Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: ECOLOR's Rainbow LED Strip Lights can withstand getting drenched and you can cut them to any length. You get premium features like segmented control, plenty of modes, and extensive controls through a companion app. It is an almost perfect product, with the single caveat being no voice assistant support.
Music Sync and other modes
Companion app and dedicated remote
Cuttable and waterproof
No Alexa or Google Assistant integration
Not the best physical remote control
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Smart lights come in dramatically different shapes and sizes today. ECOLOR aims to bring smart lighting to the budget segment while keeping compromises on the down-low. You get cute little portable lamps in the shape of eggs and crescent-shaped ambient lights from the brand. When it comes to the form factor, the sky's the limit as long as you keep your mind open. If you're looking to add an ethereal glow to your living room fittings or car interior though, smart light strips are your best bet.
Apart from strangely shaped ambient lights, ECOLOR also offers assorted smart LED light strips. This review will take a look at the ECOLOR Rainbow LED Strip Lights, ECOLOR Smart LED Strip Lights, and ECOLOR Interior Car Lights. While they share the same heart and soul, these three products have a few key differences here and there. Happily, they do have one enticing feature in common: inexpensiveness.
ECOLOR Smart Light Strips review: Price and availability
All three types of light strips from ECOLOR are available to buy on Amazon. The ECOLOR Rainbow LED Strip Lights come in a box of two rolls, each measuring 16.4ft, and usually retail for $30. The ECOLOR Smart LED Strip Lights also come in a set of two 16.4ft rolls. They cost only $19 as you don't get segmented control over the LED bulbs.
Meanwhile, the ECOLOR Interior Car Lights are priced at $25 on Amazon, although you'll usually find them going for $3 to $4 lesser on discount. The Interior Car Lights consist of four strips, each measuring about 2ft or so in length.
ECOLOR Smart Light Strips review: What you'll like
When it comes to budget brands like ECOLOR, what most customers are gunning for is value. ECOLOR's smart light strips definitely deliver on that front. You get a delightfully pleasing color payoff thanks to the dazzlingly bright SMD 5050 LED bulbs. Regardless of the exact type of smart strip you opt for, you get to choose from a wheel of 16 million colors. The Rainbow LED Strip Lights sit at the top of the pyramid, pulling all the stops save one: no Alexa or Google Assistant support. The Rainbow Strip Lights have an IP65 waterproof rating, they're cuttable, and you can control them via Bluetooth or using the IR remote control.
You also get segmented control, allowing you to set a different shade for a set of three LEDs in a row. This means that you can create your own custom rainbow. That's a lot of customizability for 150 bulbs. The companion app takes things further, enabling you to set automated power on/off timers, point your camera at anything and choose that color for your light strips, and even make the lights react to music. The reaction sensitivity can be controlled and you can also change the brightness.
Now, the ECOLOR Smart LED Strip Lights differ from the Rainbow LED Strip Lights as you don't get water resistance or segmented control. There's no smart assistant integration either, but you do get twice the number of LEDs (300 to be exact). Apart from that, it's pretty much the exact same experience. Since you use the same ECOLOR app, you get the camera color selection feature, brightness and sensitivity controls, loads of presets, the 16 million color wheel, and the scheduling option.
Just like the indoor smart light strips, the ECOLOR Interior Car Lights are also incredibly easy to set up and come with an identical host of features. Unlike the cheaper Smart LED Strip Lights, you do get waterproofing and segmented control. The car lights also connect to your phone via Bluetooth, and again the experience is exactly the same. What I especially love about the Interior Car Lights is that all four strips connect to a single controller that plugs into the car's lighter slot. I can't express just how easy it is to set them up. My senior father-in-law who isn't very tech-savvy was able to install these lights without any help, to his delight.
What really elevates these light strips is the wonderfully smooth ECOLOR app. First-time setup takes a few seconds and from there you get used to the interface in a few minutes. It's all very straightforward and designed to make your experience fun. If you like a setting that you used in the past but forget how to get it again, you can simply go through the recently used presets, and voila! If you use multiple of the same light strips, you can rename each within the app. This makes it easy to differentiate bedroom lights from the ones in the living room as you need only label them "Bedroom" or "Living." The only catch is that the name cannot be longer than ten characters.
