Tunable white LED strip for dummies

Hello Everyone,

Update update: Thanks everyone for your kind and considered responses. I went with the Sylvania strip again because it was on sale, and I was intimidated by the learning curve of soldering plus setting up a Zigbee controlled power supply. I'll make it my next project to climb that curve. (^_^)
Thanks again.

Update: I'm trying to put a strip under my bed, which is king sized so 80" + 76" + 80"; total length of 236'. I might want to get fancy later on and run the strip behind my headboard as well, but for now this should be good.

I'm trying to find tunable white LED strips that run on Zigbee and don't need me to do any soldering or plugging into a controller. Does anyone know of any good ones to try? I currently have two Sengled LED strips but I find that I don't use the colour changing function, and their LEDs are not as densely packed as I would prefer.

Failing the above, I would be able to subject myself to the learning curve of having to set up a strip with a Zigbee controller and a strip. Would anyone have any resources for this option?

Thanks in advance. :slight_smile:

I don't know of any plug and play LED strips as you describe. Inovelli had one but it was RGBW and I don't know if its still available.

The only other option I am aware of is:

Some strip with both 2700 °K and 4000°K LEDs and a Zooz ZEN31 controller. This controller however is Z-Wave. I don't know of a Zigbee equivalent.

INHO the "difficult" part would be the strips. The controller has screw terminals and is pretty easy to setup.

Can you describe what you have in mind for the LED strips? Not so much where but what length, are you looking to have an LED strip already packaged with wires and a "holder" of some sort or are you willing to consider purchasing a coil of LEDs and an aluminum LED channel?

Do you mind tunable white and color strips where you can just ignore the color part? If so, Innr RGBW strips are pretty reasonably priced as far as pre-built offerings go, and they do CT (and color) pretty well--better than Sengled, IMHO, which I was not impressed with, though apparently for reasons other than yours. Hue Lightstrips are my go-to (mostly because I have a Hue system and they support a couple features that third-party offerings don't--but Innr is still great on its own or even on Hue if you don't mind this). However, they're pretty expensive, and I'm guessing you're trying to avoid excessive costs?

There may be pre-built CT options out there, or if you can find a CT-only controller and CT-only strip, a lot of other kinds of I've seen are just screw-in connectors used with strips that already have wires you'd only need to insert into those connectors, so no soldering involved--but again, not sure since I've mostly looked at full RGBW options.

But if you find a full RGW+CT offering that meets your needs, it should be easy to just ignore the RGB commands on Hubitat. :smiley:

1 Like

It's not a huge learning curve, and you can find everything you need on Amazon. I'm sure there are many of us here who can help if you have questions. The big advantage of a custom solution is it will look better. You can select the right LED strip for your needs and run the wires out of sight. You might not even need to solder anything depending on how your wires have to run.

To start with, what are you trying to make? How long does your strip need to be?

1 Like

Hello and thank you for the response. I'm trying to run the strip under my king sized bed (so ~236" total length, + margin for 90 degree turns) with motion sensors so that it turns on when someone steps close to the bed. I imagine this for the light when I'm going to the toilet at night.

I have some experience messing around with the Sengled LED strips and had issues with how far apart their safe cutting points were, in addition to the relatively wide spacing of the LEDs themselves.

I think for maximum laziness I would prefer a pre-fab LED strip with wires, but I have the ability to deal with the coil and aluminium channel.

Thanks again.

Do you want to control specific times when the lights would come on or not? Like... not on in the daytime only at night? If that doesn't matter to you, Amazon has any number of dumb LED strips on rechargeable motion detectors. I use them in my closets.

LED strips usually come in 5 meter rolls (16.7 feet) so you'd need more than one roll. For 236", you'll need almost exactly 6 meters, so you can add an extra meter but you'll need to solder them together. That's about a 3 minute job if you have done it before, but you indicated you'd rather not get into that. But if you're willing, you could get really great results. Check out these on Amazon.

You'd also need a controller and a power supply (I'd get at least 4A@24V for 6 meters), so you'd have about $80 in the project if you went this way.

Not including motion sensors, of course. :slight_smile:

I'd consider the SYLVANIA Smart ZigBee Flex Strip, RGBW Full Color and Tunable White Starter Kit, currently about $50. The kit comes with the Zigbee controller and three 24" strips, which can be hooked end to end; it works great with Hubitat's built-in "Generic ZigBee RGBW Light" driver.

Additional strips are available that could add up to 263", but I would seriously consider just getting the starter kit and laying it out in your bedroom, because even just three of them is going to light up the room, quite possibly more than you want just to find your way to the bathroom.

I'm using a bunch of these in my current house with random-color rules, including one that's just random whites lighting throwing some nighttime light on an otherwise dark staircase. I recommend them highly.

The downside to these is the cost vs. quality of light- you're paying $50 for less than 2 meters with only 150 LEDs total. $40 will buy 6 meters of the stuff I linked to, with 320 LEDs per meter. The Sylvania strips are 12V instead of 24V, which means twice the current needed for the same wattage, and more voltage drop as you string strips together.

Thank you for your response. I checked out the light strips you linked and they look pretty good, but not before I impulsively bought a Sylvania one because it was on sale. I'll bookmark the ones you linked because they actually look awesome, and will get them once I steel myself to jump over the hump of that learning curve. (^_^)b

I actually have them for my kitchen counter and bathroom, but was hoping I could get one with just tunable whites, and a higher LED density. Sadly, market forces determined otherwise and I bought the starter kit because it was on sale. I guess for my goal of lighting my feet at night en route to and from the bathroom, I don't need to get all esoteric, much as I would like to.

My thought was to set up the strips to light up at night in Night and Sleep modes, so that they can light up with motion, at different intensities and white temperature depending on the mode.

Rather than just white, think about colors. For each of the bathrooms here, we've mounted a short strip in the toe kick area of the vanity, tied to the main room lights, and changing color every minute; each bathroom cycles between two or three colors chosen to match the decor of the room. Here's the rule for the Master:

Screenshot 2022-09-18 at 08-33-36 ∞ ~ Master Bathroom floor RGBW strip OMNIBUS (40)

Screenshot 2022-09-18 at 08-32-37 ∞ ~ Master Bathroom floor RGBW strip OMNIBUS (40)

Screenshot 2022-09-18 at 08-33-20 ∞ ~ Master Bathroom floor RGBW strip OMNIBUS (40)

I put "Level" in a variable when I wrote it to make it easier to change, but I haven't changed any of them from "1" in a year, so... :grin:

1 Like