Kasa Smart Lighting strip was problematic because of app functionality.

When it comes to tech, one of my favorite trends is in the smart home market.  I have enjoyed upgrading my home piece by piece.  It has been an exciting rollercoaster, with some pieces integrating smoothly and others leaving me incredibly frustrated.  Nothing makes me more disgruntled than a piece of tech that does not deliver on its promises.

kasa light strip accessories

The Kasa Smart Lighting strip, powered by Veho, arrived in a relatively plain black cardboard box. On the front, you will notice the logo and information about a smart device controllable, 7.5 w (40w comparable) LED Low energy light strip.  The dimmable strip is listed as having a 15-year life or 15,000 hours (assuming 3-4 hours per day).  There is no image on the cover, nor any detail of what the device is supposed to look like. The back of the packaging shows a few possible uses for the light strip, to include bar lighting and entertainment center lighting.

The Kasa light strip is powered by a rather large and bulky AC adaptor, measuring 3.5″ tall by 1 3/4″ wide by 1.5″ thick. There is a button on the prong side that will allow you to change the prongs to accommodate your region.  Included in the package are Type A (USA), Type G (UK), Type C (EU), Type I (AU and China) plugs.  Simply slide the desired plug onto the charger and utilize the product.  Unfortunately, the adaptor is much too large for my liking.  For this to work in an entertainment center, computer room, or office, the plug cannot block other sockets. The size of the adaptor severely limits you to the bottom socket of some power strips or to the lower wall outlet.  It proved to be a disappointment to have a neat LED light kit, with such significant limitations.

kasa light strip colors

Attached to the bulky AC adaptor box is a 46″ cable.  Plug the adapter end into the white 2 1/8″ long by 1 3/8″ wide by 7/8″ thick 12V DC Kasa wireless controller box.  Once connected to power, the light will immediately illuminate.  I personally love light strips, as they fill a niche that no other light option can fill.  This type of light works amazingly well for the edges of stairways, for the base of a cabinet, for recessed lighting and for accent lighting.  With one end designated as the powered end and the other as the open end, it can be difficult to plan where to put the device.  Usually, the power outlet dictates for you.

The Kasa app is available on the iOS and Android Marketplaces but feels to be half finished.  As you open the App, you will see Smart lighting and Smart Power.  If you tap the Smart Power icon, it does nothing. There is no notification, there is no link to a new page etc.  This is a feature that is not yet complete and it gives an entire Beta feeling to the app.  Tap the smart lighting and you will notice that the light should automatically connect.  This gave a number 00:21:4d:14:43:6b, which is editable. Navigate to “Connected” and choose the strip.  Select edit and then change the name to anything of your choosing.  I renamed mine “Power strip.”  Save the change and then you can utilize the On/Off toggle to turn on/off the light.

kasa light strip

The light strip appears to have quality LED and seems to be well built.  I recently tested the Kasa E26 screw bulb (standard bulb) and reported issues with the app.  If you turn off the power, or if you unplug the device, you will essentially have to start over from scratch.  Once it reconnects, the previous name was saved.  With two different lighting options, bulb and light strip, I thought I would need to choose the add a bulb option.  One or both of the lights continued to drop from the app.  I was able to set up group functions with both sets of bulbs, but this too was not as straightforward as it should have been. This was clunky experience and disappointing.

kasa light strip app

You can link a variety of lights into a group, or set up a mood.  I tried to set up an alarm clock-like feature, but this was not reliable.  I set the on time to 6:30 and the off time to 7:00.  It was neat when this worked, however, it seemed if I left home and took my phone with me, the next day it would not work.  If I toggled the on/off feature of the schedule, it would reset and it would work the next am.  The lights require a Bluetooth connection, and since there is no included hub, these are not controllable if you are more than about 30 feet away from them.  I would love to be able to set an on/off schedule for the device and then forget about it.  I am sure if I tried, there are methods to do exactly that feature.  It would be nice to be able to control the lights from anywhere, but this is not a feature of this kit.  It is a neat kit, it has some really quality appearing lighting but the app is in need of an upgrade.

Summary
I really wanted to like this system.  For me, it is not functional.  If the AC adaptor is unplugged, the App forgets the device.  Not unlike the lamp bulb, turning off the switch essentially starts the process again.  The wall plug is much too large.  I am pleased that they chose to utilize Bluetooth 4.0 technology and truly feel that the 3meter  (9.8 feet), RGB color scheme was a great choice. The lights, both the light strip and E26 bulb, are actually quite well done, but the app really needs a lot of work.  Just like the E26 bulb, I would rate this at 2.5-3/5 stars.
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