Connected lighting comes in different forms, either classically with smart bulbs, or in a more current design in the form of led strip. And we must admit that this last presentation brings a little touch of originality to our houses. After LEDVANCE tape test Smart + intended for outdoor use thanks to its IP44 or that of the Philips Hue LightStrip tape, we looked for a new product for you working in Wi-Fi but small in size: one meter.
And that's the ribbon ZXX LED RGB WiFi which answered our wish for a small headband. We found it on the site ofAmazon priced at 17.99 € and it is compatible with the two main voice assistants : Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Rare of this size there, it is therefore all the more precious, because there is no point in buying an oversized ribbon if you have to play with the chisel to obtain the desired length. This banner with 16 millions of colors has a IR remote control allowing night-time use without the risk of waking the whole household, for example. Make way for the test we put him through.
ZXX LED WIFI tape: a tape that looks great
Unboxing and presentation
No unboxing for this product which is just delivered in plastic bags. There is no packaging… expensive, to say the least.
We therefore find, in a first bag, a one-meter LED tape wound on a reel-style support, a Wi-Fi controller, a power cord for USB socket but without mains plug. Please note that the cord is not very long: Only 50 cm. In a second bag, a multifunction remote control IR, a 3M double-sided adhesive that will be used to hold the controller in place and a small Magic Home card in English with instructions for scanning the QR codes intended to install the application. No manual.
Let's take a closer look at each element.
Designed in a flexible and waterproof plastic (IP65), we will install it indoors, the electrical part not being suitable for outdoors. With a width of 1 cm and 1 meter long, it is equipped with 30 Led SMD 5050 where SMD "Single Mounted Device" means in French more simply that the components are surface mounted on the printed circuit and 5050 that their size is 5mm on the side. These are distributed over the entire length of the tape at the rate of one every 3 cm with a cutting strip between each thus allowing a cut as close as possible to the desired dimension without unnecessary loss. Note the black colored background of the ribbon unlike many others which have the LEDs inlaid in a white band. Small touch of originality which is not to displease us but which it will possibly be necessary to take into account if this one is installed in a visible way on a clear support the contrast can interfere. On the back of the tape an adhesive strip will facilitate its fixation once removed. The glue used is not strong which will allow it to be repositioned if necessary.
The remote control :
Rather rudimentary in appearance, it is made of a matte and cheap plastic. Small 5cm x 6.4cm for 0.7cm thick it fits perfectly in the hand. The buttons that compose it are slightly rounded and pleasant to the touch. Spaced enough apart, there is no fear of pressing two keys at the same time except having really big fingers.
The bicolor black and white box of our IR remote control has 24 buttons on the front, 16 of which are reserved for colors.
- The commands strictly speaking of the banner are placed on the first row with in order:
- Increase the intensity.
- Decrease the intensity.
- Turn off the ribbon.
- Light the ribbon.
- On the right, vertically under the white, we have buttons relating to special effects:
- Flash: a scan of 7 colors: luminous red, luminous green, soft green, luminous blue, soft blue, soft red and cool white.
- Strobe: for a strobe effect of the 7 colors.
- Fade: same as Flash but with slower scrolling.
- Smoth: like Flash but with only 3 colors: red, green, blue.
On the back, we find the housing for the CR2025 button battery which is provided: thank you! Small detail that we appreciate. To activate the remote control, all you have to do is remove the plastic tab that insulates it. To change the battery, the hatch is opened by pinching the left side of the battery compartment towards the center while pulling gently.
Finally the last elements:
The LED WiFi controller (2.2 cm x 5.20cm) RGB is CE and RoHS certified. It is placed between the ribbon and the supplied USB power cable. The enclosed 3M rectangular adhesive also allows the case to be fixed to the chosen support.
Technical sheet :
Magic Home Pro: installation of the ribbon and getting started with the application
The first thing to do is obviously to connect the tape to the electricity. As said before, it is delivered without a mains plug. The possibility of plugging it directly into a USB socket probably explains this absence. If necessary, the one used to recharge a smartphone will do. It should nevertheless be taken into account to place it near either a USB hub for example or an electrical outlet or otherwise provide a USB extension.
