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Consisting of nine hexagons each nesting 19 LED beads, the Cololight Hexagon PRO Player Kit can be placed on an included stand or mounted on the wall. It reacts to audio, while the app can be used to program the LED panels, creating potentially amazing results. It looks amazing, and the mobile app is really easy to use, but the Cololight Hexagon PRO Player Kit is not perfect. The app and LEDs are prone to hang with custom designs, the mounting plates are flimsy, and the lack of promised smart assistant integration is a blow.Key FeaturesSpecificationsProsConsBuy This Product Cololight PRO HexagonsShop at AmazonShop at Cololight
The choice of app-controlled LEDs that you can mount around your home is considerable. You can barely buy a TV in person or online without programmable LEDs appearing as an extra option.
However, LED strips don’t suit everyone, which is why Cololight has issued a series of shaped products. The Cololight Hexagons in particular offer various interesting decorative options that go beyond atmospheric light strips, instead allowing your LEDs to be customized and even become talking points in your home.
Are these configurable LEDs with smart assistant integration and customizable display patterns the atmospheric illuminated ornament you’re looking for? Let’s find out.
A Box of Bee-Lights
We reviewed the Cololight Hexagon Pro Player Kit, which features nine hexagons, a Pro controller unit with a surprisingly short one-meter cable, a heavy mounting base, nine power connectors, and small plastic fixings (for stability). It also includes a wall mounting kit, which includes 4mm screws and matching anchors. Other kits are available, including individual hexagons to expand the possibilities.
The controller unit is a multi-function power cable and connector power, designed to transmit power and signal data through any connected hexagon LEDs. It features Wi-Fi, a touch-button controller, and a locking nut to ensure stability and a reliable connection. Without this, there is no light and the LEDs cannot be programmed.MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
Winner of the 2019 CES Innovation Awards, Cololight has been producing customizable LEDs for a few years now. The hexagons are just part of a collection that includes strips and triangles.
There is, however, something particularly striking about the hexagon shape that lends itself to customizable LEDs. This isn’t simply a case of connecting the LEDs and selecting a color. Rather, these LEDs can be connected in any configuration you can conceive.
Each LED features seven ports on the rear, for power, data, and stable connectivity. While the nine hexagons might seem enough, you’ll probably wish for some more, sooner or later. As such, Cololight offers various additional kits and extension packs.
Cololight Hexagon Features
Cololight Hexagons boast 16 million colors with three selection modes. These are controlled via the app or smart assistant integration (see below).
Each hexagon is 86 x 74.5 x 30.5mm and weighs just 1.9oz (53g). LEDs and circuitry are housed in an ivory ABS case, with ABS+PC covering the LEDs, which helps to hide the individual beads. Each module contains 19 LEDs with individual color control, more than many similar competitor products. Direct control of LEDs can be enjoyed via the mobile app.
With 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi enabled (5GHz is not supported), and running from a 5V DC connection, maximal (peak) power consumption is 5W.
Cololight Hexagons can be controlled using either the touch button on the back, sound, or the Cololight app for Android and iPhone. There is also apparently support for the Steam Deck handheld gaming PC in some form, although we can't verify that.
While smart home integration support for Alexa and Google Assistant is promised on the packaging, there seems to be some issue with this (more on that later).
Stand, or Wall Mounted
Thanks to the flexibility of the hexagons, you can arrange this kit more or less as you want. Given the colors on offer and the versatile configurations, it should suit any interior.
To enhance the possibilities, the Cololight Hexagons ship with two mounting options, a stand or mounting base, and mounting brackets.
The stand is straightforward enough. You simply thread the USB cable through the hole, confirm the controller is mounted securely in the slot, then connect a hexagon. From this point, you can then connect other hexagons to create the arrangement that suits. The stand is nice and heavy, suited to the nine hexes we were given, but prone to toppling if the weight of the hexagons isn't evenly distributed.
Things are a little more complicated with the mounting brackets. Before proceeding to attach the Cololights Hexagons to a wall, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to connect them together.
Fixing the Cololight Hexagons Together
These plastic hexagons can be hooked together using connectors. Essentially bridges that send the power and data signal to the next Cololight Hexagon in the chain, they are accompanied by fixators. These are slightly smaller, intended for making a Cololight shape sturdier.
Unfortunately, the connectors and fixators are a little unwieldy for a fat-fingered klutz like me. I found myself spending way more time than I felt was reasonable trying to assemble the hexagons in an arrangement I found pleasing.
While the nine Cololight Hexagons limit you to a handful of straightforward designs, additional Cololights allow for more elaborate creations. Consequently, the fixators are as important as the connectors for anything but the simplest construction.
Note that while you shouldn’t need fixators when using the mounting plates, there is enough space to use them if required.
