Twinkly has launched Squares, some light panels different from all the othersbecause we not only have colored lights, we can also display images, GIFs and soon we will have widgets.
With the number of LED lights on the market, it seems difficult for them to surprise us, but Twinkly has done so by offering a product that we had not seen until now: Twinkly Squares. These are LED panels that we can use as conventional light panels, we can create animations of colors that change at will, or we can even show portraits, works of art or our favorite GIFs, all with a very retro “16-bit” style that gives a truly spectacular effect. In this article we analyze your Starter Kit, which is made up of 6 LED panels and everything necessary for its assembly and operation.
Twinkly offers different packs that can be purchased. The normal thing is to start with the 5+1 Starter Kit, which is just what we are analyzing in this article. We can also buy other expansion Kits (1, 3 and 3+1) to get a larger canvas and that we can gradually expand until we get what we want. East starter kit includes:
- 1 master panel and 5 additional panels
- Connections to fix the panels together, double and single
- Connection cables for panels
- USB-C to USB-C cable
- USB-C charger
- Template to fix on the wall
The LED panels are made up of 64 (8×8) LEDs with 16 million colors each. The master panel is the one in charge of controlling the entire set, and you can add up to a total of 15 panels additional ones that can be purchased separately. You should think of each LED as a pixel, so the more panels you add, the higher resolution you can get in your images and animations.
The composition that you can create with these panels is at your whim, although if what you want is to use them to place images, it is normal to create a 2×3 panel canvas. Assembly is very simple thanks to all the accessories included. To place it on a wall it will be necessary to use a drill and screws, since the set is too heavy to use another adhesive system. In my case, two screws have been more than enough to hold the whole.
Once everything is assembled, it is time to use the Twinkly application (link) to work its magic and recognize the design that we have made. Whether it is a rectangular or linear design, straight or angled, thanks to the application and the camera of our iPhone it will be recognized and the designs and animations that we create will adapt perfectly to the “canvas” that we have created. The images and animations must adapt to the design that we have created. If what we want is to use these panels as a “frame” we must opt for square or rectangular designs, if what we want is to use them as luminous panels with colors and animations, then we can opt for linear, staggered designs… It is important to know that they can be combined with other Twinkly products so that the colors and animations blend perfectly with each other.
The configuration process is very simple and the application tells us in a simple way the steps that we must follow to add it to our WiFi network. From the app itself we can manage all the Twinkly accessories, combine them and choose all the designs that we want to be displayed on them. It’s a fairly intuitive application, translated into Spanish and without tabbed browsing, without cumbersome menus, so it’s easy to get the most out of it to achieve spectacular effects.
We have many different designs, some common with the rest of Twinkñy products, with colors that change, animations, etc. and other designs specifically designed for this product, such as “works of art” that we can reflect in a pixelated way on our panel. In addition to all the designs that appear in the application, we can download other designs from the application itself, and it is important to note that Twinkly is constantly adding new ones. As if this were not enough, we can also create our own designs, we can draw with our finger on the screen of our iPhone, and we can add photos even GIFs that we download from the internet. In the video I show you how we can add them to the Twinkly app, and the final result is a real hit. Of course, as I said at the beginning, the more panels you add, the better the final result will be. For Marilyn’s painting, for example, it is better to have at least 9 panels for an optimal result. Even so, as the 6 panels of the kit can work wonders.
The integration with HomeKit is almost anecdotal, because we can barely do anything with these panels in the Home application. Turn on, turn off, set solid colors and adjust brightness – pretty much nothing interesting. yes, for me It is important to be able to include the panels in my automations so that when the lights at home go out, the Twinkly panel also turns off. Apple should give its Home app a spin and how impractical it is with light panels, hopefully soon it can be better integrated with these devices. To add this Twinkly Squares to HomeKit we must do the usual procedure, scanning the code that is on the main panel, or the one that we have in the instruction manual, in case you have already hung them on the wall.
And soon… Widgets
In addition to how spectacular the GIFs are in this Twinkly Squares or how we can pixelate works of art to create our own canvases in the living room at home, one of the most interesting features is yet to come: widgets. Although we do not have an official release date, it seems that they will be available in the Twinkly app at the beginning of 2023, and we can use these panels as informative widgets to inform us of the weather, create timers, etc.
Twinkly offers us something completely new within light panels with its Squares product, going much further than a simple decorative panel, offering unimaginable expansion and design possibilities, and all of this combined with an application that we already knew but didn’t. It ceases to amaze us with how well it works and how easy it does things. Despite the fact that its integration with HomeKit is almost anecdotal, these panels are the dream of many come true. Its price? Well, as you can imagine, they are not cheap: the 5+1 starter kit that we have analyzed in this article costs €224.99 on Amazon (link). You are still in time to include it in the letter to the Magi.
- Publisher’s rating
- Rating 4.5 stars
- Twinkly Squares
- Review by: louis padilla
- expandable modular design
- Intuitive and complete application
- Kit that includes everything you need
- Fully customizable layouts
- Very limited HomeKit integration