Bottom line: If you're tired of traditional light fixtures and bulbs, Govee Glide can lend a distinct atmosphere to your home's ambiance. They're also a fantastic way to enhance indoor photos with a unique shape that lends color and light to your photos.
- Easy to control
- Easy to mount and extend
- Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT
- Highly customizable colors and light patterns
- Unique shape
- Music mode isn't very good
- Can't customize the shape much
- Segments could be easier to move once mounted
Govee Glide wall lights are Govee's latest evolution in the smart lighting space, taking cues from their other products like the Govee Immersion TV backlights and shaking things up a little. Unlike Govee's other products in this space, Govee Glide wall lights sport a more modular design that can be lightly customized, but not to the extent that products from Nanoleaf allow. That's not a negative, per se, but it's not a positive, either.
When it comes down to it, Govee Glide is a moody light fixture that's more designed to provide ambiance than it is to light a room or provide a certain experience. Personally, I've got it mounted above my photography table and have started incorporating it into the product photos I take on a weekly basis for Android Central, as the customizable light colors provide a rather interesting visual feast to spice up shots. As such, I can very much see these making their way onto many YouTube channels in the way Nanoleaf's original product ended up becoming so ubiquitous with the tech space.
But are these lights right for you, and would they make sense in your home? With a price that fits somewhere between the already-established list of best smart lights, the actual use case scenario might vary wildly from person to person. Regardless of how you use them, though, these lights provide a decidedly techy look to a living space and will probably only fit in homes with a modern design aesthetic.
Govee Glide Wall Lights: Price and availability
Govee Glide Wall Lights are available right now on Amazon and Govee's website. The launch kit retails for $89.99 and comes with six straight segments, as well as one 90-degree elbow segment.
Govee does not currently offer additional shapes or extensions but plans on adding the ability to link more light segments in the future.
Govee Glide Wall Lights: The beauty of smart lighting
Govee Glide Wall Lights are designed, primarily, to be a moody light fixture that strikes wonder in the eye of the beholder. As a rather fascinating-looking centerpiece with a wholly unique shape, Glide absolutely excels at this point. When all 6 segments are connected with the elbow piece, the entire fixture can display up to 57 colors at once in harmoniously blended light. It's really quite something to see.
In fact, the light blending is so well done that I had a hard time seeing where any of the LEDs inside were actually located. You can turn this effect off in the app if you're going for that hard stop look, but it's enabled by default and just looks superb.
While the decor in my home wouldn't mesh well with its particular style — we tend to favor a more traditional Japanese aesthetic — I found Glide to be an incredible photography companion in my office. It definitely fits along the lines of a more tech-saturated look, especially when used against a white background, but I enjoy the ability to give a splash of color to photos where there might otherwise be none.
If you've used Govee lights in the past, the app experience is identical here. Govee Glide uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to communicate with the Govee app, as well as to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or even IFTTT. It's incredibly simple to control the lights with your voice, tie them in with other lights in the room, or hook them into routines.
As with Govee's other light strips, Govee Glide can display solid colors across the entire segmented array or display individual colors in each segment. When all seven lighting elements are hooked up together, that makes it a total of 19 customizable segments: two for each straight piece and one additional for the elbow piece.
Those colors can flow into each other in a way that's indistinguishable to the human eye sometimes — except for the elbow connections, where there's a faint line on each end lacking fully vibrant color — but many of the scenes highlight the fact that this isn't one giant strip. On the bright side, the dim lighting at the end of each segment doesn't show up on a camera at all.
Dynamic scenes are identical to other Govee lights, but in this form factor, they really shine. Part of it is that the diffused light that comes from Glide is just so attractive. It's not harsh the way light from a bulb is, and it's much more indirect than an LED strip.
Govee Glide Wall Lights: Limited by design
The shape is one of the most unique aspects of the Govee Glide wall lights, but it's also one of the product's biggest weaknesses. That's not because the shape itself is bad, per se — far from it, really — it's just that you can't do much to change the shape at all. With six straight segments and one 90-degree elbow piece, you're always going to either have one straight line or two perpendicular lines.
