Govee M1 LED Strip with Matter Support

Wanted to share my initial experience with the new-ish Govee LED Strip Light M1 with Matter support.

After a couple of failed attempts at getting the strip to connect to Home Assistant via the instructions in the Matter guide included with the lights, I double-checked my router and realized that I did not have IPv6 enabled.

According to the Matter guide included with the lights, IPv6 is REQUIRED for using the lights with Matter, which is pretty important info to know before you make the decision to buy these. I didn’t realize this was a requirement, and while I was able to get the light strip connected to Home Assistant via Matter after enabling IPv6 in my router, I’m not sure whether the limited functionality offered by the strip under Matter (literally just on/off, color and color temperature selection, and dimming) is worth the hassle.

In fairness to Govee, they do list the IPv6 requirement under “Preparation for Matter” in the product listing on Amazon, but it’s pretty easy to miss.

The hardware is nice, and well-packaged, so if you’re looking for some nice, albeit pricey, LED strips to start testing Matter support in your Home Assistant, I can say they do work once IPv6 is enabled. And pairing was pretty darn convenient just scan the QR code, and add to HA. There is not a great deal of functionality available via Matter and HA, however, just on/off, color, and color temperature.

While pairing with the Govee app is also convenient, it requires an account, and cloud connectivity. No thanks.

It’s encouraging to see vendors starting to add Matter support to their products, but as long as the majority of the cool features of a strip like this are limited to the vendor’s app, it’s really not a great step forward, IMO.

Anyone else try one of these? What are your thoughts?

it’s not a huge surprise about IPv6 (and in my opinion very welcome). Because on the Thread side, devices are IPv6 - there is no IPv4 on the Thread side at all. So in order for a Thread device to speak directly to a WiFi / LAN device, it has to be via IPv6.

But more importantly, we are limited to 254 IP addresses on IPv4 - in the majority of home setups. Once you start adding lights, TVs, tablets, phones, smartwatches, ESPHome devices, smoke alarms, smart displays, speakers, thermostats, radiator values, smart blinds - etc etc - you eat up those 254 IPv4 addresses REALLY fast. Additionally the majority of ISP supplied home routers, might be configured for serving 254 addresses, but couldn’t actually cope with 254 devices being attached.

IPv6 has some cool functionality to resolve that, link local addresses, devices can talk to each other, internally without bothering the router (or in fact, needing the router at all - to even get a link local address). If devices DO need to reach out to the internet, the use of IPv6, means that NAT is not necessary (though it still is for the IPv4 devices) which significantly reduces resources required by the router.

As for the matter part of this conversation, matter only has basic functionality right now, that will change as it matures, but right now they are concentrating on adding device support.

That all makes sense, and this has prompted me to start getting better acquainted with IPv6.

My biggest concern is that enabling IPv6 seems like a pretty big step before I understand how it works. I’m quite leery of what I don’t know about it ending up biting me in the butt either by inadvertently leaving something less secure, or by screwing up my network and ending up unable to reach devices I need to reach.

Any suggestions for a good primer on IPv6 for someone who, while not a networking professional, has a reasonably good understanding of networking in general?

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You don’t need to worry about the reachability issue, your devices behind the router will get an IPv4 address just like they always have, as well as an IPv6 address (or rather several IPv6 addresses) if it’s currently turned off on the router there is a good chance that your local devices still already have IPv6 addresses anyway, that they have given to themselves.

The way a device gives itself an IPv6 address is it chooses one, then it essentially says “hey guys, this is the address I’ve chosen for myself, does anyone have a problem with it?” And it sends that out to the address ff02::01 which means it addresses all devices connected to the same local network. If it doesn’t hear anything back, it assumes everyone is happy with us choice. Because every device does this, then they can all talk to each other, without a router being needed. But where IPv6 has an even better trick, when the router finally does give a device an IPv6 address, the device doesn’t lose its local address it assigned on its own. Unlike IPv4, with IPv6 devices can (and will) have multiple IPv6 addresses than they can use. My Pixel 6 for example right now has a local self assigned address and 2 public IPv6 addresses.

Personally I found this starter video very useful:

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Do you mind walking me through how you integrated the Govee M1 Matter lights into Home Assistant? I have IP6, but am new to Home Assistant. When I try to use the Govee integration, it say’s it no devices found on the network.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for the help.

It’s been a while, and I returned the lights, but as I recall, I had to use the Govee app initially (could be misremembering). There’s a QR code on the device that helps with installing via Matter.

Sorry I can’t provide more detail…FWIW, I found this strip to be far too limited in terms of what it offers in HA to be worth the cost of the strip and hassle of dealing with IPv6 for just this device (not saying IPv6 is bad or anything, just don’t have the need to deal with it apart from the Matter device).

Just as a curiosity, did you just give up on getting strips or did you replaced them with something else, and if so what did you go with? I’m looking to replace my Illumi strip with something that’s HA compatible and has functionality. From your description, the Govees wouldn’t satisfy my uses.