ZigBee (& WiFi) Smart Light Strip Options (When Philips Hue Is Just Too Expensive!)

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Hey YouTube, I'm Tristan,
from Smart Home Point. At the end of my previous
video, I was talking through how I can install LED light strips at the bottom of my kitchen. One of the issues I had, was
they had a three meter run, then a gap, and then a one meter run. So I was looking at fit
different Philips Hue light strip options available to me. And none of the options seemed
great because of this gap and the fact that I
needed a four meter run, which meant buying
multiple Philips Hue kits, and obviously they were
about on the pricey side. So today's video talks
through different options that are available to me, instead of Philips
Hue's home light strips. So the first thing you
need to think about, is whether to go for Wifi or ZigBee. And I know a very prominent
smart home YouTuber, Paul Hibbert, isn't really a fan of ZigBee.

He basically says if you go out and buy a really expensive wifi router, then you just don't need ZigBee. Well, that is sort of
true, other than the fact that you're continuously
entering wifi passwords in every new device you buy. And obviously if you
change your wifi password, you're screwed because
you gotta run around your house for hours,
reconfiguring everything. But he has sort of
correct in what he said. But for me personally, I prefer ZigBee. I don't like to have to
worry about re-entering my wifi passwords all the time. I like the fact that if
I buy a ZigBee device, it just works. I don't need to faff around
with loads of configuration and I can use my default
router, instead of going out and spending a small fortune
on a really fancy router.

So for me, I'm gonna go with ZigBee, Ooh, the ZigBee, for my LED light strips. So what options are open to me and to you, for ZigBee based light strips? So the first option available
to you and I, is Gledopto. And when I say that, I
keep thinking of Schmoyoho. Accent on the yoho. You know, Gledopto, accent on the yoho, but I won't keep saying that, because it would be pretty annoying, so I'll just say, Gledopto. So the first option is Gledopto, who mainly produce
ZigBee based controllers, so in other words, they control from the Philips Hue app
or the Echo's plus side. They control signals from that, into the actual LED light strip. So that's what the function
of a controller is, in an LED light strip. And Gledopto produce a
range of ZigBee based ones, but sometimes they produce
package deals as well, where for example, on Amazon in America, you can buy a Gledopto,
USB powered LED strip, which is two meters long,
for around $30 or $40, I think is $30 actually. So that's quite a cheap option, compared to Philips Hue, which is more than double the price.

And Gledopto controllers
worked fairly well. In fact, when you look at the, when you compare their functionality to the Philips Hue's own light strips, there's actually not that
much difference whatsoever. The main thing Philips Hue's light strips have going for them, is the fades and then transitions
between different colors and between on and off
states, is slightly better than Gledopto's controllers. But Gledopto works out
less than half the price in many cases, so it's up to you, whether you wanna go with that option. For me, I'd probably prefer
the slightly cheaper option, because I'm not likely to be
changing my colors frequently. If you don't have Gledopto
bundles available to you on your Amazon store, you
may see options by Giderwell, or similar companies who also
use Gledopto controllers, and then they just bundle
a separate LED light strip.

For example, there's an
offer on, in Amazon America at the moment, which you
get an 80 inch light strip for around $47, which is
obviously a lot cheaper than Philips Hue's own
light strips as well. So that's option one,
Gledopto, or Gledopto! Sorry, I won't. So that's option one. Option two is to go away from Gledopto and actually get another
ZigBee based light strip and controller, for
example, on Amazon America, you've got Sylvania, who at the moment have an offer for $44. You can get three, 24 inch light strips and a controller and some connectors, they call it a full kit. And that actually, although
you've got three separate strips you can connect them
together and actually you get a lot of flexibility in how
you can configure things and you can extend this up to $240 by just buying more LED lights strips, but pointing them at the same controller.

And that's quite a good option, and it works out substantially cheaper than Philips Hue's option. If you're not based in
America, like I'm not, you probably don't have
access to Sylvania offers, but if you look at Amazon Europe stores, or Amazon America, UK stores, you'll see offers for
ZigBee based light strips from Innr and Ajax Online or Ajax Online and a few others, they
work fairly well as well, they got fairly good ratings. I know with Innr, they've got a four meter
long ZigBee based light strip for, let me check the price, £70. So it's 157 inches, four meters long, and it's basically the same price as a two meter long Philips Hue's strip. So half the price for, sorry, same price, but for twice as much length. The third option available to you, is to buy a generic
ZigBee based controller. Now, if you just go on Amazon and you search for ZigBee LED light strip, you'll come up with quite
a few different results. I won't bother listing them all here, or going through them one by one.

But what I will say if you're gonna buy a no-name or no-brand product, is just be a bit careful for
things like fake reviews. There's lot of cases where,
especially on Amazon, where sometimes the reviews
aren't all that reputable. So maybe run your product,
that you plan on buying through a website like ReviewMeta, which can show you whether
maybe, there's fake reviews or not going on, and obviously steer clear of any products that have, you
know, fake reviews going on. The second thing you want to do if you're buying a more generic make, is look up the company and see whether they have any sort of online presence. Because although Amazon are
fairly good at taking back a faulty product in the first few months, if your LED strip fails down the line and you've bought from a no-name company that has no online presence, you might be out of luck completely, compared to someone like Gledopto, or Philips Hue, where obviously you've got bit more recourse,
if it opened to you. The third thing you should look at and it's a slightly more technical point, is the cutting interval of any generic light strip that you buy.

