Are you looking for the best smart LED recessed lights? As a miniature painter, artist, and photographer, I’m always chasing good light. And, that’s why I’m so impressed with the Rollin Light Smart Ambience recessed lighting system. This clever collection of 6-inch smart LED recessed lights is a fun and functional solution for anyone looking to add ambience (and light) to any room in their home, including those hobby and art studios.
In this article, I share my experience testing one of the best smart led recessed lights on the market today. If you’re for a fun, dynamic room-filling lighting solution, then this is definitely worth looking into.
Disclaimer: Rollin Light provided me with a free demo pack of their Smart LED Recessed Lights for this review. As with any review, I will always provide an honest opinion of my experience, and do my best to compare demo products with other available solutions
The Rollin Light Smart Recessed Lighting system uses a fairly quick and easy can-less installation approach. I was pleasantly surprised! Read on below for the full review!
Summary: Is the Rolling Light Smart Recessed Lighting Worth it?
The Rollin Light Smart Recessed Lighting presents a number of benefits that make it a good choice for artists and miniature painters alike. While I recommend dedicated desk or floor lamp systems for dedicated desk/tabletop work, if you need for room-filling illumination, recessed lighting is a great option.
With its space-saving design, even light distribution, intelligent control features, energy efficiency, and stylish appearance, the Rollin Light Smart Recessed LED lights will prove to be a fun and functional addition to any workspace. Plus, at under $15 per unit (in a pack of 6 lights), they’re quite affordable.
Although there are a few limitations, such as wiring installation and limited adjustability, the advantages typically outshine the downsides for those in search of a modern, efficient, and customizable recessed lighting option.
Nonetheless, if you need more directional control or have concerns regarding installation and compatibility, a traditional hobby desk lamp might still serve as a better alternative.
Key Features of the Rolling Smart Recessed Lighting (6 Inch Size) by Rollin Light
- Voice Control: Compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri allows for hands-free operation, making it convenient to adjust lighting while working on your art projects.
- APP Control: The app offers a range of functions like dimming, color adjustment, remote control, and scheduling, all designed to help you create the perfect ambiance in your workspace.
- RGBCW & Adjustable Brightness: With 16 million colors to choose from and a color temperature range of 2700K to 6500K, with a maximum 1100 lumen per light fixture, you can easily create the ideal lighting to suit your space lighting needs. The 1%-100% dimmability ensures that the light is gentle on your eyes.
- Sync with Music: If you enjoy listening to music while working, this feature allows the lights to sync with your tunes, creating a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere in your studio.
- Energy Efficiency & Long Lifespan: These lights are equivalent to 120W incandescent lamps but use only 12 Watts, saving up to 88% in energy costs. They also have a long lifespan of 50,000+ hours and come with a 5-year warranty.
- No Flickering & Buzzing: The lights are designed to provide a stable and consistent output, eliminating any annoying flickering or buzzing sounds that could disturb your concentration.
- Safety & Reliability: These lights are built with high-quality materials and components, ensuring both safety and reliability. Additionally, they are IC rated, meaning they can be safely used in insulated ceiling spaces.
Why Recessed Lighting for Painting Miniatures, Hobbies, and Art?
Recessed smart LED lighting offers several advantages over typical hobby desk lamps, making them an attractive option for various applications:
- Space-saving design: Recessed lighting is installed directly into the ceiling, eliminating the need for a desk lamp that takes up valuable workspace. This can be particularly useful in small work areas or for those who require a clutter-free environment.
- Even light distribution: Recessed LED lights can provide more uniform illumination across the workspace compared to desk lamps, which often produce localized and uneven lighting. This results in fewer shadows and better visibility for intricate tasks, such as painting miniatures or working on detailed projects.
- Smart control features: The integration of smart features, like voice and app control, allows users to easily adjust the lighting according to their preferences and needs. This includes dimming, changing color temperature, and even syncing with music or creating pre-set routines, all of which may not be available in a typical hobby desk lamp.
- Energy efficiency and longevity: LED lighting is generally more energy-efficient than traditional lighting options, consuming less power while providing similar or superior levels of brightness. Additionally, LED lights have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements and lowering maintenance costs.
- Aesthetics and minimalism: Recessed LED lighting provides a sleek, modern look that blends seamlessly with various interior designs. The minimalistic appearance of these lights helps maintain a clean and organized workspace, which can be particularly appealing to artists and hobbyists who value aesthetics in their work environment.
Limitations of Recessed Lighting in an Art Studio or Hobby Room
Recessed smart LED lighting, while offering numerous advantages, may also have some limitations that could affect its suitability for certain users or situations:
- Installation: Recessed lighting generally requires professional installation, which can be more time-consuming and costly compared to simply plugging in a desk lamp. Additionally, this type of lighting may not be suitable for all ceiling types or structures, potentially limiting its use in certain spaces.
- Fixed position: Unlike desk lamps that can be easily moved or repositioned, recessed lighting is permanently installed in the ceiling. This can make it difficult to adjust the direction or angle of the light if needed for specific tasks or projects.
