Review: The Govee Glide puts on a show with fun colors and dynamic effects
Govee's Glide Wall Light makes putting on a colorful light show a snap.
Smart, colorful lighting is all the rage these days, with the best LED light strips making it easier than ever to set the mood in our homes. However, despite just how popular light strips have become, most still suffer from the same set of flaws that were present when they made their debut. You know what I am talking about — uneven lighting with exposed LEDs and flakey extension kits that make longer runs more of a hassle than just buying another strip.
Smart light panels from brands like Nanoleaf solve these problems with modular designs and diffusers in various shapes like hexagons. But what if you just want a diffused look in straight lines or right-angles that you can expand with ease? Before the recent release of the Govee Glide — which I have been testing for the past few weeks, options were extremely limited. While it isn't perfect, the Govee Glide goes beyond just filling a niche with tons of amazing effects, bright colors, and an easy setup. Let's check it out.
Govee Glide RGBIC Smart Wall Light
Bottom line: With loads of amazing lighting effects, millions of bright colors, smart app controls, and a clean, diffused look, the Govee Glide is an excellent alternative to the run-of-the-mill LED light strip.
- Bright and colorful
- Tons of dynamic effects
- Smart app controls
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
- No permanent mount
- Only one corner included
- Doesn't support HomeKit
Govee Glide Wall Light: Price and availability
The Govee Glide Wall Light is currently only available online through Amazon and Govee's web store. The Govee Glide comes in a complete starter kit that includes six straight light segments, one corner segment, a control module, and a power supply.
The Govee Glide kit retails for $99.99, and the company plans to release expansion sets available in the future. To celebrate the recent launch, Govee is offering an exclusive discount for iMore readers. From now through July 11th, 2021, you can take an additional 20% off the price using promo code RDFQMEYJ.
Govee Glide Wall Light: What I like
Installing and setting up the Govee Glide is quick and easy, thanks to the adhesive mounting system. Each Glide light segment features two 3M velcro-style adhesive strips on the back that lock into another set of strips that attach to the wall. I really like how the strips come pre-attached right out of the box, so all that is needed is, quite literally, a peel and a stick to get them up on the wall.
Each Glide segment measures around a foot in length and are close to an inch-and-a-half wide, providing a generous amount of coverage in the starter kit. The Glide features glossy white plastic construction with no exposed buttons on either the segments or the power module, giving the whole thing a clean look even while off. The light segments snap into one another using the built-in connectors with a satisfying click, creating an almost seamless look across the installation when coupled with the edge-to-edge lighting capabilities.
Even with the inherent design limitation of being primarily straight line segments, the Govee Glide is pretty versatile. During testing, I installed the Glide in various designs and positions throughout several rooms in my home. With the included segments, I created a right-angle design that followed the outline of my TV, a straight line that matches the width of my couch, and a shorter offset angle that highlights the area behind my desk — all within a few minutes.
Admittedly, despite having a unique light segment design, I was still expecting a lighting experience similar to any one of the countless smart light strips on the market. Upon firing up the Glide for the first time, I was immediately struck by the clean, diffused look of the segments, which made colors pop and how bright the lights are at the max level. I absolutely love how the Glide produces perfectly even light throughout and how you cannot see the individual LEDs underneath the diffuser.
I absolutely love how the Glide produces perfectly even light throughout and how you cannot see the individual LEDs underneath the diffuser.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the Glide's ability to display multiple colors within each segment — up to 57 in total at the same time. Having various colors within each segment enables dynamic lighting capabilities that incorporate all of the lights in your installation. Dynamic lighting means that the Glide can show effects that bounce colors off of one another in a playful manner or follow each other from end to end. At my last count, there are around 40 effects, or scenes, that can be activated in the Govee app, and of course, you can personalize colors at any time.
Speaking of the Govee app, I like how simple it is to control the lights from the comforts of my iPhone. The Govee app puts the Glide's power toggle on the first screen that you see, which is excellent for quick changes, and most settings and features are easy to understand with clear labeling. Through the app, I like that I can set up a timer for my Glide and create Smarts — or automation, in a few taps, although, without any additional Govee gear, Smarts aren't particularly useful for me currently.
