Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip review

The Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip is an ingenious way of adding RGB lighting to your gaming desk.

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip review
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Nanoleaf-powered, made-for-Magnus Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip, a smart light strip with magnets, offers a simple and easy yet effective solution for adding RGB lighting to your gaming desk. It’s slightly limited on customizations compared to other Nanoleaf products, but increased Nanoleaf app support should fix that.

Pros

  • +

    Easy to install, setup and use

  • +

    Powerful, customizable lighting

Cons

  • -

    123 LEDs are not individually customizable

  • -

    A little pricey

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Two-minute review

If there’s one thing our Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip review has taught us, is that it’s often the simplest products that make for the best solutions. When it comes to gaming desks, for example, or at least gaming desks that don’t come with RGB lighting, a simple yet highly-customizable light strip would be more than enough, as long as it’s done well and it’s done right.

Two factors make the Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip a brilliant, possibly even all-in-one gaming desk lighting solution: it delivers powerful, highly customizable lighting and utilizes magnets instead of pesky adhesives. Those two things make it an excellent choice for anyone needing to spruce up their gaming setup with dynamic RGB lighting without going over the top. And, they don’t even need to have the Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk for it to work, even though it is designed specifically for that desk.

There are some things we wish it’s capable of – like allowing users to customize every single one of its 123 LED lights individually. However, there are already plenty of customizations to keep your everyday RGB enthusiast happy and satiated.

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip price and availability

  • Costs $79 (£55, AU$79)
  • Available in the US, UK and Australia

The Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip, launched in late April 2022, will set you back $79 (£55, AU$79). That might seem a little pricey, especially for a light strip that’s only 59 inches long. However, its robust, premium construction and embedded magnets do add to its value.

Although there are cheaper options out there, like Govee’s Neon LED Strip Light, which will set you back $79/£79 for a longer, three-meter strip, the Secretlab MAGRGB does come with a more user-friendly app and better customizations. Bear in mind that there are also pricier options out there, including Philips Hue’s Gradient Lightstrip, which will cost you a whopping $179 for an 80-inch strip in the US and £169 for the 55-inch option in the UK.

All things considered, $79/£55/AU$79 is a fair price for what you’re getting.

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip setup

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip review

(Image credit: Future)
  • Easy and quick to physically setup
  • Easy to pair with the Nanoleaf and Apple HomeKit apps

As it was specifically created and designed for the Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk, it’s no surprise that the Nanoleaf-powered Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip takes cues from the desk's magnetic modular design. Fifteen small yet powerful magnets line one side of the strip, allowing it to stick to any metal surface easily. On the Magnus desk, it’s supposed to attach to the rear underside of the tabletop with the lights strategically facing the desk’s rear cover. This magnetic solution is what makes it quick and pain-free to install.

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip review

(Image credit: Future)

Just slip it under the tabletop opposite the rear cover, which you will have to pop open for better access, and it snaps right into place. You might have to make tiny adjustments, especially if you want to keep it nice and flush with the edge of the table, but you won’t have to do much.

Really, the trickiest part of the setup here is plugging the connector cable into the light strip and the controller ports, since you do have to make sure that you don’t break any of the little pins inside. But, as long as you’re careful and gentle, this shouldn’t be hard to do.

Pairing it with the Nanoleaf app – and then later with the Apple HomeKit (or Google Home) app – is also a breeze. We already had the Nanoleaf app installed on our phone, as we have other Nanoleaf products, but if you don’t, be sure to download it as you will need the app for the device to work.

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip design and features

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip review

(Image credit: Future)
  • Utilizes magnets; can be attached to other metal surfaces
  • Voice control via Google Home or Apple Homekit

At 10mm x 16mm thick and 1.5 meters (59 inches) long, the Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip is just the right size and length to fit over the Secretlab Magnus’s cable management tray and span the length of the table.

Again, in lieu of adhesives that Nanoleaf uses for its other products, it comes with embedded magnets that allow it to stick effortlessly to the Magnus. But, those magnets will stick to anything with a metal surface as well, so you really don’t need this particular desk to use it. For example, we tested it on our FlexiSpot EG8 Comhar standing desk, and it stayed in place beautifully. Because it does have a bit of flex to it, it even bends around the rounded edges of the desk, though not perfectly.

The ends of the light strip where the connector ports are situated do not have magnets on them, which we’re assuming was on purpose to make it easy when you’re trying to unplug the connector cable. However, just bear that in mind when you’re tinkering and adjusting something, as a slight tug might pull those ends off.

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip review

(Image credit: Future)

There is a controller included, which also has its own magnets in the back so you can also secure it to the desk, keeping it out of the way and your setup nice and neat. The controller comes with a power button, a button for choosing between five different lighting presets, and brightness buttons.

