Saturday, July 24, 2021

Govee Lyra Floor Lamp review: Add a little color to any corner of your home

This unique conversation piece gives you a vast array of hues to play with.

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  • Govee Lyra LED Floor Lamp

Smart lighting needn’t be restricted to a bulb in a socket or a strip of LEDs. This new floor lamp from Govee will give any space some extra, fully tunable light—whether you need simple illumination or a pop of vibrant color.

When turned off, the lamp, which has no traditional head or shade design (making it useless for task lighting), resembles little more than a mop handle sticking out of a roll of paper towels. Fire it up and the appeal soon becomes obvious: One side of that handle illuminates along its entire length, creating an immediately striking effect.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart lighting, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.

The Lyra is fully tunable, with both white and color lighting options. White lighting can be customized between 2200k and 6500k, and the full array of 16 million colors is also available. Multiple colors can appear on the 4.75-foot long bar at once, and dozens of effects are available that let colors slowly shift in hue, pulse dramatically, or even bounce in time with music. Many of these are frantic and clearly tuned for parties, but it’s easy enough to develop a more sedate look that fits in with your room décor, enhancing the mood with accent lighting instead of distracting you from what you’re doing.

Govee

Looking for something a little more understated? The Govee Lyra can be programmed to emit white light at virtually any color temperature.

But before you get to all that, you’ll need to build the thing, which isn’t particularly challenging but does require some attention to detail over the course of connecting 14 tiny screws to assemble its multiple pieces into an elongated pole, and then carefully inserting the silicone LED strip into the corresponding grooves on said pole.

Christopher Null / IDG

The Govee Lyra app offers easy access to common settings on its home screen.

Total construction time will run you 5 to 10 minutes; less if you have an electric screwdriver. A remote control (which attaches magnetically to the Lyra’s pole) is available for quick access needs, including on/off, dimming or brightening the lamp, activating a music mode, or cycling through a handful of present color or white light modes.

Naturally, the Govee Home mobile app gives you access to myriad additional options, and the app installs and configures quickly, connecting the lamp to your Wi-Fi network (2.4GHz only) in short order. The vast array of options here is a bit daunting, with 25 different scene modes, six music modes, and the ability to customize nearly all of these to your heart’s content. (You can even upload your creations to the cloud for other Govee users to download.) A scheduling system lets you automate things, and “wake up” and “sleeping” modes let you tell Govee to gently brighten or slowly dim—although only on demand, not on a schedule.

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Finally, Govee Lyra can be connected to Alexa or Google Assistant if you want to do any of this via voice command. It’s not cheap at $140, but it’s not obscenely expensive, either.

The final question, however, is how this all looks. My wife walked into my office and saw the Lyra, then immediately said, “That looks ridiculous,” and questioned what the point of having a lighted pole was. I think she’s just jealous and that it’s a pretty cool addition to an otherwise dark corner. You make the call.

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  • Govee Lyra LED Floor Lamp

    The Govee Lyra provides dozens of smart options, letting you tailor its accent lighting to your room.

    Pros

    • Vast, impressive selection of color and color temperature options
    • Comprehensive app
    • A unique conversation item, if nothing else

    Cons

    • Color options aside, this hardware design makes for a limited aesthetic
    • Lots of little screws to contend with

Christopher Null is a veteran technology and business journalist. He contributes regularly to TechHive, PCWorld, and Wired, and operates the websites Drinkhacker and Film Racket.

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