Cync by GE: Indoor & Outdoor Light Strips Review

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Erin Lawrence

Cync by GE smart light strip reviewSmart lighting is one of the best and easiest ways to take your home to the next level. Not only does smart light create automations and schedules, but with color-changing light options you can get festive decor or create whole-room ambiance in just one click. Over the last few years I’ve been reviewing systems like Ring as well as Philips Hue but in 2022 I learned about GE Cync smart home system. I checked out several of their lights here, and in this review I get to try some new options: I’ll try out the Indoor Cync Dynamic Effects Smart Light Strip and the Cync Dynamic Effects Outdoor Smart Light Strip. As part of this review I’ll test out both light strips in real-world scenarios in my home, talk about the app and Wi-Fi control, how bright each one is, and if overall I think it’s a good smart lighting pick for you.

Cync by GE indoor & outdoor light strips
5

Summary

I’ve been really impressed with GE Cync smart lighting. There’s a wide array of devices, it’s super easy to set up, a breeze to use, and uncomplicated to manage multiple lights. Downsides? I really have nothing bad to say about this system. I don’t really feel like anything is missing.

 

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Lights are bright
  • Cync app is easy to use
  • Integrates into Cync home ecosystem
  • No bridge/hub needed
  • Lots of colour options
  • Schedule & automate easily
  • New sunrise & sunset timers

 

Cons

  • Could use more Dynamic Lighting presets

We’ve reviewed a lot of smart lights here; check out the Philips Hue line, LIFX, Abode smart lights, or a favourite of the blog, Govee string and flood lights.

Cync light strips review

Setting up GE Cync using Cync app: No bridge or hub needed

One of the great selling features of these lights is that they do not require an extra hub or bridge to function. While many smart home and lighting systems currently use hubs or bridges to connect these devices to your home’s Wi-Fi network, GE Cync devices are known as ‘direct-connect’, meaning no extra (and expensive) components to buy.

Cync is a very easy smart home system to get set up and the lights are easy to install. The first thing you will need is the GE Cync app. As the control panel for your smart home, the app will let you to remotely control devices, set lights on schedules and group deivces as you may need them so you can control lights individually or manage all the lights in your Living Room at once for example.

Cync by GE smart light strip reviewTo get started you need to create an account. The app is uncluttered and super simple to navigate. Start by creating your home, then you’ll add rooms and finally you’ll set up each of your lights in a room (and for outdoor lights you can create ‘rooms’ called Backyard, Front Yard, etc

Adding lights is as simple as clicking the + then choosing the type of device you’d like to set up.

I placed the Outdoor Light strip on my deck in my yard, and the indoor light strip went underneath my sofa, and I later transferred it to under the bed.

What’s the difference between Indoor Cync Light Strip and Outdoor Smart Light Strip?

Cync by GE smart light strip review

Indoor light strip; thinner, more flexible.

While they have the same name, the indoor and outdoor light strips are actually quite different. The outdoor strip is fatter and made with silicone tubing that protects it from weather, while the Indoor strip has a sticky tape backside so you can attach it permanently to furniture, walls or doorways. The outdoor strip comes with clips you can use to affix it.

Cync by GE smart light strip review

Outdoor light strip; fatter, weatherproof.

Connect with Siri, Google or Alexa for instant voice control

I love controlling my smart lights with my voice. It’s so easy to be heading for the back door and to simply ask Google or Alexa to flip the lights on so my way is illuminated before I get there. Connecting to your preferred digital assistant is incredibly easy and just requires a few taps inside the Cync app. I was actually able to link both Google and Alexa simultaneously (I use Google Hub in the bedroom and Amazon Echo Show 15 in the kitchen. Tech blogger life…)

I found that whichever digital assistant I used the commands were executed instantly, and I could also group them into larger smart home routines if I manage them through either Google or Alexa.

