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When I first tried out a LIFX Z LED strip, I was amazed at how it was able to produce a range of white colours along with great-quality colours. Compared to cheap LED strips, which were fairly dim and couldn’t produce realistic yellows or whites, it was a revelation.

Now, I know that it’s because it’s not your average LED strip. It has two sets of LEDs on the strip, one for colours and a separate set for white.

You can buy these yourself, or at least a very close approximation: it’s what’s known as RGBWW. This stands for red, green, blue, warm white. That’s the ‘warm’ type of white light as opposed to the cold-looking regular white LEDs which aren’t usually too welcome in homes.

RGBWW strips can be used together to create a wide variety of colours and, of course, with the Philips Hue or LIFX strips, you can control them from your phone and with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Problem is, those big-name devices are far from cheap. The 2m LIFX Z Starter Kit costs £79.99 / $89.99 and Philips’ Hue Strip, for the same 2m length, costs £69.99 / $89.99.

If you want several of them in your home, it really starts to become costly.

The good news is that there’s an alternative that costs a lot less, and as long as you can operate a screwdriver, you can put it together yourself.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Shelly RGBW2 (Amazon, £17.35)
  • 5m RGBWW strip (Aliexpress, $10, approx. £7)
  • Power supply (Aliexpress, $9, approx. £6.50)

Read the full article here.