Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp review: a big kid’s lava lamp

 Govee smart lamp with white light
Govee smart lamp with white light

One-minute review

There are plenty of fantastic, futuristic, and eye-catching smart lamps available on the market. But, sometimes, you just want a good old-fashioned corner lamp for your living room. Govee’s Cylinder Smart Lamp offers exactly that: a simple and chic modern lamp with a great color wheel and some brilliant pre-made scenes.

The lamp sells for $169.99 at Amazon or directly from Govee, which is super affordable compared to the $349.99 Signe gradient floor lamp by Philips Hue – probably the closest comparison and one of the best smart lights available. While Govee’s lamp definitely doesn’t have the same premium finish – and, as you’ll read, the performance isn’t exactly up to par – but it’s charming and capable.

a photo of the Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp
a photo of the Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp

Standing at 10.3 x 68.8 x 10.3 inches / 26.16 x 174.75 x 26.16cm (h x w x d), this corner lamp is a bright and powerful smart light that will easily illuminate your living space. Plus, it’s compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa.

Design-wise, it’s simple: a metal stand with a round base is topped with a plastic cylinder that houses the LED light. Just below this is the only physical control for the light – an on/off switch.

In the box you’ll find the LED cylinder, three segments that make up the stand, and a base, all of which are easily assembled by screwing the pieces together; it took me about 5 minutes. It isn’t the most elegant, nor robust, of constructions – the base wobbles slightly, and when I gave it a good knock, its foundations weren’t strong enough to keep it upright. However, it’s by no means flimsy; rather a little cheaper and more basic than I’d like.

an image of the Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp
an image of the Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp

Once constructed, you need to connect the light to the primary controller, which in this case is the Govee app. In my experience this took just a few minutes, while a Wi-Fi connection was established. The app is very basic, but offers a whole host of lighting options, from music rhythm detection to block colors, as well as a decent library of more than 60 scenes plus a DIY mode.

First, I tried out the Block Color mode to test the trueness of the colors. Most hues were bright and vibrant; however, as is the case with a number of smart lights (especially the more affordable ones), the Govee struggles with rich, purple colors. Its white light, on the other hand, is brilliant and bright; too bright, to the point where it isn’t sufficiently diffused, especially when set to a colder temperature. It proved uncomfortable in my direct eye line. Nevertheless, it’s more than capable of lighting up a small to medium-sized living room.

a photo of the Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp
a photo of the Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp

Next up, I tried the Music mode, which performed pretty well. It was a little slow and basic, and definitely struggled with more complex, layered songs. However, I did find it worked much better when using my phone’s microphone, which you can switch to in the app.

The selection of scenes is decent, but didn’t quite match the more family-friendly nature of the device. From neon eyes of Sauron to blotchy UFOs, there are some pretty quirky creations to enjoy. For my personal taste – I typically look for a more sophisticated feel to my smart home – they were a little garish, with some of the imagery quite muddy and the colors loud.

Last but not least, I tried the DIY light scene creation, which in my experience proved quite buggy. There are some really cool customization options, including one where you can draw your own designs, but certain effects seemed to completely glitch and reset my light.

Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp: specifications

Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp: Should I buy it?

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How I tested the Govee Cylindrical Smart Lamp

  • I tested the Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp for two weeks.

  • I set it up with my Alexa smart speaker and the Govee app.

  • I tested its color payoff, brightness and in-app modes.

I used the Govee Cylinder Smart Lamp for two weeks in my home. I set it up using the Govee app and Alexa, and tested the robustness of the build quality. I measured response time to commands, as well as how easily it functioned with other smart lights, both from Govee and other manufacturers such as Nanoleaf and Philips Hue.

I also tested all of the in-app features to see how well they worked, along with the pickup of the built-in microphone, which is used in its rhythm detection mode.