Bluetooth-only kit doesn't support Google or Amazon RGB kit has limited features Minger DreamColor kit supports only one strip
Lighting is an essential part of your smart home. With the proper equipment, you can dim the lights, change their color, and creating schedules using an app on your phone. In many cases, you can perform the same functions using voice commands through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Our Govee LED Strip Lights review covers four kits you can control within the home or from afar during a vacation.
China-based Govee opened its doors in 2017 and its portfolio includes a water leak detector, smart plug, a Bluetooth meat thermometer, smart lightbulbs, and LED strip lights. Govee mostly sells its kits through Amazon and promises rapid replacements for defective devices.
Before we dive into the Govee LED Strip Lights review, the kits feature two lighting methods that require an explanation. The DreamColor models have addressable LEDs, meaning each LED lights individually with an assigned color to enable multi-colored special effects like candlelight, snowfall, movie reactions, and more. The RGB strips do not have addressable LEDs, thus every light illuminates with the same color and brightness.
Lastly, these kits do not require a smart hub. You can manage all four through the Govee Home app (Android) (iOS) while only three support Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Our first kit is the $70 Govee LED Strip Lights designed specifically for 55- to 80-inch TVs. It provides bias lighting that reduces eye strain by decreasing the contrast between your screen and the surrounding area. Eye fatigue stems from continuously adjusting to a bright screen against a dark background. With the source and background at an equal brightness level, your eyes do less work.
This kit provides one long black strip comprised of three strands connected together by a single cable, totaling 68 multi-color addressable LEDs (DreamColor). The longest portion stretches across the entire width of a 55-inch HDTV while the other two match the TV’s exact height. A USB-A connector resides at the end of this three-piece strip.
The kit also includes a camera. While that detail may throw up a red flag, there’s no cause for concern. It’s mounted (stuck) at the top of the TV facing downward so all it sees is a fish-eyed view of the screen. It includes a built-in microphone and a USB-A connector.
The third main ingredient is a controller box that sticks directly to the back of your TV. It features two USB-A ports – one for the camera and one for the LED strip – and a connector for the power adapter. This device includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Govee’s kit is extremely easy to install. Simply wipe your TV backside with the included alcohol-based towelette, peel the backing off the three stands, and apply them to the back of your TV. The instructions call for the USB end to reside on the right when looking at your TV’s backside for proper screen-to-LED orientation.
Once the strands are in place, center and stick the camera at the top of your TV, stick the controller box onto the backside, plug the strip and camera into the USB ports, and connect the power. After that, download the Govee Home app, create an account, and add the kit. Piece of cake.
Before digging into the cool features, you must calibrate the camera. The app’s calibration section provides five customizable points on a snapshot of the camera’s current view. Drag four points to each corner of your TV and the fifth towards the very top, as shown below. This defines the area where the camera collects its colors.
Again, this camera points down: It absolutely does not spy you sitting on the couch digging for nostril nuggets. Still, don’t leave a credit card or any other sensitive data sitting in front of the TV for the camera to capture. Govee isn’t collecting data, but the Internet of Things isn’t immune to hacker attacks.
This kit provides two lighting control methods: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. With the former, the Govee Home app offers simple controls, like using a timer to turn the strip on and off, changing the brightness level, and calibrating the camera. Meanwhile, the Bluetooth component unlocks additional modes and features not available through Wi-Fi.
One Bluetooth-enabled feature is Music mode. Here the camera’s built-in microphone captures audio and applies one of four lighting effects: Energetic, Rhythm, Spectrum, or Rolling. Since the control box does not have an audio jack, you’re at the mercy of this microphone. It picks up everything in the surrounding area – people, dogs, birds, etc. – and lights the LED strip accordingly. Still, Music Mode is an awesome way to electrify the room while blasting music through your TV.
Video mode may be your most-used setting, as the camera pulls colors from the screen to expand your viewing experience beyond the TV’s physical window. For instance, the “All” preset captures the single most dominant color and flashes it across all LEDs. The “Part” preset pulls multiple colors from the screen and applies them to LEDs located in the same regions as the source colors.
Naturally we had to test this mode with the Xbox One console. The result? It’s f***ing awesome. With Video mode set to “All,” the LEDs turned blue when viewing a blue forcefield, then turned orange when the viewpoint turned to an orange wall. When we switched to the “Part” preset, the blue forcefield illumination resided more towards the top while the remaining LEDs pulled in colors from the surrounding walls and loot boxes.