Another thing that I like about the Glide and the Govee app is the ability to integrate the light with most of the major smart home assistants. The Glide works with Alexa and the Google Assistant, like pretty much most smart home devices these days, and it also works with Siri Shortcuts for the iOS crowd. Setting up a Shortcut that sets the Glide to my favorite scene — Rainbow, is familiar and easy, and once created, I love that I can put a quick toggle anywhere I desire on my phone.
Govee Glide Wall Light: What I don't like
Although getting the Govee Glide up on the wall is relatively straightforward, I will freely admit that my first attempt didn't quite go as planned. Since I am used to hanging light panels that accept removable connectors on either side, I ended up installing my Govee Glide lights in the wrong orientation for my design. After mounting all of the segments on the wall, I realized that the last piece didn't have the male end to attach the power module to, meaning I had to put it on the opposite end, creating an eye-sore with a more visible cord.
Now the good news is that I was able to correct the issue without significant hassle, as most segments just popped right off. However, since the segments rely on adhesive, there is the potential to pull the whole two-piece strip off of the wall when making adjustments — leaving you with a strip that may not stick again. Surprisingly, Govee doesn't include additional strips in the kit, so the only way to fix it is by making a trip to the store.
Another hardware gripe that I have with the Govee Glide is that the starter kit only includes one corner segment. The Govee Glide seems like a natural fit for squares or rectangles with its clean lines, but you cannot create these with only one corner in the box. I could easily see the Glide as being a viable alternative to using smart light strips behind the TV, so it is rather odd that Govee doesn't include multiple corners or at least have a way to purchase additional segments.
Finally, as someone who prefers all things HomeKit for my smart home, not having the ability to use the Govee Glide with my platform of choice is a real bummer. Because of the lack of HomeKit, I cannot incorporate the Glide into my existing lighting scenes or automation, and since it isn't in Apple's Home app, there are times where it sits dormant as the Govee app isn't part of my daily routines. Yes, support for Siri Shortcuts is nice, but it isn't a substitute for HomeKit — especially considering just how inconsistent Shortcuts are when used with a HomePod.
Govee Glide Wall Light: Competition
With the Govee Glide's unique design, there isn't much in the way of direct competition. I can only recall one genuine alternative — the LIFX Beam, which has been around for a few years. LIFX's offering — like the Glide, supports millions of colors and comes in a kit that includes six straight segments and one corner. The LIFX Beam works with Alexa and the Google Assistant, but it one-ups the Glide by supporting Apple's HomeKit. However, the LIFX Beam is a bit more expensive, with a suggested retail price of $149.99.
While not quite as close as the LIFX Beam, Nanoleaf's line of connected wall light panels are within the same realm as the Glide. Nanoleaf currently offers a variety of light panel shapes including the square Canvas panels, Shapes Triangles and Mini Triangles, Shapes Hexagons, and the one that started it all, the boxier Aurora Triangles.
Nanoleaf's light panel systems are considerably more expensive, with most starting right at $200 for a kit. Still, they work with all of the major smart home platforms — including HomeKit, where they get the top billing in our guide to the best HomeKit light panels. Nanoleaf's panels also feature an easier-to-use modular connection system that opens the doors to tons of design possibilities. Most support touch controls as well that effectively make them each a smart home button.
Govee Glide Wall Light: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a smart light with a built-in diffuser
- You are looking for dynamic color lighting
- You want smart app and voice controls through Alexa and the Google Assistant
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want to control the lights with HomeKit
- You want to create a display now with more than one corner
- You want a permanent installation
If you are in the market for smart lighting that provides all of the benefits of an LED light strip without all of the baggage, then the Govee Glide may be the one for you. The Govee Glide gives you access to millions of colors, lots of neat effects, and convenient controls, all with a diffused look that gives you even lighting throughout. However, if you need more than one corner for your installation, or want to control your smart lights with HomeKit, then you will need to look elsewhere.
At a starting price of $100, the Govee Glide is well worth the premium over your average run-of-the-mill LED light strip. Govee's light is just as easy to install with a peel and stick mount system, and since it packs in a built-in diffuser, you get clean, consistent lighting across your entire display. Add in the ability to expand the Glide with a simple click via future expansion packs, and you get an entertaining and versatile light that gets my recommendation for those that don't rely exclusively on Apple's HomeKit for their smart home needs.
Govee Glide RGBIC Smart Wall Light
Bottom line: The surprisingly versatile Govee Glide puts on a show with incredibly bright and rich colors, fun effects, and more — all in a package that provides clean, even lighting that is easy to expand.