Dec 17, 2023

Govee Permanent Outdoor Lights review

REVIEW – If you’re anything like me, you’re sick of the process of putting up and taking down seasonal house lighting. Multiple times I’ve climbed the 20-foot ladder to install lights in the snow and ice in December, then procrastinated taking them down until at least July or August, at which point I say “might as well just leave them up for next year”. Then I have to replace the whole thing in 2-3 years due to UV exposure or other weather damage (this year the old lights started falling down because the plastic clips began breaking). When the offer to review Govee permanent outdoor lights came in, I happily volunteered, but will this truly be a one-time install or will I have to do upgrades or updates in the future?

The Govee Permanent Outdoor Lights are a lighting product designed to be permanently installed outdoors (or indoors). Once installed, you can change the light’s intensity, colors, pick from premade scenes, or even make your own. They can sync to music, be turned on or off on a schedule, and even be controlled by voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.

The LED lights themselves are housed in a durable plastic square, with pre-installed 3M adhesive on the back.

Each strand has a 3-pin connector to connect to the next strand (or to the control panel if it’s the first strand. Notice the red rubber O-ring (there are extras in the box), and the screw-on fastener to tighten things up and achieve that IP67 rating.

Finally, the Govee Permanent Outdoor Lights’ AC adaptor, control box, and an extension cable are included. The control box has 3M adhesive on the back, but the AC adaptor does not. If you want to mount the AC adaptor like I had to, you’ll need to use your own mounting solution (I covered it in heavy duty two sided tape and it’s held up for a couple weeks so far).

First, Govee recommends you connect all your light strands to the control box and plug in to make sure everything is working. You don’t want to install it all then discover a defective strip or single LED.

I’ve reviewed at least a half dozen Govee products before and they all share the same app, so I won’t go into depth on it, you can see some of our other reviews for that. Each device has a unique set of prebuilt scenes (there’s a lot of overlap between them), and there is an extensive custom “DIY” setting to fully control every single LED light and create patterns of your own. The scenes include animated and static patterns, as well as music modes (which can use either your phone or a microphone on the control box to detect and coordinate lights to match the rhythm).

Clear installation instructions help the process, but it’s fairly simple: you peel the backing off the adhesive on each LED puck, and stick that to your desired surface. Don’t be like me – measure first. I installed two full strands of lights before realizing I was not very well aligned with our roof’s architecture. I had to use a spatula to peel every puck off, and then carefully reapply. I used the spatula to space each puck the same distance from the wall as well for a more uniform look at the end.

Between every few lights you also place a wire holder, which has adhesive but should also be screwed in.

Pictured above is the control box and AC adaptor, this gave me the reach to get to an outlet in the back of our house. I wish there was a way to somehow attach two strands going in different directions from the control box, but Govee’s implementation here is linear – you need the control box at either the beginning or end of one long strand of lights. They included a ~15 foot extension cord, which was perfect to jump from one roofline to the next, and you can buy individual light strips to extend your system if needed (though they recommend ~150 feet or less total per control box).

One final note on setup, the “end” strand has a cap to screw on, make sure you do that to keep things water and dust protected. I snipped off this cap from all the other strands so they weren’t hanging down randomly.

The photos above show some of the lighting combinations and scenes from different angles. Many of these were at 50% brightness, these lights can get very bright! The red/white/blue setup was a custom DIY pattern I created that slowly loops around the house and I had going for Independence Day here. Below is a video of some of the scenes in action, after which I’ll wrap up my performance thoughts:

I really liked that Govee allows granular control of even individual lights and strands, this allowed me to wrap a couple of lights around the side of our house (the edge of the roofline hit the middle of a strand). I can then turn off the handful of lights that are around the edge of the house if I want, which I’m sure the neighbor will appreciate since they shine right into their backyard when on.

The wide variety of premade scenes (70+ when reviewing) plus community shared scenes and the ability to create your own means nearly limitless possibilities. I’ll be lighting these up for each holiday with a holiday-specific theme going forward.

Just like other Govee products, the Govee Permanent Outdoor Lights can be controlled by Google Assistant or Alexa, tying it into the rest of my smarthome lights (I use Google Assistant to control nearly every light in the house now). Even better than that, you can set specific on/off times that can be recurring on specific days.

The installation of the Govee Permanent Outdoor Lights, especially when I had to replace two strands after failing to measure correctly was a longer than expected process in the hot July sun. However, having done it and seeing the final product, I would do it again in a heartbeat since it means years of avoiding the seasonal ladder game (and re-buying holiday lights every few years). The app and lights allow for a ton of customization to your house (or backyard, fence line, or even indoors if you wanted), and we’re very happy with the end result.

Price: $299 for 100 ft versionWhere to buy: Govee or AmazonSource: The sample of this product was provided by Govee

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