There’s not a lot about college dorm decor that’s worth taking into your adult apartment. Pulp Fiction and Bob Marley are great, but perhaps it’s time to leave those posters behind. White Christmas string lights are probably the thing you used to make your dorm room feel “fancy,” but it’s time to upgrade, and LED strip lights are the adult version of that.
The thing that sets LED strips apart from string lights is that the strip is supposed to be hidden under a cabinet or behind a TV, making for lighting that’s simultaneously discrete but statement-making. Instead of relying on one large bulb for lighting, LED strip lights use a number of tiny “bulbs” that work together to illuminate a space.
These strip lights are a surprisingly sophisticated way to add lighting to your place, especially if you don’t have a lot of other ceiling or floor lamps. They blend in subtly, don’t take up a ton of space and are easy to set up — even without an electrician. Some of our options below offer fun features too, like changing colors and the ability to sync to your music, making for an interactive lighting experience.
For tasteful, chic and yes — adult appropriate — lighting, upgrade to one of these LED strip lights.
1. L8star Color Changing LED Strip Lights
These LED strip lights have RGB color options, and there’s a designated app to dim the lighting and change the colors. There are 16.4 or 32.8 feet options. Plus, there’s a music mode that makes the colors change with the sound of the music. This is a great set to pick up for your next party, or to add some ambiance to your space.
Pros: Lights can be controlled through an app or included remote control. Lights can change color and be dimmed.
Cons: Some people had difficulty using the app and syncing the lights to music.
2. Pangton Villa LED Strip Lights
These 6.56 feet lights are designed to be put behind a TV for a subtle way to enhance your viewing experience. There are 16 different color options, and it comes with a remote to easily switch between colors. The lights adhere easily using double-sided tape, so no drilling or hanging is necessary.
Pros: Easy to install, good for a gaming set-up or TV, different color options.
Cons: Won’t work with TVs without a USB port, no option to leave lights on when TV is off.
3. LE 12V LED Strip Light
These strip lights are 16 feet long, and they’re available in warm or daylight white. The strips are flexible and can be attached to a variety of surfaces. The strips can be cut and linked to fit a variety of spaces, whether across the ceiling or around a bookshelf or frame.
Pros: Available in warm or daylight white. Flexible, cuttable strip. Users say the lights emit very low heat so it’s safe to touch and move around, even when plugged in.
Cons: Requires separate power adapter which is not included.