Most smart LED strips come with color options, but they’re typically limited to an all or nothing scenario. Either your entire strip can be white, or red, or blue, but not white, red, and blue. Govee DreamColor LEDs buck that trend.
For the most part, Govee’s $33 DreamColor LED strips start out looking the same as other smart LED strips. They arrive wrapped in a wheel, they feature sticky tape so you can adhere them to any surface, and the lights have an app for phone control.
You don’t get much else in the box other than basic instructions and extra stick-on mounts to help hold an LED strip in place. But Govee promises more than the usual LED strip.
Instead of a strip that can only show one color at a time, the DreamColor LED strip can show multiple colors. Have a favorite sports team? You can light up the strip with their colors. Are you feeling patriotic? These lights do red, white, and blue (or whatever colors your flag might be). Usually, you’d have to buy separate lights and program each color individually, but not so with Govee. And that’s thanks in part to its app.
A Functional App That Isn’t Much to Look At
I’m going to be honest, Govee’s app (for Android and iOS) isn’t beautiful. It’s about as bare-bones and basic as you get. You have tabs for scenes, music (more on that in a bit), and color options. And you’ll find basic timers and sliders for brightness. None of it looks fantastic. But the important part is, it’s an easy to navigate app. Everything works in a straightforward fashion.
Most options are things you’ve seen elsewhere. You can set a timer to turn the lights off, choose a scene, so your lights behave in a particular fashion, or pick a color for the LED strip. But on the color page, you’ll find an unusual option: DIY.
In DIY, you can create custom scenes that set up multiple colors across your strip. Once you pick the colors, you choose how to disperse them across the strip. Of the three options (whole, subsection, and circulation), I like circulation the best. Your color choices are dispersed evenly across the strip, and then they move in a marquee-like effect. It’s pretty neat.
It’s worth noting that these are Wi-Fi enabled lights and you can control them with Alexa or Google Assistant. You get all the usual options like on, off, dimming, and basic color choices. You can tell Alexa to turn the strip to red for instance, but not to a multi-colored option.
Decent Lights with an Annoying Controller
So how do the lights look? Pretty good. They’re on par with other budget LED strips I’ve tested as far as brightness and color go. If it weren’t for the fact that it can display multiple colors at once, I wouldn’t know the difference between this strip and other smart LEDs.
But they do display multiple colors, so you can have a lot of fun with that. The app includes pre-set scenes, and most of those are just so-so. They’re simple effects like mimicking a sunrise or candlelight. For pre-set options, the real star is the music options.
With music sync turned on, your lights will pulse with the beat of the music. You can choose from three different effects, and all of them are good. I’d love to show some video, but video and pulsing lights don’t mix. But it’s something similar to the light strips DJs use at a concert, just in your home.
Unfortunately, Govee built the mic that listens to music into an oversized remote. The remote is functional and works. You’ll find three buttons: one for power, one for scenes, and one for music sync.
But it’s large and serves as the connecting point for the power brick. That means you need a broader space to place the lights to accommodate the remote than you would with other LED strips. Tucking these somewhere narrow like behind crown moulding is going to be difficult at best.
Govee sells the DreamColor strips in both 16 feet (5 meters) and 32 feet (10 meters) options. Unfortunately, you can’t connect the light strips like other LED strips. So if 16 feet isn’t long enough, you’ll have to buy 32 feet and cut it down to the length you need.
They’re pretty good lights for the price. Unless you need to fit them in a narrow space, or you need more than 32 feet of connected lights, these make for a good choice with more color control.