LED light strips are nothing new; Philips has had them in its lineup of Hue lighting products for several years. But up until this time, LED light strips have been rather pricy — the Hue strip starts at $90 — and have often been incompatible with Apple’s HomeKit home automation framework. Koogeek has introduced the 2 meter long (78.7 inches) LS-1 LED light strip that works with Apple HomeKit, can offer 16 million choices of color, and has a suggested retail price of just $38.99. Apple World Today had an opportunity to try out the LS1 LED Light Strip and will definitely be a popular item once it’s available on Amazon.
Like most LED light strips, the LS1 has a deceptively simple design. It uses a flexible silicone strip with 60 5050 SMD LEDs embedded in it, with a 3M adhesive tape on the back. Not only can the strip be curved to fit just about any shape, but it can also be cut to length with scissors at pre-designated points.
The strip is powered by USB — you’ll need to plug the USB cable into any standard USB power supply block. A small 2-inch long block contains the electronics to power the strip and also connect it to your home Wi-Fi network for control.
Like most HomeKit accessories, the Koogeek LS1 is incredibly easy to set up. You just plug in the strip, press the button on the power supply/electronics box, wait for the device to show up in a list of accessories, then scan the HomeKit bar code.
One fun detail — I was having problems finding an open power outlet in my office, so I connected the LS1 to a 22000 mAh external battery pack I own. This allowed me to test the light strip without tying myself to an outlet, and gave me the idea that this could be a wonderful solution for outdoor lighting.
The LS1 light strip is quite bright, with those 60 LEDs delivering up to 500 lumens of light. The 10W LEDs are rated for 25,000 hours of use, which Koogeek says could be as long as 22.8 years based on 3 hours of use per day.
HomeKit integration makes the LS1 light strip a snap to control with Siri, or you can use the free Koogeek Home app. The app provides not only a color picker, but lets the user set the brightness of the LEDs. Siri can set the light strip to a set of standard colors: white, red, pink, dark blue, light blue, green, yellow, and orange.
As you can see in the short video above, asking Siri to turn the light strip on, then asking it to turn the light strip to a particular color or power level works very well.
The Koogeek LS1 Light Strip is a great addition to Koogeek’s line of reasonably-priced HomeKit-compatible accessories. As of publication time, the LS1 Light Strip is not available through Amazon.com in the US, but is expected to be there soon.