For some time smart home products have typically been designed with function over form in mind. Often being eye-sores that, while useful, are better left tucked away and out of sight. Smart speakers were the first product category to break this trend, with many brands creating pieces that aimed to blend in with or complement your existing decor. Nanoleaf wants to bring this ethos to smart lighting with their new series of Light Panels, encouraging consumers to rethink their lighting system as more than simple background ambience, and instead create their own unique designs to display.
Customisation is the focus of Nanoleaf’s Light Panels. The triangular panels are pieced together with USB like connectors to fit your purpose and the interior they will be placed in. Flexible connectors can also be purchased separately should your needs warrant something three dimensional. If your tastes or purposes change, you can just pull the panels apart and redesign the layout.
The Light Panels themselves are simplistic with excellent brightness and vibrant true to life colours. Within the app, you can set what colour each panel projects, creating unique art pieces that you can then also share with the Nanoleaf community. The app also allows you to create schedules that change your lighting based on a series of preset parameters, for example, you could set the lights to automatically dim at 9pm to a natural hue when you’re in bed to help prepare your mind for sleep. You could also set up a couple of panels in your bathroom to emit dim amber lighting during the night. This is a great night light which is bright enough to see the environment but not so bright that it causes you to wake up.
One of the best things about the Nanoleaf lighting system is the optional Rhythm Module. It’s a physical device that attaches to the panels allowing it the ability to pick up and react to sounds. Needless to say, the best type of sound for it to react to, is, music. It does so with pinpoint accuracy too, which I witnessed with great satisfaction as I watched the lights dancing to the beat of Higher, by LeMaitre. It also works well with ambient music, and can be a relaxing experience with the right combination of lights and music. The lights can also be controlled with virtual assistants such as Siri, Google and Alexa, and it’s easy to ask them to activate a preset scene that is configured in the Nanoleaf app.
Nanoleaf’s Light Panels are the perfect combination of smart capability and versatility. From a design standpoint, there aren’t many lighting solutions that can offer as much flexibility or customisation. There aren’t many that are as much fun either.