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Govee LED Strip Light M1 Review: Brightest and Best

Christopher Coke Posted:
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Hardware Reviews 0

LED lighting is one of the best ways to customizing your gaming space. Whether it’s a home office or just your living room, vibrant lighting can make the space pop. LED strips have been around for years, but Govee is pushing the envelope with its latest release, the LED Strip Light M1. 

Specifications

  • Current Price: $99.99 (Amazon
  • Model: H61E1
  • Cord Length: 5m/16.4ft
  • Light Color: RGBIC
  • Beads Density: 60 LEDs/m
  • Connection: Wi-Fi+Bluetooth
  • Control Method: App, Control Box, Voice Control
  • Power Supply: Adapter 24VDC 3A

Govee LED Strip Light M1 - What Is It?

The LED Strip Light M1 isn’t your average RGB strip. It factors in years of progress and innovation on Govee’s part. That’s not just marketing speak: we reviewed Govee’s strip lights back when they were still known as Minger with the DreamColor strips way back in 2018. Since then, we’ve kept up with the brand every step of the way. I also speak from a place having researched and experienced a multitude of lights creating the Best LED Strip Light (2021) guide for IGN (since updated). The M1 is the best of the bunch and a great value for the money — if you need the 16 foot length.

There are two key reasons for this: outstanding brightness and RGBIC+ lighting customization. RGBIC is Govee’s term for the integrated controller that allows customization of individual LEDs. It’s the same kind of technology that lets your RGB peripherals be fully color customizable and display smooth, flowing animations (like rainbow waves). This technology also allows you to set your own colors for up to 50 light segments. There are also a ridiculous number of presets that already look great, leverage that customizability, and can be selected with a single tap inside the Govee app.

The other major selling point is the strip’s incredible brightness and ability to wash your walls in light. The Govee M1 uses combined RGBW light beads instead of individual LEDs for each color like most other strips. It also uses a lot of them — 60 per meter in fact. This approach allows the M1 to be much, much brighter than the competition. 

The M1 also offers easy controls with a built-in remote, Bluetooth connectivity for app control, and WiFi connectivity to fully integrate into your smart home. The app is very feature rich and has dozens of preset lighting scenes. These run the gamut from simple color fades and different temperatures for white light for ambiance and reading to full on flowing lighting effects with rainbow waves and imitations of the aurora borealis. The remote also has a microphone built (or you can use the microphone on your smartphone), so the lights can quickly sync with music and sound effects in the room. There are presets specifically for this, just as there are presets for just about everything: moods, holidays, themes, and playful effects.

The biggest downside to the light strip currently is that it is only available in a 16.4-foot length. That’s perfect if you’re tracing the edges of your ceiling or a piece of furniture (or a TV, though Govee makes a TV light that’s better suited for this purpose). You can cut the strip down to desk size are pre-defined lengths, but doing that feels wasteful when you’re paying $100 for a strip light. If you do choose to trim it, the app allows you to reset the number of detected LEDs so you can still have fully functional lighting effects. This is a particularly nice touch that other lights don’t offer. 

Govee LED Strip Light M1 - Assembly and Installation

The M1 strip light is very easy to install and get up and running with. The light strip comes on a wheel that you unspool as you go, keeping things neat and organized. There is an adhesive backing on the strip itself that’s fairly strong. It easily stuck to the edge of my wall along the ceiling. This kind of mounting is known to come loose over time, however, so Govee also includes a set of support brackets.

This is where things get a little bit dicey. The supports have adhesive backing of their own, as well as a set of screws if you'd rather secure them more permanently (around bends, I found that they pulled off and fell down). The screws are very small and have trouble punching through the adhesive pad. In my office, I found that they weren’t long enough to gain any traction in the drywall without an anchor and essentially fell right out. If you plan on installing it along the edge of the ceiling, I recommend looking into aftermarket supports. 

After it’s installed, the remote connects to either end with a simple 4-pin terminal. The power cord plugs into the remote, and you’re done. 

Getting up and running on the app is also easy. I simply had to search “m1” in the product listing and the app immediately saw that I had one in nearby and went about pairing with it. It asked for my login details to connect to my home WiFi and then I had full control within the app. 

Govee LED Strip Light M1 - Performance

The Govee LED Strip M1 is phenomenal. When I first read about the exceptional brightness, I was skeptical. How much brighter could it possibly be? A lot. The answer is a lot brighter. 

The added brightness of the M1 strip light allows it to wash out the walls around it. In a bright room, this effect is reduced but still visible. In a dark room, it’s outstanding. With the smooth flow of the lighting effects, the walls around my PC also had a smooth flow of washed out color. 

I was also impressed to find that the lights didn’t flicker on my camera for videos and streaming. If you’re considering these as accent lights for the background of your stream, they work perfectly when recording at 60 FPS. 

What I especially like for this scenario is that the lights are bright enough that the individual beads aren’t visible to the camera. The effect is a flowing beam light in the background. It’s akin to the Govee Glide light I reviewed last Fall, but thinner and more flexible. 

The customization options are great. I found that I didn’t use many of the preset themes in my office because I have a set theme I go for, but the flexibility and size of the light means that this can be used for washy accent lighting anywhere in the house. With that versatility, the different moods and themes could be very useful. 

I found that I especially lighted selecting individual colors for each section. With this, you can quickly create a custom look that matches the rest of your space. When I’m not in the mood for RGB, the strip is also bright enough to use as mild room lighting when mounted on a ceiling. Since it has dedicated white LEDs, it delivers true white light that can be adjusted from warm to cold color temperatures. 

Overall, I walked away from this review beyond impressed. At $99, it’s not exactly cheap, but it is easily, demonstrably, the best RGB strip light of its class. Govee has nailed it and delivered once again. 

Final Thoughts

The Govee LED Strip Light M1 is an outstanding LED strip. It’s one of the most customizable options on the market today, but paired with the improvised brightness, it becomes one of if not the very best RGB light strip on the market today. I was skeptical at first but it is genuinely the brightest strip light I have ever seen, easily beating out the Elgato Light Strip, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus, LIFX Z, and Nanoleaf Essentials RGB Strip. The only downside is that it’s currently only available in the 16 foot length, which makes it an expensive choice for a desk backlight that will also need to be cut down. For accent lighting within a room, however, it’s a great choice. 

Simply put, this is an amazing LED strip light that seems bound to impress. It’s bright, vibrant, customizable, and well-made. If you’re looking for a new strip light, and don’t mind the long length (shorter versions seem likely in the future), this is an outstanding choice. 

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Some articles may contain affiliate links and purchases made through this will result in a small commission for the site. Commissions are not directed to the author or related to compensation in any way.

9.5Amazing
Pros
  • Class leading brightness
  • Easy to set up
  • Very customizable - lots of options, modes, and DIY options
  • Animations flow smoothly and look great
  • Smart home support (Alexa and Google Home)
Cons
  • Limited sizing
  • Bracket screws are too small, no anchors included


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight