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Recently, the SPY team has been testing a lot of lighting products, and in this guide, we’re sharing the best smart string lights we’ve tested to date. These smart string lights are popular during the Christmas decorating season, but they can also be used year-round.
If you’re the kind of person that’s all-in on smart home technology, then you can now buy smart lights for every room in your home. If you’ve already added smart lights to your bedroom, living room and entertainment setup, then you may be looking for smart lights for outside of your home, or even looking ahead to the holidays. The best smart string lights can be used in a variety of ways, indoors or outdoors, and make it easy to light up your home.
The best smart lights give you tons of flexibility, and these products make it easy to change colors, create lighting effects or set schedules. And if you’re not interested in those high-tech possibilities, they’re also great for just vibing up a room you spend a lot of time in.
Below, you’ll find the best smart string lights for every corner of your home and purpose. Looking for indoor or outdoor string lights you can use for holiday decor? Then also check out SPY’s guide to the best smart Christmas lights.
The Best Smart String Lights at a Glance
The Best Smart String Lights for 2022
The Twinkly Cluster lights are the first of three Twinkly options on our list, and there’s a good reason for that: the company knows what it’s doing. The Cluster lights are especially wonderful thanks to the sheer numbers involved.
These smart lights have 400 RGB+W lights capable of 16 million colors, pure warm white for when you want something a little more relaxed, and span 19.7 feet.
You can use them inside or outside, they’re really easy to setup, and the Twinkly app makes them a breeze to play around with as well. If you’re looking for a set of smart string lights that are an excellent all-rounder, this is your choice.
Govee is a company that, if you’re a smart light fanatic, you probably know all about. That’s why you’re probably already interested in their smart string light offering.
The Govee Smart Outdoor String Lights have both a 48-foot and a 96-foot iterations, come with 30 dimmable warm white LED bulbs that are capable of 16 million different colors.
They also have 47 different scene modes, a music sync mode, and are IP65 waterproof. They’re great no matter the weather, and they’ll make sure your parties light up everyone there.
The XMCOSY+ Outdoor Sting Lights might not be a name you know, but that doesn’t make them any less worthwhile. These lights are incredibly durable too, which makes them good outside no matter the weather or season.
These lights work alongside the XMCOSY app for excellent control options, programs, and plenty of built-in scenes too. We also like that the bulbs can be dimmed between 1% or 100%, which is a nice feature.
There are a few different versions on offer here, but most people will want the 98-foot iteration to make sure they can cover outdoor spaces fully.
Widely considered the biggest name in the smart lighting space, Philips Hue finally released its first-ever set of smart string lights recently. While they’re some of the best smart string lights for Christmas decorations, they can be used year-round.
If you’re looking forward to holiday decor, the new Philips Hue Festavia String Lights has everything you’d want to adorn your Christmas tree. We love how it perfectly works with existing Philips Hue smart lights you might already own to produce dazzling light effects.
You even get a generous 65-feet cord if the nearest outlet is farther away from where you intend to put them up. And yes, you could use it to adorn other things like stair railings, countertops, and more.
We recently tested these smart string lights while testing out the best Christmas lights, and we found them to be a great affordable alternative to premium smart lighting products from brands like Twinkly and Philips Hue. The lights themselves are colorful and bright, although there are very limited effects options.
These smart LED string lights come on a 66-foot string, which gives you plenty of space for decoration. For anyone looking for affordable LED string lights that are easy to hang and control, Brizled’s color-changing LED lights are a great option to consider.
Despite the clunkiness of the Enbrighten WiFi Seasons Vintage Color-Changing LED Smart Cafe Lights name, they’re actually incredibly easy to use.
The 48-foot version comes with 24 bulbs, each of which can access 16 different colors for a huge range of different combinations. They’re not as nuanced in color as some on this list, but it keeps things a little simpler.
The bulbs are also weatherproof and shatterproof too, which is a big win if you’re someone who has kids, pets, or lives near larger wildlife, all of which can lead to unexpected things.
