Monster Smart Illuminessence is bringing color to light @ CES 2022 - Show Notes

Monster Smart Illuminessence is bringing color to light @ CES 2022

Thursday Feb 10, 2022 (00:22:21)


It's no secret that the world is getting brighter and more color, thanks in part to companies like Xtreme Cables and the Monster Smart Illumenessence line of LED products. Unline most major rands, the Illuminessence product line is designed to be fun, durable, and inexpensive. In fact, when compared against other major brands. the Illuminessence products regularly come in under their competitors. Plus, the lineup has a number of unique products and partnerships.

Individual LED pixels

All of the new products coming out in the Monster Smart Illuminessence are designed with individual LED pixels. This means that, unlike most LED products that can only produce a single color across the entire body, the new products can target each LED with its own color. This OC-controlled LED design means that advanced patterns, similar to what can be found on the Prism and Digit, are now possible across the Illuminessence family.

New Products

Neon Flux+

The Neon Flux+ is an upgrade to the previous Neon light strip. The original Neon is unique because it has a diffuser along its body making it so that you cannot see the individual LED pixels. Instead, it appears as one single light strip. With the new Neon Flux+, you get all of the benefits of the Neon with two big additions: memory wire and individual LED pixels.

The memory wire gives you the ability to use the strip to create all kinds of things, from a Christmas tree to writing. The concept was born when Jennifer Garrett, the Director of Design, tried to write something on her wall with an original Neon. The experience wasn't ideal because it required a ton of individual holes to spell out "Design." She wanted a better experience, and so was born the Neon Flux+.

Bistro Lights

The Bistro Lights are designed to be used outdoors. In the summer, they can be used a lighting around your pool or patio, while during the holidays, can be turned into your Christmas lights without having to take them down and put them up. Like all of the new items, each light can be controlled independently, giving you the ability to create some truly spectacular party effects.

Razer Chroma integration

This is, by far, the most exciting addition to the ecosystem for the year. The Monster Smart app is coming to PC, and it will work in conjunction with the Razer Chroma system. With this integration, you'll be able to extend your gaming and entertainment experience beyond your screen. All of the Smart Illuminessence products will be compatible with the system, allowing you to even extend the lighting into other rooms.

The most exciting ability, of course, is the option to map out your lighting so that the colors on your screen can be mirrored externally. In the example in the booth, Jennifer was showing a Prism, Light Bar, and Arc all working together to replicate the colors from the screen onto the wall and desk.


Many of the Monster Smart Illuminessence products are available now, with more coming this year. The Monster Smart desktop app with Razer Chroma support is expected to launch in May 2022. To learn more about the products or purchase one for yourself, you can head to the company's website or to Walmart.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Scott Ertz

Host, Episode Author

Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.


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Erin Hurst (00:07)

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Scott Ertz (00:21)

Our next guest is here. Hello.

Jennifer Garrett (00:27)

Hey, Scott, how's it going?

Scott Ertz (00:28)

Fantastic. How are you?

Jennifer Garrett (00:30)

I'm good. I can't see you. But I trust You look wonderful.

Scott Ertz (00:35)

I, sure. I'll go with that. So all right, your booth looks very different than it has in the past. So let's talk about what all the cool stuff is happening there. But first, go ahead and introduce yourself.

Jennifer Garrett (00:52)

Hi, I'm Jennifer Garrett, Director of Design here at Monster Illuminessence. We've been producing LED decor items for a couple of years now. Completely taken over the market major distribution, and always innovating new, fantastic products and features. So we are excited to show you two major stories that we're launching this year. Notice, take a guess we're in the outdoor space.

Scott Ertz (01:19)

I can see that.

Jennifer Garrett (01:21)

I want to lift this whole setup and just drop it around my desk in the office because

Scott Ertz (01:26)


Jennifer Garrett (01:27)

Probably the most relaxing booth that I've ever made. It's quite calming and lovely. But it is decked out from the bottom to top with Monster Illuminessence products. Yeah, so we're really focusing on the outdoors. Obviously, outdoor living is becoming more and more important and people are realizing that that's typically been wasted space in your home. You know, maybe we want to spend more time outdoors and we want to make our outdoors a truly pleasurable living environment. So we started off with an item that I first showed the world on your show. Oh was it two years ago.

Scott Ertz (02:05)

Two years ago.

