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Govee outdoor LED light strips review

Andrea Smith/CNN Underscored

Govee’s Wi-Fi Outdoor Strip Lights are bright and can be controlled via a feature-rich app packed with special effects and premade scenes to choose from. Since they are RGBIC strips, they can display multiple colors at one time so you can change your outdoor look from a warm glow to animated effects with just a tap on the phone screen. Plus, they’re weather-resistant (rated to IP65 against dust and moisture) and easy to mount with tough adhesive so they’re suitable for outdoor use.

The best outdoor LED light strips

If you’re looking to create a colorful ambience for outdoor entertaining, Govee’s affordable Wi-Fi Outdoor Strip Lights are RGBIC, so they give you a huge range of color options, weather resistant, and easy to install and configure.

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Each segment of the strip can display 15 different colors at the same time and there are 16 million colors to choose from so your creativity options are virtually limitless. The lights shine brightly and can be dimmed in the app. Sync the lights with your music (there’s a built-in mic), and they’ll dance along with everyone else at the pool party.

The lights are controlled over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth using Govee’s app which is packed with colors to choose from, mood-specific scenes, special effects and lighting to match your music. Pair them with Alexa and Google Assistant to use your voice to control the lights. I enabled the Govee skill in the Alexa app and was able to turn my lights on and off, change color and ask for a specific scene using my voice but for full functionality, like setting a timer, we recommend using the app.

As entertaining as these are, there are some limitations to consider, mainly in installation. As with all other RGBIC strips (which have built-in chips that managed the multiple color display) they can’t be cut to fit, so you’ll have to work with full strips to fit your space, rather than the other way around. The strip light kit is 32.8 feet in length and after measuring my deck space, I only needed 28.5 feet of lighting. I wound up running the excess up a side wall instead. It also doesn’t do corners very well. Since it can’t be cut, it needs to be looped so there is a spot left that isn’t taped down to the surface.

Govee includes clips with screws to place along the strip for extra security and if I could drill holes in my deck, I would place those on the corners.  The light strips have an IP65 waterproof rating (suitable for outdoor use) so the adhesive backing should hold them in place but I haven’t used them long enough to test that theory. They did hold up quite well when my deck recently got washed down with a hose. They were sprayed with jets of water from below as well as above and were sitting in water for a period of time. When everything dried off and I turned them on, I was pleasantly surprised to see they withstood the torrent of water and were still firmly in place.

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While the Govee light strips themselves are IP65-rated and should stand up to outdoor exposure in the long term, the power brick is not waterproof, so you’ll need to find a covered outdoor outlet to plug it into. It’s something to keep in mind when planning your light display, and if you don’t have a covered weatherproof outlet to plug it into you may need to disconnect it in wet weather.

Also, be prepared for some prep work — more than the directions would suggest — for outdoor installation. I washed my deck and wiped down the area with alcohol to make sure the adhesive would stick properly. The two alcohol prep pads Govee includes are not going to cut it, you’ll need much more to prepare a large enough area to stick down the strips.

Despite a few minor quibbles, these are the best outdoor light strips coming in at a fraction of the price of the Philips outdoor lights.

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