There have been many jokes over the years regarding Razer entering into unusual markets outside of the gaming world, with a general theme of slapping some branded RGB lights onto everyday objects. As these are usually announced as satirical April Fools jokes (we all remember the Razer Toaster right?) you'll forgive me for being initially skeptical when I was informed that they're now involved with Christmas lighting.
As it turns out, Razer have in fact partnered up with Twinkly, a leading manufacturer of smart LED light systems and decorative lights, to integrate Razer Chroma RGB into products. Having tried some of the string lights for myself, it really is a fantastic experience – you can fully control the lights via an app on your phone, and switch between a huge variety of customizable sequences and designs.
From falling snowflakes, exploding fireworks, or a majestically billowing flag of the USA, there are more than enough downloadable designs available to keep you entertained for hours when trying to install the lights. There's even the option to 3D map your Christmas tree in order to manually draw in what lighting design you would like, giving the option to create things like Pac-Man (or something altogether more childish).
You can get the Twinkly lights in traditional string, cluster, and icicle varieties depending on your requirements and they can be used both indoors and outdoors. I used a set of 400 string lights, which will set you back $229.99 (around £170, AU$300), to cover a 7-foot tall tree.
The business partnership between Razer and Twinkly does actually makes sense when you consider how useful it would be for a smart lighting company to integrate with the largest lighting ecosystem for gaming devices, but I couldn't get the idea out of my head that you could buy gaming string lights. And as a frustrating, cringeworthy concept came to my mind, I knew I needed to bring this abomination into the world and make it everybody else's problem too.
You see, in my house string lights (or fairy lights as we call them) are exclusively for decorating Christmas trees. I couldn't shake the image from my mind that these lights would be used by RGB addicted gamers to decorate their seasonal fauna with an homage to all the joy that video gaming can bring.
After hunting around the web, I did find official geeky tree ornaments from the likes of Xbox and Hallmark but I wasn't satisfied. Retail ornaments are expensive, and as a 'gamer' I've clearly been spending all my hard-earned cash on League of Legends skins and energy drinks to stay focused. With some K/DA blasting in the background and a very inadvisable amount of caffeine flowing through my system, I created the ultimate gaming Christmas tree.
I admit that this won't be for everyone, or possibly even anyone, but I'll be disappointed if gaming or geeky themed trees don't utilize these lights in the future. Combined with some PS4 and Xbox One controllers, and an alarming variety of Monster Energy cans, I can't pretend to be unsatisfied with the hideous Christmas monument that I had erected.
Naturally, you don't have to go to such embarrassing lengths to create a beautiful RGB themed tree of your own. The lights also look fabulous when pinned across a wall, or strewn around bookcases and tables, making them a fantastic lighting addition to any gaming space.
As the lights use Razer Chroma, they'll sync to other Razer peripherals or devices so you can integrate a consistent theme across your entire home. This also means they can be audio reactive, so feel free to throw on your favorite tunes and watch the lights dance around to the rhythm.
It should also go without saying that you can just decorate a standard, non-gaming themed tree with these lights. The colors can be muted down and programmed for delightful twinkling or flashing effects, as well as a whole library of downloadable patterns. If you own an Amazon Alexa or Google Home smart speaker then you can even control the lights using voice activation, with both able to turn the lights on/off and change color and brightness.
This entire project was an embarrassing adventure into the lengths I'm willing to take to RGB-ify my entire home, and I'm excited to see what other products will integrate software like Razer Chroma going forward. If Chroma can integrate with electric cars, then I'm sure Razer can please my magpie-like addiction to pretty lights elsewhere.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that customizable lighting options will become popular in more common household items such as microwave ovens and washing machines, but until then, I'm happy to stick these RGB Twinkly lights over every surface.