Govee DreamColor for TV with Alexa review: This bias light uses a camera to sync with your TV screen

If you want more from your TV bias lights than a subtle glow that boosts contrast and eases eye strain, this responsive LED light strip from Govee is worth a try. A relatively inexpensive way to make your TV more immersive, Govee’s DreamColor for TV bias lighting kit comes equipped with a camera that scans your screen, which allows the LED strip to sync—to one degree or another—with the images on your TV. Lag is an issue, however, and the amount of precision and drama you actually get from Govee’s lighting effects varies depending on what you’re watching, as well as the configuration of your set.

This review is part of our ongoing coverage of bias lighting for TVs and computer monitors. For more information on this topic, and links to reviews of competing products, take a look at this in-depth story.

Installation and setup

The Govee lighting strip arrives on a reel like many other bias lighting strips we’ve seen, but this one is a little different: Instead of a single long strip, the Govee comes in three segments joined by a pair of short coiled cords. Once you’ve peeled off a plastic film to reveal the adhesive backing, you stick the first part of the strip along the right rear edge of your TV, then secure the second part along the top edge of your set, and then the third segment down the left edge.

Ben Patterson/IDG

Govee’s DreamColor for TV bias lighting kit includes a three-segment LED light strip, a camera that mounts to the top of your TV, and a control box that sits in back.

Because the strip comes in three connected pieces, you can’t simply cut it to fit your TV like other bias lighting strips we’ve tried. If you use the Govee on a TV that’s smaller than 55 inches (as I discovered to my chagrin when I installed it on my 46-inch Sony Bravia TV), you might find that the first two segments are too long, and cutting them will disconnect the other sections. I was able to tuck the excess lighting around the curved corners of my set, but I’d recommend you only install the strip on a TV that’s the recommended 55- to 80 inches (measured diagonally).

Next comes the compact Govee camera, which you’re supposed to stick on top of your TV near the middle, with the camera lens parallel to the floor. Positioned this way, the camera gets enough of a look at your TV screen to gauge the images and colors in the picture.

Finally, you’ll need to stick the Govee control box (which is roughly the size of a deck of cards) onto the back of your TV, and then connect the lighting strip and the camera via a pair of USB Type-A ports, while an AC adapter plugs into a barrel-shaped power port.

Now comes the software, which comes in the form of the Govee Home app for iOS and Android. Once you install the app and fire it up, it’ll prompt you to create a Govee account (which you can only do within the app, not on a desktop browser), and then to discover new Govee devices via Bluetooth. The app quickly found and paired with my Govee lighting strip.

Connecting the Govee to my Wi-Fi network proved to be a bit more tricky. As with too many other smart devices, the Govee only connects to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks, and it refused to connect to my dual-band network. I had to tweak my network settings to create a 2.4GHz-only network, then tap in the SSID manually into the Govee’s Wi-Fi settings screen. (The app automatically fills in the name of the network that your mobile device is connected to, but it won’t scan for other available networks.)