As the smart home is getting more advanced, and more importantly cheaper, people are starting to embrace it and fill their home with smart products. A big first step is smart bulbs, which are simple and add a great effect to the home. Whether it’s timers and voice control, or the nicer RGB bulbs for mad mood lighting, smart bulbs are an easy way to smarten up your home.
NiteBird has a smart LED strip that is mainly made for backlighting a TV or monitor. You stick it to the back of your monitor (the strip comes with some strong 3M adhesive preapplied to the back) and plug the tiny control box into the USB port that’s on most modern devices, and it’s on! But unlike most RGB LED strips, you don’t have a remote. That tiny little control box also has WiFi and connects to the Smart Life app. It’s smaller than most single color strip dimmers which is impressive.
It seems many of the kinks have been worked out of the Smart Life app, because it’s much easier to add devices now. Once you plug the strip in, it’ll start flashing. From there you scan for new WiFi lighting devices, and it automatically finds it and adds it to the app. No more manually adding devices.
The Smart Life app allows you to change the colors, change and modify scenes (where you can make it cycle through colors and flash), set schedules, and even make it respond to music. That last feature is hectic but fun. You can also add various devices into groups and control them all at once, so you can have all of your living room or office lights switch colors at the same time.
But the benefits of monitor or TV backlighting are far greater than just aesthetic. In fact, I’d argue that the aesthetics are a secondary purpose. The main one is eye strain relief. If you’re in a dark room and staring at a bright monitor, it’s hard on the eyes even with blue light filters. Having a backlight lets your eyes relax. The effect on eye strain is surprisingly significant, which makes a backlight a great idea on any PC monitor.
But the best part is that this strip supports both Google Assistant and Alexa. In my case, I opened the Google Home app and since my Smart Life account is already added, the strip is at the bottom waiting to be added to a room. Once it’s added I can tell my Google Home to turn it on and off or change the color without grabbing a remote or my phone. Full voice control is so convenient and means you don’t even need to use the Smart Life app anymore.
The final setup both helps with nighttime computer use and looks amazing at the same time. Lighting up my gaming monitor red while playing the latest Call of Duty is a really nice experience. And at night, a more calming color like orange or yellow helps with the fatigue of staring at a monitor all day and night (ah the nerd life). And best of all, the strip and smart WiFi control box are only $18.99. Hit the button below to pick one up!