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GE Cync Smart Neon Shape Light review: Customizable neon lights

Apr 13, 2024

We really vibe with these customizable neon smart lights that let you play artist

Updated August 17, 2023

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Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

Fun and vibrant colors

Easy to create designs

Can damage walls

No brightness control for in-app lighting presets

I’ve always loved the look of neon lights, but I’ve never been able to justify spending the money on a custom design. So when I heard about the GE Cync Smart Neon Shape Light (available at Amazon for $119.99) I knew I wanted to test them out.

Many LED light strips can’t be bent—a problem I actually ran into when I tested the brand’s Cync Full Color Dynamic Effects Light Strip. But the Cync neon lights can be twisted into fun shapes. While I ended up with a lot of tiny nail holes in my wall (and some paint damage), the Smart Neon Shape Lights are some of the coolest I've tested.

These GE smart lights are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.

This new product is part of GE’s Dynamic Effects line, and the LED strip is designed to be bent into all sorts of crazy shapes, allowing you to create a one-of-a-kind neon-inspired display on your wall.

The lights offer a wide range of lighting effects and smart skills, such as automatic scheduling, music syncing, and voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant.

The Cync Smart Neon Shape Light comes with a few dozen mounting clips, nails, and screws to help attach them to your wall, and you can control them through the Cync app (or via the small control panel that’s attached to the power cord.

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The premade designs are helpful especially if you don't know where to start with your light strip creation.

When I first unboxed the light strip, I was confused by the huge paper grid folded inside the box. But once I plugged the lights in and connected them to the Cync app, it all made sense. The app offered me premade light designs, including shapes like a heart, leaf, light bulb, and even a Pokemon ball or martini glass. (If you opt for the 16-foot light strand, there are even larger designs.)

If you want to make one of these designs, the app provides a template to follow. Hang the paper grid on the wall and the template shows you exactly where to mount each clip. This is a great feature, as it lets you create a clear, well-defined design without any trial and error.

Of course, I didn’t choose to go that route while setting up the lights in my home. I wanted to create my own design, so I sketched it on the wall using a pencil and then started attaching clips along the outline. I used almost all the clips, but I was so pleased with how it came out. Even my partner was impressed I was able to freestyle it so well!

When I finished setting up my leaf design, the light strip was around 2 feet too long. At first, I thought I would have to reconfigure the design to accommodate the extra length, but after reading through the instructions, I realized the strand is actually trimmable.

There are small black marks on the back of the light strip—roughly every three inches—where it’s safe to cut. Using my kitchen scissors, I snipped off the excess portion of the light, and it made my design look absolutely perfect.

Once you cut the strip, the excess length is rendered useless. These lights can’t be spliced or extended, so be 100% sure you want to trim the strand before you reach for the scissors.

True to their name, these LED lights are as bright and vibrant as neon lights. If they’re at 100% brightness, they completely light up my dining room at night, but you can also dim them down as low as needed through the Cync app.

Like most smart light strips, these neon lights can be any color imaginable using the app’s color wheel. There are a variety of lighting effects available, as well. There are nine pre-programmed “light shows” that you can choose from, including a rainbow, holiday colors, and a party scene.

You can also create custom light shows, choose your favorite colors and effects, or set the lights to flash along to the music. It gives you a wide range of options so you can use the lights exactly the way you want, and I found the app to be easier and more intuitive to operate than others I’ve used in the past.

If you're looking for renter-friendly lights that won't leave permanent damage, these aren't a great choice.

If you’re a renter, these lights might not be the best option for you, as there’s no way to install them without making a total mess of your wall.

The clips that hold the light strand in place come with three mounting options—sticky tape, invisible nails, or screws—and the brand recommends using multiple mounting methods, if possible, for the most secure fit.

Unfortunately, all of the mounting options are going to mar your wall in one way or another. I originally tried to install the lights using just the sticky tape, as it seemed like it would do the least damage, but it wasn’t strong enough to hold sharp corners in place by itself.

When I returned a few hours after setting up the lights, several clips had ripped away from the wall, taking off chunks of paint.

I had to reinforce the clips with the invisible nails, and while they’re small, you still need to use two of them per mounting clip. I used 25 clips for my design, meaning there are now a whopping 50 holes in my wall.

While the companion app offers a lot of control, it's not possible to adjust the brightness of the preset lighting settings.

I tend to be quite sensitive to bright lights. At maximum brightness, the Cync Neon Shape Lights were uncomfortable to look at. The good news is that you can dim them to a comfortable brightness level—most of the time, anyway.

Through the Cync app, adjust the brightness when the lights are a solid hue, but I was surprised to find that there’s no way to turn them down while using premade “light shows.”

The little slider bar that usually controls brightness is disabled when a light show is playing, so you’re stuck with really bright lights when using these effects.

The GE Cync Smart Neon Shape Light is a fun DIY project if you want to create a more vibrant atmosphere around your home.

I’m happy to report that the GE Cync Smart Neon Shape Light is every bit as cool as it seems. The app has a variety of fun designs, complete with templates, that you can follow, or you can do what I did and create your own freestyle light display.

The final result truly looks like a neon light, and you can set it to a vibrant solid color, create your own lighting effects, or use one of the pre-programmed light shows.

My only major caveat with these lights is that they require you to put a lot of holes in the wall for secure installation. If you own your home and know your way around a can of spackle, this might not be a big deal, but renters may want to skip this product at the risk of losing your security deposit.

These smart lights let you create light artistry right from your smartphone. You can individually control strip segments and sync music via Bluetooth for the ultimate ambient vibes.

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Written and Tested byCamryn RabideauGE Cync Smart Neon Shape LightLengthConnectivityColor rangeBulb spacingSmart assistant support