So this refers to how
frequently you can actually cut the LED strip, as is properly signaled on the actual LED strip. And this is quite important,
because if you're running your LED strips under
shelving, or along a desk, or anything like that, you want a fairly short cutting interval, because otherwise you might actually not be able to run your LED light strip. For example, some of Philips
Hue's own light strips can only be cut every 12 inches.

So if you run in a Philips Hue light strip under a shelf that is only
nine or 10 inches long, obviously you'll have a substantial amount of waste, but also you wouldn't
actually be able to do it, because on some of the older
models of light strips, you can only cut every 12 inches. You'd actually either not be
able to run that LED strip, or you'd have to have
overhang on each side, which would look a bit silly. So it's better to look
at the cutting interval and make sure it's fairly and
fairly short cutting interval, so that you can, you're more flexible on how you can run your LED light strip.

The final point I wanna cover, if you're buying a
generic LED light strip, is the color profile of that light strip. And this might sound a bit boring, but bear with me, it's actually
a really important topic. If you've got an LED light
strip or bulb for that matter, that's just RGB, what that means is it has three diodes, red, green, and blue, and
you can actually see this if you looked at a light strip, you'll have a diode that says R for red, or one that says G for green, for example. And what that means, although that's good because that can produce color, the actual whites that are
produced aren't gonna be as good, because you're gonna be
limited in terms of the color, the white colors you can
produce, whether yellowy, or bluey, or pure white,
just from red, green and blue diodes. So what you can have instead, is RGB-W, the W stands for cool white, or RGB-WW, the WW stands for warm white. What that means is there's
an extra diode, an extra LED for white, which whether it's
cool, white or warm white, and again you can see this on an LED strip.

So for example, I got W1, W2, W3, W4, and they've individually
numbered white diodes on an LED strip. And that's really important
to have in my opinion, because any white colors you
produce, will be a lot better with an RGB-W or RGB-WW light strip. You might think you're
gonna constantly set your LED light strips to the bright pink, but most of the time, you're
probably gonna have them on a white based color.

So it's worth having RGB-W or RGB-WW. But you will have heard me say RGB-CCT. And what that is is more
at the controller level. It actually dictates
how the color is merged or mashed together. So for example, once your
LED light strip connects to your controller, this will then go off and, you know, you'll
be able to control this in the Philips Hue app, for example. And with CCT, you have one color wheel and in that color wheel,
you do all the RGB, the color stuff and you can
also select whites as well.

It's the color wheel
you'll be accustomed to, if you buy your Philips
Hue's own products. If you don't have an RGB-CCT controller. So for example if you've
got an RGB-W controller, what you'll actually end up getting in the Philips Hue app, is
two separate color wheels. One of them will allow
you to control color and one of them will allow you, the separate one will allow
you to control whites. Some people like that, but in general, that's not what Philips
Hue's own products offer, so if you're looking for
maximum compatibility with Philips Hue's own products, then buying an RGB-CCT controller, is a worthwhile thing to do. But obviously they are
separate to the LED strips, which have, which can
either be RGB-W or RGB-WW. So the CCT aspect is
actually coming out there from the controller perspective as opposed to the light strip perspective. Okay, so if you're buying a generic strip, look out for those four things. The final option open to you, is to actually build your own light strip. You may have guessed this is what I'm actually gonna be doing, by the fact that I've been
waving around this light strip and a controller, but
by building your own, you don't need to be your mad scientist or anything like that.

It's actually fairly simple and I'll be talking through
it in depth, in my next video. All you need is a controller,
a ZigBee based controller, whether that's RGB-W controller,
or RGB-CCT controller, I've gone for the CCT Gledopto controller, and then you need a light strip. So an RGB-W, or RGB-WW controller, and then all you actually do, you get the wires, after you've run and installed your light strip. You get the wires, you wire them in, on one end of the controller
and then on the other end, you literally just power it in. And that's it. It's a lot easier than actually, well, in my opinion, it's
a lot easier than going out and buying a generic LED light strip, or at least it's a lot
safer than doing that, because you've got more control over what's actually happening. And it also works out
substantially cheaper than Philips Hue's own offerings. For example, I bought this controller for less than £20, or less than $20, and I've bought this
five meter long length of RGB-W light strip, for, I think it's around £15, around $20.

So in total, I've spent around £35, or around $40, on five meters of ZigBee based smart light strip. So I've ended up with more
than double the length, for half the price of Philips
Hue's light strip offerings. And obviously size does
matter, as does price. And this is a lot better option. And actually the LED's I've
got on this LED light strip, are actually, they are a lot denser, produce a better quality lighting overall, than Philips Hue's own offerings, so again more for less and
the quality's actually better as well. I'll cover how you actually do this in the next video, but for now, this video has wrapped up… different options available to you for ZigBee based light strips. I hope you found it useful, if you did, please click
the thumbs up button and don't forget to subscribe. Thank you..

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