- Limited adjustability: While some recessed smart LED lights offer features such as dimming and color temperature adjustments, they may not provide the same level of directional control as a hobby desk lamp with an adjustable arm, which can be more easily focused on specific areas of a project.
- Retrofitting challenges: For those who wish to upgrade their existing lighting to recessed smart LED lights, retrofitting can be a complex and costly process. It may involve structural modifications and electrical work, which could be prohibitive for some users.
- Compatibility issues: Recessed smart LED lighting relies on Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility with specific smart home ecosystems, such as Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. Users who have limited internet access or are not part of these ecosystems may face challenges in fully utilizing the smart features of these lights.
In general, recessed lighting, especially smart LED lights can add a sense of room ambience that can’t be matched any other way. They provide an efficient and cost-effective lighting solution for hobbyists, painters, and artists who need reliable and adjustable light without taking up valuable workspace. And, the atmosphere they can create (dynamically!) is beyond compare.
5 Reasons Why a Miniature Painter or Artist Would Want to USE RECESSED Smart LED Lights
- Precision Color Control: The ability to adjust the lighting color temperature from 2700K warm white to 6500K cool white allows artists and miniature painters to create an optimal lighting environment for color accuracy and visibility, ensuring that their work appears true-to-life and vibrant.
- Dimmability: With a 1%-100% dimming range, artists and miniature painters can easily find the perfect level of brightness to suit their workspace and project requirements, reducing eye strain and enhancing the overall painting experience.
- Flicker-free and No Buzzing: Rollin Light’s Smart Recessed Lighting provides a stable light source without flickering or buzzing, which is essential for artists and miniature painters who need a consistent, comfortable environment to focus on intricate details.
- Hands-free Voice Control: The compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri enables artists and miniature painters to effortlessly adjust the lighting without interrupting their workflow, allowing them to concentrate on their craft and maintain their creative momentum.
- Energy Efficiency and Long Lifespan: The energy-efficient design and long lifespan of these lights (50,000+ hours) ensure that artists and miniature painters can rely on a sustainable, cost-effective lighting solution for their workspace, reducing both energy costs and the need for frequent replacements.
My Review of the Rollin Light Smart LED Lighting System
Unboxing and Impressions
The Smart LED Recessed lights from Rollin Light arrived in a standard cardboard box, adequately protecting the contents during shipping.
Upon opening the outer box, I found the inner “actual” packaging for the lights. On the outside, were the logos, the descriptive text and graphics detailing the main features of the lights.
As this bundle is meant to provide users with enough lighting to fill an entire room, it included six sets of the 6-inch recessed lights and the necessary components for installation, including the junction controller system.
The included items were all neatly packed in foam compartments within the box. The included user manual was on the light side, with only a few pages. But using the QR-code displayed inside the box, I was able to get more details about installation and other useful information.
Note that this is a “smart” recessed lighting system, and so it is operated through an accompanying app that you download to your smartphone.
(Make sure you download this application to your iPhone or Android for the best experience with smart LED recessed lights).
Thoughts Before Installation of the Smart Recessed LED Lights: “You can Do this!”
It can be intimidating to install recessed lighting, especially if you’ve never done it before. But, I can tell you that it wasn’t hard at all. Without any prior experience, it took me about 10 minutes to install the recessed lighting into my wiring system. Of course, if you’re unsure of what you’re doing, please consult a professional.
Here’s a good video that will give you a good sense of what you’ll need to do. I’m not an electrician, and I know that if I can do this, so can you!
If you plan to do the installation yourself, please make sure you’ve turned off the electrical power to the area of the house you’re working on.
You should do this from the fuse breaker box, so you’re certain that the entire line you’ll be installing your recessed lights into is offline (no power running at all).
For this review, for the sake of time, I did not directly connect the recessed lighting into the ceiling wiring system. Working on electrical wires above your head can be risky if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Not only is it harder to see, but you may touch something that could cause you harm.
At some point, I plan to trace all the wires above my ceiling tiles so I can install the lighting properly throughout my basement workspace.
Having smartphone operated LED RGB recessed lighting is going to add a ton of dynamic ambiance and will make the whole studio much more enjoyable to work in.
How to install the Rollin Light Smart Recessed Lights
I decided to install the lights and junction controller (which contains the power wires, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi) into an existing outlet on my wall. Since my basement is only partially finished, there’s no drywall obstructing our view.
Essentially, the primary difference between this “mock” installation and an actual one is that, in a real scenario, I would cut a 6-inch hole into the ceiling to run all the wires and position the recessed light, with the junction box concealed above the tile, rather than everything being exposed as it is now.
To begin installation, I removed the outlet cover plate from my wall, exposing two sets of electrical wires–black and white–that could potentially provide power for my lighting system. A third wire serves as the ground, which is typically a green or bare copper wire.
