Bluetooth, no hub needed. Philips Hue partners with gaming brands like Razer so that your lights can match the changing colors of your Chroma-powered peripherals.
Just like the light bulbs, Philips Hue's LightStrip Plus can connect with Razer Chroma devices like Razer's RGB gaming mice and keyboards and match their colors to give a unique ambience to your room. You can stick the LightStrip to the bottom or edges of your desk, the trim along your walls, or anywhere else that might look interesting with a colored glow!
Maybe you prefer shining colored lights onto your wall instead of emitting them from a lamp or from the back of your desk. The Hue Play light bar is yet another smart light system from Philips Hue that comes in a pack of two and sits tilted on your desk to shine light onto your wall — it works especially well with both lights pointed behind your computer monitor.
Though Nanoleaf's standard kit isn't properly equipped for gaming, the Rhythm Edition kit includes a sound module that listens for music and features a specialized game mode that reacts to various in-game sounds. Like Philips Hue, Nanoleaf works with Razer Chroma, along with Cooler Master, to color match with your gaming peripherals.
The LIFX Z Strip is a long strip of dimmable LED lights that gets even brighter than the Philips Hue Light Strip. You can control it with your phone and select from any of LIFX's preset themes or create your own, and the Z Strip ties in with Razer Chroma as well. It connects to your Wi-Fi so you can control it even when you're not home.
While you're lighting up the setup around your gaming rig, why not colorize your computer tower itself? The 120mm RBG 2 fan from Nzxt comes in a two-pack and keeps your computer cool — in both senses of the word. You can daisy chain multiple fans together to create different lighting effects.
It pays to stay within an ecosystem
Matching the color and intensity of your lights to your games and peripherals can make a surprisingly noticeable difference for your gaming experience. Bouncing colored lights off the wall behind your monitor can add to the ambiance of your game and even ease the strain on your eyes by keeping the amount of light relatively even between your foreground and background.
Most of these smart lights support gaming standards like Razer Chroma, which allows them to change color along with your game without needing any extra setup on your end. Philips Hue's White and Color Ambiance bulbs are the most popular smart bulbs, and work great with Chroma. Once you have one Hue product, why not keep going with more and more lights from the lineup? The best part: while Hue lights used to require a hub to control, they can now operate independently over Bluetooth.
LIFX is another great smart home brand whose lights don't require a hub, connecting directly to your Wi-Fi network. If you're after something unique, Nanoleaf's Rhythm Edition light panels can be arranged any way you like for a truly personal setup.
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LIFX bulbs too pricey? Here are some cheap but smart alternatives
LIFX is one of the leading brands in smart lighting, but it's far from being your only option. There are plenty of alternatives that are worth considering, like these ones we've noted here.
Believe it or not, Philips Hue is far from the only smart bulb you can buy
The are plenty of smart lights available that are similar to Philips Hue bulbs at nearly half the cost. Most offer easy management from a designated app on your smartphone or tablet, too.
The best Alexa-compatible smart lights
Amazon's Echo ecosystem of smart speakers is great for controlling smart bulbs from brands like LIFX and Philips Hue. The only trick is choosing the right bulb.