Wireless remote control
Soft, warm light
No end connection
Indoor string lights are a beautiful, cozy addition to your home, whether for the holidays or year-round décor! We tested the low-voltage 200-LED KooPower Indoor Fairy Lights set for ten days, keeping an eye on its performance, design, safety, and more. Read on to see if we were charmed.
Setup Process: Put them anywhere
If you’re used to choosing holiday lights from a drugstore shelf full of half-crushed boxes, joyless light bulb illustrations, and crinkled cellophane windows, you’ll probably be as surprised as we were when the KooPower lights arrive. Between the rigid box, the meticulous packing, the cute user guide booklet (in English, French, and German), and the surprise wireless remote, opening the package makes for a half-proper unboxing experience.
There isn’t an outlet at the distal end of the cord, so we weren’t able to connect sets end-to-end.
The user manual suggests checking the connections on the power supply first. LEDs don’t burn out—they just eventually dim—so there are no broken bulbs to look for or replace. The remote control comes with a battery already in place, and a plastic tab separating the connection must be removed before it will work.
LEDs, or “light-emitting diodes,” run on about 25 percent of the power needed by incandescent bulbs and don’t get hot, so you should be able to install this set practically anywhere that you can keep them dry. You can even use them outside, but we decided to try ours out on a 5-foot Christmas tree in the living room. While the one 200-light set did make it all the way around and down, we’re insatiable and want our Christmas tree visible from space. We’ll be ordering another set or two.
Design: Not your old-school LED
KooPower notes that the color temperature emitted by this set is between 2,700 and 3,000 Kelvin, which puts them in a “warm white” category. When measuring light, the lower the Kelvin temperature, the warmer the light. As the Kelvins increase, the light will appear first more neutral white, and then bluer. LEDs used to only come in bluer tones around 5,000K, which can seem harsh, particularly for holiday decorations. They’re now available in much softer colors and even come close to matching the glow of old school incandescent Christmas lights (which are around 2,700K).
On a tree next to incandescent bulbs, the color is very similar, but the light output is actually softer. Looking directly at incandescent bulbs burned our retinas, but even at the brightest setting, the KooPower lights don’t.
The clear cable does a better job of blending in with the surrounding décor than the solid white and solid green cables of other sets that we tested.
The 200 LED lights are strung along a 65-foot length of copper wire encased in clear plastic. The clear cable does a better job of blending in with the surrounding décor than the solid white and solid green cables of other sets that we tested, reflecting the light output and hitting maximum twinkle.
The light string has a mode selector attached to the cord, as well as a wireless remote control that will work from around 16 feet away. The remote has on and off buttons, numbered buttons corresponding to the eight pre-programmed light effects (which we’ll discuss in further depth below), dimmer buttons, and a timer. The timer is programmed to keep the lights on for six hours at a time and off for 18 hours, in whichever light mode you prefer. It will keep cycling daily until the timer is switched off (by holding the mode button on the lights controller down for three seconds, pressing the timer button again, or unplugging the string). We let the lights cycle through for three days and found we could switch lighting modes while in timer mode without affecting the programming.
Length: An excellent lead
The lit length of about 65 feet was long enough for our 5-foot tree to look cheerful and lit, but another string or two would really jackhammer the holiday magic home. Unlike most incandescent sets, there isn’t an outlet at the distal end of the cord, so we weren’t able to connect sets end-to-end. If multiple sets are needed on a tree, they’ll all need to be plugged into an outlet—not super convenient.
The lit length of about 65 feet was long enough for our 5-foot tree to look cheerful and lit, but another string or two would really jackhammer the holiday magic home.
Conveniently, there’s a distance of almost 8 feet of unlit wire between the last LED and the plug. This gave us enough distance to plug the cord directly into an outlet and make it onto the tree without lights trailing hazardously along the floor.
Durability: To be continued…
We tested these lights for ten days, for the recommended max of six hours a day, and then for a few hours daily in the weeks following. They performed without a hitch.
Features: Eight ways to shine
The remote control has eight numbered buttons, corresponding to eight pre-programmed light effects: Combination, steady on, slow fade, in wave, Slo Glo, chasing/flash, sequential, and twinkle/flash. (These are their mode descriptors, by the way—not ours.) Some of the more frantic modes, like chase/flash and twinkle/flash, were a little frenetic for classic holiday décor and unnerved the resident cats. The slow fade and Slo Glo were calm and festive, though.
While we didn’t have two strings of lights to test out ourselves, KooPower says that a single remote control will control multiple strands of lights at once. We were amused to find that the remote control to our Vizio Soundbar also turned the lights on and cycled through the modes, so we guess the KooPower remote signals aren’t that precious.
Price: Worth it
The price, $20, is a touch expensive for a string of lights, fairy or otherwise, but the remote control and preprogramming are unique enough features that we think are well worth the money.
KooPower Indoor Fairy Lights vs. Brizled 200 LED Multicolored String Lights
We truly love classic white lights, but how unbelievable would these multicolor pastel fairy lights look strung up in white curtains, a white princess canopy over a bed, or even around a white tree? With the option to choose either white or multicolor mode, depending on your mood, and a remote with pre-programmed modes just like the KooPower, we might just have to go with the Brizled set.
- Product Name Indoor Fairy Lights
- Product Brand KooPower
- MPN ICO-200L
- Price $26.95
- Color Clear bulbs/white cord
- Voltage 31 V
- Color Temperature 2,700-3,000K
- Total Cord Length About 9 ft.
- Lit Length About 65 ft.
- Bulb Number 200
- What’s Included Light string with program switch, battery-powered remote control (battery included), user manual
- Warranty 30-day money-back guarantee for any reason; 180-day free extended warranty if you register; 14-month warranty for quality-related issues