The Solatec Led Smart String Lights have a huge range of colors to choose from, four different music modes to help add a bit of style to your party, and they’re easy to use thanks to the remote that comes with them.
Of course, you can still use the smartphone app if you’d rather. They’re also IP65 waterproof, which means you can use them to light up areas around pools or jacuzzis if you have one.
We told you Twinkly lights would be back, and here we are with the Twinkly Strings. These lights come in a lot of different options, with the largest being 157.5 feet long and covered in a massive total of 600 LED lights. While you can use these to decorate the outside of your home, we think they’re easily the best smart string lights for Christmas trees in particular.
With these smart string lights, you can expect a wider coverage than most, and also means you’ll be getting a lot of light-based bang for your buck. As with all Twinkly lights, these are easy to control with the app, and can be set to automated playlists, switches on and off, and just generally controlled with simplicity. These are also some of the best outdoor Christmas lights.
These lights look especially good when draped over a nice big hedge, which is only possible due to the sheer volume of them. If that’s what you want, then here you are.
The final one on our list, the Twinkly Curtain is ideal for setting the scene across windows, doorways, or walls. These lights are designed to be used like curtains, which means you’ll be getting the most out of them if you’re using them to decorate a bare wall or something similar.
You can easily control these with the app, they’re built to be long-lasting, and you can easily use them to help create the perfect vibe for whatever you’re in the mood for. We like these for content creation and streams too, which is a niche, but a good niche nonetheless.
The Anting G40 WiFi String Lights are a bit cheaper than some of the other options on this list, but that doesn’t mean they’re worse. In fact, the size and style of the bulbs is a huge bonus for people going for a slightly old-school look.
These lights are weatherproof and shatterproof, come with two spare bulbs, and feature 52 bulbs across their length. These lights also come with a remote for people who hate apps (but do have an app if needed).
They’re also incredibly easy to dim and are built to be able to provide the perfect amount of light for whatever you need, be it reading, chilling out, or anything else you could be up to.
The Avatar Controls Solar String Lights have a leg up for the eco-conscious because, well, they’re solar-powered. This isn’t going to be a big deal for everyone, but it’s a huge bonus if you’re always forgetting to change batteries, or you’re worried about wiring things in.
On top of that, they come with a remote control that makes it easy to control all 25 bulky bulbs across the 48-foot length. They’re also under $50, which is going to make them the frontrunner for a lot of people who aren’t as worried about the intricate features of some of the pricier options on this list.
Finally, we have the BTF-Lighting Smart Fairy Lights. While these are a little more fiddly than some, their small size makes them great for a wide range of different things, including just putting them around your Christmas tree.
They come with a built-in microphone for music syncing, have an app and a remote control to make them easy to use, and come with 142 scene modes to fit most people’s requirements.
String Lights vs. Strip Lights — What’s the Difference?
When shopping for the best smart string lights of 2022, you may be wondering what the difference is between string lights and strip lights. While these products are similar, they do refer to distinct product categories.
String lights resemble traditional Christmas lights, and they come on a very flexible wire-like string. As such, they can be wrapped around Christmas trees, strong between open areas, or left hanging as desired. On the other hand, strip lights are attached to a flexible circuit board and must be applied to a flat area. They are often installed out of sight to create subtle illumination or backlighting.
Why Trust Spy When Shopping for Smart String Lights?
In 2022, the SPY team has been on a mission to test and review as many smart home products as possible. We recently published our first SPY Smart Home Awards, which included smart lighting products from brands such as Twinkly and Govee. In addition, we’ve tested dozens of smart lighting products over the past few months, including the smart string lights featured here. Previously, we’ve published in-depth reviews of the best smart lights overall, as well as the best smart Christmas lights.
In short, we’ve tested a lot of smart lights recently, and so you can trust that we’re truly recommending only the very best smart string lights for your consideration.
When reviewing smart string lights, we considered the following criteria:
- Smart features (voice control, scheduling, quality of app, connectivity)
- Action effects
- Color changing options
- Ease of use
For this guide, additional testing was performed by SPY’s Tech Editor John Velasco.