Twinkly Squares in the short test: smart light tiles with 8-bit flair

Twinkly has had networked chains of lights for a long time, and the Italian manufacturer has now added smart LED light tiles to its range of lighting. The starter set consists of six tiles, each one has an edge length of 16 centimeters and comes with 64 square LEDs.

Each sub-square can glow a different color to display pixel-style patterns, graphics, text, and animated GIFs. They can be combined to form larger light art surfaces using cables and retaining clips on the back. Each master panel powered by a USB-C cable also drives up to 15 of the additional tiles.

First, you set up the master panel with the help of the Twinkly app, which requires registration, via Bluetooth in the WLAN. After the obligatory firmware update, you can add more squares in quite freely selectable shapes. You then scan the tiles using the iPhone camera and the app uses this “mapping” to recognize the arrangement. That worked fine.

However, the offered “quick setup in HomeKit” didn’t work in the test and we had to use Apple’s Home app later. In addition to HomeKit, the light tiles also support Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Manufacturer: Twinkly // System requirements: iOS/iPadOS 13.0 or Android 6.0 // Compatibility: HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant // Dimensions per panel: 16 × 16 × 2.5 cm // Manufacturer price for starter kit with 6 panels: 250 €

Some images or animations can be selected in the app, but you can also import them or create them yourself. However, there aren’t that many effects and the import or even painting didn’t work really well. In addition, the frame rate of the animated GIFs cannot be adjusted, so that the LEDs often flash frantically. At least the text runs like a conveyor belt with a little tinkering. You cannot select any effects from HomeKit or Apple Home, only adjust the brightness and switch it on and off.

A starter kit with a total of six panels and a 65-watt power supply costs 250 euros from the manufacturer, for the same sum you also get a single master panel (50 €) and two sets of three additional panels (100 €), so that you have a total of one more square. All in all, the effects still seem to us to be underdeveloped and HomeKit reduces the many colorful LEDs to a light of the same color.


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