Govee's design for Glide favors the idea of outlining another square or rectangle in glowing glory, but it would also be nice to have a few more 90-degree segments to change things up. Govee says that additional pieces will be sold in the future, so there's hope that this could change soon.
Segments click together nicely and are easy enough to take apart when you want to rearrange things, but relying on Command Strips to apply them to the wall also means that you're not likely going to move or rearrange them very much. After all, it would look a little odd to have an errant Command Strip sitting on the middle of your wall. It also means there's a distinct possibility that your segments might not line up perfectly along a straight line if you don't get the strips placed just so on the wall.
Govee designed Glide to look like a single piece of filament when connected, but there are still some obvious gaps between each segment if you look up close. It's not likely that you'll be inspecting the lights that closely — my camera didn't even pick up these gaps in any of the normal photos I've taken with the lights on — but it's something worth noting that might bother some particularly persnickety folks.
While this particular light fixture is designed to set the mood, Govee's music mode for Glide leaves a bit to be desired. Other Govee LED strips, like Govee Immersion TV lights, work just fine when dancing to music that's playing. I don't know if it's the shape of the lights that don't work so well or something on the back-end that Govee changed, but they're just not very attractive in this mode.
You can use either the microphone on the light's controller or your smartphone to sample music playing, but neither mode made much difference in my testing. Simply put, other lights — including ones from Govee — sync to music better than these.
Govee Glide Wall Lights: Competition
The most obvious competitor in the segmented lighting space is Nanoleaf. After all, they invented segmented lights as we think of them these days, so why not? While the original Nanoleaf kit is decidedly "techy" looking — a perfect comparison to Govee Glide's style — the Nanoleaf Elements line goes for a more natural look. Nanoleaf's products are far more customizable than Govee Glide but are considerably more expensive. The shape is also a huge consideration when it comes to these sorts of products, so if Nanoleaf's mix of triangles and hexagons don't float your boat, they're simply not the product for you.
Other Govee LED strips are far less expensive but go for a very different lighting aesthetic. LED strips are best kept behind things like furniture or TVs, as the direct light of an LED is harsh, unattractive, and usually hurts if you look directly at it. There's certainly no arguing that plenty of space can be covered for the same price — or less — than what Govee Glide offers, but you also likely won't be putting them smack in the middle of a wall the way you would with Glide.
Alternatively, if you were hoping for a light strip or bulb that reacts to music — or even what's happening on your TV — Govee Immersion and Philips Hue Play products will fill that requirement better. Those products feature a camera or HDMI box that converts the visual information on your TV (or HDMI cable) into a lit scene that adds real depth to the viewing experience. These are more of experience lights rather than ambient or mood lights, though.
Govee Glide Wall Lights: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want mood lighting with a decidedly "techy" look.
- You're looking for a unique lighting accent piece for your decor.
- You're looking for interesting ways to add light and color to indoor photography.
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want to sync your lights to music.
- You want a highly customizable shape.
- You're looking to replace a traditional light fixture.
Govee Glide is a unique product that fits quite well into the home decor space. As is the case with all home decor products, not everyone is going to love this light. I don't doubt that folks who want to spruce up their place and want that modern glow will eat these up. There's no color they can't radiate, and with the ability to create custom patterns and colors, there's no color decor they won't match.
3.5 out of 5
Of course, the downside is that, with such a specific look, this won't fit in everyone's space. While you can customize the number of segments you use, the configuration can only be in one of two shapes. If a line or a bend doesn't work for your space, you're simply out of luck. For me, that's the biggest disadvantage to this particular design. Second is the limited ability to easily move them around since they rely on 3M Command Strips to be mounted.
Govee Glide Wall Lights
Bottom line: Govee Glide gives your living space a decidedly high-tech look with its brilliant customizable array of colors and patterns. The shape might be limited, but its unique look is unmistakable.