Cync Dynamic Effects OUTDOOR Smart Light Strip

Cync by GE smart light strip reviewThe outdoor light strip comes in a 16-foot length and is specifically wet rated so it can handle almost any weather conditions, and GE says it will operate in temperatures as low as -20C, making it a workable choice for Canadians. Using the clips you could run this on the underside of a railing or deck, or even under your eaves. I will often move my smart lights around depending on the weather and snow cover, so I almost never opt to permanently install them. They’ve never blown away or been stolen and they keep right on shining.

Inside the silicone tubing are a bunch of LED lights. The light strip changes colors, and has different temperatures of white light too; perfect for setting a mood. You can also use some of Cync’s newer Dynamic Light Shows to get your lights to spin, twinkle or even pulse to music.

The lights can be turned on or off with the app, or easily dimmed too. And changing colours is just a quick click inside the app.

It’s also possible to set a timer and you do this using Routines or Schedules in the Cync app. I set my Routine to turn the outdoor light strip on at Sunset and turn it off at sunrise the next day. The Routines feature is easy to figure out and works well. The sunrise/sunset feature actually appears to be a new addition to the Cync app since I last reviewed these lights so I’m glad to see it here.

How bright is Cync Outdoor?

Let’s check out the brightness. With an outdoor light you want it to be bright enough to light your way, or to illuminate dark areas for security. The Cync Outdoor lights were more than bright enough and easily lit up a small deck area outside. They were so bright I had to dial them down after a few days since the light wa bleeding into the bedroom.

Outdoor Smart Plug

I also reviewed the outdoor Smart Plug, and this is a great device for automating older patio lights, or something like a water fountain. While the case for this plug is large, it feels well made, and there’s two plugs under the hood that can be turned on and off with a press of the button, or using the app and a timer function. You can mount the plug to the wall too.

Cync by GE smart light strip reviewI used the plug to get smart control over some older patio string lights and found it worked perfectly for this purpose.

Cync Dynamic Effects INDOOR Smart Light Strip

The Indoor smart Light Strip was similarly effective. I ran it underneath the sofa for a few weeks to create indirect ambient lighting for the room. I love using smart colour changing lighting in this way, since it can create a really nice glow in the room without being too obvious. Another way I like to use lights like this is in the bedroom. Running a light strip underneath the bed provides the same indirect light which is perfect when you’re trying to wind down for the day.

Cync by GE smart light strip reviewLight strips like this would also be good behind a wall unit or entertainment center, or to line a door or window or mirror for cool effects.

My biggest complaint about the Indoor lights is that the LED bulbs are quite visible and tend to show as dozens of pinpoints of light if you’re looking right at them, which some people might not enjoy. I did find however that when using my light strips in more of an ambient way, the individual LED bulbs were far less noticeable.

How bright is Cync light strip indoor?

On an indoor light, adjustability is key, since you might want to dial down the brightness to enjoy ambient light for movie night, for example. The indoor light strip has a really good range, and can easily light up a dark area, or fade into the background.

Set timers or schedules

Cync by GE smart light strip reviewCync has recently added the ability to use enhanced lighting settings as well as sunrise and sunset timers to automate your lights. The interface to get this set up is easy, and the scheduling feature works quite well. I automated my outdoor lights to come on just before sunset, and go off at dawn, and they worked great.

When it came to the indoor light strip, I had it come on at sunset, creating a nice evening candlelight glow, then it would automatically go off an hour after bedtime. Similarly this schedule worked well and meant I didn’t need to worry about turning them on or off manually.

Overall review: GE Cync light strips

Overall I have to say I’ve been really impressed with GE Cync smart lighting. There’s a wide array of devices, it’s super easy to set up, a breeze to use, and uncomplicated to manage multiple lights. Downsides? I really have nothing bad to say about this system. I don’t really feel like anything is missing.

I’m really pleased with this system and I can absolutely recommend both the indoor and outdoor light strips to you.

 
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