Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra review: the ultimate smart light panels

Taking smart lights to a whole new level

Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra during testing in reviewer's living room
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

TechRadar Verdict

The Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra is the smart light panels of all smart light panels. Its 3D design offers many different customizations, much more than other smart light panels offer. It's also incredibly bright, vibrant, and responsive to app and voice commands. It costs a lot more than other panels out there, but it's worth the money if you have it.


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    So many ways to customize

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    Guided setup via the app

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    Bright, vibrant 3D lighting

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    Voice and app control

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    Upgraded adhesives with velcro for easy removal


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Govee Glide Hexagon Ultra: One-minute review

Does the Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra finally seal Govee's status as the ultimate smart light brand in the world? It certainly makes a strong case for it.

Once upon a time, Govee may have been a rising star, offering solid and affordable smart lighting solutions, yet it was second only to Nanoleaf in terms of product features and quality. But it seems that time is over. Govee has put in all the work and invested a whole lot of creativity and innovation into its product development to claim that lofty number-one spot.

And while its products like the Govee AI Gaming Sync Box Kit and the Govee Glide Hexa Light Panels jumpstarted its ascent, it's the Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra that may have finally done the trick.

Among the best smart lights on the market right now, each of the smart light panels in the kit not only offers bright, vibrant colors and plenty of light and design customizations but also comes with three surfaces and two sets of lines, all of which are customizable themselves.

Assemble a kit of 10 panels, and what you've got is a stunning set of lights that are incredibly dynamic, very versatile, and best of all, super fun. In fact, testing the Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra is probably the most fun I've had reviewing a smart home device.

If you haven't owned and set up your own smart light panels before, assembling the Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra may look convoluted. Luckily, Govee has thought of virtually everything, including a video tutorial and a step-by-step guided assembly via its app that comes with its own design module so you can digitally create your layout and use it as your blueprint. This module even instructs you on which rear ports to slot the linking cables in, taking the guesswork out of perhaps the trickiest part of the setup.

What's more, Govee has since upgraded its rear adhesives - the ones that mount each panel to your wall. The new velcro backing makes it easier to peel the panels off when you feel like a makeover is in order and minimizes damage to your walls when you do so.

Just note that setting it up is much more involved than setting up a smart light bulb, as you still have to do things like prepping the wall (by cleaning it with the included wipes) and pushing on each panel for 30 seconds to ensure that the adhesives are sticking properly.

Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra in the author's living room during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

As its name implies, each panel in the Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra kit is hexagonal in shape. Unlike other hexagonal light panels out there, however, it comes with three sides and nine lines that light up to create that 3D effect. And they're all customizable with color and lighting effects, making this smart lighting kit the most dynamic of them all.

Each panel is made of robust plastic, with a clear acrylic facade - instead of the matte front on the regular Govee Glide Hexa panels - that gives it a glossier finish. At 4 inches per side, it's also slightly bigger than a Glide Hexa panel, meaning that you'll need a bit more space to accommodate the 10-panel kit.

The connection ports and the linking cables are just as robust. Their construction may look dubious, but I've tested several Govee light panels, and I have since realized that the brand made them sturdy enough to survive all the pushing and pulling you may have to do during setup.

There is a control box included if you prefer to be tactile. It comes with three buttons (one for power, another for cycling through nine colors, and the last one to toggle Music mode) and a mic, which lets the kit listen to ambient sounds when Music mode is on.

That's right; you can set the Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra to respond accordingly with light effects for whatever audio is playing in the room, which adds another fun aspect to it. And it's pretty accurate and on point.

Something that Nanoleaf light panels have that none of Govee's offerings comes with is panel touch control. Most of Nanoleaf's panels can be used as a sort of switch to control compatible smart home devices, but Govee has never offered this functionality.

It's a cool feature but something most people won't miss. To be honest, I've never used this function on my Nanoleaf panels since I've got most of my smart home devices connected to Alexa anyway, and voice control is just much easier. So you're not missing out on much not having it on the Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra.

While you can pretty much control the Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra via the control panel alone, using the app to customize it opens you to a whole world of possibilities. The Govee app is the motherlode of smart light customizations, giving you a whole catalog of preset light effects grouped into two categories - Music and Scene - so you can choose the effect that suits your current mood. 

The Music category gives you six different light effects to choose from to sync to your music, but it also allows you to toggle sensitivity and select whether the panels will react to what its built-in mic or your phone mic is hearing. If you choose the device mic, its preset light effects offer further customizations like selecting which parts of the panel display the effect (the three sides, the edges, or both), the direction the light effects are moving, and which colors to display.

I use the Scene category most of the time, as it has so many more fun presets further divided into six types - 3D, Funny, Natural, Life, Festival, and Emotion - and since I'm too busy to create my own presets.

If you want to design your own, however, the Govee app has its own Effects Lab, if you have the time to learn it. It can get pretty convoluted until you get used to how it works so I advise exercising patience. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.

The app also lets you set timers and schedules, as well as toggle settings like Wake up and Sleeping, which makes it so that the panels gradually brighten or darken.

