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December 10, 2023
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Govee LED Strip Light M1 Matter review: A bright and colorful smart light that’s compatible with everything


The $59.99 Govee LED Strip Light M1 Matter is the primary Matter-compatible product from Govee, a wise lighting firm recognized for its wide selection of low-cost and colourful lights. Solely the second mild strip to work with Matter (the primary is the Nanoleaf Necessities Matter Mild Strip), the M1 is the primary to take action over Wi-Fi, and the primary with addressable LEDs.

A RGBWIC mild strip, the M1 is the brightest I’ve examined. With each tunable white mild and full coloration, plus addressable mild segments, it produces wonderful colours and brilliant whites. Via Matter, it really works with Amazon Alexa, Apple Residence, Google Residence, and SmartThings, plus another Matter-compatible platform, making it Govee’s most versatile product so far. Matter is a brand new customary for the good house designed to make it simpler to purchase, arrange, and use good units throughout any platform.

Nonetheless, one of many Govee M1’s foremost options — dynamic lighting — doesn’t work in Matter. This implies if you happen to use it solely in Matter you possibly can say goodbye to all these enjoyable lighting results Govee is understood for. Except you additionally set it up and use it in Govee’s app.

Should you plan to make use of this mild strip as an accent mild a lot of the 12 months and solely bust out the consequences on Halloween or for the occasional social gathering, that’s most likely not a dealbreaker. Nevertheless it’s a disgrace that Matter and/or the Matter platforms haven’t found out a means for us to make use of a few of the finest issues about good, color-changing lighting on this shiny new good house customary.

How we price and evaluation merchandise

The Govee M1 is a full-color 6.56ft (2m) mild strip with ten individually controllable segments per meter, permitting for dynamic lighting results. The Govee app has over 64 pre-set lighting scenes, plus you possibly can dial in your personal.

The strip packs in 60 mild beads per meter, a a lot greater LED density than the Nanoleaf and TP-Hyperlink good mild strips I’ve reviewed, leading to much more mild. Govee claims it has the best luminosity of any 2-meter strip mild in the marketplace. 

Tunable white mild provides you extra choices for practical lighting and is one thing not all mild strips do because it requires devoted white LEDs. Mild strips with out them use RGB LEDs to make white mild, which doesn’t look pretty much as good.

I examined the M1’s tunable mild as accent lighting on my staircase, which is tremendous darkish and wanted some illumination. I set it for heat white within the morning, brighter mild through the day, after which a really dim, heat white at evening. This labored properly, however whereas the sunshine is crisp and clear, it struggles barely with the hotter tones.

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The Govee displaying cool blue mild.

Mild strips are very versatile and may add ambient good lighting anyplace you want. The favored alternative is behind a TV or round an leisure console or desk. I’ve additionally tried putting in mild strips on the ceiling, beneath cabinets and cupboards, beneath my kitchen counter, and alongside my stairs to good impact. Round a mattress or beneath a headboard is one other enjoyable choice. 

Govee has a huge range of lighting products which might be a lot cheaper than comparable merchandise from the likes of Philips Hue, Nanoleaf, and LiFX. This makes it straightforward and comparatively cheap to arrange a enjoyable RGB-drenched room with its merchandise. Govee’s DreamView music sync expertise enables you to sync the sunshine strip and different suitable lights with any music enjoying utilizing the M1’s built-in microphone. 

As talked about, Matter assist means this mild strip can work in any Matter-compatible platform, together with Apple Residence — a primary for Govee. It’s the one Govee product that helps Matter; the remainder of its line use 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

To make use of the M1 with Matter you want a Matter controller, however with out one you possibly can nonetheless use it with Govee’s app or with Amazon Alexa and Google Residence by means of cloud connections. The corporate says it can launch neon rope lights with Matter support this summer season and has extra merchandise within the works. It has additionally mentioned it can convey Matter assist to its present M1 strip mild through a brand new controller. 

In order for you mild exhibits, the M1 will convey them. The Govee app contains dozens of results, plus you may get artistic and construct your personal. A few of my favourite scenes embody Disco, Universe, Carnival, Fireworks, and Lightning, which use blinking, flowing, chasing, and streaming rhythms in a number of colours for some critical impression. Warning! A few of the scenes include actually speedy flashing lights, which may very well be harmful to individuals with photosensitive epilepsy.

For a calmer vibe, Dawn and Sundown, Romantic, Enterprise, and Birthday fluctuate between single colours or extra mild pulsing results. However, as talked about, all these enjoyable options are solely accessible within the Govee app and never in suitable Matter apps.

