Govee Curtain Lights review: I'm obsessed

Fun, creative lights year-round

Govee Curtain Lights during testing
(Image: © Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

TechRadar Verdict

Govee continues to wow, this time around with the Govee Curtain Lights, which are perfect addition to your holiday decorations. Don't be fooled by its Christmas-wrapped marketing, however. These lights are perfect for year-round use, even when you're just curled up in a cozy corner with a good book on a rainy day. Fair warning, though: this isn't a cheap purchase, and the lights aren't going to look as big as they do in Govee's marketing images.

Pros

  • +

    Bright, vibrant and very customizable

  • +

    Surprisingly easy to set up with 3x ways to hang

  • +

    Light beads give them a cleaner look

  • +

    App control and voice command

  • +

    IP65 waterproof for outdoor use

Cons

  • -

    Individual strings a little far apart

  • -

    Lights not as big as in the product images

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Govee Curtain Lights: five-minute review

Smart light technology and designs just keep getting better and better, and Govee seems to be winning in that arena. The Govee Curtain Lights are another fantastic addition to our best smart lights list. And while the brand is currently promoting them as another offering in its smart Christmas light catalog, they deserve to be left up on your wall or windows – and not just 'til January, as that Taylor Swift song goes.

Truth be told, I'm kind of obsessed with the Govee Curtain Lights, and I'm not just saying that as a strong supporter of smart lights. They add a much prettier and much more romantic ambiance to any setting, whether that be my otherwise messy living room or your garden, that no other smart light – not even the recent smart string lights that recently hit the market – can replicate. 

Govee Curtain Lights during author's testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

That's not just because these are curtain lights, made of up 20 rows of individual string lights that all hang side by side like delicate willow tree stems. Although, if I'm being perfectly honest, that really does add to their appeal. 

Govee Curtain Lights during author's testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

It's more than that, though. Like all the other smart light products in its arsenal, Govee made the Govee Curtain Lights to be incredibly customizable and capable of displaying millions of different colors and light scenes. What sets them apart from others is that using the brand's RGBIC technology, they're also able to display images using the 520 light beads embedded into each of those 20 strings.

Govee Curtain Lights during author's testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Basically, you don't just get light patterns with them; you can actually create visual representations of things you see in the real world – falling leaves, pumpkin patches, Santa riding his sleigh, the face of your favorite pet, and you can do all that using your phone on the Govee app. That capability is a massive game-changer, especially to those folks who go all-out for Christmas.

They're not just for Christmas, however. Put them up in your reading nook, and they'll cozy up that space even more with twinkling warm lights. Set them in your dining space, and they can elevate the ambience not just for dinner parties but also during winter when morning tend to be dark and dreary.

Govee Curtain Lights during author's testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Naturally, since they're customizable via the intricate Govee app, you can also choose from the many light presets that Govee has on offer, from simple groovy and rainbow swirl patterns to Christmas scenes that give you familiar images of the holiday season (a Christmas tree, a Christmas wreath, Santa's face, and more) to night scenes like a forest with fluttering fireflies and a spaceman doing a space walk.

You would think that a smart light set as complex as this would be a little harder to install, but Govee also has a knack for simplifying things for the end user. Setting up the Govee Curtain Lights is so simple that I was thinking the whole time that I must have missed a step or done something wrong. But no; it's really as easy as putting up  regular strip lights, if maybe slightly more delicate since you don't want to make the same mistake I made, and put my step stool over a light bead, stand on the stool and damage the bead.

The thing about curtain lights is that they're slightly harder to mount because they are heavier than regular string lights. Govee thought of that too by offering you three mounting options and providing you with all the tools you need for all three, giving you mounting flexibility. I choose to use the VHB gums provided, sticking the lights to my sliding door frame because I felt that was the easiest route for me. But you can also hang them on your existing string or rod using the included G4 hooks or on the seamless nails, all of which are included in the box.

If you also choose to use the VHB gums, you'll be glad to know that they've got impressive hold. I've had mine up for two weeks now, and not a single one has peeled off my sliding door frame.

Each of the 20 string lights that make up the Govee Curtain Light is made well; light yet robust, made up of three thin wires inside that connect all the light beads and are encased in clear casing that kind of helps diffuse the lights illuminating from the beads while also not taking the focus away from them. It's an appropriate choice, as using an opaque cable jacket would have ruined the effect.

The cord for the plug, which itself is encased in a clear cable jacket, is amazingly long, maybe too long, but you can always coil up the rest of it if your outlet is nearby. Perhaps, there's a point to it, too – these lights can be used outdoors with their IP65 waterproof rating, so if you're setting them up in your garden, there's enough cable to reach your outdoor outlet. Just know though that the adapter plug is only at IP44, so you'll need to plug it in to an outlet with waterproof housing.

I do wish that the light beads were a little bigger though; and I also wish that the strings lights weren't so far apart from one another. That would have made the images you create a little clearer.

Still, as they are, these lights are bright and vibrant, and they do paint a clear picture of the effect you're trying to achieve. You can see from the photos I took that people will know what they are – or at least, a chunk of them. I didn't actually try to DIY my own images because I simply did not have enough time to do so, but many from the Govee community have shared their own creations, and a lot of them are just fantastic.

