Supernight RGB+W LED strip lights - REVIEW

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DavidEF
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Supernight RGB+W LED strip lights - REVIEW

This review will be a bit different. At least, the subject of the review will certainly be a departure from our norm here at BLF. I’m going to review the Supernight brand RGB+W LED strip light (SMD 2835 Kit) which has the ability to be controlled through a smartphone app. The packaging is a white retail box. On the top of the box there is a picture of the LED strip and the words “16 million colors”. Opening the box, I find: a RGB+W control module, a wall-wart power transformer with a barrel plug for connecting to the control module, and an anti-static bag, which contains two rolls of adhesive backed RGB+W LED strips. The LED strips have a small connector on the free end that pushes into a mating connector on the controller unit, or the opposite end of another LED strip (if you unroll it from the spool) in order to extend the length. There is also a little manual to help me get started.

So, before even looking at the manual, I went ahead and connected the transformer to the controller, to the free end of a spool of LED strip, and plugged the transformer into my electrical outlet. Honestly, I can’t remember if the LED strip lit up at that point or if I had to push the one button on the controller unit to get light to emit from the spool. I forgot to pay attention at that point, because I was excited about trying out my new toy and forgot that I had intended to write a review for it. Anyway, pressing the button cycles the LED strip through several pre-programmed modes which show off the fun color-cycling ability of the controller unit. It has what we would call “next-mode memory” however, meaning that you must go through all the modes to get to off. This is a very simple user interface, if you want to call it that. Short press through each mode and in one direction only. I felt there was at least one mode missing, however. That is, there wasn’t a white mode. All the presets used only the red, green, and blue LEDs only. Also, all the modes were color-cycling. I really would have liked to have several solid-color modes – at the very least I’d like to see red-only and green-only and blue-only, non-blinking, non-color-changing modes (plus the aforementioned white).

At this point it’s obvious this thing was never intended to be used without the smart-phone app. There isn’t even a remote-control with preset solid-color choices like other RGB+W LED strips come with. The phone app is the thing. So, I picked up the little manual and quickly scanned it for instructions to set up the app. I found the quick-setup section and proceeded. Oh yeah, there’s also a QR code on the back side of the controller box. Actually, there are two of them – one for Android and one for Apple phones. Scanning the QR takes you to a site where you can download the app. I have an Android phone, so I scanned the QR code for Android, and downloaded the apk file for installing the app. But before installing, I decided to check the Play store to see if Google already has it there, and they did, so I installed the Google Play Store version of the app instead. After installing I ran the app and… became very confused about what I was supposed to be doing. So, I looked at the manual again. Oh yeah, here’s a bit about how to connect the device to the app using WiFi. Okay, proceeding again, I was still confused… The directions in the manual were incomplete and sometimes incorrect. But I finally figured out that I’m supposed to press-and-hold the button on the controller unit for five seconds to make all the red LEDs on the strip blink like a slow strobe. Then, I must have the app ready to connect to it. There’s a +ADD button. Push that, it changes to a screen where it asks to confirm that the LEDs are blinking rapidly. Yes – yes they are – push button. Okay, then it asks for the WiFi password, and as I type it in, it shows up in plain text. Umm… okay… nobody’s looking over my shoulder right? Okay! Enter… and a timer starts counting while it connects. Finally success!

I didn’t tell you about how many different times and various ways I failed to get this far. But, I wanted you to get a feel for how NOT simple, NOT easy, NOT intuitive it is to set this up. I consider myself to be at least a little bit savvy with this kinda stuff. I mean, I usually don’t have this much trouble. If the design is intuitive, you don’t even have to give me instructions. I can pretty much figure it out by poking around. Do any of you remember how people used to joke about how hard it was to set up VCR boxes? That was THE way to say that somebody in particular was NOT tech savvy at all. You’d say that they couldn’t program their VCR box. Well, I felt like one of THOSE guys. But I got there in the end. And really, it wasn’t all that hard. It just wasn’t intuitive, and the instructions weren’t clear, so I was kinda flying blind. I dunno. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I really am one of THOSE guys!