With the hexagons connected, you can use the button on the controller to cycle through the basic options---on, off, and audio-reactive.
Mounting the Cololight Hexagons
Rather than use the included stand, you can also mount the hexagons. A linkable collection of mounts are included, one-per-hex, which each feature a small clasp that grabs any hexagon that is pushed onto it.
While a suitable solution for mounting the Cololight Hexagons on a wall, these plastic plates are not without their problems.
Firstly, they’re a bit flimsy. The clasps seem to break easily—our kit lost two—which means they’re essentially unusable. Secondly, you can’t mount the hexagon that is attached to the controller. There simply isn’t space for the clasp or the surrounding ring; taking the clasp off once the plates were mounted didn’t work. Instead, the only solution was to actually remove the plate (securely linked to the others) after mounting, to provide space for the controller-connected hexagon.
All in all, not a great experience. Note also that with the wall-mounted option, the Cololight Hexagons cannot be manually operated as you can access the button. As such, the mobile app needs to be configured and connected over Wi-Fi to the Cololight devices before mounting.
Using the Cololight Mobile App
A key element of the Cololight Hexagon experience is the mobile app. This is used to connect the controller to your Wi-Fi network, although this is only compatible with 2.4GHz wireless networks.
Syncing the app to the Cololight Hexagons is pleasingly straightforward, and the feature-packed app—for Android and iPhone—presents all the options you could need to make the most out of the kit.3 Images ExpandExpandExpand
You’ve got an on/off button, as well as the ability to simply swipe up and down to change the pattern of the LEDs. You can also swipe to the right for solid colors, open up a palette to select from the 16 million available colors, and even adjust brightness.
A further swipe to the right reveals various configurations that can be constructed, each with its own pattern. Sadly, most of these are for more than nine hexagons.
An additional option is to create your own pattern. While the app provides a smart user interface for doing this it crashed on both my attempts.
Finally, the app enables you to configure how the hexes react to music.
Controlling the LEDs with Sound
One of the first things to try with the Cololight Hexagons is to see how the lights react to sound. The button mounted on the controller unit can be used here to toggle between modes.
Alternatively, you can use the mobile app to enable the sound reactive mode. This lets you detect audio using the phone’s mic, or the Cololight’s own device mic. If the phone is closer to the audio source, this can be a better option, but overall you will probably want to ensure your music is pumping near to the Cololight Hexagons.
Any sort of sound can initiate the Cololights, from claps and beats to any music you playback. You can even get results with a ukulele!
Cololight Hexagons Look Great, But Is Nine Enough?
Cycling through the various designs and custom options, the Cololight Hexagons look striking enough to draw attention in any room. Unlike the common LED strips, they don’t just bring ambiance to a room, they provide a talking point.
To start off, nine hexes might be just about right, certainly if all you plan to do is display modest LED shows. But beyond nine, the controller unit starts to get a bit unsteady, and you get the feeling the whole ornament can tip over, the heavy base unit included.
In short, if you’re planning on more than nine hexagons, use the wall mounts.
Where Can You Use the Cololight Hexagons?
Fancy an interesting illuminated ornament? The Cololight Hexagons are ideal. Need something responsive to music? Again, these LEDs are perfect.
Whether you need a fantastic-looking ornament that can respond to audio, mood, or just look a bit futuristic, or you need a piece of electronic art that changes with your outlook, the Cololight Hexagons suit almost any room and surface.
Thanks to Wi-Fi integration, wherever you are in the world, you can access the Cololight Hexagons. However, despite listings stating integration with Alexa and Google Assistant, this proved impossible to set up. In the case of Alexa, the required integration leads to a defunct website, with plenty of comments from other Alexa users bemoaning the lack of promised functionality. Google Assistant integration also proved non-existent.
Great Looking, Atmospheric LEDs for Any Room
Some LED systems look a bit cheap; the Cololight Hexagons look anything but. This is one of the best LED systems I’ve seen, a striking kit that goes beyond strips on the back of a TV or monitor and re-packages customizable LED lamps as talking points and ornaments.
Just look at the heavy base that ships with this kit!
On the downside, new hexagons are a bit pricey, the lack of 5GHz wireless support seems like a key omission, and creating patterns in the mobile app is a bit hit-and-miss. The power cable is also ridiculously short, especially for wall- or ceiling-mounted—one meter is simply not long enough. As for the lack of promised smart integrations...
But if you’re looking for a reactive LED solution for your home, office, or studio Cololight Hexagons are fun, customizable, and look amazing.
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Deputy Editor for Security, Linux, DIY, Programming, and Tech Explained, and Really Useful Podcast producer, with extensive experience in desktop and software support.A contributor to Linux Format magazine, Christian is a Raspberry Pi tinkerer, Lego lover and retro gaming fan.MoreFrom Christian Cawley
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