January 15, 2020
The Internet of Things is about to offer middle America a new creative outlet. Italian startup LEDWORKS produces strings of individually addressable LED Christmas tree lights. Twinkly’s phone app maps the location of each individual light: one camera scan to map lights arrayed on a flat surface and two or three camera scans to map the lights arrayed around a 3D object like a Christmas tree or a wall outside. The app can then wirelessly load a program into the lights’ plug to display preset patterns and images or, if you are clever, patterns of your design. The current app can control up to 10,000 lights. By the end of 2020, Twinkly should be able to control 20,000 lights.
There are numerous applications. For example, users can program image colors cascading down all sides of a Christmas tree inside the house, or showcase sports logos slowly spiraling around a tree trunk in the yard (all Twinkly lights are IP44 certified and weatherproof, although the controller and plug need to remain dry). Businesses could create interesting ways to promote their brands, products and services during special events.
Senior VP of sales Randy Bernstein said that you can purchase a strand of 100 lights for $79 or a strand of 600 lights for $279 (the Twinkly site includes a list of e-commerce options). For professional building exterior and landscape installations, a professional line with additional capabilities and professional services called Twinkly Pro is also available. The lights will soon be more widely available online and in home improvement stores around the U.S.
According to the description of Twinkly in CTA’s list of CES Innovation Awards honorees, the system “combines 250 bright, colorful RGB + Warm White LEDs, a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth controller and a state-of-the-art smartphone application, ready to perform amazing animations easily and quickly.”
“Twinkly Special Edition features music-sync and smart home integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Twinkly devices can be synchronized together (up to 4,000 LEDs or 10 devices — in good Wi-Fi coverage) for impressive scenery installations.”