Govee H5101 Smart Thermometer Hygrometer Review – Good for Microgreens?

Microgreens prefer 40% – 60% humidity. While some microgreen growers need humidity control, many do not. An easy way to know if you need to buy humidity regulators is to use a very affordable hygrometer. For just a few bucks, you can know where your humidity levels are. In many cases, it will allow you to avoid the expensive and unnecessary purchase of both a humidifier and dehumidifier.

I purchased the Govee H5101 Smart temperature and humidity monitor. It has over 1100 ratings averaging 4.5 stars. At just $22 for two of them, it seemed like a fit for my needs.

Now that I’ve had an opportunity to give it a go, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on these mini hygrometers… the good stuff and the bad.

Govee H5101 Review Snapshot

This unit rates very well for most categories. It lacks the smarts usually associated with smart devices. But it does everything very well that microgreen growers need it to do.

Now let’s breakdown why I gave the Govee H5101 a score of 8.7 out of 10…

Ease of setup: 10/10

Setting up the Govee H5101 was a sinch. I opened the back panel, removed the battery-saver strip, and walla! The temp/humidity monitor was up and running. Of course, one of the main attractions of a smart monitor is to connect it to your phone so you can keep track of your grow room’s humidity day and night without requiring you to go look at the screen.

To get it set up on your phone, just download the Govee app and follow the remarkably simple instructions. After downloading the app, within 90 seconds I created my account, discovered the device, and was connected.

While there are a few negative Amazon reviews of some that had difficulty connecting, that was not by experience at all. For me, ease of setup was a 10.

Wireless connectivity: 8/10

The H5101 uses Bluetooth BLE to connect to your phone. BLE is a newer low-energy, long-range Bluetooth standard that many smart devices are utilizing. The listing says this unit has a 164-foot range with no obstructions. Within my 2-story house, I have no problem connecting to view the current temperature and humidity readings in my grow room. However, If I’m not on the same floor as the Govee H5101, I have a little trouble syncing the historic data. Sometimes it will sync, sometimes I need to move to the same floor.

I also tested out the range to see if it lives up the listed 164-foot unobstructed range. Moving the two humidity monitors outside, I walked down the street testing connectivity until I couldn’t connect anymore. The furthest I was able to connect to the devices and update was 489 feet, well beyond the specs.

Govee H5101 connected to phone from 489 feet distance
Govee H5101 connected to phone from 489 feet distance

The one negative for connectivity is that it lacks wifi. If I leave my house, I can’t sync with the Govee monitors. That takes away some of the peace of mind you would get with other units that do have wifi. To be fair, I did knowingly purchase the non-wifi version. The wifi units cost more and I didn’t see that it was worth the upcharge – at least not for me. It’s primarily just to verify if I need to buy humidity control.

Ease of use – 10/10

This is a simple device. It’s not meant to be a high-tech scientific instrument that you can calibrate to the N’th degree, or that will kick on your smart thermostat if your space gets too hot. It’s a miniature monitor. As such, I think it scored well. 

It’s about 2 inches square, so it can be placed discretely just about anywhere you like. You can place one on a microgreen shelf and another on a germination shelf. Or even in the germination tray under a humidity dome. As germination prefers about 70% humidity, You can monitor and see if it’s in the ballpark.

Even though it is a small unit, the LCD is comfortable to read. My eyes don’t work as well as they used to, I have to squint to ready ingredients and directions on bottles. Still, I can read the screen with ease.

As far as smartphone use, this makes it even more convenient. I never need to go upstairs to my grow room to check the temperature or humidity. I can simply look at the Govee app on my phone and see how it’s doing. And it’s super easy to sync the histogram of the temperature and humidity chart with your phone. Just like syncing the weather or email, simply pull the screen down and let go.

The battery is rated to last for six months. It would be nice if it lasted longer. But I suppose 6 months is a fair amount of time for smart monitors at $11 each.

Built-in smarts – 4/10

Listed as a Smart device, I kind of expected more. The product listing says…

“Instantly receive alert notifications to your phone once the temp & humidity levels go out of your preset range. Intelligent function allows you to adjust the environment in time.” 

I was under the wrong impression that it would give some sort of signal that could tie into a smart thermostat, or into a Smart Home controller, so the controller would be alerted and adjust the temperature. But that’s not the case. You can turn on the alert in your phone, so it will alert you if the temp or humidity is out of range. But that’s about the extent of “smart controls”.

Besides the phone alerts, the remaining “smarts” are that it can store up to two years of data and then sync it with your phone when you connect. Fair to say, for microgreen growers and probably everyone else on this planet, two years is more than we will ever require. So it gets a plus for that.

I have to ask, is it really a smart device, or does it simply have internal storage and sync capability? I’d say just storage and sync. The phone is what managed the alert, not the device. I ran a test to see. No phone sync, no alarm. I’m sure it’s challenging to know how to label all these new gadgets with varying levels of “smarts.” But I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call it a smart monitor.

That said, it does live up to the purpose I bought it for. If you just want to monitor your grow room climate, be alerted if the room is out of range, and get the intel to know if you need humidity control, this device is smart enough to do the job.

Temperature and Humidity Accuracy – 10/10

The specified accuracy for the H5101 is ±0.54°F and ±3%RH. That is an acceptable accuracy range for the purpose of growing microgreens. I did read a couple of reviews that said these units were side by side and read different temperatures. So I ran my own test to check that out. What I found surprised me…

The two units were practically identical for both temperature and humidity. Each unit would float up or down .2 degrees F or .2% RH. But they always stayed within one variant apart, if not identical. That speaks well of both the accuracy of the reading and the factory calibration. Out of the box, these units didn’t need to be calibrated and seem quite accurate.

In all honesty, I don’t have a professional level thermometer or hygrometer that’s precisely calibrated to check the H5101 against. But the fact that both of these units stay on par with each other leads me to believe they can be trusted. True, not that scientific. But it works for me. Especially for simply making sure the microgreens stay within the 40% – 60% range for growing and 70%-ish for germination.

Value for function and cost – 10/10

These mini thermometer/hygrometer units are more than sufficient for grow room monitoring. Although not usable as remote temperature sensors for smart home control, that’s not what they’re built for. Smart temperature sensors for Nest and Ecobee cost 3x to 4x as much. At a lower cost than other similar mini hygrometers, I felt a 10 for value was merited.

The fact that I can get accurate data on my phone and feel at ease that my microgreens are safe and sound, I’m happy. And the big win is, I will only buy a humidifier or dehumidifier if it’s required based on the data, not speculation. So these units may just save me a few hundred dollars!

Govee H5101 Review Summary

All in all, I recommend the Govee H5101 for the purposes of making sure your microgreens are comfortable and verifying if you need to purchase humidity control.  I gave it an 8.7 out of 10 overall.

It’s easy to set up, easy to use, and accurate. While it would be nice if it had Wi-Fi and if the battery lasted longer, it’s a great deal at two for $22. I’m happy with my purchase and can recommend this for microgreen growers.