Jennifer Garrett (02:05)

The Orb. Fantastic product. Portable indoor-outdoor built-in handle. Great for hanging. You can attach them up on a wall, on the fence. Amazing battery life. This has been going on all day without a charge. Lasts from start to close the show. We've got a mini orb here too and a little smaller remote control version. All beautiful lighting products for indoor-outdoor use. We've also got LED strips, brand new bistro lights, which are some of my favorites. And these are showing off new technology that we're putting into the majority of our products, which is RGBIC. So that is a step up over the normal LEDs that are in all of these products where each LED has an individual ID inside of it. So they can be individually color controlled. Normal light strips are all one color at one time. These get flowing colors that run up and down the length of the light strip, swirl around in the product. Fully customizable, beautiful item. We're also focusing on a lantern product.

Scott Ertz (03:06)

Okay. Okay. So these are individual pixels.

Jennifer Garrett (03:10)

Yes, yeah. I'm don't know how to explain right now. But we can show you one of my cool products here. This is also a good product. This is the newest version of the LED strip. I also showed you the Neon the last time we spoke which was an LED strip inside a flexible silicone housing, super densely packed with LEDs.

Scott Ertz (03:31)

I have one out in Mission Control.

Jennifer Garrett (03:33)

There you go. This is the new fun one. I have put a memory wire inside. So now it is super easy to make custom designs. And you only need maybe one hook to hang it instead of turning your wall as Swiss cheese. They're super fun. You can also use them free-standing on a table. You can bend them. You can unbend them. You can play with them however you want. Really strong memory wire inside. But you can see here, that the LEDs, the color is flowing across the legs of the strip. Let's get into some fun mode here.

Scott Ertz (04:07)

It's like the. It's like the Neon flow we talked about last year.

Jennifer Garrett (04:11)

Exactly. And this gives you a lot of functionality. And within the app, these modes are customizable. So you can create your own with specific color profiles, brightnesses fields, name them, save them, schedule them, do everything that you want. And there's kind of no limit to it. So you know out of the box, you plug it in, you hit the button, it's fun. You pair it to Wi-Fi. You get a little more fun. You get the app. You get the customizability. You can set it up with voice. You got Siri, shortcuts, Google, Alexa, anything that you want, and then you keep getting deeper and deeper. And we've got brand new things that we want to intro this year. We did get another way that you can interact with your products.

Scott Ertz (04:53)

Okay, real quick.

Jennifer Garrett (04:54)

Stay calm.

Scott Ertz (04:55)

Before you do that. Real quick. I have to say that the design that you got going on there looks a lot like Vortex to me.

Jennifer Garrett (05:04)

Oh. Scott, you know my color mode. I appreciate that about you Scott.

Scott Ertz (05:09)

Is that Vortex?

Jennifer Garrett (05:10)

It is in queued.

Scott Ertz (05:12)

So that means that all of the color scenes and stuff that I'm used to on, say, my Prism or my Digit now apply here as well.

Jennifer Garrett (05:23)

They do and many, many more. So when we've added in the ICs, we've expanded the number of color modes. So you get some really fun ones because of the way the ICs are done. And the fact that this is, you know, a linear strip opposed to an array of LEDs, we've got more running and fading light effect.

Scott Ertz (05:40)


Jennifer Garrett (05:41)

Yeah, But yes you can, you can set them all up. And they look great together.

Scott Ertz (05:44)

Because that makes, that makes for more color zones. During. We did, we did a holiday gift guide review before the holidays. And one of the things that we recommended was, was the Prism. And we talked about that it has more color zones than maybe some of the competitors, even the ones that cost more.

Jennifer Garrett (06:05)


Scott Ertz (06:06)

But this is giving you the ability to really blow up the number of colors zones.

Jennifer Garrett (06:11)

Absolutely. It breaks it up into different ways even one of my favorite things on this strip is the sound reactive mode. Rather than just one music reactive. I've got, I think six different color profiles for sound reactive that take equalizers and make them in different rainbow patterns at different points on the strip. And they're just really expressive. And it gives you just a lot more options. There's always going to be placed in the world for the standard RGB where it's all one color at all one time. And that's beautiful. But sometimes you want all the colors all the time. Yeah. And I think that's fun.

Scott Ertz (06:47)

Yeah, that's really cool. And seeing this product now, the one that you have right out that has written out love, I now understand an image that you posted on Facebook.

Jennifer Garrett (06:59)

Yeah. Yes.