If you are a loyal reader, you say to yourself, that's it, let's go again for the installation under Smart Life! And of course! Here is a Led strip that works under the application Magic Home Pro that we will see in detail.
After downloading the application from one of the Android or IOS stores, (for us it will be Android) the application opens directly on the home page. At first glance this one looks quite like that of the Swiss Army Knife as we like to call it Smart Life as it supports a large number of connected devices. Here we are guided to add a device to click on the "+" at the top right. Following this we are asked what we want to add, a device, a scene or a group. For us this will be the first proposition: Add Device. It is only from there that we are offered at the bottom of the page to create an account because we are not yet known and connected to the application. So we will register and this is done on a European server. A concept to be taken into account and which should tend to reassure regarding compliance with the GDPR regulation on data protection. We therefore fill in the e-mail and mdp fields as requested.
The application then asks us for permission to access our geolocation. The next step will trigger the recognition of our ribbon, which there is no need to go into pairing mode by any connection / disconnection. We chose manual mode to install the headband.
As for the application Smart Life and although we are not invited, on this side there is a certain and regrettable lack of information, we go to the Wifi settings of our smartphone and we can see that we have a temporary wifi corresponding to the ribbon which is just waiting for us to be connected. We will therefore select it and then return to the Magic Home Pro application to continue pairing. There, the application immediately offers us to connect the band to our Wifi. By selecting it, we will be asked to indicate the MDP of it.
… And if everything has been correctly entered, after ten seconds, the application displays our new device with a generic name that it is perfectly possible to change to a more familiar name by clicking on it. Our banner then appears on the home page of the application.
Let's take a look at this new application what it contains and allows you to do.
On the left, the hamburger menu, provides access to various menus including: Device Manager where you can find information about the banner. By clicking on it a menu is displayed allowing us to choose to obtain the information concerning its registration or to proceed to its removal from the application.
If we take the trouble to dig a little, by entering the Device Information menu and clicking on Accessibility we discover a section: Color Temperature Control. By putting the cursor on On we have an additional menu which appears at the bottom of the screen entitled CCT and which offers the management of hot or cold white. A bit of a shame that this function is so well hidden. It should logically be available as soon as the ribbon is installed. In short, do not hesitate to go click everywhere.
As seen previously by clicking on the "+" you have access to the installation of a new device, the creation of a scene or a group.
The small icon of the banner on the home page is displayed in the same color as the active one of the LEDs. A click on it gives access to the color management panel (16 million possible) with a very high degree of precision in the choice. Indeed, a small RGB table at the top left allows you to precisely adjust the desired color. At the top we have a pendulum which allows to create a timer and next to the On / Off button. Below the palette it is possible to save personalized settings for color and light intensity.
From this page, it is possible at the bottom of the screen to access various menus.
* The CCT menu presented above takes place in second position between Color and Functions, but was not discovered until the end of the test.
The Functions menu opens two tabs:
- the first takes the functions of the remote control (colors, actions, etc.)
- the second entitled Customs allows you to create a small program to scroll through the colors. I told you, a very complete application that you really have to take the time to study.
The Mic Menu for Microphone
It allows once permission is granted to make the colors rhythmic to the sound of an ambient audio source or if you have a Spotify account, to the rhythm of your music which, even when listened to with headphones, will make the headband vibrate. So on this subject, we must recognize that the function can be improved if you try with a headset connected to your phone. As much in ambient listening, whether it is a sound emanating from the house, the outside or a music broadcast on a voice assistant - Spotify tested on Google Home and Amazon Music on Alexa - the headband reacts perfectly and will flash perfectly, nothing to complain about as much with an earphone while listening to Spotify music, there the headband reacts much less. All in all logical since it is supposed to capture microphone sound, but then why specify that the LEDs will synchronize with our Spotify account?
The Music menu.
