I am not really a writer but since I have both the iTwinkle and the LumenPlay lights. I though I would put my thoughts about these product out there. Hopefully they will prove useful to others.
iTwinkle – Cons:
- No way to expand or extend a string. If you have a long run that requires more then 36 bulbs you can not link the strings so they act as one.
- No real customization. The current software only allows you to select from a limited number of predefined patterns all of which are hideous. Other options include a completely random “Shake Me” pattern, again all hideous. Sync to music of an open Mic, mad unless since the strings all duplicate the same patterns. The last option is a solid color of your choice, which is the only one I have found to be useful.
- Uses an outdate bluetooth standard. On an android device I could only control one string at a time, while on iOS I was able to control more string at a time (up to 3). It was inconvenient since I had to keep going into bluetooth settings to connect and disconnect the string. Which could not be renamed so I knew which one I was selected. They all where named “00651 36L RGB”, making control difficult at best.
iTwinkle – Pros:
- Build quality is fantastic. The bulbs base allows them to set flush. The 3 strand ribbon wire connection are on the side of the build housing, not the bottom which give you great mounting options.
- They include every thing needed to mount these lights.
- The included power “Wall Wart” is connected to the string with a two pin barrel connector. Which will allow you to replace the “Wall Wart”, or if you can find a compatible barrel connector you will be able to route the power so it is more convenient. I was able to drill small hole in the eve flashing and put the “Wall Wart” in the attic since access there, getting the power brick out of the elements.
As you can see the most of the issues with the iTwinkle lights are software based, so with some luck the existing product will become far more useful. As for the the lack of extendibility, software may allow for the linking or sequencing of the string as well.
LumenPlay – Cons:
- The only real con I have found has to do with mounting. These light strings use traditional wiring, that is twisted collection of wires connected to the bottom of the bulb housing. Additionally the bulb housing is thin about 1/4″ – 3/8″, so most mounting method that are designed for c9 bulbs do not work well. I have yet to find a means of mounting these so the bulb set as securely as I was able to achieve with the iTwinkle lights.
- Pricing, The price per bulb ($4.99) is a bit high when compared with the iTwinkle product. ($1.91)
LumenPlay – Pro:
- These string can be extended so a single controller can handle to to 500 lights. LOVE THIS FEATURE, and this is the only reason I would consider them at this price per bulb.
- The software is fantastic, you can control the bulb color. In fact you can control the bulbs color pattern, up to 8 different colors can be selected. Additionally you can apply one of 10 different effects, controlling its speed and direction. And as a bonus you can control the brightness of the string as well.
As you can see I really like the LumenPlay light strings. The only complaint that I have beyond the pricing is that I can not find a mounting method that is as good as the light them selves. As for the pricing when compared with the competition… I was able to get the iTwinkle light at Lowe’s for $69.00 for a string of 36 bulbs, which gives us a price of $1.91 per bulb. While the price of the LumenPlay was 79.99 for the starter pack and 59.99 for the extension strings. Making the Controller price of about $20.00 and a per bulb price of $4.99. Which i feel is a bit high.