The Govee app, whereas full of enjoyable results, is neither straightforward nor nice to make use of, primarily as a result of it’s additionally full of adverts and has restricted features outdoors of its results. I might set these lighting scenes and go deep into creating my very own, however when it comes to good management choices, there are some rudimentary schedules, however that’s about it.

Including the strip to a Matter-compatible app allowed for extra superior good lighting management. I paired it with Apple Residence and Amazon Alexa, the place I added it to automations and routines. I triggered the sunshine with movement sensors and different good units, in addition to grouped it with different good lights in my house. However I couldn’t entry Govee’s lighting results in these apps.

Nonetheless, the identical is true of any color-changing mild when managed by Matter. The Matter specification doesn’t assist dynamic lighting or a number of mild colours in a single strip. It’s restricted to on / off, brightness, and single-color lighting.

Govee M1 setup and use with Matter

I put in the M1 mild strip on a darkish staircase within the middle of my house, the place it provides ambient lighting and makes utilizing the steps at evening a bit safer. Plus, it may well boost any dance events because the stairway opens into the primary lounge.

Set up was straightforward: Govee gives all the mandatory instruments, together with lighting clips with each screw-in and tape choices to shore up the tape pre-attached to the strip. The controller and the ability brick each have lengthy cords, which gave me loads of flexibility for placement. The strip itself wasn’t fairly lengthy sufficient for my stairwell. If this had been a everlasting set up, I’d choose up the $18 extension package, which provides an additional 3.28 toes.

I just like the strip’s bodily controller, because it gave me a straightforward option to flip the sunshine on / off, cycle by means of colours, activate music mode, or modify the brightness with out having to make use of the app or voice management.  

Not like lots of good LED mild strips, the M1 can’t be reduce to suit. Should you want one thing for much longer, Govee sells a 16.4ft (5m) M1 light strip with out Matter assist. The corporate has mentioned it can launch a controller field for that mannequin so as to add Matter however hasn’t supplied a timeline.

The Govee comes with pre-fixed faucet on each the sunshine strip and the controller.

I first arrange the M1 straight with Matter, as Govee recommends, so I did not must create any new accounts or obtain any apps. I began with the Apple Residence app, utilizing a HomePod Mini as a Matter controller. I scanned the Matter QR code on the sunshine strip with the Apple Residence app on my iPhone, and it paired immediately. From there, the method was like including any machine to Apple Residence.

I then paired with Amazon Alexa by producing a Matter pairing code within the Apple Residence app and pasting that into the Alexa app when prompted in that app’s setup stream. (This additionally required an Alexa Matter controller — you want one Matter controller per platform.) This course of replaces the necessity to hyperlink any accounts or use any cloud companies, so I did not must enter my Amazon password anyplace.

It’s vital to notice that after you arrange a tool in a single Matter controller app, it’s important to use that very same app to pair it to any subsequent platform. The Matter QR code on the machine will now not work (it is a safety characteristic in order that nobody can come simply scan your machine and pair their cellphone to it). As a substitute, that you must generate a pairing code from the primary app, on this case, Apple Residence. (See screenshots beneath).

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To arrange the Govee in Alexa after pairing it to Apple Residence, I went to the Govee mild’s settings within the Residence app and tapped Flip On Pairing Mode. This generated a numerical code that I copied to stick into the Alexa app.

In Alexa, I add the M1 to a gaggle and created a routine that makes use of a movement sensor to show the sunshine on after I stroll up the steps. I then used the Apple Residence app to pair the sunshine strip with a totally different movement sensor on the high of the staircase to activate the lights after I stroll down the steps.

This labored nicely in each platforms, turning the sunshine on promptly and turning it off once more when there was no movement detected for a set interval. After all, you are able to do this multi function platform, however I wished to check out the multi-admin characteristic of Matter. 

Multi-admin means you possibly can pair a Matter machine to a couple of platform on the similar time and management it with totally different apps and voice assistants. I might use each Siri and Alexa to manage the sunshine, and each did so rapidly and accurately. I might ask it to activate / off, dim / brighten, and alter coloration.

That is the warning I acquired when making an attempt so as to add the sunshine to the Govee app. Including it brought on the sunshine to be unresponsive within the Matter controller apps.

I additionally managed to pair the M1 to Samsung SmartThings from Apple Residence, which is the primary time I’ve efficiently paired a Matter machine to SmartThings from one other platform. Nonetheless, I had issues when it got here to Google Residence.

