If you’re already deep into the Apple ecosystem, you might as well use the HomeKit home automation platform for the integration. While it may not be the best, it certainly takes advantage of the tight synergy among your Apple devices. Before switching to HomeKit for your home automation, you want to ensure it works with all your smart devices.
With Govee being one of the top manufacturers of smart home devices in the market today, it’s only natural to assume that most people looking for a home automation solution want Govee support. However, does Govee work with Apple’s HomeKit?
In this article, you’ll learn how Govee and HomeKit work and the integration between the two home solutions. Also, you’ll learn how to get Govee devices to work on your Apple devices, either using the HomeKit app or some other third-party solution.
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Does Govee Work with Homekit?
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this article, HomeKit is a platform from Apple for controlling your smart home devices from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. However, it doesn’t simply work with every gadget out there; it only works with smart home devices with HomeKit certification.
With that said, Govee is not HomeKit-certified. Naturally, that should mean it’s not compatible with HomeKit, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Since Govee is so popular that not supporting it natively on HomeKit would be problematic, there are helpful third-party solutions that make the integration possible.
The best way to make a Govee device work with HomeKit is through a third-party solution called Homebridge. Homebridge is a software that opens the HomeKit platform to more devices, enabling gadgets that aren’t HomeKit-certified to work with all your Apple devices flawlessly.
The technology behind the Homebridge is a bit complicated, but for starters, you need a host device for the software to get it running. You can use any Windows, Linux, or Mac computer, but since the host needs to be constantly running, most people use tiny Raspberry Pis.
If you’re into DIY, you can set up your Raspberry Pi and install Homebridge manually or buy the HOOBS all-in-one kit. HOOBS stands for “Homebridge out of the box,” and the name aptly describes what it does. It’s more expensive than installing Homebridge yourself, but you have the convenience, and you can’t possibly mess things up.
Summarily, Govee does not work with HomeKit natively, but you can get it to work using Homebridge. Homebridge is available in two ways: by installing the image on a Raspberry Pi or buying it preinstalled in a box with HOOBS, whichever works best for you. I’ll show you how to control your Govee devices from HomeKit with Homebridge shortly.
Does Govee Work with iPhone?
There are several ways to control Govee devices on an iPhone, but the official one is using the manufacturer’s official app. The Govee Home app on the App Store should have everything you’ll ever need to do on any of Govee’s electric heaters or LED light strips, but I digress.
If the Govee Home app isn’t sufficient for you, there are better alternatives, one of which is Homebridge. The preceding section discussed this unofficial workaround for using Govee and why it has a unique appeal, especially among people deep into the Apple ecosystem.
If you missed that, the primary reason you may want to try Homebridge is for HomeKit integration. HomeKit makes it easier to connect your smart home gadgets to your Apple devices; since most Govee products aren’t HomeKit-certified, you’ll have to make do with using a third-party solution like Homebridge.
Setting up Homebridge to enable Govee to work with HomeKit is a somewhat technical procedure, but you’ll learn it in this article. Also, I’ll show you the benefits of going out of your way to try integrating your Govee devices with HomeKit and some limitations.
How to Setup Govee with HomeKit
To make your Govee smart home devices compatible with HomeKit, you need a hub running Homebridge. If you have no idea what that means or how it works, you should scroll back up to the initial subsection before coming back here.
Once you have the slightest idea what Homebridge means, you can learn how to set it up to connect your Govee device to HomeKit. Without more ado, here’s how to set up Govee with HomeKit using Homebridge:
- Get Homebridge: There are two ways to get Homebridge, and they all involve procuring a piece of hardware. The easier option is buying HOOBS on Amazon when it’s in stock. As explained earlier, HOOBS stands for Homebridge out of the box, making it easy to get your hands on the hub without tinkering with a Raspberry Pi. If you’re looking to spend less money, you can buy a Raspberry Pi and install Homebridge manually. While this method is more technical and requires you to be tech-savvy, it’s also cheaper, appealing to the hardcore DIYist. Either way, you’ll need to get Homebridge working and log in to the dashboard; if you can make it that far, congratulations, you can continue with the tutorial.
- Install a Govee plugin: The next step for getting your Govee lights working with HomeKit is installing the necessary Homebridge plugin to make it work. While this step shouldn’t be very challenging, it doesn’t help that Govee is open source, and anyone can publish a plugin for Govee. You can search “Govee” from the Homebridge portal to find plugin options. The first result usually works, but I recommend looking for something with a recent update. That way, you can tell the developer(s) are actively maintaining the plugin.
- Add the Govee device: After installing the plugin, you can open the graphical user interface to connect your Govee with HomeKit. In most cases, it should ask you for the email address and password you use with Govee and the device’s MAC address. After entering all the necessary details, the plugin should automatically complete the setup process and set you up on HomeKit. You can now open the Apple Home app on your iPhone to manage your new device.
Can Siri Control Govee Lights?
Generally, Siri can control HomeKit-compatible smart home devices with simple voice commands, but Govee lights do not support the HomeKit standard by default. Ordinarily, that would mean you cannot control Govee lights with Siri, but there’s a workaround.
One way is using Homebridge by following the steps from the preceding section. Homebridge tricks Apple Home into believing the Govee lights are compatible with HomeKit, and they’ll essentially work like they have the feature. Not only will you be able to control the lights using Siri, but they will also integrate better into your entire Apple devices lineup.
If the extra functionality and flexibility of the Apple HomeKit ecosystem don’t matter to you, you can stick with the Govee Home app for your devices. As for the Siri question, you can set up shortcuts using the voice assistant, but don’t expect it to be nearly as good as a full Homebridge setup.
In short, Siri can control your Govee lights, but the level of integration will depend on how much you’re willing to sacrifice. If you can go through the extra steps of setting up a Homebridge hub, you’ll have full Siri support with all the features of a HomeKit-compatible accessory. Otherwise, you have to stick with a couple of Siri’s voice commands that don’t do much.
Does Govee Work with Smart Home?
The Govee LED light strips integrate excellently into home setups, but the support differs across apps. If you’re using any of the popular smart home solutions (Google Home, Apple Home, or Amazon Alexa), you should be able to integrate your Govee LED lights with no problem.
Depending on which of the solutions you’re using to manage your smart home devices, you may want to add a couple of extra setup steps. For example, most Govee models aren’t HomeKit-certified, and you won’t be able to integrate them into your smart home setup natively. Instead, you’ll have to use Homebridge, a third-party solution that brings HomeKit to more devices.
Since this article has explained how to set up Govee to work with HomeKit using Homebridge, this section won’t repeat it. Also, you won’t be learning how to make Govee work with Google Home or Amazon Alexa; those topics are beyond the scope of this discussion.
Summarily, Govee can work with most of your smart home solutions, including Apple Home and Amazon Alexa. While the former usually needs a Homebridge hub, that wouldn’t be necessary from 2023, as Govee recently acquired a Matter certification, making all the company’s light strips compatible with a wide range of smart home solutions out of the box.
Govee has an entire lineup of smart home devices that aren’t HomeKit-certified. While that should mean you can’t use them with Apple Home, there’s a workaround with Homebridge. If you don’t mind making a mild purchase and tinkering with pocket-sized computers, you can make your Govee work with HomeKit.