- 1 A successful kickstarter project
- 2 Modular
- 3 About the panels
- 4 About the assembly
- 5 Dismantling
- 6 Setup, management and features
- 7 Check the check
- 8 You should also be able to download someone else’s setup
- 9 Music-controlled effects
- 10 Special features for gamers
- 11 Price
- 12 Conclusion
- 13 Nanoleaf Aurora HomeKit Lighting System – Review
- 14 Extra videos
Are you looking for new smart lighting for your home? We have tested Nanoleaf Aurora!
A successful kickstarter project
The market for lamps and carriers that can be controlled with the phone is only wider and wider. Most people know Philips Hue, and certainly brands like Ikea Wireless and Xiaomi Yeelight.
Nanoleaf is a relatively unknown brand. The company was founded in 2012 by three friends at the University of Toronto, Canada. They achieved funding for their first product, Nanoleaf One, through Kickstarter. After a short period of time, they had received just over NOK 2 million for their project – the target was only NOK 190 000, so it went the way, say a word.
Their next product, Nanoleaf Bloom, launched on Kickstarter in 2014, was equally well received. As a target the group had put 158,000 kroner back, but they received a total of 1.5 million kroner. In 2015, they finally opened their own Toronto office.
There is enough history for this time. We have taken their most special product, Nanoleaf Aurora, closer to view.
Nanoleaf Aurora is a modular smart lighting system that consists of light shackles.
The basic package contains nine panels, ten coupling pieces and a central unit that is mounted in one of the light panels. If you want the Rhythm module as well, you can purchase a basic package that includes this. You will find more information about this module later in the review.
A central supports up to 30 panels. If you want more than this you need to buy a basic package.
This is the basic pack of the rhythm module.
In the box you will find nine panels, nine equal parts in paper, central, rhythm module, user guide and coupling pieces. The center is pictured on the top right.
About the panels
The sides of the panels are 250mm, 209mm and 250mm long and weigh 210g.
They have one RGB light in each corner that together is powerful enough to illuminate the entire surface with 16.7 million different colors.
According to the product specification, each panel should be able to display light with a strength of 100 lumens and a Nanoleaf Aurora with nine panels has no trouble lighting up a room of 12 square meters – which is the size of the room in which the test is carried out. However, it must be emphasized that in this case we have hung 19 panels.
About the assembly
Mounting can be done using two-sided tape included in the package or by fastening the panels. Accessories required to screw the panels are not included, but it is strongly recommended if you want to mount panels in the ceiling. In this case, we have only attempted mounting by tape.
Included in the package, you get “like panels” in paper. Nanoleaf has included this in the package, so you have the opportunity to hang up your desired setup before you actually glue something firmly in the wall.
Once you’ve decided which layout you want, stick three tapes on the back of the first panel. If you want straight lines, I recommend using a vater when you stick the first panel. Then press the panel against the wall for approx. 15 seconds, and voila, you’re done with the first of nine panels.
Then pick up panel number two. On this you attach a clutch piece that will act as a bridge between the panels. Additionally, gluing on three tape bits before connecting this panel with the first one. Since these are right-angled shapes, you do not need any vats in it.
It is also possible to mount the panels at an angle – for example around a corner or from wall to ceiling. This has Nanoleaf resolved by offering flexible coupling pieces. These are unfortunately not included in the basic package and must be ordered as an option.
This process is repeated until you have hung up all the panels. Finally, connect the switch to one of the panels.
In addition, I recommend to attach the switch to the panel closest to a power outlet.
The panels are connected by means of coupling pieces on the sides.
This process was not as simple in my case. Tape pieces using the assembly is strong as fy . Tearing the panels off the wall is therefore not an option. As the panels connect to each other sideways, you will also risk destroying the coupling pieces if you pull the panels straight towards you. However, it should be noted that new switching pieces can be ordered against not too much money.
Either way, it was quite clear that I could not pull the panels right off the wall. Then I’d risked both broken coupling pieces and bad marks in the pusher wall. The solution was to use the tooth wire and “saw” through the tape bits. This was an extremely boring and long process. The tapebits were tough and the teeth wound apart.
After an hour and many northern Norwegian glosses later the panels were off, but the tape bits were still stuck in the wall. These I had to puke off the wall, which took at least half an hour.
