Almost everything is connected these days and lighting is no different. Meross is one of many providers that offer connected, smart lights. We’ve had a set of their strip lights on the test bench, well… stolen from the test bench by my daughter, for the last couple of weeks.
When you look at the smart light market, it really is a bit of a minefield with plenty of options to choose from, the Meross Strip lights are remarkably good value in functionality, connectivity and their coverage. The lighting is supplied as two 5 meter (16.4ft) strips that can connect as two separate strips to the power supply, or as a single 10 meter length depending on your need.
That length of lighting could be problematic to affix to anything, but Meross have done the right thing by consumers with the full length of the strips adorned with adhesive tape. The power supply is simple enough, but be aware: You can plug the strips in the wrong way, if they don’t turn on, unplug and turn the connector 180 degrees.
Setup, Smart Assistants and using the lights
The Meross App (like all others) is very easy to download from the play store, easy to set up (you’ll need an account) and then you’ll connect to your lights. A quick word of warning though, there is a lot of options for smart lighting and connected hardware from the team a Meross. So it’s well worth knowing exactly what you’re setting up because it could take you a while to find it by blindly searching.
Once you’ve connected to the light strips, you’ve got touch controls on your phone. Probably the biggest complaint I have about the app is that it’s not as polished as I’d expect it to be. Some of the functions are a bit clunky and not really intuitive to use. Now there are two sides to the coin here if you’re just using the app: Job done and deal with the app.
That’s no fun though, you’ve gotta connect your smart assistant. While I have Alexa and Assistant running, I connected to Alexa because the routines are far easier to configure for what I had intended to set up.
As explored in Alexa Vs Assistant, connecting to Alexa is as easy as setting up a “skill’ and then triggering what you need. Unsurprisingly, my daughter got the hang of it pretty quickly once the lights were set up in her room.
The review units — as mentioned earlier — was commandeered by my daughter Jenny, who now has them around her bedhead and shelving. This is a good result for us because, with a simple Alexa routine, we can give her some reading time, dim the lights as a warning then lights out after we’ve said goodnight.
Google Assistant has the same functionality access as Alexa, allowing you to change colours and adjust brightness easily. It was actually quite astounding just how much light these put out when set to 100% brightness. It wasn’t just the brightness that caught my attention, it was just how consistent the lighting was for the full length of the light strips even when configured as a single strip.
While routines are far more intuitive, ultimately easier to set up on Alexa, both Assistant and Alexa work the same and give you the same control set over the lights. Given how solid the user experience is, with a bit more time under their belt and maturing of their ecosystem Meross could well start moving up and snapping at the heels of the bigger players in the smart lighting market like Hue lights.
Where can you put the Meross Strip Lights?
There really isn’t any limit to where you can put them, you’re really only limited by your imagination and access to power. I’ve seen light similar to this setup behind wall mounted TVs, on couches to provide light like a cinema, around doorways and windows, in kids cubby houses and even around the door of a fridge…
The power adaptor has a lead on it about 1.5 meters long, has a manual power button which can be helpful if you’re offline and, being a DC power supply could easily be substituted for another. Add to that the 5 meter lengths of lighting — which can be shortened, just cut at the clearly marked lines — and you’ve got a pretty impressive spread of light. I particularly like the colour range that the strip lights are capable of: From a slow strobing party setup to static bright colours or warming calm colours – it’s really no problem.
Smart lighting is regular first step users take into building a smart home, but the barrier to entry is usually costs associated with some of the better known manufacturers. To have an option like Meross that doesn’t cost the earth, yet still has a good range of connectivity (Assistant, Alexa and Smart Things) capabilities makes it far more accessible to so many more buyers.
Given the price tag is just $50.99 including delivery from Amazon, it’s an investment I’d be more than happy to make. I’d be just as happy to point people in this direction if they were loling for some strip lights to start their smart home journey.
The light strips are not able to be repackaged and sold.