Scott Ertz (07:01)

So it was that.

Jennifer Garrett (07:02)

Yeah. It is this. So I've always used Neon to make designs. I keep telling people in my design studio, in my office, I wrote the word design on the wall. And it's a staple for all of our designers. I hope it's inspiring. It was so difficult to get that up on the wall. I laid it out on the floor. I took a picture of it. I made a template. I followed that and put it on the wall. And that is literally what inspired this product. I'm like I'm not doing that again. That was too much work. I'm just gonna put a memory wire in it and make a great new product. And with that kind of changed everything. It's so easy to create art with it now.

Scott Ertz (07:40)

So we're getting some questions from chat in particular. People want to know more about the little bulbs that are twinkling behind you.

Jennifer Garrett (07:48)

The little bulbs are twinkling. These are the Easter lights. So we've got these decked out all over. This is a 12 light bulb run, I think it's a 12-meter length. It's expandable so you can plug in another onto the end of it. They are smart, RGBIC lights. So again, multiple colors all at once. To fantastic for outdoor decorating, outdoor entertaining. And at the touch of a button, you can switch them into holiday lighting, which I think is great, because nothing worse than going up and down ladders. Putting up and taking downlights. Just install them once. And you never need to go out there and do it again. You just hit a button.

Scott Ertz (08:26)

Absolutely. Marlo and I were talking about this earlier today. Because he loves LEDs. And he's like, you know you can redecorate your house, from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas all with the same lights if you just have them in the right strategic places.

Jennifer Garrett (08:44)

Yeah, and you know, considering that that's going to be a major use for a lot of these lights. I have custom color programs preset, especially into these RGBIC products for you know, festive for Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day. Oh, everything is pre-programmed in there. And if you want to go off-script and make your own cool customization.

Scott Ertz (09:04)

Very cool. I've actually done that. I've done all kinds of customization. It's a lot of fun to do. Now, I know you're itching to walk to your left. I think it's a-

Jennifer Garrett (09:13)

I am. I'm going to take you inside. Now. Walk with me. We're using some of our other products right now to do the audio. The cell phone is holding. It's a whole setup.

Scott Ertz (09:28)


Jennifer Garrett (09:29)

Welcome to the game room. New this year we're announcing a partnership with Razer Chroma RGB.

Scott Ertz (09:37)

Yes. Awesome. I saw that earlier. So I have been stoked about this all day.

Jennifer Garrett (09:46)

Good. I'm glad that we found some time for me to pop in and talk to you about it. So I told you all about the way that you can interact with our products. You know, you've got Wi-Fi app control, voice control, built-in controllers on the product too so you're not losing any functionality if you're disconnected for any reason, but now we're introducing PC control. So we've created a Monster Smart Desktop App. So that you can have a basic power control, color control, and brightness right from your desktop. And an app also does a handshake and passes control over to Razer Synapse. So you can go into the studio and get all of your Razer Chroma RGB color control, and directly to your Monster Smart product. And the fantastic thing about this, you know, you've already got the product set up at home. And we love that. We sold millions of these things everywhere. So many individual users, so many repeat users. Once you download the Monster Smart Desktop App, it instantly grabs all of those items on your home network and gets them right over. Just install this. Open up Synapse. There it is. And you can do screen awareness, which is what's happening on these devices right now. You can do sound reactive. In-game reaction, as programmed by the game developer, depending on the game you're playing. It could be proximity alerts when an enemy is nearby, a light on one side of your room turns red, because now you know somebody over there reactions to the mood, to the sound. It's limitless. And the great thing about this ecosystem is that everybody's in it. All the game developers, it's amazing. Razors are always adding more features. Bringing in more people. So just. It makes me happy bringing everybody together.

Scott Ertz (11:37)

Yeah, I am. I am stoked about this. Literally, like we've been talking about it all day. And before you came on, Michelle and I were having a conversation and I said I'm going to kind of steal Jennifer's thunder here. But only on the live show, because the further the published interview, nobody hears the stuff we said on Live. I'm going to steal her thunder because I don't know what the integration is or how many products it works with. But I know for a fact that Razer Chroma is coming and I am so stoked about it.

Jennifer Garrett (12:16)

I want to show you some of those products specifically. And this one down here. If we can zoom in, as it lights up.

Scott Ertz (12:24)

I mentioned this by name earlier.

