Twinkly has been making smartphone-controlled string lights and decorations for some time now, but earlier this fall, the company added HomeKit integration to all of its Generation II devices, allowing them to be controlled with Siri voice commands and the Home app in addition to the Twinkly app.

twinkly
Second-generation Twinkly devices have been available since 2019, so this ‌HomeKit‌ update applies to newly sold lights and it has also been added retroactively for those who already own compatible Twinkly products.

twinkly lights 1
For those unfamiliar with the Twinkly brand, the company makes lights that can be set to one of 16 million colors. String lights like these are most often used during the holidays, but because of the color range, Twinkly lights are great all year for those who like the look of string lights.

twinkly lights 6
Getting Twinkly lights working with ‌HomeKit‌ requires plugging them in, creating a Twinkly account, and then updating the firmware. After the latest update, there's a "‌HomeKit‌" option under the "Devices" tab that allows ‌HomeKit‌ to be enabled. From there, ‌HomeKit‌ setup is the same, minus the need to scan for a QR code.

twinkly 250 leds
Just tap to add the Twinkly lights to a ‌HomeKit‌ setup, choose a room and a device name, and everything's set. As with most smart lights that are multi-featured, what you can do with Twinkly through ‌HomeKit‌ and the Home app is limited. You can change the colors of the lights to a single solid color, you can dim the lights, and you can turn them on or off.

twinkly homekit
The controls work either in the Home app or with ‌Siri‌, and you can also create Automations that include the Twinkly lights so you can set them to come on or turn off at a certain time of day. Automations can be based on time of day, who is located at home, or motion, depending on what other accessories you have available. Scheduling is the most useful ‌HomeKit‌ feature here, as is the option to control Twinkly alongside other ‌HomeKit‌ products.

twinkly lights 5
For the real Twinkly light magic, the Twinkly app is required. The Twinkly app is feature rich, and has all kinds of different lighting patterns and colors to choose from. There is a setup process to teach the Twinkly app how lights are arranged, and it's a little bit fiddly. By default, it uses a tree shape, but customizing it will make the effects look better if the lights are being used in a different shape or orientation.

twinkly app 1
Twinkly has a gallery of 30 effects to chooose from, and they can be set up in a playlist to cycle through different options or set to play one effect indefinitely. There's also an FX Wizard for creating your own effects.

twinkly app 2
You can choose from base options like colors, stripes, gradients, plasma, a radiating sun, or a sparkle effect, selecting colors from there, plus there's an option to simply draw on the lights with a finger, which could be fun for children.

twinkly lights 2
All of the different Twinkly effects look fantastic, and they're much different than average string lights that are white or limited to a handful of colors. Twinkly lights have millions of different color options and paired with all of the different effects, there are endless combinations you can create.


Twinkly offers shifting rainbow colors, fireworks, twinkling lights in various colors, a "snake" effect modeled after the classic game, waves, diagonals, a radiating sunset look, mixed "carnival" colors, and variations in different color options.

The LEDs are super bright and vivid, with clear distinctions between each color. Blues, greens, and purples are saturated, and these are colors that LED lights sometimes struggle with. Though the colors are rich, they can also be set to pastels and more muted tones if desired. My photos do not quite do the lights justice, so I am using some images from Twinkly, which are very much true to life.


Design wise, the lights are similar to standard string lights and they're as prone to tangling as any other light options. The cabling is high quality, though, and there seem to be no issues with the build. The lights do get the tiniest bit warm, but no warmer than other LEDs. At night, I set the lights to about 5 percent brightness, which is plenty in the dark. At 100 percent brightness, these put off a lot of light, so you can use them in a range of lighting conditions.

twinkly lights 3
Twinkly offers a music add-on that allows the lights to change based on the music that's playing, which is a fun addition for parties and other get togethers, but not strictly necessary because of all of the other available effects that you can play with.

Bottom Line

Twinkly lights are next-level Christmas lights and they're going to look amazing on a tree, but they're also fun year-round because of the wide range of color options and effects to choose from. I had no issues with the Twinkly lights during my testing, but I do think that these are on the expensive side and will mostly appeal to those who are willing to spend the money on high-end lighting effects.

twinkly tree
The addition of ‌HomeKit‌ to the Twinkly lights makes them more appealing than ever as it is now easier to turn them on, off, and set schedules through ‌Siri‌ voice commands and the Home app.

How to Buy

Twinkly sells a wide range of lights, including strings, clusters, icicles, curtains, spritzers, and even pre-lit trees, all of which can be purchased from Amazon and other retailers.

The standard string of 250 LEDs featured in this review is available for $120 from Amazon.com. 100 LED, 400 LED, and 600 LED versions are also available.

Note: Twinkly provided MacRumors with a 250 LED Smart String Light for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Top Rated Comments

Cameront9 Avatar
30 months ago
Would have been nice to know about these about a month ago and not 3 days before Christmas lol!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MVMNT Avatar
30 months ago
Only 368 days until these are a useful and timely purchase!

What a strange time to post a review of these.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
30 months ago
Very nice review. The price is not that bad either.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas ??
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mw360 Avatar
30 months ago

Nice looking product. I’ll wait for some competition to drive the price down.
There are already a bunch of similar-looking products on Amazon from well known brands such as QINESE, NOCKOF & GRBAGE
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeefCake 15 Avatar
30 months ago

Only 368 days until these are a useful and timely purchase!

What a strange time to post a review of these.
I'm hoping it drops in price after the holidays, I'll snag one at a discount.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
30 months ago

The string that the link points to on Amazon does not mention HomeKit. It says Alexa and google
Yeah, it's a fairly new feature so I assume they have not updated their packaging. The review unit that I receive said the same thing with no mention of HomeKit, but I was able to add it to HomeKit after the firmware update.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New App Store Delta Game Emulator

Wednesday April 17, 2024 12:19 pm PDT by
A decade ago, developer Riley Testut released the GBA4iOS emulator for iOS, and since it was against the rules at the time, Apple put a stop to downloads. Emulators have been a violation of the App Store rules for years, but that changed on April 5 when Apple suddenly reversed course and said that it was allowing retro game emulators on the App Store. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...