If you have any sort of gaming setup then you probably foam at the mouth when night time comes around and you can flip the switch and turn on all the RGB greatness. The backlit TV that floats thanks to a strip of lights at the back, the PC case that buzzes all night long thanks to those fancy RGB lights and not to mention the room lighting which is now key to a stylish gaming setup. The trend has given birth to a new type of modular lighting options. I am sure you have seen and heard about the Phillips Nanoleaf range. They are great but cost a small fortune and unfortunately, in SA no distributor sells them. If you are brave enough to import them, they cost a crazy amount of money. So what about a product by LifeSmart that is available in SA called Cololights?
Watch these lights in action down below
The Cololights range aims to deliver a great lighting solution with infinite possibilities. After testing it for over a week, I just want to buy more and more. So what is it? Well, a ColoLight is a modular white hexagon that can clip into other lights of its kind. The starter packs come in 3 and 6-light bundles. Once you own a starter pack you can then buy them individually and expand your lighting solution over time. The more Lifesmart ColoLights you own, the better and brighter your setup becomes. Each hexagon can is super-bright and can change into various colours. 16 million different ones to be precise.
When it comes to pricing, the LifeSmart ColoLight range starts ay R699 for the 3-set and R1,299 for the 6 pack. Each light costs R199 when purchasing individually. In a 3 or 6-pack box, you will get the ColoLights, a controller unit, a fancy base, connectors and fixators. This is everything you need to get started on your Lifesmart ColoLight obsession. Keep in mind that you’ll need a USB power source to power the controller unit. You may also want to get a USB extender because the wire is short and often impossible to work with.
Each ColoLight is white with an array of LED lights under the matte surface. On the back, there is a hole which can be used to hang the lights from a hook and doubles up as the controller unit lock-in device. This means that the base light which powers the rest needs to be plugged in with the connection. I could also fasten the connector into the base light with a knife to lock it in place. The stand is also pretty cool. The 3-pack comes with a plastic one but the 6-pack comes with a premium granite cylindrical base. It is heavy and can hold up the lights. The USB cable is fed through the base and the main light connector light slides into the base to secure it.
You don’t have to use the base though. One could easily just place the lights on your counter or hang them. I started off using the base but then removed it and found other creative ways to show off the lights. That is the best part of this product, there are so many ways you can use it that the more you own the better the experience is.
The joy of the Lifesmart ColoLights range is how easy it is to get started. Connecting each light is simple, moving them around is even easier and once I mastered the layout, I was able to tweak and adjust them to my style. The clips are easy to plug in and the fixators help secure the lights together. It is like LEGO with 16 million RGB colours to play with. There was not a day that went by where I did not change the layout of the lights. Every moment I got I was tweaking things and moving things around. They are fun toys if anything.
Setting Things Up
So once I had the layout down it was time to switch it all on and see how it goes. The lights rely on a USB power source. This can be an old cellphone charger or even a laptop USB. I even plugged it into my Xbox One X, Switch and PS4 to test. All these devices worked and provided enough power to light the Lifesmart ColoLights up. By default, the lights have a range of settings which can be changed using the touch button on either the back of the controller unit of the front of the USB. There’s a cool underwater-like blue, a sound-activated mode, rainbows and sunset. All these are also the default layout settings in the app.
Speaking of the app, it is the heart of the experience. It is how you connect, tweak and customize your lights. Firstly, I had to pair the lights to my wifi. This is not as easy as I thought it would be. It took eight or nine tries before the lights successfully paired and I was able to access the inner app to change the settings. Once the app is available, there’s a range of cool things I could do. Swiping up and down changed the default presets from “rainbow” to “circus” and a few others. These are the default colour presets from LifeSmart.
The real magic begins when you start making your own customized creations. The app has a crazy amount of possibilities to choose from. This includes how the LED array turns on and off, the timing of it, what colours are shows and the pattern in which it all follows. The presets help choose a type of style such as breathing, flashing, shadow etc. Then there’s the LED control which changes how the lights react over the course of the duration. Lastly, there is the speed.
There is a lot of fun to be had here. I was able to set up a few presets. I made a red one for when I was playing Nintendo Switch, a blue for PlayStation, and green for Xbox. I also fiddled with a calming transition. This tranquil preset helped at night when I was in bed and began to relax. It is unbelievable how soothing some of the options are.
Everything is powered by the app. Turning the brightness up, switching it off and even enabling a timer to automatically switch off the lights after a certain amount of time. Basically, you can’t do much without the app but cycle through some of the basic presets. One of which is the “sound-activated” mode which is new on the “pro” models. It sucks. There’s no beating around the bush here. The sound feedback is just pretty mediocre and needs loud sounds to cause the lights to flash. There’s also no pattern, it randomly lights up different blocks. I just did not find any joy in it at all. I placed the lights right next to my speaker and it still was dull and performed strangely.
The app also lets you choose from some cool preset layouts if you have enough lights. There is a Spider-Man, hourglass and others. There’s also a video tutorial on each to show you how to make the layout but it never ever played.
The App is a Headache
It seems that is a trend here with the LifeSmart ColoLights app, it is terrible. I had multiple issues setting up the lights at first. No matter what I tried, they kept failing at the “connect” phase of the pairing process. Once set up, I had constant issues with it disconnecting from the wifi and I had to restart the pairing process again from the start. It also does not help that the lights don’t support 5GHz wifi bands so connection and setting up always had hiccups and restrictions. Often the app would not save my preset properly so every time I turned on the light my slow and smooth transition effect was a crazy flashing epileptic attack waiting to happen.
The constant disconnection issues also came at the worst time. At night, I opened the app to turn on the lights and guess what? It disconnected. I then had to sit for five minutes and pair the lights again. It failed a couple of times and I just gave up and left them on the default blue swirl. Often, the lights would connect and as soon as I completed the set up they would disconnect again. At first, I thought it was my wifi but even with the lights right next to the modem I had the same issue. The product needs polish. Even the timer does not work properly. I set the lights to come on at 19:30, and it never happened.
Issues aside, the Lifesmart ColoLights range is great. They make for an exciting and bright edition to any room be it gaming, your lounge, bathroom or even kitchen. Of course, a gaming room benefits the most here as it just fits into a giant TV and gaming hardware perfectly. If they could just fix the wifi problems and focus on improving the app, the range could be the best lighting solution for all South African gamers.
This content was put together with a trade exchange agreement between GLITCHED and Syntech. Find out more about the range here.