Meet the Cync Light Panels.
The various Cync lights, called “C” at the time, were a GE Lighting product. Savant purchased some part of GE’s lighting division, consisting of a wide range of smart lighting.
Who is Savant? We’ll for almost as long as I’ve been in A/V, Savant has been, perhaps the biggest name in very high end smart home and home theater installations.
What do they do? These Cync Light Panels consist of a series of hexagonal (aka six sided) panels, that interconnect with each other. In order to review these Cync lights, Savant sent me their 10 panel kit. The package has everything you need to mount the 10 panels on your wall, in whatever configuration you desire. You can add more panels at any time. I am not new to using lights like these. A good 6+ years ago, I reviewed a “similar” product from the company Nanoleaf. (I’ll be commenting on some of the differences and similarities, later, but most notably, these Cync Panels can have multiple colors within each panel, rather than each just being a solid color. That makes for a step up, in terms of looking cool.
The list price of this configuration is: $189.99 A quick look online also finds that you can buy a seven panel configuration for $149.99 list price. Most sites are discounting the lights. Amazon, currently (12/26/23) has the 10 panel package from $159.99.
Want to expand your Cync. Just add more panels. Cync offers a 5 pack extension kit.
Most folks who use products like this, just like color… I’m one of them – lots of color (and white) lights in our condo. I have a second use, which is to help illuminate a largish piece of optical glass art (which is sitting on a stand with bottom light).
As you can see from the photos (and my writings), to accomplish this, I wanted to ceiling mount the lights, not wall mount them.
That, folks, was the first and only major problem. The light panel kit has everything you need to do wall mounting, but nothing for ceiling installations. It provides sufficient stick on tabs to hold the lights to a wall (similar to my old Nanoleaf lights, but they are definitely not up to holding them to the ceiling – I tried. As a result I had to come up with a ceiling mounting solution, which I did, or rather, our handyman did. I will describe our first, and final (2nd) attempts below. And also a warning about the correct way wiring them which is very likely to save those of you who don’t read installation manuals, a good bit of time.
Note that in the image above, each of the panels has multiple colors which are constantly changing with the pattern I selected. Some patterns use solid colors. And you can program your own effects.
They sure are pretty!
The App, Special Effects, Voice Control
The instructions pretty much have you downloading the App to your iPhone or Android before you start.
Voice Control is available using Alexa or Google Assistant. Matter makes the configuring a snap, it only adds seconds. I routinely issue commands like turn on “Light Panels” and “Dim Light Panels to 35%” I could no doubt program in more advanced control as one can do with most Alexa and Google Assistant supported products.
Kudos to GE/Savant! The App scores highly in the Apple App store, a 4.5 with 89,000 ratings! That is most reassuring, but considering it’s now owned by Savant, not at all surprising. To keep setup and installation simple, the Cync Light Panels support Matter, for quick, and reliable setup.
Of course you can set schedules, choose from dozens of pre-designed scenes, or program your own.
There are 12 Preset special effects, you can see 10 of them in this screen shot of the App. There are a few I like, some have all the panels on, all the time while changing colors (or not), others use patterns turning certain panels off and on while changing colors. Nice but none of those 12 will let you slow down or speed up the changes, nor will they let you dim the lighting.
The good news is that, when selecting Scenes, in the Explore tab, you’ll find 27 additional scenes.
You can edit these including speed and color, rename them, etc. When you save those, they end up under Custom tab, also on the Scenes page.
Follow the instructions! Otherwise you might end up too clever, like I was. I started with the instructions, set out on a table the first light panel, the one that would hook up to power.
There’s two pieces to each panel, a smaller connection piece and the larger light panel, whose backside snaps to the connecter piece. The connector piece has 6 connectors for the provided short cables.
All 10 panels are laid out in the pattern I want. You can see that I connected all of the panels together, unfortunately, not following the directions, I did it wrong. You may not connect two or more panels to the output of another. Each panel must have one input and one output only!
Note, the cables are marked with arrows in one direction. The “power” panel connects to the provided low voltage cable/controller. Since I was creating a bowling like 10 pin layout, I figured why not connect the 1st panel to the two panels touching it. Then those connected to the ones below (the image above). That worked great until I tried to use the lights. The system didn’t know which panels were where in the array.
This lighting system needs to know the order the lights are connected, and the layout is linear, from the first to the 2nd, 3rd, etc. No running from one panel to 2 or 3 or more other panels.
So, I unsnapped the panels and their connector plates from each other, and rewired correctly this time. And voila’ no problems at all. Let that be a lesson learned. Hopefully this will save you DIY types a lot of time redoing.
You will tell it which panel is the first, etc. by laying out the panels in the app, in the same pattern you plan to use – you use their arrows to layout the app’s panels to match the layout of the physical panels. I laid out my panels in a triangle, like bowling pins. I wired from one to the next, going down one side of the triangle to the next side, the last panel connected was the center panel (#10 in my 10 panel array) connected only to #9… Do it right, and it’s awesome!
GE Cync vs Nanoleaf Aurora
I first reviewed the Nanoleaf Aurora in 2017. Here’s a link to the review. https://www.smarterhomeautomation.com/product-categories/smart-indoor-lighting/nanoleaf-aurora-smart-home-color-changing-lighting-system-k-wall-art/
Other than the shape, of the panels (the first Nanoleaf panels were triangular, but have brought out other shapes since, (including hexagonal and square), the biggest difference is the Cync panels ability to have each panel do multiple colors at once and transition through them. (See the video above). The Nanoleaf panels were always one color only, whatever color you select for it. That makes the Cync panels capable of smoother cooler looking patterns. Also, the original Nanoleaf panel system required an option for reacting to sounds/music. The Cync system offers many pre designed and customable scenes that react to music and voice.
The Bottom Line: Cync Hexagonal Color Light Panels
There are multiple competing products, not just from Nanoleaf, but also Govee, Twinkly and other folks from China. I like, however, that Savant is a major US corporation that is focused on home installations – high end at that, which means they are (and have long been) very customer centric! AKA support! To find an App these days with a 4.5 rating on the Apple store, translates into a easy to use, comprehensive app.
The Cync product line also consists of LED lights that look like neon tubes, and the usual RGBW strip lights, to mention a couple. They look a lot better than the usual RGB strip lights. I’d say they are, like the light panels, very cool. Combine these and other Cync lighting for lots of fun with color.
The very bottom line: I think they are fun, and, almost to my surprise, my wife doesn’t mind them in our living room. That’s really “proof” that colored lighting doesn’t have to be “over the top.” -art
Cync Smart Light Panels by Savant/GE Lighting
- Works great, installs easily (on walls), if you follow the instructions, which are easy to follow.
- Voice control with Alexa or Google Assistant
- I like the App, and as a color junkie, I really like my new living room installation.
- Multi-color, single color, blended color, or different temperatures of white. While I have shown images with multiple colors, I will also use these panels to illuminate my glass art, below, using just a single color, or varying color temperatures of white (from very warm to very cool).
- Pricing seems to be reasonable, although you can buy knockoffs for less, directly from China, re Temu, etc. Support: It’s your choice – save some money, and end up with little or no support, vs spending the extra and buying a product from a company legendary for their pre- and post sales support.
- Excellent complementary products, such as the Neon “rope” and strip lights
- Could cost less
- More sizes and shapes would be great additions to the line
- A ceiling mount kit would be extremely helpful, also one that let’s one go from ceiling to wall
- Music sync starts off with a few flashes
Cync Smart Light Panels by Savant/GE Lighting