It gives rhythm to the banner to the sound of the music installed on the smartphone: ringtone and / or playlist. Not having a playlist installed we did not go further. But the specific ringtone installed on our smartphone is well taken into account and our banner executes the rhythm of the notes well.
the Cinema menu
It allows when watching a film to have a light synchronized with the image. To activate the service, all you have to do is point the scan frame displayed on the phone's screen towards the television to see the various actions, whether or not moving on the screen, reflected on the banner. Be careful, you have to let the capture zone focus on the TV at all times, the interest is therefore more than limited and in no way comparable with a DreamScreen or a Philips Hue system. In addition, it quickly heats up the battery of the smartphone or tablet, not to mention the cramps you get to keep it in place. In short, do not imagine a Philips Ambilight, we are light years away from such a system.
The Camera menu
Well hidden on the right, it can be discovered when the menu banner is stretched. It allows the LEDs to be displayed in the same color as the one pointed with the small cross present in the capture square. Two modes are available: automatic which will display the color as what the pointer captures (a sweep of a surface will give all the colors that will have been listed) and a manual mode which displays the rendering only once you have clicked. on capture color.
It is also possible to record scenes that can be played and will also go up in the application Alexa.
Let's see how to proceed with the scene creation. On the home page, as seen above, we will click on the “+” at the top right and choose Add Scene. The first instruction is to give a name to our scene and to confirm to save it then a click on the "+" at the bottom displays two pads including Add device which will allow us to designate the connected object that will be in this scene: our banner (since we only have him).
Once the banner has been recorded in the scene, all you have to do is choose the desired action. The created scene then appears on the home page.
We have indicated On, but if we click on RGB we are returned to the color palette to store one with the intensity and speed which can also be defined. The configuration possibilities are quite developed, we leave them to you to discover them. As for each action / scene created, it is possible by pressing its name for a few seconds to cancel it, rename it, edit it to modify it or close the page without making a choice. However, it should be noted that only one action is possible per scene. Either we indicate On or Off or we define a color but no possibility in the Magic Hom Pro application to set for example a delay to turn on and then turn off the scene. Or we haven't found it yet. Finally, it is also possible to choose a dedicated image per scenario created by clicking on the name of our scene in Edit Scene. An image bank opens and it is possible to choose one per scenario.
And with Alexa ?
Once the Magic Home Pro skill is installed from the store Amazon and to have informed our email and Mdp corresponding to our registration in the Magic Hom application, our account is linked to that ofAmazon and without difficulty our banner goes back into the application Alexa. The possible voice actions will be of the type: "turn on / off" "put in red" "at x%". As indicated in the photo, it is possible to create routines and then manage several actions in a row such as activation , the choice of colors, the light intensity, then the time delay and finally the shutdown. In the application, the choice of colors is relatively limited with only 16 colors available as with many other bulbs which are taken into account by Alexa. But if we compare the application Alexa with that of Google, there is a big difference ... display. You will see this later.
The scenario created in the Magic Home Pro app also goes back and can also be incorporated into a routine without any problem.
And in Google Home?
Having a Google Home Mini speaker, we will be able to make a small comparison of the possibilities offered between each assistant. For our banner to be taken into account by Google, the equivalent of the skill must be installed on the application Alexa ie here the Magic Home WiFi application.
To do this, you have to go to theGoogle Home app then from the home page, click on " Settings ", the toothed wheel in the upper part, then by clicking on "Works with Google" go to search in the list of available applications: Magic Home Wifi (Please note here the recognized name of the application is slightly different). A click on it and the request to associate the application with our Google account is made by indicating the address the identifiers that we created previously. Same procedure for each voice assistant.
In comparison with the application Alexa : in the Google Home app, brightness and color management are in two separate tabs. But when you open the colors pane, the number of colors available is much higher than whatAlexa offers and, it must be admitted, we are pleasantly surprised at the choices offered. Indeed, no less than 42 colors are available. Yes, but because there is a but! Not all of them are available for voice use. Only by using touch mode either on the phone or on the Google Nest Hub screen will the entire color palette be operational. A big disappointment after a very nice surprise. Alexa offers fewer colors but all are recognized by voice.
The banner can be used from the Google Nest screen or from the app on smartphone. Moreover, quoted smartphone, the presentations from the two voice assistants are very similar.