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Mark is a freelance reviewer for How-To Geek and Review Geek, a seasoned freelance writer, and a marketing manager with a strong footing in the gaming and esports industries. He’s been featured across the net on Cultured Vultures, Heavy.com, Bloody Disgusting, and more. Read more...
LED TV backlights typically offer fairly basic and dim coloring. The Govee Envisual TV Backlight T2 rectifies this with advanced customization and more LEDs per meter. These may be their shining features, but there’s plenty that shows the care that went into one of the best TV backlights I’ve used.
I have struggled with every LED TV light strip I’ve ever owned. Either the colors weren’t vibrant enough, the features were limited, or the adhesive practically melted from the heat of the television. Granted, they’ve all been no-name endcap display products or low-budget versions of notable brands, but I wasn’t ready for the drastic difference between them and the Govee Envisual TV Backlight T2.
The most comparable light strip I own is the Philips Hue Play Gradient strip for my 25-inch monitor. It’s quite a bit smaller than Govee’s Backlight T2, which is meant for TVs of up to 65 inches, and it’s missing some of the features that make the TV Backlight T2 stand out—yet the Philips strip is still $30 more. The biggest difference? Govee isn’t quite a household name yet, though after my time with the Envisual TV Backlight T2, I feel it absolutely should be.
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Installation: A Setup That's Worth the Effort Advanced, Vibrant Backlighting User Experience: Stunning Color, When It Works The Benefits of Govee's Backlighting Govee Home: Navigating the Cluttered App Layout Should You Buy the Govee Envisual TV Backlight T2?
Unpacking Govee’s light strip came with more components than I expected. Along with the coiled backlighting, you receive the camera, a control hub, a pad of thick orange stick-ons, adhesive clips, additional adhesives, and the necessary cabling to connect everything together.
It took me a few minutes of reviewing the instructions to understand the steps for installation, and once I started piecing it all together, setup was relatively easy. You will want two sets of hands to ensure the strip isn’t pulled from the TV as you work your way around the sides, bottom, and top. I did install it alone on a 65-inch screen, but it wasn’t easy and I risked the adhesive losing its stick.
I was taken aback by how prominent the camera is and thought it would be a considerable eyesore that ruined the experience. While it does jut out from the top of the TV, you really forget it’s there. Even if it were bulkier, its function would be well-worth its presence.
With the camera resting atop the TV, its front weight counterbalanced with an adjustable back that should fit all TV styles, I found the real work had yet to come. Calibrating the camera required placing orange squares at key points so you can set the proper field of view for the dual lenses. This step is crucial if you plan on setting the backlighting to respond to and match onscreen colors. Though it’s not perfect, this is just one of the advanced features the Envisual Backlight is capable of as Govee aims to put control of every aspect of the rich lighting into your hands.
While you’re going to spend most of your time adjusting and customizing lighting in the designated Govee Home app (more on this later), the control hub makes it easy to toggle the strip’s power and cycle through preset color animations. Because it mounts behind the TV, it’s not the easiest to access, and I recommend just installing it and forgetting it exists. The app has everything you need to control the backlight.
Typically, inexpensive TV backlights cycle through a set number of colors and a limited spread of animations. The Govee Envisual TV Backlighting T2 offers a more dynamic user experience with a bold, fully-customizable glow that radiates against your wall.
Fueling the vivid light show are 60LEDs/M, or 60 individual LED modules per meter, which is double the common standard. For every three LEDs, there is an independent chip (the “IC” in “RGBIC“) controlling those beads.
While this may sound very technical, all it really means is that the Envisual TV Backlighting is capable of creating unique patterns and achieving more colors than standard RGB LED strips. While great for promotional materials and marketing, the real test is whether any of this translates to a better user experience.
For the most part, it does.
There are so many different ways to enjoy the Envisual TV Backlight T2, from a static color to a chasing glow of several different hues. It’s here that the backlight excels. The coloring is rich, deep, and beaming, and the white light can be adjusted on a warm to cool sliding scale.
If you want something more lively than just a static color, Govee provides a selection of scenes that mimic natural settings, holidays, life events, emotions, and more. So, if you don’t want to make your own Halloween lighting, you can go with whatever Govee provides. There’s also a library of user-created scenes uploaded via the elaborate DIY or Effects Lab tools in the Govee Home app (more on this later).
Surprisingly, where the backlight stumbles most is with its star accessory, the camera. Equipped with two lenses capable of capturing 690,000-pixel dots per second, the purpose is to recreate accurate colors as they appear on the screen in Movie mode. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that sounds good in theory but doesn’t work as well as you hope in practice. It did capture the different shades being displayed, but there were some discrepancies even after I adjusted the white balance and saturation.
I tested the color matching with Ghostbusters II and was delighted to see my wall glow in electrifying shades of blue during the courtroom scene. There was a ton of red and orange being thrown about behind the TV, though, and I can only assume the camera was picking up and distorting the skin pigments of the human characters.
It did still elevate the movie-watching experience and most of the colors weren’t so far off the mark that they were distracting. But when the sensor did work as intended, it was quite the spectacle. The backlight even reacts to music and sound effects, but I was less impressed with the responsiveness and animation of this setting. The lighting didn’t seem to have any designated pattern and just flickered at every sound it could pick up.
You’ll likely use the backlighting primarily as a decorative feature or to set a mood, but there is a functional purpose to it as well. At the proper setting, the backlighting doubles as bias lighting, which is known to reduce the strain of staring at a TV or monitor.
The added light increases the amount of ambient light, which corrects the imbalance of light and dark that can lead to dry eyes and headaches. Additionally, bias lighting can alter your perception of blacks and greys to improve how the screen appears to you. It all sounds like a trick of the eyes, but after a week of using the Govee backlight, I did notice my eyes were less bothered while watching TV in a darker room.
My biggest gripe with the Govee TV Backlight T2 has been the Govee Home app (Available for iPhone and Android). There are so many options, links, and menus with very unclear instructions on what each one does. Any sort of customization is completed through the app, and you’re mostly on your own when trying to figure it out. You’ll get a hang of things like the DIY scene creator, which allows you to create and share entire lighting schematics, but it may take a while.
I do appreciate that it’s a one-stop shop for all things Govee. Whether you’re setting the mood for movie night or want to check out other Govee products, the app contains it all. But you also don’t need to go into the app every time you want to turn the lights on. Govee’s Backlight T2 is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can set up a room of different Govee lights to react to one voice command.
The important thing to remember about TV backlighting is that it’s not for everyone. Some may still think it’s a gimmick and see no value in adding a soft glow against your wall. For those that do appreciate the ambient lighting, the Govee Envisual TV Backlight T2 is a wonderful kit that suffers from pitfalls I feel are easy to overlook or rectify.
The biggest issue with the backlight is the color accuracy when in Movie mode, and on occasion, that can be fixed by adjusting White Balance and Saturation. The preset scenes, static colors, and energetic animations help offset this issue by being fully functional at any other time.
I did notice that some colors didn’t reflect well against my wall, but I firmly believe that’s an issue of paint color. When I tested greens, they reflect as yellow despite the LED grouping very clearly showing as green. For all that the Govee Envisual TV Backlight T2 does right, I consider these problems rather minor.
I am rarely loyal to a singular brand, but this backlight sold me and I’m excited to see how other Govee products integrate with one another.
Many vivid colors and preset scenes Bias lighting enhances TV and movies Strong adhesive and clips keep things in place No hub required
Color accuracy could use some work Audio response animations are lacking Govee app is intimidating Setup can be difficult
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