In this case, I removed these wires from the outlet exposing their ends. I inserted these exposed copper wires into to junction control box with each colored wire matching to its respective colored terminal.
Connect the black (hot) wire from the existing outlet to the black wire in the junction control box, using a wire connector. Similarly, connect the white (neutral) wire from the existing outlet to the white wire in the junction control box. Finally, connect the ground wire (green or bare copper) from the existing outlet to the ground wire in the junction control box.
Once everything was connected inside the junction controller box, I plugged the junction controller white-colored outlet wire into the recessed LED lighting wire port. I made sure to secure the connection with the plastic ring.
At this point, you’re done with the main installation. If you’re placing the recessed light behind drywall or above a ceiling tile, then all of this exposed wiring would be concealed.
The final step is powering up your wiring, e.g., turning on the power switch. From this point forward, the included manual does a great job getting you setup and pairing your smartphone with the smart recessed lighting system.
Smartphone Application and Control of the Rollin Light Smart Recessed LED Lights
Okay, this was the fun part of working with these recessed lights. Here’s what I gathered from reading the manual.
To get the most out of your Smart Recessed LED Lights, you’ll want to utilize the smartphone application for seamless control over your lighting system.
The app will provide you with numerous features, including customizable color settings, including scene settings, brightness adjustments, music synchronization, and scheduling options.
Note that I wasn’t able to explore every feature because some voice-activation functions require other accessories. You can find more details about these on the Rollin Light product page.
For your convenience, here’s a simplified guide to set up and control your Smart RGB LED Light with the app:
- Download the App: Find the app in the user manual or manufacturer’s website, then download and install it on your smartphone.
- Create an Account: Open the app, create an account, and save your settings for quick access later.
- Connect the Lights: Turn on your LED lights, connect them to the junction control box, and follow the in-app instructions to pair your lights with the app.
- Customize Settings: With your lights connected, start personalizing colors, brightness, and even create custom scenes or choose from presets like “Relax,” “Party,” or “Movie Night.”
- Schedule Lights: Use the app to set schedules, automating when your lights turn on or off – perfect for routines, waking up to a bright room, or simulating occupancy while away.
- Voice Control: Most Smart Recessed Lighting apps work with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri. The same is true for the Rollin Light recessed lights (though you may need other accessories to do this, which I didn’t test here)
Performance and Features: What did I think AFTER USING THE SMART RECESSED LIGHTS?
I didn’t expect too much, honestly. I’ve worked with many desk lamps for various hobby applications, even studio photography. I know what smart app controls for LEDs can do for a space.
What I didn’t expect however was how responsive these recessed lights were once my iPhone made the connection to the LED controller.
For one thing, I could imagine this smartphone operation of these lights being useful when you’re not home. You could operate the LEDs remotely. This could be helpful to add a sense of security when you’re home alone or away.
Okay, I’ll also note that the app is kind of fun to use. Really, fun. In fact, until I turned these lights on and started playing with the smartphone app, I totally ignored smart LED systems. Now, I wonder why I haven’t tried these out soon.
I’m convinced at this point that the ability to dim the lights, adjust the color, and even set up schedules could significantly make my hobby room space a bit more interesting, and perhaps easier to work in.
The photos I took (which you’ll see in the article) really showcase the different colors, brightness levels, and the music sync feature in action.
While I didn’t get a chance to test the voice control compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, I can imagine that it would be incredibly convenient for hands-free lighting adjustments while working on projects.
I think in the future, I’ll have to look more carefully at voice control hardware like Alexa, and figure out how to use Siri better.
As mentioned earlier, the technical ability to access the RGBCW (red, green, blue, cyan, white) features and adjust color temperature between 2700K to 6500K (warm white to cool white) is impressive.
I can imagine using this to help me with my miniature photography, vlogging tests, and even working at the home office space I have nearby.
And the dimming feature, I know will help with those longer work sessions at the computer.
Clearly, the features I tested on Rollin Light’s Smart RGB LED Recessed Lighting are just a fraction of what you can do with these recessed lights.
The music sync feature is fun to have. Though for myself, it’s more of a cute party trick as it didn’t seem to totally link up with my tunes.
I had to do a few restarts of my Star Wars Imperial March sound track to get this to work. Flickering colors synced to sound and music could be great for a home entertainment center….or to add some immersive lighting ambience to your next tabletop RPG campaign, e.g., Dungeons & Dragons, DND.
In summary, I think you’ll find the Rollin Smart Recessed Lighting to be an impressive room-filling lighting solution. They are certainly one of the best smart LED recessed lights on the market, particularly for a 6-inch can-less system.
For those who missed it: I think these lights are freaking fun to use! They produce very bright LED output, provide limitless color customization, and full smartphone app control. The music sync feature is a nice touch and could be an entertaining addition for some of you.
Although the installation may intimidate some of you, I don’t think it’s too bad and there are good instructions out there (including what I presented above). I highly recommend you take a closer look at the Rollin Light Smart LED lights.
If you have any questions, feedback about this article, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
Thank you for reading!