Portable, Ambient, Smart Lighting – Geek . Review


  • 1 – Absolutely hot litter
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some pluses, a lot of minuses
  • 5 – minus acceptable
  • 6 – Good enough to buy for sale
  • 7 – Great, but not the best in class
  • 8 – Gorgeous with some margins
  • 9 shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

price: 50 to 65 dollars

Two StarPal lights side by side, one blue and one red
Cameron Summerson

Smart lights are among the coolest and most useful smart home products you can buy. The biggest problem is that sometimes you want to take your smart lighting with you, and you can’t most of the time anyway. With Govee’s StarPal Spotlight, that changes.

This is what we love

  • good value
  • Beautiful color and beautiful glow
  • Multiple functions

And what we don’t do?

  • special charger
  • Bad battery life
  • No option to sync multiple lighting via bluetooth

StarPal comes in two variants: Bluetooth only And Bluetooth + WiFi. Any other light can be connected or It runs on battery power, which makes it somewhat unique in the smart lighting scene. You can use your phone to control either, but the Wi-Fi model also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so (assuming you have a Wi-Fi connection), you can use voice to control the light no matter where you are.

If you’ve been watching smart lighting lately, this may sound familiar because Philips Hue offers a very similar light called Go. And looking at a Govee StarPal means looking at Go, too – they look very similar. But I think that’s what Govee has been all about for the past couple of years: Take Philips Hue products and make more affordable versions that work almost as well. It’s a winning idea if you ask me.

The price gap is quite large with some products – take Govee’s Immersion TV lamps versus Philips Hue Gradient + Sync Box, for example – but it is much smaller on others. The StarPal with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi comes in at $65, while the Philips Hue Go is just $15 at $80. This is an insignificant difference, so if you’ve already invested in the Hue ecosystem, there’s probably no reason to consider StarPal. Overall, Hue also offers some of the brightest, most vibrant lights on the market, although I haven’t used Go for a direct comparison, so I can’t speak to them specifically. It’s also worth noting that you’ll have to add a Hue bridge to get the most out of the Go lamp, which adds another $60 to the cost. Suddenly it wasn’t a good deal.

But I digress. Let’s focus on the StarPal thing. It’s elegant!

Setup and Use: What can you do with a StarPal lamp?

Since it’s just a one-piece light, setup is super easy. Connect the light, install Govee App Android/iOS), and add highlights. That’s pretty much all there is to it. From there, you can start tweaking all the different features, including Wi-Fi and Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa settings on the Wi-Fi-enabled model. Wi-Fi also means you’ll be able to control your lighting from almost anywhere you have a connection. It’s worth the extra $15 to go to Wi-Fi.

The bowl-shaped lamp has a pair of feet on the bottom so that you can direct the light in a specific direction, but it also works well when sitting flat. It’s basically a bowl of light, which looks really cool.

Govee StarPal in "bowl mode" With blue light illuminated
bowl of light. Just needs cereal. Cameron Summerson

If you’ve used any Govee products before (or even read any of the previous Govee reviews), you’ll already be familiar with the app. It’s a fairly straightforward app, but there are a lot of options here, so it can get a little confusing at first. The good news is that you will probably mess with him everyone Features at first, but then discover your favorites and just use them. This keeps things simple.

With that, let’s take a quick look at your choices here. From top to bottom:

  • Effects: This is where you can define custom colors. The app offers a bunch of different categories (everything from fruits to plates), so you can add any color you want to your custom settings.
  • timer: Customize the auto start and auto stop features.
  • Battery saver: This is a new feature designed to save battery on the Wi-Fi model. When enabled, voice assistant control is disabled unless the lamp is connected. This increases the standby time.
  • brightness: How bright is the light?

These are the basic settings. From there, it gets more complicated. To start, there are different modes here. You can adjust the light to sync with the music using the microphone on the device or your smartphone. I found this to be a party trick at best because it’s not really Sync music in any useful way. It just flashes to the beat, but there is a delay because it reacts to the music instead of in sync with it. But it’s still fun.