But the “Part” preset isn’t always correct. The screen may display a blue color in the top-left corner but the LEDs could shine red. You’ll also see lots of flashing as the camera tries to quickly interpret colors and address the appropriate LEDs each second.
That said, all that flickering can be a distraction. For gaming, Video mode adds immersion: There’s a strange sensation your 55-inch TV is now too small given the game seemingly extends beyond the physical screen. But for movies and TV shows, the flickering colors pull your attention away from the on-screen action.
That’s where Color mode comes into play. Here you can set a static color, create a custom color, or simply select white and use the app’s slider to shift from warm to cold like a tunable smart bulb. You can also use Scenes mode consisting of eight set colors and effects: Sunrise, Sunset, Movie, Dating, Romantic, Blinking, Candlelight, and Snow Flake.
Sunrise mimics the sunrise color and brightness changes, reaching its peak in 15 minutes. Movie provides a static white backlight while Candlelight emulates a flickering flame. The Dating and Romantic settings are somewhat similar while Snow Flake emulates white light falling from above. Blinking is the weird setting of the group, as it slowly cycles through primary colors until settling on white.
In addition to the four modes, you’ll also see a DIY option for creating a custom setting. Here you can add up to eight static colors, or eight custom colors created with a slider. You can also set the effect style along with the speed and overall coverage: Whole, subsection, and circulation.
Finally, this kit works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. For Google, simply open the Google Home app, tap the Add button, select Set up device, select Have something already set up, and then link your Govee Home account. After that, add the kit to a virtual room within Google Home. In this case, we added it to our TV Room group already used by two Yeelight bulbs.
With Amazon Alexa, you’re adding and enabling the Govee Home skill, linking your account, and assigning the kit to a virtual room.
In both cases, you can turn on, turn off, and dim or brighten the LED strip using the Google Home and Amazon Alexa apps. You can also change the color, but only by using static color swatches: You cannot create a custom color. Google Home provides 36 color swatches (six are shades of white) while Amazon Alexa is limited to 20 swatches (five are shades of white).
You can perform these functions using voice commands too, such as, “Hey Google, change the TV Strip Lights to red.” The Amazon Alexa app provides actual color swatch names, making color swapping via voice commands easy. Google Home doesn’t show the name of a specific color swatch until selected, meaning you must choose Indigo in the app and remember its name the next time you command Google Assistant. Color options include Light Sky Blue, Forest Green, Pumpkin, Tomato, and more.
One detail to remember is how you name this kit in Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and where it resides in your smart home groups. For instance, if you name the kit “TV Strip Lights” and assign it to the TV room, you must specifically say “TV Strip Lights” to manage this kit.
Here’s an example. If you say, “Hey Google, change the TV lights to red” and you have other connected multi-color bulbs in the room, all lights turn red, not just the kit. To specifically change the kit, you must say, “Hey Google, change the TV Strip Lights to red” if you named the kit “TV Strip Light.” The same rule applies to Amazon Alexa.
Unfortunately, the Bluetooth features supplied in the Govee Home app can’t be used with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
This $56 kit contains two reels of LED strips measuring 16.4-feet each. Like the TV kit, these strips feature addressable LEDs supporting over 16 million colors and multi-color effects. But unlike the TV kit, these strips are white to easily blend into any room. The kit targets general home illumination, like adding light along baseboards, under countertops, under wall cabinets, and more.
Both strips connect directly to a three-button controller that sticks to most surfaces. This device includes a built-in Bluetooth component, a power button, a nine-color loop button, and a button for cycling through several preset modes. This controller connects to a power supply that plugs into your standard wall outlet.
We installed this kit in a bedroom to provide illumination along the baseboards. We used the included sticky clips to hold the LED strip in place around corners. We also cut the strips to accommodate closet and bedroom doors. You can safely make a cut anywhere you see three gold bars marked with 12V, Dout / Din, and GND labeling.
Because the kit doesn’t have Wi-Fi, you must be within Bluetooth range to change the settings. This limitation means you can’t turn off the LEDs when away from home, or control the strips using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. If you want voice-controlled lighting, this kit is not for you.
Despite the Bluetooth limitation, this kit supports most of the features found in the TV kit. You’ll see the same timer, brightness slider, and custom DIY option. Also present are the Music, Color, and Scenes modes while the Video mode is not available. Camera calibration also isn’t available given this kit does not include a camera.