Jennifer Garrett (12:26)

When the video queues. This is the Ark Plus. This is the perfect desk companion. It is an RGBIC Plus real light lamp, so you get awesome decor lighting, usable work lighting. This is also a 10-watt wireless charging pad for yourself. As you see, it's a headphone stand with a bonus USB at the back. Keep your headphones fully charged. So absolute must-have in your gaming station or on your nightstand wherever you want to work. Ties in with Razer Chroma beautifully also has all the wonderful Monster Smart Illuminessence lighting modes that we've come to love. And the built-in microphone so it can do sound reactive. Must have.

Scott Ertz (13:09)

Nice, Nice.

Jennifer Garrett (13:11)

And yes. This is. How many was it going to work with? Yes, the answer is yes. Anything that we've made a Monster Smart Illuminessence is going to get this upgrade. The stuff that you already have. The stuff you're gonna run out and buy in two months when it becomes available. All of it is going to be partnered with Razer Chroma

Scott Ertz (13:28)

Fantastic. I'm gonna ask that your camera operator bring the camera, the phone closer to you because your Bluetooth is jittering a little bit.

Jennifer Garrett (13:38)

Oh no. There you go.

Scott Ertz (13:41)

We know how the show floor works. It's fine.

Jennifer Garrett (13:45)

Running around trying to get this set up was an adventure. So we produce under a lot of brands, Monster is kind of our headliner. But we're using some extreme cables, branded headphones, and a selfie stick. We went into every section of the booth to make sure we could pull power and media just so I could come to talk to you.

Scott Ertz (14:05)

Well, we appreciate it because the chat on Twitch is losing its mind right now.

Jennifer Garrett (14:12)

I wish we could see what are they saying?

Scott Ertz (14:14)

Okay. So I see gotta get that. So where can I get one of those headphone lamps and then same question, lol and when Oh, oh, chat is losing it.

Jennifer Garrett (14:29)

Let me show you another one. I want to give the, I want to give the world what it wants. This is another item that we're going to be selling, the Vertex Corner Lamp. You've seen these out and about. You know they've been making a splash design kind of like this. What we've done is we've broken it down into three modular pieces. So rather than trying to go to the store or get shipped to you a five-foot-tall box that's going to get broken before it ever arrives at your door. Now in three easy plug-and-play pieces. Fantastic. Perfect for the game room corner, because it creates a nice ambient glow. That just reflects off the walls. You can see some of that going on back here.

Scott Ertz (15:09)

Oh, and because it's a new product, it's got the RGBIC.

Jennifer Garrett (15:15)


Scott Ertz (15:16)

I see that animation happening over there.

Jennifer Garrett (15:19)

I love my tech. I, you know, once I figured out how to get this into every product. We worked out the color modes. It's in everything. Of course, we're still going to make the baseline product at all different price points. And in keeping with the philosophy of Monster Smart Illuminessence, these are affordable price points. It's not an exclusive restricted design, everybody should have good design, everybody should have good lighting. So none of this stuff is going to break the bank. It doesn't require a hub, there are no extra fees, we're not charging for the software. It's just out of the box. You buy an affordable product, it does amazing things. And your life is slightly better.

Scott Ertz (15:55)

Yeah, for sure. And I, we were, at Walmart the other day. And anytime I'm in a Walmart, I know where your product is in the store, I always go look at what's going on over there. And I noticed that the Neon has even come down in price since the last time I looked. You, so something that was already a good price is even more affordable now.

Jennifer Garrett (16:18)

Yes. And that is because I guess thank you to all the consumers because we're buying so many of them that now we can get better prices on things. We've been so blessed to have great support for these products that we've tripled the size of our product line in the time that we've been doing this. And that's why, you know, I'm gonna have to go back in and check out the Twitch feed and what Twitter saying because I'm missing all that being completely separated from you guys right now because I want to hear what the consumers want because I want to keep making cool products.

Scott Ertz (16:48)

For sure. I'll make sure that we export this part of Twitch chat for you. Thanks. Absolutely. And I need this, I need all of this ditto. The corner lamp is so cool-looking. Yeah, Twitch chat is losing it over this. And I can imagine with the Chroma integration that Twitch is absolutely excited about this.

Jennifer Garrett (17:14)

I hope so because there are so many Chroma users out there. And this just gives them more toys to play with.

Scott Ertz (17:20)

Yeah, for sure. Well, obviously, we're stoked. I know you can't see me. But I've definitely got an orb running here on my desk.

