Skip to main content

Twinkly Dots review: Nice to look at, but nothing new

The Twinkly Dots can spruce up any room.
Twinkly Dots
MSRP $115.00
“The Twinkly Dots corner the market with a unique shape and aesthetic design and offer a variety of dynamic light patterns to pick from.”
  • Long and flexible
  • Numerous light patterns to choose from
  • Unique shape
  • Pricy
  • More decorative than useful

Smart lights have been around long enough that new kinds of smart lights need to bring new functionality, not just a new shape. That’s where the Twinkly Dots fit — a new shape of light that doesn’t bring new functionality to the table. They’re soothing to look at, and while the new design makes them far less bulky than traditional LED strings, it’s just not enough to set them apart from other lights on the market.

The Twinkly Dots can spruce up any room.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Design and setup

The Twinkly Dots have a premium feel from the moment you pull them out of the box. I wove mine around my bed frame to add a bit of festive cheer to the bedroom; after all, Twinkly is best known for its smart Christmas lights. The cord itself is narrow, and each Dot is a diffuser about half the size of a pinky nail with an LED inside it. It makes it easy to place the lights where you want them, and I found the slender design of the cord made it possible to pull it tightly around each bedpost so it didn’t slip.

That said, the Twinkly Dots have an IP44 rating, so they can be used on your porch. The power connector has an interesting, screw-in design that makes it more secure than normal lights.

Setup took less than five minutes. All I had to do was follow the on-screen instructions to configure the lights over Bluetooth, although Wi-Fi is an option. You’ll need the Twinkly app from the App Store or the Google Play Store, but once downloaded, it’s as simple as naming the lights, testing them, and then stringing them in whatever design you want. Once you do this, you can aim your phone’s camera at them to see a 3D representation of the lights within the app.

The Twinkly Dots can display 16 million different colors. There are three main configurations: A 33-foot option with 200 RGB lights (which is the option I’m testing), a 66-foot option with 400 RGB lights, or a USB version that has 60 lights. It’s also the first Twinkly product that can be powered through USB.

Twinkly, Twinkly, little app

The Twinkly app seems somewhat barebones at first glance, but I appreciate the lack of menus and submenus. It makes it easier to find exactly the settings I want when navigating it. There are five tabs to pick from: Controls, Gallery, FX Wizard, Layout, and Devices.

Controls is self-explanatory; turn your lights on or off, adjust their brightness, and set timers and schedules from this tab. That’s all there is to it.

Twinkly Dots mounted on a bedframe.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Gallery tab is where you’ll spend a lot of time, at least at first. You can choose between a variety of different effects ranging from one just called Snow (which actually presents a nice representation of snowfall, in my opinion), to one called Unicorn Sun which looks like a vaporwave rave.

The FX Wizard is perhaps the most interesting tab of all. It allows you to create your own effect. You start with a base pattern or draw with your fingers, and there are some interesting patterns to choose from.

The Layout tab shows you the physical location of the lights in relation to one another. This is used to further customize your light setup, especially if you’ve arranged your Dots in a more intricate pattern. You can choose between Easy Mapping, a method that relies on your phone’s camera, and Advanced Mapping. Advanced Mapping takes multiple recordings and gives you a much more precise map in the end.

Finally, the Devices tab displays every Twinkly device connected to your account and its current status.


Traditionally, Twinkly-branded smart lights have carried a higher-than-average price tag, and the Dots are no exception. The three different configurations carry different price tags:

  • Dots 60: $50
  • Dots 200: $115
  • Dots 400: $176

How smart are these lights?

The Twinkly Dots work with the usual suspects like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and even Apple HomeKit — but they also have support for Razer Chroma and HP Omen. This means the lights can sync up with what’s on-screen if you’re watching content or playing a video game, making them even more decorative than they might otherwise be. If you plan to use them as a way to enhance a game room, I would suggest using the USB-powered version. The others are just too long to feasibly work in decorating a desk or the back of a computer monitor.

Our take

The Twinkly Dots are a nice, aesthetic addition to any room of the home, but their functionality is somewhat limited. The lights aren’t utilitarian, but purely decorative. Outside of their physical shape, the Twinkly Dots don’t bring anything new to the table.

Is there a better alternative?

If you’re looking for an alternative in this exact shape, you’re out of luck — Twinkly has the market cornered for unique shapes. The Govee Rope Light is a potential alternative for just $66, but it looks completely different than the Dots. The Twinkly Dots set themselves apart with their design, and so far no other company matches it.

How long will they last?

The Twinkly Dots are well-built. With proper care (assuming you don’t pinch the wires and take proper care of the plug), they should last for years. Twinkly rates their lights with a lifespan of over 30,000 hours, and they include a one-year limited warranty.

Should you buy them?

Yes, if you want a nice-looking set of string lights. Again, this shape is unique, but if you’re only looking for smart lights and you don’t care so much about the design, there are less expensive alternatives.

Editors' Recommendations

Patrick Hearn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a…
Wyze Cam Floodlight v2 adds tons of new features at a lower price tag
The Wyze Cam Floodlight v2 on a wall.

The existing Wyze Cam Floodlight was already an easy recommendation for shoppers on a budget, as it features 2600-lumen LEDs, an expandable microSD card slot, and a 130-degree viewing angle for less than $100. Wyze is making several changes with the newly launched Wyze Cam Floodlight v2, and it offers big improvements over its predecessor, yet carries a smaller price tag.

The Wyze Cam Floodlight v2 doesn't look much different (the central camera unit has been streamlined, though it's still flanked by two massive lights), but it features plenty of enhanced specs. The big selling point is its new 2K camera, which allows it to capture vibrant images at all times of the day, along with color night vision when the sun goes down. Wyze also improved its viewing angle from 130 degrees to 160 degrees, providing additional coverage for large properties.

Read more
Daisy is an installation and repair company designed for your smart home
The Diasy logo on a white background.

Smart homes have become increasingly complex over the past decade. From smart locks and video doorbells to security cameras and smart displays, there are a lot of moving pieces in the average smart home -- and getting them all working properly has become a hassle. Daisy, a new home technology company revealed at CES 2024, hopes to alleviate this problem, offering a professional service that installs and provides regular maintenance for your entire fleet of smart home gadgets.

The goal of Daisy is to help consumers "spend more time using and enjoying the technology in their home and less time being frustrated." Many smart home devices can be surprisingly difficult to install -- such as smart locks or smart blinds -- and if you're not comfortable installing one yourself, it can be difficult to find a reliable professional to handle the task for you. But with Daisy, it's looking like you'll have a one-stop shop for all your smart home needs.

Read more
The Twinkly Matrix is a smart LED curtain with 500 mappable lights
The Twinkly Matrix Smart LED Curtain with green lights.

Twinkly revealed a sleek new product at CES 2024 called the Matrix Smart LED Curtain. The company says it's the curtain with the "highest LED density in its class." It features up to 500 LED lights that are fully mappable and programmable.

The smart LED curtain is exactly what it sounds like -- a massive web of lights that run vertically from a top bar to a bottom bar. And when illuminated, they almost make the Matrix look like a solid curtain. Twinkly designed the smart LED curtain to be easy to install and incredibly lightweight, allowing you to place it in most rooms without any issues.

Read more