Okay, let’s move on to actually reviewing the product, right? So, I pushed some buttons in the app and found the screen that turns on the White LEDs. It has a linear slider to control brightness and a button to push for on/off. If the LED strip is already lit, switching to this screen makes the White LEDs light up at the previously selected brightness level and the RGB color LEDs to all switch off. There is another button at the bottom of the screen to switch to the RGB color control screen, which automatically switches the RGB LEDs on to the blend color last selected on that screen and also switches off the White LEDs. It has a color wheel, a slider for brightness, and another slider marked “cool” which I found out will fade the colors out to the pastel “white” of the color which was selected on the color wheel. So, actually, you can think of the “brightness” slider as a fade to black and the “cool” slider as a fade to white (but not really white, just a blend of all RGB LEDs). The color wheel is a rainbow colored circle with a slider. To use it, you move the slider to the color you want the LED’s to be. You do this by sliding the dot on the circle to the color you want or by tapping directly on the color.

Since we’re talking about colors and white, it will be a good time to tell you that there are no actual RGB+W LEDs on this strip. There are white LEDs and red LEDs and green LEDs and blue LEDs on the strip, spaced about an inch apart. Also, have I mentioned that the white LEDs can’t be turned on at the same time as the color LEDs? Yeah. I was told that it is because they are 2835 size LEDs. So when I say “RGB White” what I mean is that all the red and green and blue LEDs are lit. Blending isn’t really very good since they are spaced apart. So, to test how well the colors might blend if the LED strip was installed in a diffuser or something, I took a plastic cake plate dome cover and shoved it into a white plastic bag. Then I set the spool of LED strip on a chair, and put the cover over it. This way, there is a bit of the plastic bag diffusing the light near the surface of the LED strip, then there’s an air gap inside the dome, then the other side of the bag diffuses the light even more. This worked fairly well actually. While testing this way, I found that the place on the color wheel that was supposed to be “yellow” was too green, and I had to slide it over toward orange a bit to make the output look like regular ole yellow. What should have been “Peach” or “Coral” on the wheel looked too orange, so had to be slid more toward red. Likewise, the RGB blended “white” was way too cool (blue) so I had to slide it toward orange as well. The actual white LEDs looked like maybe around 5000K – 5500K to my untrained eyes. So, a bit cool, but not as blue as the RGB “white” looked.

The app has a few more features I tested. One of them was device sharing. You put in the email or phone number of someone you’d like to share a “smart device” with, and they get invited to register that device in their smart phone app. The first time I tried this, I thought it might include a link to the app (in case the person didn’t have it installed) and the device registration already wrapped up. Well, that’s not how it works at all. The person didn’t have the app installed, so the invite did send them to a link for installing the app, but it stopped there. So I went through the manual set-up procedure that I’d used to get it working on my phone, and that actually made the LED strip “device” disappear from my app registration. Later, I tried it again, and figured out that all the phones that will be sharing the “device” need to have the app set up before the sharing invite is sent. Then, the device can be added to the second (third, etc.) phone without deleting it from the first one.

The app can also be linked with Google Home or Amazon Echo to add voice control. Since I have Android, I decided to try the Google Home app. I discovered that it was Google Assistant that I needed on my phone even though the manual says to use Google Home. Also, once again, the instructions were unclear, so I had to fiddle with it to get it linked up and working. It wasn’t simple or intuitive, but I figured it out. For voice control to work, the Google Assistant and the smart device app both had to be running. Using voice control, I tested all the basic device controls, like turning on/off the LED strip, changing between white and color LEDs, changing the brightness, and changing colors. I tried several different color names, including some less commonly used names like “goldenrod” and “fuschia” to see what the limits were. The voice control seemed to work fine, but I wish setup had been much simpler. I did find that some of the VERY uncommon color names weren’t recognized at all by the Google Assistant.

