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Joining
TP-Link’s family of smart home devices, the Kasa Smart Multicolor Light Strip
($69.99) offers an easy way to add a splash of color to any area of your home.
This thin, flexible strip of plastic contains LEDs that emit white and colored
light that you can control using the Kasa mobile and with Alexa and Google
voice commands. It also offers some neat lighting effects, works with third-party smart devices, and can tell you how much power it’s using. All this
earns it our Editors’ Choice for smart light strips.

Design
and Features

The
Kasa Light Strip is 0.5-inch-wide, 6.6-foot-long strip of flexible plastic with a total of 96 LED clusters. Each cluster contains a multicolor LED and a white LED, and there are 6 clusters per 5-inch section and total of 16
individual color zones. The strip has a typical output of 1,400 lumens, can
display millions of colors, and has a white color temperature range of 2,500K
to 9,000K. It is rated to last up to 25,000 hours based on 3 hours of use per
day.

You
can attach the strip to walls, bookcases, and other surfaces using the
preinstalled double-sided tape on the back of the strip, and you can cut the
strip at any of the 5-inch marks to make it fit into tight spaces, but once you
cut it, you can’t reconnect the unused segment or use the extension strips
mentioned below.

The
strip comes with a controller with an 80-inch cord that connects to a male plug
on one end of the strip and to the included power adapter. The controller has a
button that lets you turn the strip on and off and lets you cycle through the
various presets, and it contains a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio that connects the strip
to your home network, which means it doesn’t require a hub like the Philips Hue
LightStrip Plus
.

At the other end of the strip is a female connector used to
connect to a KL430E Extension Strip. Each 3.3-foot Extension Strip will cost
you $24.99, and you can add up to 8 of them for a total strip length of 33 feet,
but you’ll be looking at a $269 light strip when all is said and done.

The strip can be controlled with your phone via the Kasa mobile app
(for Android and iOS). It doesn’t support Apple’s HomeKit platform like the Eve
Light Strip
, but it works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands
and it supports IFTTT applets that allow it to work with other smart devices.

Once
installed, the strip gets its own tab on the Devices screen in the app. The tab
displays the name of the strip and the current color and brightness level, and
it has a power button that glows green when the strip is on and gray when it
is off. Tap the tab to open a screen with a large On/Off  button. Here you’ll find five buttons that you
can use to create your own presets with specific colors and brightness levels.
Once you create the preset, the button will take on the color characteristics
that you specified. Below the On/Off control are buttons for setting brightness,
white color temperature, and color. Tapping the Power button brings you back the
On/Off button.

At
the very bottom of the screen are Effects, Schedule, and Usage buttons. When
you tap the Effects button, you open a screen that displays your custom
effect buttons and 15 color buttons for
selecting various shades of reds, greens, blues, and whites. There are also 14
effect presets including Christmas, Flicker, Hanukkah, Valentines, Lightning, and
others. Simply tap any preset to have the strip display the desired effect. Use
the Schedule button to have the strip turn on and off and at specific times on
specific days of the week, and use the Usage button to monitor the strip’s
daily energy usage and total on-time, as well as estimated daily and yearly cost
savings (as compared with running a standard 100-watt bulb).

TP-Link Kasa Smart Multicolor Light Strip (KL430) app

Installation
and Performance

Installing
the light strip is easy. I already had a Kasa account, but if this is your
first Kasa device, you’ll have to download the app and create an account. I
tapped the plus icon in the Devices screen, selected Smart Lights and then Smart
Light Strip, and powered up the strip. After a few seconds it began flashing
green and orange, so I tapped Next and used my phone’s Wi-Fi settings to connect
to the strip. After five seconds I was instructed to select my home Wi-Fi SSID and
enter my password, and after another few seconds the strip turned white and was
connected to my network. It was also automatically added to my Alexa device
list. I gave the strip a name, updated the firmware, and the installation was
finished.

While
not bright enough to illuminate an entire room, the Kasa strip worked
wonderfully as accent lighting around my living room entertainment center. It
responded instantly to app and controller button commands to turn on and off
and to change colors. Alexa integrations also worked without a hitch: I was
able to turn the strip on and off, change colors, and activate scenes using
voice commands. The color quality is excellent, displaying the full range of whites from warm yellows to cool blues.

My
IFTTT applets also worked flawlessly. I created an applet to have the strip
turn on with red lighting at 75 percent brightness when an Arlo Pro 3 camera
detected motion and it worked every time. I also created an Alexa routine to
have the strip turn on with blue lighting at 50 percent brightness when an ADT
Blue Outdoor Camera
detected motion, and this too worked perfectly.

Conclusions

If
you’re looking to add color to a bookshelf, brighten up a bare wall, or create the perfect movie night mood lighting effect, consider the TP-Link Kasa Smart Multicolor
Light Strip. It’s very easy to install and can be cut to fit your
specific needs, and it delivers bright, colorful lighting and a wide range of
whites. The Kasa app offers more than a dozen neat preset lighting effects and
lets you create scenes to control multiple Kasa devices at once, and you can
use IFTTT applets to have third-party devices trigger the strip. Throw in
energy usage reports and Alexa and Google voice control, and you’ve got our
Editors’ Choice for smart light strips.

TP-Link Kasa Smart Multicolor Light Strip (KL430) Specs

Connectivity Wi-Fi
Integration Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
Base Type Strip
Light Color Color
Light Color Temperature 2500K-9000K
Output 1400 lumens
Wattage 17 watts
Watt Equivalence 100 watts
Mfr. Est. Lifespan 25000 hours
Requires Hub No
Dimmable Yes
Geofencing/Location Services No
Scheduling Yes

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