With Christmas just around the corner, most of us are setting up our homes ready for the festive season. If you are looking to add some geekery to your festive decorations this year, MEA Mobile’s latest product, the iGlo iPhone controlled LED set could be just what you are after.
The set consists of 120 LED’s on a water-resistant 5 meter strip that plugs into a WiFi controller unit. There is a companion app that is available free from the app store that allows for easy control directly from your iPhone.
Setup is a relatively easy process, all you need to do is plug-in controller to the lights, and then hook it up to the power. Placement of your lights is totally up to you but bear in mind that the strip isn’t the most attractive thing when it’s turned off, so I wouldn’t go wrapping it around your Christmas tree. We found it worked best when tucked away along a shelf edge, hiding the strip but letting the lights shine through.
The process to get the controller up and running is a little clunky – you have to go into settings and switch wireless network so you are on the same loop as the LED Lights, then open the app and off you go. As I said, it’s a bit clunky but not unusable.
Now the fun can start!
The lights themselves are some of the best quality we have seen – with bright whites and vibrant colours that run across the whole spectrum. The app allows you to select any number of over a hundred preset programs that can satisfy your every LED related need! If you do need something a little more bespoke, the app offers you a veritable plethora of control options. You can either start from scratch and create your very own light sequence, manipulate some of the readily available patterns and even control the lights in realtime using an accelerometer controlled system.
As I have previously mentioned, the light strip is very well made, with a high quality PVC coating to protect from the odd spilt drink over the holiday season! It’s only water-resistant, but it does give you some peace of mind.
The wireless control unit is a compact, functional object. It works well and only rarely dropped the connection between the iPhone and the LED strip.
Once you get the initial setup done and out the way, the whole system works really well. You can even extend your system to give you nearly 50 feet of lights!
Truthfully, the iPhone control app is the only thing that lets this system down. It works, and 99% of the time it works well. Sadly the 1% of the time it doesn’t can be a real drag. I have had numerous crashes, freezes and even the occasional non-connect. This issue only seems to affect the iPhone 4 though, I tested the app on my wife’s iPod touch as well as my iPad and these issues never came up.
Speaking with MEA’s MD, Bruce Seymour, he assures me that an update is in the works that will fix all these issues. You can expect to see this update at some point in the new year.
The iGlo iPhone controlled LED set is one of the most fun and innovative uses of the iPhone as a controller I have come across. Yes it has a few bugs that need working out, but it is tremendous fun! The price of $299 is going to deter some, but if you are looking for a near professional system for your Christmas lights and beyond, the iGlo iPhone controlled LED set is a strong offering.
If you want to see a few demo’s of how the lighting set can be used check out this link
The iGlo iPhone controlled LED set is available direct from MEA Mobile for $299 with flat rate worldwide shipping