Fortunately for people like me who don't have the time to create, the Govee app has a long list of presets. My particular favorites are Forest Fireflies, which has moving yellow lights that represent the fireflies (it reminds me of all those warm summer nights I spent with my grandparents in the Philippines, where we'd see all these fireflies around), Rainbow Swirl, Love, Christmas Wreath, Moon, and the super neon Love Heart, which is so vibrant that it reminds me of Tokyo.

I also adore all the animal presets, especially the Fox, Jellyfish, and A Fishing Cat.

As far as controls, the Govee Curtain Lights not only come with their own control panel, but also have app control and voice commands via Alexa and Google Assistant. As with all of Govee's smart light products, they're very responsive, taking a fraction of a second to respond when you're changing the lights on the app or with a voice command. It's all so seamless.

These smart light stunners are a fantastic addition to any home, especially if you're all about making it cozy and pretty. I know I'll be using mine every day and every night for the rest my life… well, at least until Govee produces an even better model.

Govee Curtain Lights: Price and availability

  • How much is it? $129.99 / £159.99 (about AU$190)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where is it available? Available in the US and the UK 

For what they offer, the Govee Curtain Lights are actually more affordable than expected. I was expecting them to be a little over $200 / £200, but they're actually just $129.99 / £159.99 (about AU$190) – you can always count on Govee when it comes to making fantastic products that are more accessible in price than the competition. And, at the time of writing, they're also discounted in the UK for just £119.99. That's a lot more affordable than the Philips Hue Festavia String Lights, with its 250-light version costing a hefty $219.99 / £199.99 / $359.95.

Unfortunately for Australian customers, however, the Curtain Lights are not yet available in the region. However, they already have a listing on Amazon Australia, so it likely won't be long until they're available there.

  • Value: 5 / 5

Govee Curtain Lights: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Here are the specs for the Govee Curtain Lights
Govee Curtain Lights
Designed for:Indoor and outdoor use
Connectivity:2.4GHz Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
Voice command compatibilityAlexa, Google Assistant
Lumen output:Not specified
Lifetime up to:Not specified
Light color:RGBIC
Wattage:15W
Dimensions:66 ft (20 m) / 33 ft (10 m)

Should I buy the Govee Curtain Lights?

Govee Curtain Lights during author's testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Govee Curtain Lights report card
ValueFor what they offer, the Govee Curtain Lights are actually a fantastic value for your money.5 / 5
DesignEasy to set up, robust, and waterproofed, these will last you a good while. If only the individual light strings weren't so far apart from one another.4.5 / 5
PerformanceThe light beads produce bright and vibrant lights, and they're super responsive when controlling via the app or compatible voice assistant.4.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You want a smart take on the classic curtain lights
They look like curtain lights, but they have smart light functionalities, some extremely useful, others super fun.

You want to give your home a cozy, romantic touch
Set these to one of the more elegant designs or the classic yellow color, and it sets a cozy, romantic atmosphere to your dining room, bedroom, reading nook, or your garden.

You're a creative soul who love customizations
You can create your own images and designs, share them with the community, and display them onto the lights.

Don't buy it if... 

You prefer boring lights
If you prefer a more minimalist look, you might find these lights too exciting or too maximalist.

Govee Curtain Lights: Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Here are the specs for the Govee Curtain Lights
Govee Curtain LightsGovee Christmas String LightsNanoleaf Matter Smart Holiday String Lights
Price: $129.99 / £159.99 (about AU$190)From $59.99 / £59.99 (about AU$90)$119.99 / £119.99 (about AU$180)
Designed for:Indoor and outdoor useIndoor and outdoor use Indoor and outdoor use
Connectivity:2.4GHz Wi-Fi + Bluetooth2.4GHz Wi-Fi + Bluetooth Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
Voice command compatibilityAlexa, Google AssistantAlexa, Google Assistant Apple Home, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings
Lumen output:Not specifiedNot specified 250 lumens
Lifetime up to:Not specifiedNot specified 10,000 hours
Light color:RGBICRGBICRGB
Wattage:25W15W18W
Dimensions:5 x 6.6 ft (1.5 x 2 m)66 ft (20 m) / 33 ft (10 m)2 connected strings of 33 ft (10 m)
Image

Govee Christmas String Lights
The Govee Christmas String Lights are among the best-looking smart Christmas lights that came out this year, and they’re also very affordable.

Read our Govee Christmas String Lights review

Image

Nanoleaf Matter Smart Holiday String Lights
Robust and very customizable, these are more similar to traditional string lights in design and a better option if that's what you're looking for.

Read our Nanoleaf Matter Smart Holiday String Lights review

How I tested the Govee Curtain Lights

  • I tested the Govee Curtain Lights for a couple of weeks
  • I hung them over my sliding door
  • I tested their performance, features and customizations using Alexa and the Govee app

Testing the Govee Curtain Lights for two weeks, I had them hanging over the sliding door in my living room where my neighbors can admire their Christmas-themed images. Naturally, I tested many of Govee's other light scenes and presets as well as some of the ones that users in the Govee community created. 

During this time, I noted their performance, not only in terms of how vibrant the colors and how bright the lights are but also in terms of how fast or slow they respond to app and voice commands.

I've been a smart home devotee for a few years, with Philips Hue light bulbs being my very first smart home device. I've also been testing smart home devices, from smart lights and smart speakers to smart appliances like robot vacuums and heaters, since owning my first light bulbs.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed December 2023

Michelle Rae Uy
Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor

Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.