Sunday, June 23, 2024

Twinkly Squares Review

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If you’re wanting to upgrade your gaming space with some unique lighting, then Twinkly Squares could be exactly what you’ve been searching for. These unique lights are made up of individual squares or pixels, and allow you to customize your space with a retro gaming vibe. Thankfully, our friends over at Twinkly sent us a set for review.

Setup

The Twinkly Squares starter kit has a total of six light panels, including one master tile and five extension tiles. The master tile contains the power plug and you’ll need to connect the extension tiles to it using the included cables and brackets. It’s also worth noting that each master tile can support up to 15 extension tiles allowing you to expand upon the starter kit with additional panels.

Along with the cables, there are a series of clips that are used to lock the tiles together. This was a straightforward process that didn’t require connecting the tiles in any specific order, unlike some other lighting products I’ve used in the past.

Not only was connecting the panels easy, but it was also completely reversible. At any time, the clips and cables can be removed and used to rearrange the panels in any way that you choose. I went with a simple rectangle layout, but Twinkly Squares can be arranged in a straight line, off-center, or any other arrangement as long as the cables and clips can make contact.

Once everything is locked into place, the Twinkly app will use the camera on your smartphone to scan a pattern of lights on the panels to learn the position. Compared to setting up other light panels I’ve used in the past, Twinkly Squares has been one of the easiest. It didn’t require any tedious activities such as sorting the panels by number or following along in the app step by step to connect everything in a specific order.

It’s not often a lighting product offers such flexibility in how it can be connected while also allowing you to change your mind and rearrange the panels so effortlessly. That’s a big benefit of choosing the Twinkly Squares and I really appreciate it.

Installation

While connecting the Twinkly Squares panels was painless, hanging it on your wall has some pros and cons. Most light panels on the market use adhesive patches to stick to the wall, but there are none included with the Twinkly Squares starter kit.

Instead, the Twinkly Squares tiles feature cutouts on the back to be hung on nails, along with a guide in the box to help with the installation. That means making holes in your walls and seems a lot more damaging than just sticking it with some removable adhesive.

However, in my experience, that adhesive does not come off cleanly and ends up stripping the paint from your walls. It’s also not reusable and you’ll have to buy more of the patches if you want to move the lights to another location. At least with nails, you can easily fill holes in the wall and move the panels without purchasing more adhesive.

Personally, I loved that Twinkly Squares was thick enough to stand on its own and I could sit it on a table. It gives me the freedom to move them anytime I want and leaves my walls looking pristine.

Features

Twinkly Squares has a unique pixelated layout with each panel split into 64 LED lights capable of displaying over 16 million different colors. The Twinkly app puts you in charge of all of the tiles with a series of presets and customization options.

The selection of presets are split into a series of categories and not every preset will work perfectly depending on your chosen layout or the number of tiles you’re using. Mostly, these are the effects in the “Art” category or ones that include movement.

The app usually offers a chance to customize an effect before applying it, however, those options often differ depending on the preset. If you want to toy around with customization, then the effects in the “Ambience” category are your best option.

What truly makes Twinkly Squares stand out from its competitors is the ability to display images or gifs in a pixelated view. That’s the feature I was most excited to try out and I began to search and download gifs immediately after setting up the Twinkly Squares starter kit.

Unfortunately, not every gif or image will work, even if it’s already pixelated. I found myself going through several images and moving gifs before I found ones that fit the layout properly and also had enough detail once displayed on the Twinkly Squares. Most ended up being too blocky to identify, but I was able to find a couple that worked perfectly, and when you find one that fits just right then it looks stunning.

Just be aware that not every image or moving gif will work properly and you’ll need to do some hunting to find the ones that will.

Twinkly Squares also integrates with Google Home, making it convenient to power them on or off with voice commands or change the overall color.

Final thoughts

There is a myriad of smart lighting products on the market, but Twinkly Squares is one of the most unique I’ve ever seen. I find the app leaves a little to be desired though. It could use a better layout and more presets to choose from. Regardless, you’ll still be satisfied with all of the customization options available and Twinkly Squares distinctive pixelated theme. That’s if you don’t mind paying $250 for them because Twinkly Squares does not come cheap.

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