Smart lighting—lights you control with an app or by voice—is mainstream these days. It’s no big deal to turn a light (or roomful of lights) on or off without touching a light switch. Many smart lighting products include features you couldn’t operate from a light switch anyway, such as changing color or blinking.
I have smart lights all over my house. These include smart bulbs in most of the lamps and overhead fixtures, and decorative LED light strips in strategic locations. I love being able to control them with my iPhone, Siri, or Alexa. It’s been years since I’ve used switches to turn the lights in my office, workshop, or bedroom on or off.
So, until recently, I considered smart lights convenient, but not a lot of fun.
Let There Be Smart Lighting Fun!
Then I discovered Twinkly, app-controlled decorative lighting products that are not only convenient, but unique and tons of fun. Originally conceived as programmable Christmas tree lights, Twinkly has blossomed into a complete line of flexible lighting products that do very cool stuff.
Twinkly lights are available in myriad configurations—Strings, Dots, Icicles, Clusters, Flex, and more—each with up to 600 individually addressable LEDs. What makes Twinkly lights unique is how they map the precise position of every light, and the cool effects they produce after mapping.
You start by placing your lights wherever you like. They’re flexible, so you can create a particular shape or wrap an object such as a TV screen or painting. You can even go completely random. Then, when the lights are arranged just the way you like them, launch the Twinkly iOS (or iPadOS) app and use the camera to scan and calculate the position of each individual LED.
Special Effects Included
Now you can choose from dozens of included effects such as Snow, Rainbow, Candy Cane, Fireworks, Rotating Rainbow, USA Flag, Hypnosis, Union Jack, and many others.
No matter where you placed your Twinkly lights, you’ll see dazzling animated imagery. You can also edit any preset; download additional free presets; and create your own presets with the “Create Your Own Effect FX Wizard.”
Other niceties include playlists—sequences of effects that play back automatically, and the ability to sync (some) effects to music with the (optional) Twinkly Music USB microphone.
Finally, while you can use your voice (Siri or Alexa) to turn Twinkly lights on or off, dim or brighten them, or change their color, I was disappointed that you can’t change preset effects by voice at this time.
I urge you to visit the Twinkly website (www.twinkly.com) and see the amazing ways you might use Twinkly lights in your home.
With prices starting at around $100, I plan to use Twinkly lights extensively in our next house.