I might pair it by means of Apple Residence, however it confirmed offline within the Google Residence app, and I couldn’t management it, regardless of repeated makes an attempt at setting it up. I did have to make use of an Android cellphone to set it up because the Google Residence iOS app nonetheless doesn’t assist Matter (regardless of Google saying it might with iOS16.5 — Google tells me it’s now coming with model 3.1 of the app later this month). 

Subsequent, I paired the Govee mild strip to its app to entry all these cool mild results. That is the place issues went wonky. I acquired a warning from the Govee app that including the sunshine strip to its app would possibly trigger points: “Altering the community might trigger Matter to malfunction.” This wasn’t in any respect clear, so I requested Govee about it, and so they instructed me this was a warning to not change networks in your cellphone when utilizing the sunshine as you’ll lose management of the machine.

Whereas I didn’t change networks, the sunshine strip did turn out to be unresponsive in each Apple Residence and Amazon Alexa after I added it to the Govee app. I do have two Wi-Fi networks in my house, which can have contributed to this subject. All the pieces labored easily after I manufacturing unit reset the strip and set it up once more on all the identical platforms. However that is one thing to pay attention to when utilizing Matter-over-Wi-Fi units in case you have a number of Wi-Fi networks in your house.

The Govee M1 Matter mild strip is the primary Govee product suitable with Apple Residence and Samsung SmartThings because of Matter.

At $59.99, the Govee M1 is dearer than Nanoleaf’s $49.99 Necessities Matter mild strip. However Nanoleaf’s strip can solely show one coloration at a time, it doesn’t get as brilliant, and doesn’t assist music sync. You additionally want a Matter controller and a Thread Border Router to make use of Nanoleaf’s mild strip with Matter.

However Matter solely helps single-color lighting on mild strips anyway, so if you happen to’re largely planning to make use of Matter, you received’t be taking a lot benefit of Govee’s a number of lighting zones anyway, so Nanoleaf could be the option to go.

It’s nonetheless too early to inform whether or not Matter-over-Thread is extra environment friendly or dependable than Matter-over-Wi-Fi. In testing each mild strips, they had been equally attentive to the app, voice, and sensor instructions to activate and off.

Nonetheless, I did encounter some bugs with coloration management. After I would try to change the colour of the M1 mild strip in both the Apple Residence app or Amazon Alexa app, it might generally take a few faucets to register the change and some seconds to show it on the sunshine strip. Each apps would additionally present the sunshine as unresponsive for a couple of seconds earlier than lastly finishing the command. 

It’s nonetheless too early to inform whether or not Matter-over-Thread is extra environment friendly or dependable than Matter-over-Wi-Fi

Exterior of Matter, the Govee M1’s direct competitors is the $49.99 TP-Hyperlink Tapo L930-5. This is a wonderful mild strip that works with Alexa, Google Residence, and Apple Residence, however not Matter but. TP-Hyperlink has mentioned it can assist Matter throughout its Tapo line, so this may occasionally get upgraded. 

As a gradient mild strip, the Tapo can do a number of colours directly, just like the Govee. However just like the Govee, solely by means of its app. At over 16 toes, the Tapo strip is greater than twice as lengthy. It has music sync, however by means of your cellphone, not a built-in microphone.

The Tapo app is less complicated to make use of and extra practical than Govee’s, with scheduling options, integration with different Tapo good house units like switches and plugs, and a neat auto-white mode to routinely modify brightness and heat based mostly on the time of day. The Tapo strip can also be trimmable, which the Govee shouldn’t be, and could be prolonged as much as a whopping 33 feet. In case you are simply wanting so as to add some ambient mild round the home and aren’t as excited by creating a number of flashy results throughout a number of lights, the Tapo mild strip is cheaper and longer. It’s simply not as brilliant.

However the Govee provides off probably the most mild of all three choices and has the widest suitable RGB lighting ecosystem. This makes it an excellent choice if you would like a lightweight strip that may be a part of a full-color setup utilizing Govee lights at present and that ought to work with extra merchandise tomorrow by means of Matter.

After all, that’s assuming extra lighting firms undertake Matter. Philips Hue has promised Matter assist for its whole vary, and Nanoleaf has a slew of recent Matter-compatible lighting merchandise coming. However firms like GE Cync, which additionally has a variety of RGB lighting, are shifting extra slowly with Matter, adopting Govee’s method of providing one or two suitable merchandise at first. So, whereas the dream of shopping for any good mild bulb, screwing it in, and having it simply work because of Matter is unquestionably quite a bit nearer, we’re nonetheless not there but.



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