Jennifer Garrett (17:28)

Good. Thank you.

Scott Ertz (17:30)

In this chat, I can't knock when we're talking. I actually had Allante go grab it because it wasn't on the desk. I'm like Hey, go grab my orb real quick. But so what kind of timeline are we looking at on these things.

Jennifer Garrett (17:47)

So the first Chroma products are going to be launching in April. And that's the time when we making the software available. You can see a little teaser bit of information at And that's where you're going to find slash Chroma. And that will be your source to download the software when it is available to people.

Scott Ertz (18:06)

Very cool. And then I know. So I'm on the website way too frequently. And so there were a couple of products that we talked about last year that I'm still curious about the headphone stand and the selfie ring, or the thing that I'm still most curious about.

Jennifer Garrett (18:26)

So yeah, I mean, we've got both of those in here. You can see the selfie ring off to the side down here. It's currently in clock mode, which is one of my favorite things about it. Because when have you seen a selfie ring that can become a wall clock or a table clock. So these have just landed and launched landed thank you and are in a few flights retailers. I think they're about to go live on our website at any moment. So these are going to be available soon. If it does still say coming soon on the website, please hit the Notify Me button and you'll get signed up for alerts as soon as we load them in or getting all the shipments in and we're going to be adding products left and right.

Scott Ertz (19:07)

Fantastic. Well, I know you know that I've been stoked about that headphones stand.

Jennifer Garrett (19:14)


Scott Ertz (19:14)

Since you showed it to me last year. And the ring because there are a lot of interesting non like selfie reasons to have an RGB ring, several of which we talked about last year. So I've been stoked about those. Now, I have to, you know that I have to breach it. We have to do it.

Jennifer Garrett (19:34)


Scott Ertz (19:35)

What about our friend Midnight Edition?

Jennifer Garrett (19:38)

Midnight Edition is still sitting in concept plans.

Scott Ertz (19:41)


Jennifer Garrett (19:42)

I have a beautiful set hanging out at my desk, and I'm just waiting for the right retailers to pick it up. So retailers if you're watching, give me a call. I got some cool new toys to tell you.

Scott Ertz (19:55)

Yes, please. Cause I desperately need that Midnight Edition cause I definitely need to make the triforce ever since you said it.

Jennifer Garrett (20:06)

I appreciate your memory. And I really appreciate your passion for these products. Because it's great that you enjoy these things as much as I do.

Scott Ertz (20:14)

Yeah. Cuz when you live in it, it's easy to be excited about it. But then also to get like, zoned out on what the real world might or might not be excited about.

Jennifer Garrett (20:26)


Scott Ertz (20:28)

So for people who want more information. How can they get it?

Jennifer Garrett (20:32)

You can go to and hit that subscribe button for our newsletter or add yourself onto the waitlist for any of the interesting products but keep an eye out because there's a lot of great new stuff coming.

Scott Ertz (20:45)

Very cool as always, Jennifer. I appreciate you coming on this. This kind of rivals also running across the show floor with arms full of boxes two years ago.

Jennifer Garrett (20:57)

Hey, we got to figure it out. Now maybe we'll keep doing this. I've got my camera guy who has been a pinch hitter right now. He utilizes their-. Thanks, Mary.

Scott Ertz (21:09)

Well, we have a new thing. we're gonna try and do more of these booth things in the future. So hopefully we'll be able to help work out some of that stuff for next year. Because the booth tour, very cool. You and I have to talk after the show. Because we got some stuff going on that I think we need to work together on so.

Jennifer Garrett (21:33)


Scott Ertz (21:34)

All right. Well, as always, I appreciate it and enjoy the rest of the show.

Jennifer Garrett (21:38)

Thank you so much, Scott. Good talking to you.

Scott Ertz (21:40)


Jennifer Garrett (21:41)


Erin Hurst (21:44)

TPN CES 2022 coverage is executive produced by Michele Mendez. Technical Directors are Kurt Corless and Adam Barker. Associate producers are Nancy Ertz and Maurice McCoy. Interviews are edited by Jo Mini. Hosts are Marlo Anderson, Todd Cochrane, Scott Ertz, Christopher Jordan, Daniele Mendez, and Allante Sparks. Las Vegas studio provided by HC Productions. Remote studio provided by PLUGHITZ Productions. This has been Tech Podcasts Network Production, copyright 2022.

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