Nanoleaf shapes: Bright light fantastic

Up until this month, I have to admit I’d never heard of the company Nanoleaf but my interest was piqued when the company’s New Zealand PR firm contacted me, offering some of the company’s funky light panels for review.

Some quick Googling told me that Nanoleaf was founded by Gimmy Chu, Tom Rodinger and Christian Yan in 2012, with the aim of “shaking up the lighting industry” and before too long some of the company’s hexagon, large triangle and small triangle panels landed at my door.

We initially decided to set up the Nanoleaf shapes in the hallway. I’m not sure why we picked there but it had a blank wall so I thought “Why not?”

Caveat: I will admit to being quite nervous about attaching them to our textured wallpaper, though. The quick start guide advises quite clearly against attaching them to textured or porous sufaces, like wallpaper, and given how incredibly sticky the adhesive on the mounting plates was, I can see why.

Anyway, after a couple of hours of committee deliberations, which involved laying out pattern formations on the floor [I really recommend this before fixing them to the wall] then affixing them to the wall [you have to apply pressure for 30 seconds to ensure they stick], the panels were up.

The panels join to each other using small clips that have a contact point at each end and you can connect any panel to another panel: The only limit is your imagination.

Each hexagon panel has several connection points so you can pretty much lay them out in any orientation you want. There’s a controller that snaps to one of the connection points which lets you control the functions if you don’t want to use the smartphone app.

You attach the 42Wpower supply to one of the connection points and then to a power socket. Each power supply will support upto 21 panels, each using 2W of power. There’s a cable hanging down so my suggestion is placing the panels somewhere where you can hide the wire with, say, a piece of furniture.

The panels went up and they looked great. It was time for bed.

The next day, though, I decided to move the panels from the hallway to my games room/study, mainly because I worried overnight that one of them would peel off, ripping the wallpaper with it. I noticed how sticky they were when I slowly peeled the mounting plate off the wall and I could see the wallpaper puling away from the wall slightly. Slow is the order of the day when removing the plates.

They’re now in a less public area of the house – the games room/study – should there be a mishap with the wallpaper, which, for my sake, I hope doesn’t happen.

Up and running, the panels look really neat and you can control them completely using the smartphone app. You can change colours, brightness and sequence patterns using the app or the controller and you can even make your own pattern then save it.

Pre-programmed light patterns include one based on the Aurora Borealis and another one the brilliant blues of the Mediterranean sea and Nanoleaf says they can display 16+ million colours and they also respond to touch and sound.

At one point, I had my games room bathed in a kaleidescope of light, different colours pulsating across the simplistic pattern, as the video below shows.

The Nanoleaf panels retail for between $120 and $350, depending on the kit you buy [available in New Zealand from Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming, JB Hifi, MightyApe and PB Tech] and they’re a pretty neat piece of kit if you want to funk up that game space or any other room that needs a bit of colour.

They’d also be just the ticket if you’re a streamer. Just remember what I said about the wallpaper, right?

A big thank you to Nanoleaf’s New Zealand PR team for providing the panels for review. Good on ‘ya, mates.

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