Android Central Verdict
The M1 is Govee's most versatile product yet, and Matter integration allows you to use the lightstrip with Alexa, Google Home, HomeKit, and SmartThings. You're not limited to one ecosystem, and that makes setting up and using the lightstrip that much more convenient. The best part is that the lightstrip has brighter LEDs that deliver vibrant colors, and you get extensive customizability via the Govee Home app. If you use other Govee products, you can sync lighting effects as well. The standard version has a length of 2 meters, but it can be extended to up to 5 meters. I ran into a few issues with initial pairing, but those should be worked out with a software update soon. Thanks to Matter integration and bright LEDs, the M1 is the only lightstrip you'll need.
Bright LEDs produce a diffused light
Limitless customizability via Govee Home
Matter integration lets you use the lights with any ecosystem
Can be extended up to 5 meters
Issues with pairing
Only works over 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
Why you can trust Android Central
Govee is on a roll lately; the brand is constantly rolling out products in new categories and building out its portfolio — like the AI Gaming Sync Box — and the latest addition is its first to include Matter integration. The M1 Matter lightstrip is an upgraded variant of the M1 with brighter LEDs and more customizability, and you can use it with any smart home ecosystem — it works with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, HomeKit, and Samsung's SmartThings.
I used the M1 Matter for just over two weeks now, and here's why I think it is the best lightstrip you can get.
Govee M1 Matter: Price and availability
Govee unveiled the M1 Matter lightstrip on May 22, and it is available now at the brand's website as well as Amazon. The standard version of the M1 Matter has a length of 2 meters, and it retails for $49 on Govee's website.
The M1 Matter is also listed on Amazon for $49 should you wish to buy it there instead. Govee sent me the 2 meter version, and you can cut out any extra segments you don't need — that's what I did as it was a little too big for the back of my table. Should you need a longer lightstrip, there's also a 5 meter version set to launch soon, and Govee sells 1-meter extension kits that cost $18.
Govee M1 Matter: What you'll love
Having switched from a Yeelight lightstrip, there's a significant difference in the caliber of lighting and customizability. One of the biggest issues with the Yeelight lightstrip I was using previously was that it would lose connectivity for no reason, and I would have to pair it with the Yeelight app all over again. Thankfully, that hasn't been a problem with any of the Govee products I have in my home, and it holds true for the M1 Matter as well.
Setting up the lightstrip is as easy as attaching it to the surface of your choice — I put it at the back of my gaming desk — and connecting the control box to a power source. The lightstrip is immediately detected in Govee Home, or you can use the QR code to set it up via Matter if you wish to do so; you'll get a dialog box asking if you want to go this route.
The best part of the M1 Matter is that the LEDs get bright — significantly more so than the Yeelight lightstrip I was using. There's good color saturation as well, and the bright LEDs combined with saturated colors makes this a standout against other lightstrips. There are 60 LEDs in a meter, so the standard version of the M1 Matter has 120 LEDs in total, resulting in a diffused lighting effect that looks fabulous.
There's extensive customizability via Govee Home, and you get over 40 preset scenes that work well for any occasion. You get a music mode that syncs colors with music playing in the vicinity, and this mode is ideally suited if you're playing high tempo music — think more Skrillex than smooth jazz.
If you're like me and have a lot of Govee products, you can sync lighting effects across all the products, and it is very cool. The biggest selling point for my own use case — and why I think Govee makes the best smart home products — is that you get API access, giving you the ability to control the M1 Matter and any other Govee products over the likes of Home Assistant, or the Elgato Stream Deck. Half the buttons on my Stream Deck+ are for controlling Govee lights, and it is much more convenient than using Govee Home.
Govee M1 Matter: What needs work
Once paired to Govee Home, you can set up the M1 Matter over Wi-Fi so that you don't need to rely on Bluetooth, but like other Govee products, it's limited to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
That's about the only limitation that I can think of for this product, and I would like to see 5GHz Wi-Fi integration in the future. Otherwise, the only other issue I ran into was that Govee Home constantly asked if I wanted to set up the M1 with Matter even after it was paired; this glitch will be sorted out via a future OTA update.
Govee M1 Matter: The competition
If you just want a lightstrip on a budget, there's no shortage of options on Amazon that start off at just $14. But if you need wireless connectivity, good customization options, and the ability to control the lights via a digital assistant, you'll need to pay up.
Govee itself has a whole range of options, and the standard M1 without Matter integration retails for $79, and you get a 5-meter lightstrip. I'm highlighting Govee over other brands like TP-Link or Hue as it's easier to set up and use, and it works seamlessly with Alexa and Google Home; I have over a dozen Govee products in my house, and they've been more reliable than all the other smart lighting gear I used thus far.
Govee M1 Matter: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if:
- You want a lightstrip with the brightest LEDs and best color saturation
- You need a lightstrip that's easy to set up and use
- You want a lightstrip that works across all smart home platforms
- You're looking for a high degree of customizability
You shouldn't buy this if:
- You need a lightstrip on a budget
- You need something that works over 5GHz Wi-Fi
Overall, I think the the M1 Matter is one of Govee's best products yet. The Matter integration allows you to use the lights with any ecosystem without having to worry about pairing issues, and the brightness of the LEDs and vibrant saturation means you get excellent lighting effects even without cranking up the brightness. If you need a new lightstrip or want to switch to a brand with better customizability, I highly recommend taking a look at the M1 Matter.
The upgraded variant of the M1 has brighter LEDs and Matter integration, making it a terrific choice if you want a lightstrip that's platform agnostic.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.