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Christmas Gift Guide

Color controls

Themes

Paint with light

Here's how it looks

Works with Alexa

IFTTT controls, too

Price

Lifx has long made color-changing lightbulbs, but this year, it has released "Lifx Z," a set of color-changing light strips. Click through to see what they're capable of.

Caption by / Photo by Ry Crist/CNET

The Lifx Z light strips use a Wi-Fi radio to connect to your home network just like Lifx lightbulbs do. You don't need a hub or a bridge plugged into your router. Once everything's synced up, you'll be able to change their color and brightness using the Lifx app.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

You can also use the "Themes" section of the app for quick color changes, or to use random colors from one of several presets. Here's how the strip changed after I tapped on the "Exciting" preset.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

You can also drag colors across the strips to create your own multicolor pattern. Each 1-meter strip has eight different zones that you can adjust. And yes, those zones are why this product is called "Lifx Z."

Caption by / Photo by Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

Here's an example of a multicolor setup that we painted in the app. It's a nice feature, because other smart light strips (notably the ones from Philips Hue) can only handle one color at a time.

Caption by / Photo by Ry Crist/CNET

Like the other Lifx smart lights, the Lifx Z strips are compatible with the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers, so you can tell Alexa to turn them on and off.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The strips are also compatible with the free online automation service IFTTT. Sync everything up, and you'll be able to trigger the strips using all sorts of IFTTT-compatible products and services.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

The starter kit includes the plug-in power attachment and two one-meter strips (you can connect up to ten of them in total). The price? $90, or about £70/AU$120. Check out our full review to see if we think they're worth the splurge.

Caption by / Photo by Ry Crist/CNET
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