Each Govee Glide Hexagon Ultra panel comes with 129 lamp beads inside, according to Govee. These lamp beads use RGBIC (RGB+ built-in Independent Chip) light so they can display not just 16 million colors but also rainbow lighting effects. And believe me, they're more than enough to give it that capability to display multifaceted 3D lighting. 

Each of the sides and lines on a panel is not just bright and vibrant but also capable of movement, allowing the panel to accurately display every lighting effect accessible on the app and gradually change colors as well. 

It displays most colors accurately as well. I've always found that some color smart lights are not as good at displaying some colors like light purple or lavender, but I haven't found that to be an issue here.

You can change its brightness with its dimmer function, which it responds to quickly whether you're changing it on the Govee app, on the Alexa app, or by voice control. It responds just as quickly whenever you're turning it on or off, or changing light presets.

Bear in mind, however, that smart light panels are not the best at properly illuminating a room, at least not at the same level as traditional overhead lighting. And that's the case here as well. I have found that the Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra can be bright enough to light a small room, but not enough to read in unless you're sitting directly in front of it. Still, it's plenty bright for most situations, especially if it is placed strategically.

Govee Glide Hexagon Ultra: Price and availability

  • How much is it? $349.99 (about £280, AU$535)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where is it available? Only available in the US at the time of writing

The Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra is an expensive piece of kit. At $349.99 (about £280, AU$535) for a set of 10 panels, 10 linking cables, and all the necessary accessories, the price of entry here is higher than any light panels in Govee's catalog - or Nanoleaf's, for that matter. 

The question is, is it worth it? I'd say yes if you can afford it. If not, you can go cheaper with the Govee Glide Hexa Pro, which is $150 cheaper and offers that same 3D lighting effect but without the lines.

Unfortunately for UK and Australian customers, it's not available in those countries at the time of writing. None of Govee's light panels are, but I'm sure it won't be long until they will be.

  • Value: 3.5 / 5

Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra in the author's living room during testing

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Govee Glide Hexagon Ultra: Specs

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Here are the specs for the Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra
Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra
Designed for:Indoor walls
Connectivity:2.4GHz Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
Voice command compatibilityAlexa, Google Assistant
Lumen output:Not specified
Lifetime up to:25,000h
Light color:RGBIC
Wattage bulb included:72W
Dimensions:7 in (177.8 mm) per side, 6 sides

Should I buy the Govee Glide Hexagon Ultra?

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Govee Glide Hexagon Ultra report card
ValueIt's expensive so only invest if you have the money to spare.3.5 / 5
DesignWith its easy setup, robust build, and gorgeous highly-customizable design, we can't say anything bad about it.5 / 5
PerformanceIt displays bright and vibrant lighting, and is highly responsive to commands.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You want the ultimate smart light panel
Whether you want to take your game room to a whole new level or upgrade your home lighting, this is the ultimate smart light panel to get.

You have deep pockets
It's a pretty expensive piece of kit - the priciest one I've tested yet - so only invest if you have the money.

Don't buy it if... 

You've got a small budget
If money's a little tight, then there are other smart light panels that are more affordable.

You prefer traditional lights
If smart light panels are simply not your aesthetic, then consider smart light bulbs instead.

Govee Glide Hexagon Ultra: Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Here are the specs for the Govee Glide Hexagon Ultra
Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels UltraGovee Glide Hexa Light PanelsNanoleaf Ultra Black Shapes
Designed for:Indoor wallsIndoor wallsIndoor walls
Connectivity:2.4GHz Wi-Fi + Bluetooth2.4GHz Wi-Fi + Bluetooth2.4GHz Wi-Fi
Voice command compatibilityAlexa, Google AssistantAlexa, Google AssistantApple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, the Nanoleaf app or IFTTT
Lumen output:Not specifiedNot specified100 lumens
Lifetime up to:25,000h25,000hNot specified
Light color:RGBICRGBIC16M+, RGBW
Wattage bulb included:72W36WNot specified
Dimensions:7 in (177.8 mm) per side, 6 sidesabout 4 in per side, 6 sides7.75 x 9 inches (200 x 230 mm)

Govee Glide Hexa Light Panels
Incredibly customizable, very responsive, and easy to connect with Alexa or Google Assistant, the Govee Glide Hexa Light Panels are a slightly edgy yet still affordable way of getting your smart light kicks.

Read our full Govee Glide Hexa Light Panels review


Nanoleaf Ultra Black Shapes
The Nanoleaf Ultra Black panels create quite the statement on a wall. The presets are wonderful, setup is easy, and there are plenty of customization options available via the app.

Read our full Nanoleaf Ultra Black Shapes review

How I tested the Govee Glide Hexagon Ultra

  • I tested the Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra for a week
  • I tested its performance and features using Alexa and the Govee app

Testing the Govee Glide Hexagon Light Panels Ultra for a week, I used it as my main lighting for my living room. Although I've set up many smart light panels before, I started with carefully following Govee's setup process to  see how easy it is to follow for the uninitiated.

I also made sure to test its features, utilizing the Govee and Alexa apps as often as possible, and its performance, especially when it comes to illuminating my space, responding to commands, and displaying all the available customizations.

A big smart home fan, I've been a smart home user 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 November 2023

Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is the former Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor 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.