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Gledopto is a little-known company that produces a whole range of products, specifically lights and light controllers, which use the Zigbee communication protocol. Some of their products are excellent alternatives to Philips’s Hue line of devices. Especially the Gledopto LED strip controllers, of which I have a small collection in my home, will bring you more joy for less money when compared to the Philips Hue Lightstrips. While Gledopto might not offer a hub, you can control their Zigbee products using the Amazon Alexa Echo Plus, the Philips Hue Bridge 2, Osram Lightify, or Homee.

There is also good news for DIY enthusiasts, as just about all Gledopto products are supported by Zigbee2MQTT and should also be compatible with the most common alternatives.

In this article we will be taking an in-depth look at one line of products in particular: The Gledopto LED strip controllers, which in my opinion are an excellent and more versatile alternative to the popular (and expensive) Philips Hue Lightstrips.

The Gledopto line-up of LED strip controllers can be a bit confusing. There are multiple controllers for different types of LED strips and those are then again separated into 1ID and 2ID models. With this article, I’m hoping to clear up some confusion surrounding the Gledopto LED strip controllers. Once you know what to buy, I can almost guarantee that you will come away with a more flexible and cheaper alternative to the Philips Hue Lightstrips.

I have multiple Gledopto LED controllers, the RGB+CCT (GL-C-008) variant to be more precise, in use in my home. I have so far not encountered any problems, so I’m happy to recommend them to anyone.

Update: Issues with these controllers

In the weeks and months after I had written this article, it turned out that these Gledopto controllers had some serious issues concerning their routing capabilities.

Smart LED strips that aren’t individually addressable

All the following Gledopto Zigbee LED strip controllers can only address the LED strip as one unit. It isn’t capable of individually addressing LEDs on a strip such as the WS2812B, WS2815, or SK9812. The only effects possible with these LED strips are colour changes and nothing more.

This isn’t specific to Gledopto, but all Zigbee LED controllers I have found so far. I don’t know whether this is a limitation of the technology or whether these products are sold to be used as just functional and accent lighting.

The different Gledopto LED controllers explained

When researching Gledopto products you’ll find a multitude of seemingly similar controllers which differ only slightly. To make sure you pick the right product, I will explain what each controller does. I will also leave links to where you can buy them. When buying from AliExpress make absolutely sure you have the correct controller selected.

Please note that when you buy a controller that is all you will receive. You will have to purchase a power supply (PSU) and LED strips separately. Make sure that your power supply voltage matches that of the LED strip. Gledopto controllers can handle 12V-24V LED strips. I will leave links to compatible LED strips and power supplies underneath each controller’s description.

A word on soldering

You might be thinking that you will have to be able to solder when wiring up your own LED strips. While you can indeed solder them, you by no means have to. You can buy a number of solder-less LED strip connectors on various sites. These function by simply clipping on to the exposed copper pins of the LED strip.

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2-5 pin LED strip connectors

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6 pin LED strip connectors

IP30, IP65, and IP67

When buying LED strips you will often see the option to choose from varying IP ratings. IP30 strips are not waterproof and should only be used in places where they definitely won’t come in contact with water or high humidity.

The other IP ratings you will commonly find are IP65 and IP67. Both are dust-tight (signified by the 6). IP67 strips can, in theory, be immersed in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. IP65 strips can withstand water jets. I recommend you only ever use these strips in bathrooms. Which one you go with depends on how wet you expect them to get.

The higher IP ratings do come with one downside though, as they are more difficult to work with. When wiring up the strips you will have to expose the small copper pins to which you will connect the Gledopto controller. IP65 and IP67 strips have quite a thick silicone coating which will have to be removed with a knife or razorblade first.

Gledopto 1ID Controller vs. 2ID Controller

You will notice that a few Gledopto controllers come in two variants: 1ID and 2ID. A 1ID controller will show up as one light in your Philips Hue (or other) app. This means that it can be controlled as one light in the same way as a regular Philips Hue light strip. If you primarily use voice control (Google Home or Amazon Alexa) for your LED strips, this is most likely the way to go. The downside to the 1ID controllers is that you can’t turn on both the coloured LEDs and the white LEDs simultaneously.