ECOLOR Smart Light Strips review: What you won't like
Lack of Alexa or Google Assistant support is a common drawback across all ECOLOR products. Whether you go for the Interior Car Lights, the Rainbow LED Strip Lights, or the Smart LED Strip Lights, you won't get any voice assistant integration. This means that you have to rely on your phone or the physical remote control to interact and control the light strips every time. For those of you who like to maintain a well-connected smart home ecosystem, this may be a big problem. There's no way to connect ECOLOR's smart light strips to your Google Home app or the physical Nest Hub.
Controlling the lights with your Android phone's Bluetooth is no problem, but the outdated IR remote control isn't exactly a joy to use. You definitely don't get as much customization and the remote has to point directly at the controller box to work. If you're too far away or there are too many obstructions in the way, the remote doesn't work very well.
With the cheaper Smart LED Strip Lights, you don't get an IP rating or segmented controls either. Since the Rainbow LED Strip Lights come with these features, I see no reason why someone would skimp on $10 to miss out on waterproofing or customizability. Personally, I would rather get the Rainbow Lights as you get two rolls of the same length. Yes, you get 150 LEDs in the Rainbow LED Strip Lights as opposed to the 300 bulbs on the Smart LED Strip Lights, but they are larger in size and emit noticeably more light to make up for it.
ECOLOR Smart Light Strips review: Competition
Considering all the wonderful smart lighting brands and options out there, the competition for ECOLOR's light strips is pretty stiff. Govee's RGBIC Wi-Fi+Bluetooth LED Strip Lights put up a good fight against the ECOLOR Rainbow LED Strip Lights and the ECOLOR Smart LED Strip Lights. While Govee gives you Alexa and Google Assistant, every other spec is exactly the same as the ECOLOR Rainbow Lights. Govee's option also costs a whole lot more than ECOLOR. Clearly, price is where the ECOLOR smart light strips win hands down.
Govee Interior Lights go head to head against the ECOLOR Interior Car Lights, setting you back $20 as opposed to the latter's $25 price tag. While the Govee strips offer a slightly more affordable package, ECOLOR's Car Lights bring segmented controls to the table. Interestingly, the more affordable Govee Interior Lights don't come with Alexa or Google Assistant support either.
Setting aside the smart light strips from Govee, Daybetter's smart RGB light strips are also great alternatives. Smart light strips from Daybetter cater to a smaller budget, just like ECOLOR. You can get two 50ft rolls in one box for about $30 on Amazon, with a music mode, an app, smart assistants, and an IR remote in tow. However, Daybetter's smart strips do not offer segmented control and aren't waterproof.
ECOLOR Smart Light Strips review: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You need waterproof and cuttable lights
- Your budget isn't very big
- You need 16 million colors
- You want extensive controls
- You like having a physical remote along with app controls
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You need Alexa or Google Assistant integration
- You need a perfectly functioning physical remote control
There really aren't many reasons not to recommend ECOLOR's smart light strips to others. I would suggest you skip the ECOLOR Smart LED Strip Lights if you want a more customizable and waterproof lighting system. If you can live with the missing voice assistants and the somewhat crappy IR remote control, the ECOLOR Rainbow LED Strip Lights and ECOLOR Interior Car Lights are no-nonsense picks. The fantastic mobile app more than makes up for these flaws in an otherwise excellent set of smart light strips.
4.5 out of 5
At the end of the day, ECOLOR's smart light strips stand their ground against competing brands admirably. You can expect seamless Bluetooth connectivity, an effortless setup process, and a ton of customization. The 3M adhesive on the back of the strips holds on for dear life and the color payoff is impressive at this price range. I can assure you that you won't be disappointed with these awesome smart light strips.
Namerah Saud Fatmi is a contributing writer for Android Central. She has a passion for all things tech & gaming and has been an honorary Goodreads librarian since 2011. When she isn't writing, she can be found chasing stray cats and dogs in the streets of Dhaka or slaying dragons in the land of Skyrim. You can reach her on Twitter @NamerahS.
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