Another thing I tried to test was AP mode for the WiFi. I still don’t know what it’s supposed to do differently from the “normal” WiFi setup. In the “normal” setup, I was asked for a WiFi password to connect my “device” to the WiFi I would be using. I thought that AP mode would mean the “device” itself would act as the Access Point and no other WiFi was needed. But, when I started to set it up, it still asked for my WiFi password. I didn’t complete the AP mode testing since it didn’t seem to be offering what I was looking for – a way to use the app without a working WiFi. I was very disappointed with this, because it means that there are far more places this LED strip won’t be useable than places it will be. For instance, I’d thought that since the controller has a barrel plug connector and the power supply is a 12V transformer, that maybe there’d be a way to use it in a vehicle. That should be possible, as long as you only want to use the single-button interface I wrote about at the beginning of this review. But the app is completely useless if you don’t have access to a working WiFi signal. A car is maybe an unusual place to think of using a LED strip made for the home, but some people also may not have WiFi in their home, or they might have wanted to use it somewhere else that WiFi is equally unavailable, like a business shop, or their garage, or some other place.

The last thing I tested was the adhesive backing on the LED strips. I wasn’t ready to permanently install them yet, so I just peeled back a couple of inches of the blue film to expose a little of the adhesive. I stuck it to a window, and it stuck fairly well. Then I pulled it off the window and stuck it to the wood trim. It came off the window easily enough and still stuck to the wood. After pulling it off the wood, I touched the adhesive with my fingers and it felt pretty tacky still. It didn’t seem to stick quite as well to the wood as it did to the glass, probably because glass is smoother and easier to stick things to.

In conclusion, I know it seems like this review is very negative, but my actual experience with the product wasn’t that bad. One factor that I think contributed to this perceived imbalance is that I really don’t have a “need” for LED strip lighting. I also don’t have any prior experience with LED strips to compare this set to, so I don’t know what people normally expect. I think the LED strips did what they were supposed to do, but the app certainly needs a lot of work, and the manual needs to be updated and corrected. Overall, I’d say this is a decent budget choice if you want to add edge lighting to your desk or cornice lighting in your gaming/movie room. The app is full of some nifty features that can make these LED strip lights fun to have around if the developer will get the issues fixed.

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
-Ayn Rand

CRX
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I wonder what it looks like.

chanchan
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Dear friend ,

1. Thank you for your fair review , we will try our best to solve the app bugs to improve user experience . Big Smile

2. You can read more from the buying link , http://a.co/0jfX8LB . Here is a video for you to clarify operation process . Please don’t hesitate to turn to me for help if you have any problems . Crazy

3. We have arranged a led deal to thank you for your attention on Supernight , as follows

Here are buying links for them ,

1. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077DVLSB7
2. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077T9GV7H

3. product : cabinet led / camping led Activity time : 7.11-8.11 Orignal price : $ 11.99 Price : $ 7.79 Coupon code : GPP5VOWW

4. Surprise :

1)Everyone who order the cabinet with coupon code can enjoy 35% off .
2)Order 20 pairs=40 units cabinet+1 unit 5050 led strips .
3)Order 40 pairs=80 units cabinet+2 units 5050 led strips .
4)Order 100 pairs=200 units cabinet+6 units 5050 led strips 5. Offer is subject to availability .
5)You gonna love this gift at the first sight !

Hope you enjoy it !! Big SmileBig Smile

MascaratumB
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chanchan wrote:
Dear friend ,

1. Thank you for your fair review , we will try our best to solve the app bugs to improve user experience . Big Smile

2. You can read more from the buying link , http://a.co/0jfX8LB . Here is a video for you to clarify operation process . Please don’t hesitate to turn to me for help if you have any problems . Crazy

3. We have arranged a led deal to thank you for your attention on Supernight , as follows

Here are buying links for them ,

1. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077DVLSB7
2. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077T9GV7H

3. product : cabinet led / camping led Activity time : 7.11-8.11 Orignal price : $ 11.99 Price : $ 7.79 Coupon code : GPP5VOWW

4. Surprise :

1)Everyone who order the cabinet with coupon code can enjoy 35% off .
2)Order 20 pairs=40 units cabinet+1 unit 5050 led strips .
3)Order 40 pairs=80 units cabinet+2 units 5050 led strips .
4)Order 100 pairs=200 units cabinet+6 units 5050 led strips 5. Offer is subject to availability .
5)You gonna love this gift at the first sight !

Hope you enjoy it !! Big SmileBig Smile

chanchan, in order to avoid being marked as SPAM and eventually have your account deleted, if you want to advertise something as a seller, please post you threads on the section “Commercial Seller’s Spot”: http://budgetlightforum.com/forum/marketplace/commercial

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