Smart lighting is an easy way to create atmosphere in a room and change the feeling of the room. It comes in many forms today, from smart bulbs and light strips to all kinds of strangely shaped lamps. Govee Flow Pro is one such RGB accessory designed to flank a TV or monitor to bring a splash of diffused light and color to your setup.
It’s easy to choose colors or animations, but the real attraction of these vertical light bars is their ability to match action on screen and respond to music — all for just $ 80. It’s significantly more affordable than other devices that offer reactive smart lighting. It takes a bit of setup and fine-tuning to get the Govee system up and running, but it works. The catch? It depends on a camera.
Some setups are required
The Govee Flow Pro system comes with a pair of 10.5-inch rectangular plastic light bars and a choice of two mounting solutions: place them on the back of a TV or monitor, or place them in racks. The light bars are connected to a separate control unit via a long USB-C cable, and the camera — yes, the camera — is connected to the device’s USB-A port. You then need to connect the power adapter to the controller to turn it all on.
The control unit has an on / off button, a color cycle button and a button to switch to sound-reactive lighting, which brings us to the reason why there is a camera here at all. You point the webcam-like device at your monitor or TV so it can see what’s going on and adjust the colors of the light bars to match. Do you see a burning scene from a movie? The camera tries to capture the colors and directs the light beams to mimic them for a more immersive feeling.
To do all this, first use the Govee Home app on your phone and go through a calibration process that involves putting orange foam squares on your TV screen or monitor. It took about 30 minutes to complete this installation process. Both the control unit and the camera have an adhesive backing, so you will carefully choose a permanent place for them. The camera is angled to see your TV or screen and should be in the center at the top or bottom of the screen. This will not work for every household, as some frameless TV designs make the placement at the top awkward, and if you place it at the bottom, it can block the television’s infrared sensor for the remote control.
The light bars are also designed for screens between 27 and 45 inches, and the reactive lighting does not work properly with other screen sizes. If you have a 55- or 65-inch TV, you can get similar functionality from Govee’s Immersion TV Lightstrip.
Govee’s app has lots of colors, scenes and other preset lighting effects to choose from. It feels a little chaotic and takes a little getting used to, but it’s worth experimenting with here. You can create lighting effects if you are willing to spend time learning how it works, and you can also schedule your light bars to turn on and off automatically.