So Much Choice, Such Large Lighting
When looking for new lighting to put in the studio, I wanted something different. Something modern, simple, and connected. Having seen Nanoleaf for a few years at shows like CES, and their aggressive influencer campaigns, it was time to give them a try, and write up the Nanoleaf Review.
Needing to light up two rooms, and these panels were going to be my main source of lighting, I decided to go a little overkill; full 30 panel setup in a smaller 10×15 room. A good rule of thumb is about 80 lumens per sq foot, but this worked out well. Bright light for when I need it, but they dim to much lower when I don’t.
I was worried about using these panels as a primary lighting fixture, as most applications have them on walls or other accessory type installations. But having the ability to stick them where I need them, and run them in directions to reach different parts of the room, this was ideal for what I intended.
Included was the rhythm kit, a small device that plugs into another of the unused slots on the lighting kit. You want to keep this towards the center of the room so that it can pick up sound as best it can. This allows the lights to react to sound and even become an oversized sound bar. Not necessary, but pretty cool.
What Goes Up, Sometimes Goes Down, But Mostly Stays Up
Installation was simple enough. Coming in cases of 15 with a seperate box of 30, I had a decent amount of spare parts to put these up. Although, I still ran out of tabs due to a few falling.
The main issue I had when installing these panels was in the Nanoleaf branded adhesive strips. There are numerous examples online about people complaining that these are no good. And the panels included in the base package came with 3M ones that worked well. Rather, the 30 bundle included 90 Nanoleaf adhesive strips.
Here is a tweet mentioning back in 2018 that the mentioned foam tape has been discontinued. Though older batches may still include them. I purchased mine in early 2020. So this is still very much an issue.
If you are reading this and you have these in your hand. Don’t use them. Throw them away, and never look back. This being the main pitfall of our Nanoleaf Review. They fail almost immediately and can cause damage to the equipment. As seen below:
With all that being said, clicking the tabs into place, attaching 3 adhesive strips to the corners, and slotting them together on the ceiling is a super easy process. The cord is long enough that it can be run up a wall and hidden out of sight as well.
If you decided to hang these on a wall, there would be a much lower chance of these actually being damaged. But all in all, avoid the Nanoleaf adhesive strips, and they’re ideal otherwise.
A Horse Of Another Color
Once up, I absolutely love these things. They are bright when you need them to be, they are nightlights when not in the room.
Tons of different scenes and even a community portal to download other people’s hard work. The user interface is super easy, though there is some work that needs to be done to better make smart speakers understand your light settings. I find it troublesome to code my language the exact way to make Alexa understand what I want to do with the lights by voice.
While hard to show in pictures, everyone who sees these always strikes up a conversation about them. They were supposed to be utility-minded, but ended up being the focal point of the decor. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
Nanoleaf Review, The Verdict
While expensive, coming in at about 500 dollars for a full 30 set, it certainly is a statement. You are definitely being charged for its ease of use and marketing, but overall I found the value worth it. And again, if you avoid the Nanoleaf adhesive strips and just purchase 3M Strips (For Example), you shouldn’t have a problem.
Overall, I am extremely pleased and would recommend the Nanoleaf Aurora Smart Lighting. Room for improvement for sure, but overwhelmingly positive.