Reliable notifications to your phone once either variable goes outside your preset threshold, but limited by the current lack of automation possibilities.
Whether you’re growing mushrooms in a dank cupboard, keeping valuable wines in your cellar, or growing your own food in a polytunnel, sometimes monitoring the temperature and humidity is crucial. The Govee Wi-Fi Temperature and Humidity Monitor does exactly that, and alerts you if either falls outside of your preset range.
Read out to find out how it works, and at the end of this review, we’ve got one to give away to one lucky reader!
Alongside the diminutive H5051 Wi-Fi temperature and humidity monitor, you’ll find a small stand that comes in two parts, and can be used to either sit the sensor on a flat surface, or stick it to a wall. It would have been nice to see a hanging option in there, particularly for use in polytunnels or greenhouses which tend have more support beams than flat shelving or walls.
Also included in the package are three AAA batteries, but you can of course replace these with rechargeable batteries if you wish. User-replaceable batteries are nearly always preferable to internal Lithium-Ion, which can eventually degrade to the point of rendering a whole device non-functional.
On the front of the device is small LCD display so you can view the temperature and humidity without pulling out your phone.
Govee offer a range of smart home devices all controlled from the Govee home app, and the H5051 Temperature and Humidity monitor fits right into that. I also reviewed the Govee pixel LED smart lighting strips last week, and the installation and setup is just as simple here. Once you’ve powered on the Temperature and Humidity monitor, hold down the single button for three seconds to activate Bluetooth pairing mode, then enter your Wi-Fi details within the app.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
The Govee H5051 Temperature and Humidity monitor features both a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi communication chip, and you’ll need to use both. Once connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll receive regular updates and notifications, but in order to setup the Wi-Fi, and change the temperature or humidity thresholds, you must be in Bluetooth range. It’s a little strange that you can’t change the desired temperature and humidity ranges over Wi-Fi, and I’m not really sure why this would be the case, but in reality it hasn’t bothered me during testing. Setting the alarm threshold is really only something you need to do once.
It goes without saying that you’ll need a Wi-Fi network available in the location you want to place the H5051. Make sure to test this first, as the device is useless without that. Without a strong outdoor antenna, or good internal router placment, this might be a problem in your mushroom cupboard, wine cellar, or greenhouse. I use Ubiquiti Unifi to cover my house and two acres of land with a strong Wi-Fi signal, so I had no issues.
Data-Logging and Pretty Graphs
As well as notifying you when the desired thresholds are exceeded, the Govee monitor does a great job of data-logging. You can pinch, zoom and scroll your way through the graphs in different time ranges to see trends over time, and even export all the data points to a CSV file for your own analysis.
The graphs are automatically color-coded according to your current threshold settings, so if those are updated, the graphs will reflect that.
Is the Alarm Reliable?
I set up the Govee Temperature and Humidity monitor down in my polytunnel, where the summer sun can often cause the temperature to go above 45C, at which point most plants just wither and die. We can bring it down by turning on some solar-powered fans and make sure they’re well watered, but have been known to forget.
During the past month of testing, the alarm notifications have been perfectly reliable, without fail letting me know once it’s above 40C. It’s already made a huge difference this year, having saved our crop a number of times.
The one issue I had with notifications is when the temperature pops above and then dips below the threshold again. This hasn’t happened often, but when it did, I received multiple alarms over the course of half an hour, which doesn’t seem necessary and will drain the battery life. An option to limit the rate of alarm notifications would have been a good idea.
After initially comparing the numbers reported by Govee to a cheaper LCD-only monitor, I thought they might have been inaccurate. However, comparing to a mercury thermometer showed that actually the Govee was correct, and my other one was wrong. I haven’t needed to use the adjustment setting. I’m not as bothered about the accuracy of the humidity sensor, but don’t have a manual method to compare that too. If humidity is critical to you, I assume you’ll have something reliable to compare it to first and see if it needs adjustment.
No Automation or Third Party API
The biggest downside to the Govee device is that despite sending notifications over Wi-Fi, there’s no option to integrate with any popular home automation services, not even a simple IFTT webhook. Without any sort of automation, you’ll need to physically act on the notifications yourself, which ultimately limits deployment.
This probably won’t be an issue for most purposes, but would be a welcome addition for those of us who like to plug all the things into the network. It’s a shame considering how reliable the notifications are with an otherwise neat little package. Hopefully they can add this sort of functionality soon. It would be great to combine with a Wi-Fi plug and have the fan automatically turn on automatically.
Should You Buy the Govee Temperature and Wi-Fi Monitor?
$49.99 isn’t particularly cheap for a temperature and humidity monitor, but for something that can send alarms to your phone and log the data over a period of time, it’s not bad at all. The alarm notifications were reliable for me, and easily worth it to have saved a polytunnel worth of plants during the heatwaves this year.
For more general smart home use inside the home, you might be better served by a multifunction SmartThings sensor. The lack of third party API or IFTT webhook support ultimately limits the Govee monitor, but hopefully, this is something they can fix soon with a software update.