Then there is the solid color option. Choose a color – any color you want – and the lamp will display it. This is where the above effects tab comes in handy as well, as it helps you find literally any color you can imagine. You know, just in case you are looking for something specific and are having a hard time finding it using the scroll bars.

StarPal light in portrait mode
Cameron Summerson

Like other Govee products, such as the Aura Lamp, the StarPal lamp also has sights. These specific scenarios repeat, such as fireflies, lightning, fire, or even a cornfield. (Spoiler: That’s just a yellowish green light, and that’s it.) But since it’s just one main light with a diffuser, they’re either a solid color or something strong. Lightning, for example, is nothing more than a random flash of bright white light. It’s really annoying and not something at all that I think most people would enjoy outside of very specific uses – maybe like a homemade haunted house. horrifying.

Finally, there is a DIY option where you can customize lighting, changes, speed, gradient, strobe effects, and much more. You can get as detailed as you like (in solid colors, anyway) here, so go ahead. Again, this is an excellent feature for anyone looking for a very specific type of lighting.

salary! So, should I buy it?

I’ve used a bunch of different Govee lamps for the past year or so – immersion, Aura lamp, Lyra lamp, and now StarPal. They are all different and unique in their own way (especially the immersion), and StarPal is no different. It is less versatile than some of the other options, especially in terms of appearance. The ability to only show one color at a time limits what StarPal can do.

But what it lacks in visual versatility, it makes up for in portability. Do you need a versatile flashlight to take camping? Or maybe something just to get him on vacation. Hell, do you want a great backup solution for when the power goes out? StarPal checks all boxes. So, yes, it can look great, but it’s one of the few smart lighting products that goes beyond just looks.

own charging port
Cameron Summerson

But it’s not perfect. To start, he uses a special barrel port for charging, which is pointless. USB-C is more than capable of powering and/or squeezing something like that and it will make it more portable because you will be able to charge it with something you likely already have. As it stands, you’ll also need to pack the charger if you plan to take it on vacation. The wire appears to be about six feet long, which may be a deal breaker for some. It can certainly limit usability in some situations.

Along the same lines, there’s battery life. Govee says you can get “up to 4.5 hours” of StarPal use on battery power, but of course, that depends on your usage. Do you want to run it at maximum brightness? You will get less. Do you want to sync music? Stop even a little more. It’s hard to put a number on it since every situation and use case will be different, but under normal circumstances you can expect between 2-3.5 hours of actual use.

The back of the lamp with blue light
Cameron Summerson

This is another case where USB-C charging comes in handy because in the event of a power outage, you can simply toss a battery pack into your StarPal and get hours of light. But as it stands, you’ll have to conserve that energy if you need it in an emergency.

For travel, camping, or other scenarios, this is less important – just be sure to set aside your usage time, so you don’t run out of light.

Finally, I’d like to point out another omission that I think Govee can easily fix with a software update: the ability to sync multiple StarPal lights together. I’ve been testing the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth versions, and the whole time I thought it would be great to have one on each side of a table or desk or even on opposite sides of a room and be able to control both at the same time with a single tap. Currently, you can only do this with two Wi-Fi models that you can control with a digital assistant.

But at $50 apiece, I could see people buying a pair of Bluetooth models in hopes of syncing them together. It is not possible now.

Still, this is an easy product to recommend. It is affordable, versatile and looks great. As long as you know the downsides—charging mode, limited battery life, and a lack of proper syncing of multiple lights—you’ll be pleased with it, no matter which model you buy.

Evaluation: 8/10

price: 50 to 65 dollars

This is what we love

  • good value
  • Beautiful color and beautiful glow
  • Multiple functions

And what we don’t do?

  • special charger
  • Bad battery life
  • No option to sync multiple lighting via bluetooth

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