Unusual HomeKit accent lighting: Twinkly Flex & Line tried out

Cupertino, December 2, 2021

The popular Twinkly Christmas tree lighting received a HomeKit update a while back. But other lighting products from the manufacturer have also been given HomeKit integration. Reason enough to take a closer look at the Light Strip alternative Twinkly Flex and the Light Strip Twinkly Line.

The range of functions of both devices is identical. Only the intended use differs. While the Twinkly Flex can be mounted visibly due to the "cover", Twinkly Line finds its place more as indirect lighting, just like any classic Light Strip.

Scope of delivery

Both the Twinkly Flex and the Twinkly Line come with everything you need for the installation. Besides the devices themselves, the manual and some Twinkly stickers, the mounting material is also in the package. While Twinkly Line is mounted quite classically via an adhesive strip on the back of the light strip, the Twinkly Flex comes with clamps that hold the light strip.

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The scope of delivery of the Twinkly Flex is very generous.

In addition, the Twinkly Flex comes with four stencils. Because the unusual light strip just screams to be attached to the wall like an old neon sign. In addition to the lettering "love", a musical note and a cactus, a fir tree is also included, in keeping with the season. With it you can quickly and easily mark the screw holes and attach the brackets.

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The setup is done via the Twinkly app. After registration, the app automatically searches for new devices via Bluetooth. During the setup, the WLAN data must be entered, because after that the communication takes place via Wi-Fi. For both devices, a so-called "mapping" is performed during the setup process. This involves using the camera to detect the mounted shape. In our case, this is our SmartApple logo on the Twinkly Flex.

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The recognition worked flawlessly, even if the pattern in the app looks a bit compressed. Since we have Twinkly Line hidden, we have skipped the step in this case and the Light Strip is displayed as a straight line. In principle, however, you can also perform a mapping here.

After a firmware update, the devices can then also be integrated into Apple HomeKit. The HomeKit code required for this can simply be generated once in the settings of the devices. As always: Save the code well, for example via an app like HomePass.

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Control via the Twinkly app

The Twinkly app is very powerful. After mapping, the LEDs can be "painted" individually. This allows us to have the apple glow orange and the house glow white on our logo. Just the way it should be.

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In addition to colors, numerous effects can also be selected. Whether sparkle, snowfall, sunset, rainbow, fireworks or night sky: Here really everyone finds a suitable animation. If you still can't find what you're looking for, you'll find even more effects in the Twinkly Effects Store. There are also many shapes here, including a reindeer or a pumpkin. However, these shapes are rather intended for the Christmas tree lighting Twinkly Strings. Thanks to the large number of LEDs, the shapes are really visible there. With the Twinkly Flex or Twinkly Line, simple animations make much more sense.

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You also have the possibility to create your own effects. After choosing a pattern you can define colors, speed, angle and more.

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If you want to let your creativity run wild, you can also create a playlist with different effects. Here you can set the order and duration to create a light show to go with a song.

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Control via Apple HomeKit

Unfortunately, since HomeKit still can't handle multi-colored lamps, Twinkly Flex and Twinkly Line are also only shown as single colored lamps. So you can set one color for the entire lamp, as well as adjust the brightness.

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If you have previously started an effect via the Twinkly app and only switch the lamp on and off via HomeKit, the last effect remains active. However, so far there is no way to save effects as scenes in HomeKit and thus start specific effects via HomeKit.

Both devices convince

Both devices were convincing in our test. The neon look of the Twinkly Flex is something completely different and invites you to give free rein to your creativity. The only downer is the length of 2m. Here you quickly come up against limits depending on the planned pattern. An extension is not provided.

Also the Light Strip Twinkly Line could be a little longer. Instead of the usual 2m, the manufacturer uses 1.5m. In return, however, the LEDs are also much closer together. Even a small distance is enough so that the individual LEDs are no longer recognizable. Especially when using aluminum profiles, this is a very big advantage. In addition, the Light Strip can be expanded at any time, unlike the Twinkly Flex.

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The LEDs are close together in the Twinkly Line Light Strip.

The possibilities within the Twinkly app seem almost endless. Even if we personally do not like too colorful lamps so much, a slight color gradient, gladly also with a small effect, is something else than a fixed single color. If you, like us, always run the same effect, you can also turn the lamps on and off via HomeKit. Only when the color is changed via HomeKit, the effect set via the manufacturer's own app disappears.

You can get both Twinkly Flex and Twinkly Line at Amazon. But the devices are also available at Saturn (Twinkly Flex / Twinkly Line).

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