Last Updated on September 4, 2021 by Michael Brockbank
Mood lighting can make all the difference during a live stream or video. In fact, I use it for accentuating the background for WriterSanctuary as well as ColroadoPlays. But, is the Tzumi LED strip a good, cheap alternative to expensive brands?
Today, I’m taking a look at the Tzumi led strip and whether it’s an affordable solution to add more umph to your background.
What is the Tzumi LED Mood Light Strip?
A lot of YouTubers and Twitch streamers add LED lighting to the background of their videos. And, it can do wonders for making an otherwise dull video stand out more from a visual perspective.
The Tzumi USB LED Mood Light is a roll that has 65 inches of self-adhering strip that can be placed in the corners of nearly any object. The idea is to give the object a colorful glow when the lights are dim.
In my case, I strung one down each bookcase while using the Tzumi TV LED strip around the backside of the television directly behind me.
NOTE: The Tzumi LED Mood Light is mislabeled on the back of the package. Under “Includes,” mine read there were 65 feet of LEDs when in reality it’s inches.
The Tzumi LED package comes with a remote control that lets you change across 16 colors while also having effects such as:
How Well Does the Tzumi LED Strip Work?
In this instance, I am using three individual light strips. They are placed evenly behind me and have individual power sources.
A Cheap Mood Lighting Alternative
The reason I bought the Tzumi LED light strips was because the price was right at Walmart. For $10, I received 65 inches of lighting to accentuate the background (or 5.4 feet).
At the time, this was a more affordable option. A similar product at the local computer store had the Kingwin RGB flexible strips for $39.99 for 17 feet.
So, this was comparing $1.85 per foot for the Tzumi LED strip versus $2.35 per foot for the Kingwin.
And since I only needed three short runs of LEDs, the Tzumi product was the better deal.
Easy to Apply
Each roll of the Tzumi LED strips come with self-adhesive backing. This makes it pretty easy to mount on just about any surface.
It’s a bit weaker than some of the other adhesives I’ve come across, but it’s been nearly a year and the strips are still steadily in place.
One Had Application Issues*
Out of the three Tzumi strips I bought, one of them had a severe lacking of sticky backing. Now, the reason why I mention this with an asterisk is because the box was taped shut.
It was like someone returned it to Walmart and they just slapped it back up on the shelf without checking the strip. Unfortunately, I cannot verify this and should have just taken it back.
But it might be something to consider if you buy this product from Walmart.
Since I’m probably going to throw away the television behind me away at some point, I decided to Gorilla Glue the strip to the back.
It’ll never come off again.
One Remote to Rule them All
Since this is a cheap LED lighting alternative, most products like this will share the same remote frequency. All three strips can be operated from a single remote.
In fact, my remote can also turn on my daughter’s light strip and LED lamp, which are completely different brands.
So, aside from having an overabundance of remotes, at least I don’t have to worry about losing one and being screwed.
Remote Works Well Enough
All three of the strips are behind some pretty solid objects: two full bookshelves and a TV. By aiming the remote directly at each individual light strip, I’m able to turn them on from across the office.
Though, that’s only four feet away. I don’t have a lot of space.
The hardest part is getting each individual light to change colors. It’s easier to get up and walk over to each one to make adjustments. Or, use the app to differentiate each strip, which I’ll mention in a moment.
Decent Amount of Light
One thing I will say about the LED strip is that it provides a decent amount of backlight for the price. And since I can control the brightness, it’s easy to balance with my camera light.
In complete darkness, the Tzumi LED strip does a great job of highlighting the background.
Fragile USB Power Connector
Like all things cheap, there is a bit of fragility to the USB power connector. It doesn’t take much to malfunction. In fact, I had to jockey it a bit when plugging the strip into a brand new USB power socket.
And, the one strip I mentioned earlier without the sticky backing, well, it has a short which causes the blue LEDs to shut down. This means most of the colors I may want to use are gone.
I had to position the USB connector in a way that keeps the blue activated. But like I said, this may be a non-issue considering I apparently bought a used product.
Once you mount it, make sure the USB connections are safe and secure.
Tzumi LED App Issues
If you don’t allow the app to access your audio, files, and location, it’s useless. I don’t really care for apps that require access to my photos if I’m just turning on an LED strip. Or, being able to record audio from the microphone.
It feels a bit fishy, to me.
If you have more than one and want to have separate colors, it’s a convoluted process. You’ll have to disconnect the ones you don’t want to change, and then reconnect them when you’re done.
It would be handy if the app gave you the ability to change individual light strips, especially since it appears that most Tzumi products are recognizable in the app.
The Tzumi app looks identical to the Mirror Light app, almost to the extent that both could have been made by the same developer. It’s a cookie-cutter app that works, I guess.
All in all, the Bluetooth app works well for what you pay. And, it works better than trying to use the remote to turn on the strip if it’s behind an object, say like a TV or bookshelf.
Where Can You Get the Tzumi LED Strip?
In the grand scheme of things, this product isn’t all that bad. Once you get the strips to your liking, they do their job like a champ. As I said earlier, mine have been up for about a year.
You can get the Tzumi LED lights from several computer stores or Walmart.
Though, if you’re looking for more than roughly 5.4 feet, you may want to consider alternatives. It’s only $10 for the Tzumi LED strip, but it’s a bit on the short side.
Still, the three I bought fit my needs as I wanted individual strips to provide different colors.
Would I Recommend the Product?
If you’re looking for cheap LED lights to run across your desk or behind your monitor, then the Tzumi LED strip is probably a good deal. It’s a short run, and the lights work great.
And as long as you don’t buy an opened box, the adhesive on the back is decent.
This product might make a good present for kiddos who want to add flair to their desks, or just to highlight your television. Just keep in mind that it is a relatively short run of lights.
The 5.4 feet was just barely enough to circle around the back of a 40-inch widescreen Sharp television. So, you don’t get a lot of play if you’re running it across something larger.
Still, you can always add a clip to connect more than one strand together.
It’s All in the Presentation
Background lighting can easily spruce up a video or live stream. However, it doesn’t work the same way across the board for everyone.
In some instances, I’ve found turning off the Tzumi LED strips had a better impact on various live streams. It all comes down to the audience and what they want to experience.
Because in the end, the majority of the people watching your content are watching it for you.
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