Smart light strips are the new hotness, with game streamers and popularizing pretty Christmas lights for your home, only all-year round. There are tons of options on the market, as white label manufacturers line up and share their tech with various brands across the world. Finding smart lights that are actually good and provide a decent experience can be a bit tough, but one brand has cut through the clutter and emerged as an undisputed frontrunner in the space.
Say hi to Govee, a smart light ecosystem manufacturer that has proven itself a mainstay of the trend, thanks to a high-quality app experience and some seriously impressive value. We went hands on with their RGBIC LED Strip Lights with Bluetooth integration to see whether they can best our previous, more expensive option. These lights might make it into an ideal best budget streaming setup for those looking to get into the space.
Bottom line: The Govee RGBIC LED Light Strips Bluetooth version is a great beginner light strip for those who don't want or need full smarthome integration. Paired via Bluetooth, it's easy to manage and set up timers and scenes, but missing Alexa integration feels like a bit of a miss. Regardless, this product is extremely well priced for the amount of lighting you get, making it a solid purchase across the board.
- Decent lights at about 820 lumens
- Good app with lots of features
- Large volume of lights for the price
- Bluetooth only, making them limited for smarthome use
- No Alexa or smart assistant
Govee RGBIC LED Strip Lights (Bluetooth): Price and availability
The Govee RGBIC Light Strip (Bluetooth) is available at all major retailers including Govee's own website for $24 dollars. You get a huge amount of lighting for the price, alongside great app integration with solid features. This makes for a great gift for younger friends and family potentially, especially those who aren't interested in full-blown smarthome integration, since this works only with the Android and iOS mobile app via Bluetooth (which is free).
Govee RGBIC LED Strip Lights: What you'll like
I've used Govee before, and remain impressed with the general quality of the products they put out. This RGBIC Strip Light has a solid array of features, and is versatile for all sorts of surfaces and user scenarios.
Right now, I'm generally using strip lights to add backlighting to my TV. For that purpose, using the self-adhesive surfaces on the back of the strips is a simple case of peel and stick, after cleaning dust from the adjoining surface, of course. Govee provides instructions for creating corner loops, along with 3M self-adhesive holders (along with screws) for a reinforced hold. I didn't bother using these, but if you want to, they're provided in the box.
Set up is also incredibly easy. The strip lights boot up in pairing mode, and come complete with a small interface in-line with the cable for switching modes and activation. The Govee Home app for Android located and paired up with the lights almost instantaneously, eliminating any potential headaches that often come with these types of products. From there, I was pretty much good to go.
The app itself is also very well made and comprehensive. You can customize each individual light strip segment, with a huge range of music-activated scenes, timer scenarios, and custom light shows. They reach about 820 lumens on maximum brightness which is decent, and the brightness can be further customized in the app, even per segment.
There's a large range of customizability options within the app, as well as a user-created service for different types of scenes, and highly responsive music response modes that can turn your dwelling into your very own personal disco.
Govee RGBIC LED Strip Lights: What you won't like
The biggest downside of this product is the lack of integrations. This is a basic strip light system with a Bluetooth interface, although it does have some in-line controls on the cable too. Despite having an app which could have easily integrated with Alexa or another service like Smart Life, you can't set up any smarthome integrations with this app at all, which is a bit of a shame.
Besides that, there's not really anything hugely negative to say about the product. Given its affordable price point, generous light offering, and solid app experience, this is a product that delivers a good experience for the cost. There are definitely brighter options out there, and products with better integrations, but you may have to pay a little extra to get it.
Govee RGBIC LED Strip Lights: Competition
Govee has a range of similar products that do offer that much-needed Alexa integration, often costing around the same or slightly more, depending on how much lighting you need. Just be sure to search for "WiFi" or "Alexa" while searching for Govee on Amazon, or indeed, on Govee's own website
There are some slightly brighter lights out there, including the Corsair Elgato ones I reviewed more recently, but they often come with a heftier price tag.
Govee RGBIC LED Strip Lights: Should you buy them?
The Govee light strips with Bluetooth are a great beginner option for adding some color and pizzaz to any home dwelling. You could slap these behind a desk for extra ambiance while working, you could stick them up behind a TV like I have, or put them in the background while streaming to your fans on Twitch. The integrations and features are a bit limited compared to some other products out there, but the price is absolutely right with this set.
You should buy this if ...
- You want a basic light setup without smarthome features
- You don't want to pay too much
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- You want additional features like Alexa integration
I don't think anyone will be disappointed with this product as long as you know what you're buying from the outset. They provide some good illumination for a relatively low price.
If you're a smarthome enthusiast you may want to skip these, unless you're planning to buy for a youngster just for them to control via their phone. Otherwise, they're pretty great for the asking price.
Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!