2ID controllers show up as two lights in your app. This has the advantage is that you can turn on both the coloured and the white LEDs at the same time, giving you more light output and full control over the colour’s saturation. When using voice control (Google Home or Amazon Alexa) this can be a bit frustrating as you need to control two separate lights.

Gledopto GL-C-006 (WW/CW or CCT)

At a glance

GLEDOPTO GL-C-006

The Gledopto GL-C-006 unboxed

Feature: Can control CCT (WW/CW) LED strips

This LED controller can be attached to 4-pin LED strips which have two different types of white LEDs: Warm white and cold white (WW/CW or CCT). These LED strips usually have a temperature range from around 3000 K to 6500 K.

Not all outputs on the Gledopto GL-C-006 necessarily need to be used. As in the example linked below, there are CCT LED strips that only use three pins. In this case, you would simply leave one of the V+ outputs empty.

The GL-C-006 is also capable of dimming the LED strip and controlling its temperature. In my opinion, this is one of their most useful devices, as not every strip has to be RGB capable, but it is nice to be able to adjust the colour temperature throughout the day.

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BTF-LIGHTING FLEXIBLE COB STRIP CCT LED STRIP

A flexible COB strip from BTF-LIGHTING

Temperature: 3000 K to 6500 K

CRI: Ra>90

Input voltage: DC24V

Wattage: 16 W/m

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DC24V POWER SUPPLY

Wattage: 72 W

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DC24V POWER SUPPLY

Wattage: 72 W

Gledopto GL-C-007 (RGBW)

At a glance

Gledopto GL-C-007 (RGBW)

Feature: Can control RGBW LED strips.

The Gledopto GL-C-007 RGBW controller controls red, green, and blue LEDs, and has an extra pin used to control a single white LED. You will be able to find LED strips that have either a warm white or cold white LED, though the former is more common.

Using the Gledopto GL-C-007 and a compatible LED strip you can use it as either a functional light (white) and also as an accent lighting (coloured).

This controller ships as either a 1ID or 2ID option. Personally, I would go for the GL-C-008 controller over this one and benefit from the full white spectrum.

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BTF-LIGHTING RGB + Warm White

A BTF-LIGHTING 4 in 1 LED

Temperature (white LED): 2700K-3000K

SMD-LED type: 4 in 1

Input voltage: DC12V

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DC12V power supply

Output power: 96 W

Output voltage: DC12V

Gledopto GL-C-008 (RGB+CCT)

Undoubtedly, the most versatile controller of them all is the GL-C-008, which also comes in 1ID and 2ID variants. This controller has 3 pins for RGB LEDs and two extra pins for warm white and cold white LEDs. Using the GL-C-008, or RGB+CCT controller, you can have your LED strip display the full white spectrum for everyday lighting, or you can turn on the RGB lights for mood lighting (party time!).

Gledopto sells its own 24V RGB+CCT LED strip to go with this controller. However, I don’t particularly like it because the RGB and white LEDs aren’t on the same chip. This can make for unattractive lighting when both the RGB and white LEDs are turned on.

A better alternative is the 12V RGB+CCT LED strip from BTF-LIGHTING. These have so-called 5IN1 chips where the RGB and white LEDs are placed on the same chip. BTF-LIGHTING is generally a good place to buy your LEDs.

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GLEDOPTO GL-C-008

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BTF-LIGHTING 5in1 LED strip

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12V power Supply

GL-C-009 (LED dimmer)

The GL-C-009 is an LED strip dimmer without any RGB or colour temperature control. This controller can be used to retrofit existing LED strips.

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About Liam Alexander Colman

Liam Alexander Colman has been using Home Assistant for various projects for quite some time. What started of with a Raspberry Pi quickly became three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-blown server. I now use Unraid as my operating system and Home Assistant happily runs in a Docker container. My personal setup includes many Zigbee devices as well as integrations with existing products such as my Android TV box. Read on to find out more on how I got started with Home Assistant.

4 thoughts on “Gledopto LED strip controllers are a cheap alternative to Hue Lightstrips”

  1. Great article !

    I have a light strip with the gledopo RGB CCT controller.
    My question is, which is the best android/ios app to change the colours.

    Reply

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