Govee RGB Strip Light Test: Great features without the high cost
RRP $ 39.99
“Equipping your home with intelligent light strips does not cost a fortune with Govee’s offer.”
Affordable price point
Lots of functions
Impressive music effects
Bright and vivid lights
Bad setup experience
Strip lights add an element to the decor that normal lights simply cannot compete with. Think how many home theater setups you’ve seen with ambient lighting on the back of the TV or a string of lights under a chair. Not many. The problem is that the best light strips like the Philips Hue Lightstrip or the LIFX Z LED are sometimes prohibitively expensive, reaching prices of up to $ 70 or more.
Govee’s RGBIC Strip Lights offer largely the same functionality as higher-priced models, but at a fraction of the cost. A 16.4-foot section starts at $ 23 while a 32.8-foot section starts at $ 49.
Installation and setup
Installing the Govee light strips is a simple task. All you have to do is plug the power adapter into the wall and hook up the lights to it yourself. A physical controller allows you to cycle through various color options and turn the device on and off, while 3M tape on the back of the strip makes it easy to mount on the underside of a counter, along the wall, or any other location around the lights place.
Setting up the strip light, on the other hand, is a bit strange. The Govee app isn’t the best-designed application I’ve ever used, and when it came time to connect the lights to the Wi-Fi, it didn’t auto-detect the Wi-Fi network and neither did I. not be able to choose from one of the available connections. I had to manually enter the network’s SSID and password. Govee also has many different light strips to choose from, so you’ll need to know the model number of your lights to find them in the app. The organization of the app leaves a lot to be desired.
However, after I completed this section of the setup process, everything else went smoothly. Note that unlike some RGB strips, the lights cannot be cut. RGBIC lights are controlled by a single IC chip, so cutting the strip on either side of the cut can cause malfunction, especially if you don’t cut it in the right place. Also, the cut section cannot be reconnected to another power supply.
Another thing to be aware of is the heat generated by these LEDs. Most LED strips hardly get warm, but the Govee strips can get uncomfortably warm when rolled up. Make sure to unroll the strip before using it, even if you don’t need the full length. Leaving it rolled will make the lights dangerously hot.
Features and performance
In the list of functions, the Govee RGBIC Strip Lights stand out. The lights are able to display up to 16 million different colors with their bright 5050 LEDs. The luminosity of these LEDs is impressive – they are significantly brighter than other LEDs in the same price range.
The lights can be controlled by a physical controller that provides access to a wide range of spot colors as well as multiple color changing effects. However, the best features are in the app. It gives users access to all of the top options for using the Govee strip light, including the timer function and the ability to manipulate the brightness or switch between the four different modes.
The luminosity of these LEDs is impressive.
the Music mode causes the lights to flash and change to the beat of the music. It will listen to music through the phone’s microphone, but you can adjust the sensitivity if it picks up too much background noise. You can choose between the options Party, Dynamic and Quiet, as well as whether the music mode changes color automatically or you can select it manually. Party mode is the most hectic option and is the fastest to change the color option, while sleep mode offers the slowest transition. You can also choose from a number of other options, some of which don’t make much sense because of their names: Shiny, Sprouting, Day and Night, etc.
Color mode is self explanatory and lets you change the colors of the light. However, there is more to it than just basic colors. You can set different segments of the strip to different colors, adjust the brightness, and much more. You can also save custom colors. With the “Recommended Color Schemes” function, you can choose between different styles, scenes and color adjustment methods to customize the appearance of your light strip. Some quick math shows that there are millions of different color combinations and setups just for spot colors, let alone the flashing light options.
the Scene mode offers more than 64 preset scenes for almost every occasion. The scenes are divided into Life, Emotion, Festival and Natural. I recommend either the Lightning or Deep Sea scene – both make impressive use of the lights and do a great job of imitating their namesakes.
The last mode available in the app is Home improvement. This mode allows you to create your own streak of light effects with a variety of adjustments. However, there are little to no instructions on how this mode works, so you can learn through a lot of experimentation and trial and error. I still haven’t fully understood how it works, but the ability to create my own scenes and flickers was really impressive.
The Effects Lab is another feature worth trying out. It’s divided into a color gallery, an effects lab, a gaming lab, and the Harmony lab. The last one – the Harmony Lab – really stands out. Each of the selections plays sound through your phone and has a matching scene. Some of these effects, like Rain Drops or Stream, create almost meditative experiences. The effects are calming and well beyond what I would expect from a series of light strips. You can turn off the sound at any time and also keep the flicker effect.
At full brightness, the lights are almost too bright to be viewed directly and they work best as ambient lighting. However, you can adjust the brightness between 1 and 100, with the lower section providing more than enough light without dazzling you.
According to the specification, this light bar only works with Bluetooth. However, I found that even with the bluetooth turned off, I could only control it via Wi-Fi.
Integration of intelligent assistants
The Govee Strip Lights work with both Alexa and the Google Assistant. Alexa can easily create routines, change the color of the lights or even activate certain scenes if you know their names. However, the wizard cannot set the lights to one of the effects from the Effects Lab.
Within the Alexa app you can change the color, set up scenes and create certain routines. You can also turn the lights on and off at specific times. I placed the lights in my loft as part of a playroom setup and they go perfectly with the rest of the decor in the room. Unfortunately, they cannot function as ambient lighting. I haven’t found a way to connect them to the scene on a TV to match the ambient color on the screen.
My first impression of the Govee RGBIC Strip Lights wasn’t that great. The setup process left me frustrated and confused with the lack of features that apparently should be included by default, but after that I learned to enjoy those lights. The wide range of features and color options is really impressive, and I really appreciate the physical controller. Some lamps I’ve worked with in the past, like the LIFX Z LED, don’t include physical controls. Sure, it takes up more space on the cord, but when the phone is out of range or the lights aren’t connected to a smart assistant, having a real button to press is useful. All in all, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, especially at this price point.
Is there a better alternative?
There are alternatives, but few better options at this price point. Philips Hue and LIFX both have light strips that are packed with features and tremendous build quality, but both are also way outside the price range of Govee RGBIC lights.
The Twinkly Line has a lot of features and presets, but costs $ 67. You can also use ultra-budget on lights with no smart features, but which are only $ 8 for a 16.4-foot strip. If you want lots of smart features and smart wizard integration, the Govee RGBIC Strip Light is your best bet at this price point.
How long it will take?
The plastic on the controller isn’t of the highest quality, but it doesn’t feel overly fragile either. With proper care, these lamps should last for many years. Note, however, that the glue is for single use only. After you’ve placed the lights and peeled them off, they’ll need help staying attached elsewhere. Even if you accidentally place it incorrectly and pull the lights off to put them back on, you will find that the section sags and comes off.
Should you buy it?
Yes sir. At this price you will hardly find a lamp that comes close to this quality.