If you have the option, I recommend using other double sided tape than those included in the package. Tesa Powerstrips are easier to get off the wall than the M3 tape provided, so if you want to save time and work, I would buy them from Tesa instead. Nanoleaf is supposed to have switched to a slightly less angry wallpaper type, but this was not the case with this copy.
Setup, management and features
The Aurora Center has two buttons. An on / off button and a button to switch between the light show. The center connects to your home network using the Nanoleaf app that you need to download to your mobile phone. It is optional if you want to connect the smart light to the network, but if you do not, you end up with very limited customization options.
Nanoleaf is compatible with Apple Homekit, Android and Amazon Echo, but you do not want to have all of these features available as you would like in the Nanoleaf app.
When I tried to connect Aurora to my home network through their app, I could not see my network because the SSID was too long. Consequently, I had to change the name of my network. Not too much control, but still unnecessary. The Nanoleaf app automatically recognized my setup and I could start designing my light setup right away.
Check the check
You can control each individual panel, and decide which color to have, but you can also put on a more general light show. For example, you can put on “fireplace”, and the panels will vary the brightness and colors independently of each other to simulate the light from a good old-fashioned fireplace.
You can even activate Northern Light mode, where the colors of the northern lights wave through the panels. The possibilities are many.
You can also design your own light show. This is playful easy: either set each panel to a specific color, or list the desired colors, then apply one of the app’s different modes.
You have the choice to let the colors fade in and out of each other, let the colors flow through the panels, let the panels individually switch between the colors in random order, let the colors begin in the middle of the layout and then shoot out to the edges – also on.
Configuring the light panels is easy to play. Note that the brightness is set to 50% so the colors appear better on the camera.
You should also be able to download someone else’s setup
Those who are not so creative can download the show that others have created. I was having trouble downloading some light shows, and the app could not explain why other than an incorrect error code.
For some reason, it seemed that it was harder to download the popular light shows, as opposed to those who were less popular.
Through the Nanoleaf app, you also get the opportunity to timed the smart light. If you want the light to turn on automatically at 06:00, it’s no problem. In this way, Aurora can also replace some “now you have to wake up light”.
The Rhythm module is used to capture music – as well as allowing Aurora to give you a spectacular light show depending on the music played in the room. I think this module works very well.
It is so sensitive that it reacts to steps and talk in the room – even whispering. Response time is good and the panels have no trouble responding to the music. Unfortunately, this module is not included in the basic package. So if you want this feature, you have to pay $ 75 extra. If you do not play loud music in the room where the Nanoleaf is mounted, it would be a little advisable to buy the Rhythm module.
Special features for gamers
RGB lighting is something special gamers have taken lately. Nanoleaf is fully aware of this customer group, which is why Nanoleaf can also be integrated with the systems of Razer Chroma and Cooler Master. Unfortunately, we did not get this test because we do not have a system running any of the layouts. Even though this is still on the beta stage, one must give Nanoleaf plus in the margin for this feature.
The price of the basic package is the only clear negative point. With a retail price of less than $250, this is not a cheap product. If it’s a comfort, Philips Hue is not much cheaper.
For a set of three smart lights and a central, you have to spend about $190 – and in my view, Philips Hue does not look as cool as Nanoleaf Aurora. And that’s exactly what makes me think this is a bargain. Aurora is actually a very nice candle, and friends and acquaintances who have been visiting have not been able to comment on it.
If you look at the product as both candlelight and decoration, I actually think the price can be justified.
It should be noted, however, that if you buy a maximum of 30 panels, you’ll have to pay $ 890, but who says you have to buy all the panels at once?
All in all, I am very pleased with Nanoleaf Aurora. The panels function as a fine decorative element in my student hymn, and I think that the price can be justified justified given the fact that it produces enough light and is quite stylish to look at.
Aside from the fact that Aurora is picky on SSIDs, comes with mounting tape from hell and costs a portion, I have nothing negative to say about the product, so this is a definite purchase recommendation for those looking for a new smart light.
+ Unique design
+ Easy mounting
+ Good fit for customization
+ Supports Apple Homekit, Amazon Echo and Android
+ Spare parts are easy to access
+/- Free control app, with some shortcomings
– Not the easiest disassembly
– Relatively expensive
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