LED strip lights are immensely handy have around, I am certainly no stranger to deploying them in many different environments. The Connect Smart Strip Light with USB Connector does bring some handy features together.

CSH-STP2USB LifeStyle

First Impressions

The Connect Smart Strip with USB Connector came in 2m length, which was just about perfect for what I had in mind.

If you have ever worked with LED strips before then you will notice that you can cut the length down as required, as long as you cut in the right position.

 

Getting started

There is a connector at one end which goes into the USB control cable. Take care to align the arrows so that they are pointing directly to each other so the correct pin alignment is made. Lastly you just need to plug it into the provided USB adapter and a GPO. In case you do bent the pins, two spares are provided.

ControllerConnector

Aside from taping it to the location that you want, that’s the physical side of things done.

On the smart phone side depending on what OS you run, you will need either the Laser SmartHome (iOS) or Connect SmartHome (Android) app. You will need to create an account (or login if already have existing account).

Following the included instructions and add a new device – hint: select lighting, strip lights (Wi-Fi).

Next is to press and hold the button on the controller for 5 seconds, which will reset the LED strip into pairing mode as indicated by rapid flashing. Follow the bouncing ball, input your Wi-Fi password.

The pairing stage can take up to 2 minutes and it looks like nothing is happening, but if the LED strip stops flashing then you are well on your way. Just wait for the process to complete.

Unlit LED stripLit LED stripStrip LED behind cabinet

 

In Use

Once you are connected and the device is showing on the app UI, you are good to go. The settings don’t appear until you turn the lights on.

As expected the basic RGB control is there, with 16.5 million colours so you can set your favourite shade to get into the mood, whatever it might be.

The app itself provides a number of options to “get smart” with your new Strip LED. The simplest thing you can do is to set a timer or (recurring) schedule to turn it on and off. This setting is available regardless whether the Strip LED is on or off.

Timer works .. like you would expect a timer to work.  Set it for x number of minutes and it will turn itself on or off.

Schedule is the same. The way to set the schedule is different from how most scheduler works. Instead of setting a time period in a block, you create an entry for when to turn it on, and a separate entry for turning off.

The scene options becomes available when the Strip LED is on. There are some preset scenes, such as music, read, working, leisure, soft, colourful and dazzling. You can rename any of these and edit the colour, brightness, flash mode and flash speed.

There are limits to each of the scenes, for example the reading scene does not allow multiple colours or pulse of the lights. Totally makes sense since you don’t want a constantly colour changing light source when you are trying to do some reading.

The music scene utilises the microphone hidden inside the controller to pulse to the beat. You get to choose the colour, but you are limited to just the one at a time.

Connect Smart App Connect Smart App Connect Smart App

 

Other Features

The more interesting feature set is scenarios and automation. This allows you to control the Strip LED (and other Connect Smart devices) based on a set condition.

So for example, the app allows you to launch a scenario if:

  • the weather changes, temperature, humidity, weather, sunset/sunrise, wind speed
  • leaving or arriving at a location
  • schedule
  • device status change

It is not as extensive as IFTTT or Tasker, but certainly allows you to create some handy scenes to make your home “smarter”.

In my case I have the Strip LED stuck to the back of an Ikea Kallax where the kids have space to put their shoes and school bags away. It provides light into the area where the school bags are kept, but also bright enough to be a night light in that area for the kids.

For the latter purposes, I can set the scene based on sunset and sunrise, and have the Strip LED triggered appropriately and turn off when it is bright enough.

 

Advanced

If you have played around with smart home products before, you will notice that the Connect Smart Strip Light is running Tuya firmware behind the scenes. This means you can ditch the Connect app and go direct to the TuyaSmart app and still retain all the functionality.

The Connect Smart Strip Light is waterproof, so you can place them outdoors as long as the power source is out of the weather. It is discreet enough that it can blend into most settings when turned off.

I mentioned earlier that I am no strangers to Strip LEDs. With a little handy work and some imagination, you can create some pretty fun projects at home. These are some old toys that I have previously turned into night lights for the children. With the Connect Smart Strip Light, I can easily take it to the next level with a USB to Qi wireless coil, and have power supplied wirelessly. Add in the smart scene features and you are onto a winner.

Millenium Falcon Night Light Tie Bomber Night LightThomas the Tank night llight

Perhaps you want your bias lighting behind your TV or monitor to pulse with the music. Turn on the music function in the app for the Connect Smart Strip Light, and you can have it.

 

Conclusions

The Connect Smart Strip Light with USB Connector is easy to setup and use, flexible and is a low cost entry into making your home smarter. Imagine the weather change like we do in Melbourne, storm rolls in in the afternoon and the sky is darkening rapidly. The weather proof strip light can automatically switch on based on a weather trigger, light up your stairs leading to your front door so you don’t have to fumble in the dark.

It retails for AUD $29.95 for a 2m length, although it seems Harvey Norman and Domayne have them for $18 each or 4 for $50, which is an absolute bargain.

 

Specifications

SKU: CSH-STP2USB
Colour: RGB & White
Package Contents: 1× Smart LED light Strip, 1× Power Adapter, 1× Wireless Colour Module, 1× user Manual
Power: 5W
Rated Lifetime: 25,000 hours
Voltage: 5V
Weight: 0.3kg
Works with Alexa: Yes
Connector Type: USB
Warranty: 12 months
Waterproof: Yes – lP65
Works with Google Assistant: Yes
Package Dimensions: 11.5cm × 12.1cm × 7cm
Length: 2m
Colour Temperature: 2700k – 6500k Adjustablen