It isn’t something you’ll often use, especially since the Nanoleaf app does give you better control of the lighting, but it’s good to have it handy anyway. We had ours attached to one of the rear legs where you’ll barely notice it, but it’s still very accessible.

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip performance

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip review

(Image credit: Future)
  • Plenty of customization options
  • Bright, powerful lighting

The Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip doesn’t just shine in design and setup; it delivers in performance as well. 

First of all, customizations are essentially endless. While at the moment the Nanoleaf app doesn’t seem to give you the option to individually customize all of its 123 LEDs – instead, it lets you create palettes with only seven colors each – it does let you create multiple scenes in which you can create a palette as well as choose from five different lighting motions and customize it.

Each lighting motion has its own set of customizations as well. For example, the Stripes motion will let you choose the portion of the layout that each color from your palette uses, how fast the animation moves across the strip, and in which direction it goes. Meanwhile, the Flow motion will let you set how long the scene pauses on each color, how fast the animation moves, loop on or off, and the direction.

If you don’t have much time to play around with scenes, the light strip also comes with exclusive lighting effects from Team Liquid, Cloud9 and Secretlab, as well as access to Nanoleaf’s existing palettes.

If you don’t want lighting motion, you will have to play around with the speed of the animations or stick to color, unfortunately. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be an option to not have animations. The good news is that any changes you make on the app happens in real time as long as the light strip is on, so you can experiment and make adjustments on the fly.

More importantly, the LED lights are powerful and bright. Even in the daytime, we can see the colors reflected beautifully and vibrantly against the wall where we have our Magnus desk set against. And, that’s at 50% brightness. The way the light strip is supposed to attach to the Magnus desk is strategic so that it bounces off the edge of the rear cover (as well as the wall if you have the desk set against one) then beams up. That works like a charm, giving you a level of immersion that not many RGB gaming peripherals can pull off.

Should I buy the Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip?

Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip review

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if…

You have the Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk
The base Secretlab Magnus desk might have its merits, but it’s the add-ons that complete it. The Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip doesn’t just give it a bit more personality but also adds immersion to those gaming sessions.

You want to add RGB lighting to your gaming desk
Even if you don’t have RGB lighting built into your gaming desk, this is a great option to consider if you have a good spot to secure it. Of course, there are other smart lighting solutions, but this one is perhaps the simplest and easiest to install.

Don’t buy it if…

You hate RGB lighting
Why buy it if you cannot stand RGB lighting? You’re better off investing your money on other gaming desk accessories, like a headphone hanger for example.

You’re on a budget
To us, the Secretlab MAGRGB smart light strip’s price tag makes sense, but budget-conscious gamers might not be willing to spend more than $50/£50 on RGB lighting. If you’re one of them, there are cheaper alternatives.

Also consider

Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip
If you’re looking for a light strip alternative that uses a peel-and-stick adhesive instead of magnets, the Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip is more affordable. And, you’re also getting a longer two-meter strip for the starter pack. Unlike the Secretlab MAGRGB, it’s also expandable.
Check out our Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip review

Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip
If you’re looking for a light strip alternative that uses a peel-and-stick adhesive instead of magnets, the Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip is more affordable. And, you’re also getting a longer two-meter strip for the starter pack. Unlike the Secretlab MAGRGB, it’s also expandable.
Check out our <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/nanoleaf-essentials-lightstrip" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip review

Nanoleaf Lines
Creative folks who want to build shapes with their smart lights – we tried to recreate the Starship Enterprise – will love the Nanoleaf Lines, a modular smart lighting system with dual-zone lighting. Instead of attaching it to your gaming desk, however, it looks better on the wall.
Check out our Nanoleaf Lines review

Nanoleaf Lines
Creative folks who want to build shapes with their smart lights – we tried to recreate the Starship Enterprise – will love the Nanoleaf Lines, a modular smart lighting system with dual-zone lighting. Instead of attaching it to your gaming desk, however, it looks better on the wall.
Check out our <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/nanoleaf-lines" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">Nanoleaf Lines review

Nanoleaf Shapes
Nanoleaf’s Shapes are unique in that they’re not only smart lights, but each panel can function as a smart button as well for controlling other smart home devices in your network. And, much like Nanoleaf Lines, they’re modular and expandable so you can get as creative as you want.
Check out our Nanoleaf Shapes review

Nanoleaf Shapes
Nanoleaf’s Shapes are unique in that they’re not only smart lights, but each panel can function as a smart button as well for controlling other smart home devices in your network. And, much like Nanoleaf Lines, they’re modular and expandable so you can get as creative as you want.
Check out our <a href="https://global.techradar.com/en-ae/reviews/nanoleaf-shapes-review" data-link-merchant="global.techradar.com"">Nanoleaf Shapes review

Michelle Rae Uy
Contributor

Michelle Rae Uy is the former Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.