Incorporating responsive lighting into your entertainment setup can add a ton of immersion when watching movies or playing games. However, in order to add that extra bit of atmosphere to your LED light setup, you typically have to overcome a high cost of entry. With many LED lighting systems available at a premium, the Govee Immersion is an alternative that lowers the barrier of entry exponentially.
I used to be a firm believer that responsive RGB lighting would be too invasive or distracting when turning on Netflix or booting up my Xbox Series X. However, I quickly saw the light (pun intended) when I added Philips Hue Play to my living room media centre. While making due on its value proposition, I was surprised how much I began to love seeing the vibrant colours bleed off my screen onto my walls. However, it all came with a steep cost. I wanted to put the Govee Immersion lighting to the test in my office to see how it compares in value and for quality.
Govee is able to offer a low cost of entry by providing responsive lighting in a much different way than its competitors. For example, the Philips Hue Play requires a Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, which is a standalone device that connects to the Hue lighting system and the display’s HDMI to react to what’s on-screen in real-time. Govee’s workaround centres on the use of the Immersion camera, which is aimed at the display and reads the info to adjust the lighting. It’s an antithetical approach that makes for a cheaper option for RBG lighting enthusiasts. Although there are some drawbacks, the Govee Immersion is a suitable entry point to stepping up the lighting of your entertainment space.
Unboxing and Installation
Cracking open the Govee Immersion box, you’ll find everything you need to install the light strips and camera onto your display. By design, the Govee Immersion is made for TVs between 55-inches and 75-inches. However, it can be adapted to a monitor or smaller display if that’s what you’re aiming for. Govee does note that the Immersion lighting isn’t optimized for curved displays.
Within the box, you’ll find a reel of LED light strips, with an adhesive backing. The included camera can be mounted to the top or bottom of the display thanks to its own adhesive strip. Additionally, Govee includes the required control box, which the lights, camera, and power source all plug in to. This box acts as a hub for the lighting system and is mounted on the back of your display. Finally, there’s also a user manual, clips, and calibration foam stickers included as well.
Installation is pretty by the books. The LED light strips are broken into four segments, each attached to the other by a short segment of cable. As mentioned, the Immersion lighting is designed for larger TV displays so the light strips nestle in nicely on all four edges while the cables can be manipulated around each corner. I chose to install the Govee Immersion on my Ultra-wide PC monitor and it worked out rather nicely. That said, the installation certainly won’t look as clean. But you’ll find the end result to be nearly identical on a bigger or smaller display.
The included clips can be attached to the display to help secure the lighting and cable sections. I was actually surprised by how well the adhesive worked. I didn’t feel the need to overdo it with clips as the strip itself appeared to stay in position without peeling.
With everything connected, it was time to finalize the installation. Beyond manually setting up the lighting, calibration is all done via the Govee app available on iOS and Android. Once the Bluetooth connection on your phone has picked up the Immersion, the first step is to fix a set of foam stickers to the display. Within the box are eight orange foam stickers to mount on top of the screen.
The app walked me through where to stick them, which turned out to be in each corner and along the bottom, left, and right sides of the screen. Of course, I was apprehensive to put anything adhesive on my screen. Though, fear not. No residue or markings were left behind once the process was over. The app then uses the camera to look at the screen and define the edges of the display. If any adjustments are required you can make them. Otherwise, you can confirm and complete the process.
Customization and App Uses
Like other Govee lighting systems, controlling the Immersion can be done exclusively through the app. Rather than fiddle around with the control box, I found it much more intuitive to turn the device on through the app. Additionally, you can add Govee Immersion to your Google Home or Alexa set up as well and configure voice commands. Unfortunately, beyond toggling the power or requesting a specific colour, voice assistance is limited. I found myself using the app way more often.
