I was sent the Zanflare S2 LED Strip directly from Zanflare for review.
Product page: http://bit.ly/2wfZNOv
No other payment was received for this review.
There are plenty of options for LED Strips from electronics retailers, most of which run off 12V power supplies, and use IR remote controls with a range of colours, but few other options. They can be connected to battery packs with some soldering. The Zanflare S2 Strip differentiates itself by being a 2m “plug and play” LED strip that runs off a 5V/3A USB power supply.
The Zanflare S2 arrived in a branded cardboard box, containing the connected LED strip, controller, and USB cable, instructions, and a 5V/3A USB wall plug. The wall plug was DOA, and thus this review used a Kogan 4400mAh 5V/2.1A Powerbank for power supply instead.
Design and Function
The LED strip is 2m long, and can be cut to length. It has a 3M adhesive backing, so can be stuck to various objects when required. It has a silicone cover to protect it from the elements and is rated IP65. The LED strip is an SMD5050 type, with RGB emitters, and 60 LED chips per 2m strip.
The Zanflare S2 requires quite a hefty maximum current of 3A, and power of 15W (2.28W/ft). This current is only required when at full 2m length, with all LEDs displaying white at maximum brightness at which point the light is claimed to output 1125 lumens. Using a lesser 2.1A power supply in this scenario will not surprisingly trip the controller and the light will turn off. If the strip has been cut to a shorter length, then power supply requirements will be proportionally less based on the length of the strip. Runtime is dependant on the mode, brightness, speed, colour, strip length, and power supply (if battery pack used), and thus runtime has not been measured.
Whilst LED strips use PWM to colour mix, it is very fast, and not noticeable when testing, far better than my previous colour LED strip. The PWM is only noticeable in my light painting photos (further down in the review) if you zoom in.
The controller and USB cable are permanently attached to one end of the LED Strip. The controller has five buttons - on/off, mode (M) , brightness (B), speed (S), and colour ©.
On/Off - does as it says, but has to be held down for 3 seconds to turn on (presumably to prevent accidental activation).
Mode (M) - this toggles through 12 effects modes. There is a very good selection of modes, including single colour light chases, and colour changing light chases. The effects are programmed for the whole length of the strip, so if cut to size, the effects will not adapt to the new length. All modes run in a repeat cycle, apart from a fast colour “sparkle” mode that stops after around 30secs.
Brightness (B) - there are 5 brightness levels which toggle from dim to bright. The brightest level on max is much more impressive than my previous SMD3535 LED strip, and can fill a small room with colour.
Speed (S) - there are 5 speed modes that change the speed of the light chase in the effects modes. These toggle from slow to fast.
Colour © - there are 11 colour options, of which one has a static multi-colour rainbow pattern.
The embedded video shows the various mode options available.
I have since mounted the Zanflare S2 (cut to 90cm) as a LED light wand for light painting. Below are some photos taken using the wand and other light painting tools.
The Zanflare S2 LED strip is a great “plug and play” 2m USB LED strip, which can run off cost effective power banks or mains supply. There are great options for modes (light chases), brightness, speed, and colour. It is important that it is sufficiently powered. I also like the integrated controller instead of a IR remote control.
Whilst the Zanflare S2 is more expensive than some 12V LED strip options, the high output, quality construction, excellent range of modes, and USB “plug and play” design makes up for the extra cost.