This $50 kit contains two reels of LED strips measuring 16.4-feet each. Unlike the previous two kits, these strips do not include addressable LEDs. They still support over 16 million colors, but they can only emit one color in unison versus the per-LED colors seen with the previous kits. These strips are white, to easily blend into most environments, targeting general home illumination, like adding light along baseboards, under countertops, under wall cabinets, and more.
As with the Bluetooth version, these two strips connect directly to a three-button controller that sticks to most surfaces. This device includes both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a power button, a nine-color loop button, and a button for changing preset modes. It connects to a power supply that plugs into your standard wall outlet.
To install, clean the target surface using the included alcohol wipe, peel off the backing, stick the LED strips, apply the sticky clamps if needed, power on the kit, and add it to your account. The only difference with this kit is the printed cutting points: Four gold lines labeled 12V, R, G, and B.
This kit features the same timer, brightness slider, and DIY option. It also supports a Music mode that feeds off the controller’s built-in microphone but doesn’t include the Energetic, Rhythm, Spectrum, and Rolling presets. The Color and Scenes modes remain fully intact while the Video mode isn’t available.
Since we have access to Wi-Fi with this kit, you can issue voice commands through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Like the TV kit, you can turn on and off the strips, dim and brighten, and set one of 36 colors through the Google Home app or via voice commands. You can do the same with Amazon Alexa though the color commands are limited to 20.
Despite the Minger name, this is a Govee product. The company previously used the Minger brand on all products but is now shifting to the Govee name. You’ll see products still bearing the Minger brand until they’re all sold out.
This $40 kit ships with a single 16.4-foot black strip featuring addressable LEDs supporting over 16 million colors and multi-color effects. Unlike the other kits, the included black three-button controller is permanently attached to the strip. Also included are sticky clips to secure the strip and a power adapter that plugs into the controller and a wall outlet.
This kit targets general home illumination, like adding light along baseboards, under countertops, under wall cabinets, and more. If you need to shorten the strip, cut along the three gold bars labeled 12V, Din / Dout, and GND where needed. Otherwise, mount and add the kit to your Govee Home account just like the others.
Since this kit supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, you can control the strip using voice commands through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You can also adjust simple settings like color and brightness within the Google Home and Amazon Alexa apps.
In Wi-Fi mode, you can set a timer, manually adjust the brightness, and create your own DIY setting in the Govee Home app. With Bluetooth enabled, Music mode provides four presets, Color mode offers static colors and a custom color slider, and Scenes mode offers Sunrise, Movie, Dating, and Candlelight presets.
The drawback to this kit is that you can’t manage two strips with one controller. It’s not ideal for illuminating walls and ceilings. However, the base black color makes it an ideal solution for hiding lights under the surface of an office desk or kitchen countertop.
If you’re still confused about these kits – and it’s understandable given their similarities – we break down the basic features into a table:
Out of the four, the Govee DreamColor LED Strip Light for Home kit (H6116) is the only one in this review that doesn’t support virtual assistants. If you’re looking to add cool voice-controlled illumination to your smart home, this kit doesn’t qualify. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this kit if you simply want manual control using Govee’s smartphone app or the physical in-line controller.
Getting the TV kit (H6104) is a no-brainer: You simply must have it for TVs 55-inches and larger. The price may seem rather steep, but it’s worth the money. It can bring your movies and games to life, extending the action beyond the screen. With Music mode, you can energize the room like a night club. Create a romantic date night with the Dating and Romantic modes, then switch to Candlelight or Snow Flake modes for the holidays.
As for the Minger DreamColor LED Strip Lights (H6163), you get multi-color LED effects on a single black 16.4-foot strip. If you need a longer solution, the company sells a 32.8-foot version for $60. However, you’re only managing one strip with one controller. This may be a good kit for highlighting your kitchen countertop or an office desk you can control using voice commands.
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Finally, the Govee RGB LED Strip Lights (H6110) kit is great, but you won’t have the multi-color effects seen with the other DreamColor kits. The controller handles two LED strips, which is ideal for room lighting like ceilings and baseboards. Just plant the controller in a corner and you can cover two walls. If you don’t need flashy effects, this kit is ideal.
Ultimately, all four Govee Light kits are great: You just need to decide which one is right for your project.
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