Although the Immersion is designed to be used to read the display, you will find a ton of customization options to use. On top of having a preset feature used for responsive lighting, the Govee Immersion has four additional settings to toy around with. Within the app, you’ll find five pre-set options to choose from including:
- Video: You can customize the settings when you’re watching something on your display or playing a game. You can set the camera to sync to the display and pair the lighting with low latency. Additionally, you can select whether you want it to display the colour most prominent on-screen, or base it on different sections of the screen for a more dynamic lighting effect.
- Music: This option enables you to sync your lights to music using the Immersion camera’s built-in microphone. The lights will pulse to the beat and display a multitude of different colour variations.
- Color: Choose from 16 million solid or gradient colour variations. Users can set different colour patterns or tones.
- Scene: Provides a wide variety of preset “scenes” from sunrise, party, laid back, or white light.
- DIY: Create your own lighting schemes and choose from many control options. You can even share your DIY creations with the Govee community through the app.
It’s more than likely that the Video option becomes that standard for you when using the Immersion lights. Video also contains two presets being Game and Movie mode. Truth be told, I found the Movie setting a lot more reliable. Although the Game mode offered lower latency, I felt as though the colour spectrum picked up by the camera was more lacking than when on the Movie setting. If you’re primarily playing games when using Immersion, I’m sure you’ll find it to be quite adequate. That said, there were times in my office that I wanted to set a particular tone or vibe and opted to swap into the Color setting. While they might not be device-selling features, having this many additional customization options integrated into the lighting system is a fantastic option to have.
Down to brass tax. The question I’m sure that’s on everyone’s mind is likely how does the Govee Immersion stack up compared to its direct competitors. Fortunately, I can honestly say it’s a pretty tight race. For a device that takes such a radically different method to deliver responsive lighting, the Immersion system does exactly what it needs to.
Latency is an obvious concern. Whereas other lighting systems are connected straight into the display’s HDMI, there is a slight delay in the Immersion’s camera picking up the data on the screen. Truthfully, it’s not too noticeable nor does it interfere with the viewing experience.
As far as accuracy goes, the Immersion will pick up the more defined and prominent colours on the screen and project them through the lights. This is par for the course when it comes to similar products. Smaller lighting patterns of colours onscreen do get lost in the shuffle but for the most part, your walls and the surrounding area of your display will highlight what’s on screen.
One aspect of the Immersion that is worth bringing up is how the lighting system defaults to blue on a regular occasion. If the display is primarily dark or black, rather than dimming the lights, the Immersion will produce blue lights. It’s not an overt distraction, but an odd systematic choice I found that sets it apart from other similar products.
The camera itself takes a lot of getting used to. There’s no way around it. Whether you install it on the bottom or the top of your display, it sticks out like a sore thumb. This is coming from someone who regularly has a camera or peripheral on their display. Over time, I’ve come to adjust to webcams on my PC, Xbox Kinect or the PS Camera on my TV. Perhaps I only need more time with the Immersion but for now, it does stand out. Even when I experimented and installed it on the bottom, it didn’t make matters that much better. It’s a small price to pay in order to offset the barrier of entry.
Overall, I’m quite fond of the Govee Immersion. It stands toe to toe with some of the premium competitors on the market and is able to deliver the lighting quality you’d come to expect. Managing a lower barrier of entry, Govee has found a unique method of enabling responsive lighting for displays.
For users looking to up their entertainment centre and 55-75-inch displays, the Govee is a well-suited contender. If you’re focused on office space or those with a smaller TV display, some concessions will need to be made. The installation may not be as clean but is still doable and will get you the same end result. Whether you’re watching movies or playing a game, the Immersion lighting system will draw you in with its wide array of colours. Plus, the Govee app hosts a ton of solid customization options to suit each mood or occasion. While the additives might not be what you’re primarily looking for, they are always nice to have.
The only thing to keep in mind is the camera. In order to find a workaround to developing a system that connects to the HDMI of the display, the camera is a requirement. It takes some getting used to but thankfully it’s able to offer a low-latency response to whatever is being displayed in front of you.
A kit was provided by Govee for review purposes.