Hands-On

Hands On with Govee's Lyra and StarPal smart lights

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If you're looking for unique lighting solutions for your home, Govee's Lyra corner lamp and StarPal table lamp are great ways to incorporate RGB LEDs into your favorite spaces.

Most of us are aware of LED light strips — and many of us have incorporated them into our homes. However, while we love them, there's no denying that they can look a bit lackluster when left out in the open.

To cover for this shortcoming, we often hide light strips behind monitors, TVs, headboards, and even under kitchen cabinets, so we can see the light but not what produces it.

However, there are times when you might want to add a pop of color out in the open. Sure, you could throw a color-changing LED into a table lamp, but there are other options.

Govee has provided two such alternatives. The first, Govee's StarPal, is a small portable table lamp designed to fit in nearly any space.

The second is the Lyra, a striking statement floor lamp designed to cast color across your walls with its unique corner design.

Govee App

Before delving into the lights themselves, let's take a moment to discuss the app that makes the lights work — the Govee App.

The app, as we've talked about in the past, is fantastic. Not only is it easy to use, but it's also packed to the gills with features.

For example, it has times, the ability to create your own lighting schemes, dimming options, and more.

Various features within the Govee App
Various features within the Govee App

If you're not into creating your own schemes, you can pick from more than 30 presets the app has that includes simple animated scenes to more elaborate presets. There's even presets for things like a nightlight mode.

Frustratingly, though, you still cannot dim many preset animated scenes the same way you can for single-color options. This means some presets are extraordinarily bright, even when dropped down to the lowest setting.

Still, for the most part, we enjoy the Govee app.

Important: Govee's products are not currently compatible with HomeKit. While there are quite a few smart home-oriented features, you just can't use them with Apple's platform.

Govee Ambient Portable Table Lamp, aka the StarPal

If you're in the market for a small tabletop lamp, you might want to look at Govee's Portable Table Lamp. Govee sometimes refers to it as the Govee StarPal.

Its small size makes it easy to place on a bedside table, an end table, or in the corner of a room. In addition, its high level of diffusion makes for a beautiful ambient light that doesn't produce any "hot spots" of brightness.

The Govee StarPal can be customized to show thousands of colors
The Govee StarPal can be customized to show thousands of colors

Unlike many other customizable LED lights, the StarPal includes two kinds of white LEDs. It can produce a wide range of warm and cool whites, rather than the typical yellow-or-blue whites seen in cheaper brands.

The StarPal also has a built-in battery, making it an ideal companion for backyard game night or your next camping trip.

Govee claims that you can get up to 4.5 hours worth of use from a single charge, but that heavily depends on how you're using it. Any time you jack up the brightness, you will wind up with shorter battery life. The same goes for any animated color scenes.

On average, we got about two to two-and-a-half hours of use for animated color scenes on a medium to medium-high brightness.

Overall, it's a nice, small lamp with a decent price point. While we're still a little frustrated with the dimming features of certain scenes, it's still one of the better standalone LED lamps we've used.

Where to buy:

If you're interested in grabbing your own Govee StarPal, you can get a Bluetooth and WiFi version from Amazon for $65.99. If you'd prefer a Bluetooth-only version, you can snag one for $49.99.

Govee Lyra floor lamp

While it may not fit into everyone's decor, the Govee Lyra is a striking lamp that you can use to light up the corner of a room.

Govee Lyra
Govee Lyra

Setup is surprisingly easy, though advisable to do so in an area with a bit of space to spread out. A second set of hands also makes setup so much easier.

The Lyra can be adjusted through a wide range of white temperatures
The Lyra can be adjusted through a wide range of white temperatures

Like the StarPal, it has both warm and cool white LEDs, allowing you to pick your ideal color temperature between 2,200k and 6,500k.

Additionally, this is an RGBIC lamp, enabling multiple colors to be displayed on a strip at once. This allows for more blended gradients, a higher overall brightness, and a wider color range than traditional RBG strip lighting.

The Lyra also includes a remote, allowing you to control your lamp without requiring your phone. It magnetically snaps onto the lamp, too, so there's less chance of losing it.

For what it is, we like the Govee Lyra lamp. It's especially nice for dark corners that could use a bit of extra light.

It would also make for excellent lighting for a teenager's room, a man cave, or a home theater or gaming room.

Where to buy:

There are currently two versions of the Govee Lyra available for purchase. If you want one that works with both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, it will run you $149.99. A cheaper Bluetooth-only version is available for $84.99