What you need to know
- Nanoleaf has introduced a new modular light panel system inspired by nature.
- The Nanoleaf Elements line ditches colors in favor of adjustable white ambient lighting and classic wood looks.
- Company has also announced plans to add Thread Border Router functionality to Elements and Shapes controllers.
Nanoleaf has announced the launch of its latest HomeKit light panel system on Thursday, the Nanoleaf Elements Wood Look Hexagons. As the name suggests, the Nanoleaf Elements panels feature a wood-like texture inspired by nature designed to look like art while powered on or off.
"Our goal is to break the barrier between technology and design. With Nanoleaf Elements, we want to bring the best parts of the natural elements indoors, creating those comforting experiences we all crave as human beings, all without sacrificing cutting-edge technology" states Gimmy Chu, CEO and Co-Founder of Nanoleaf. "Most smart products have been made to only focus on functionality and not how it fits into a home. We're here to change that. We believe that a smart home can be innovative, forward-thinking and also welcome you warmly into a space."
While the latest Nanoleaf panels sport a new look outside, the Elements Hexagons feature identical physical specs to the previous Shapes Hexagons series. The Elements panels utilize the same style modular snap-in linker system — albeit in a new color to better match the wood look, allowing for custom designs and enabling them to connect to existing Shapes displays.
Aside from the wood looks, what sets the two Hexagon lines apart is color capabilities and peak brightness levels. The Elements, unlike the Shapes, are only able to produce white ambient lighting with color temperature ranging between 1,500 - 4,000K. The Elements panels also max out at 22 lumens of brightness per panel versus 100 lumens found on the Shapes.
The Elements Hexagons come with 11 pre-built scenes that offer "Organic Motions" through effects that resemble embers from a fire or clouds moving across the sky. While lacking color, the Elements Hexagons can also take advantage of thousands of additional RGB scenes available for download through the Nanoleaf Smart Series app. According to Nanoleaf, the Elements Hexagons will recalibrate colors automatically to white light through mapping technology built-in to the panels.
Other highlights in the Elements Hexagons include touch controls, Rhythm Music Sync, scheduling, Circadian Lighting. Onboard touch controls allow for quick scene changes with each panel acting as a remote, and as with previous Nanoleaf lights, they can trigger HomeKit accessories and scenes when paired to Apple's smart home platform. In addition to HomeKit, the Elements panels support the Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings.
Alongside the new light panel reveal, Nanoleaf also plans to expand its Thread connectivity efforts later this month. Available as a free update through the Nanoleaf app, the Nanoleaf Elements, Shapes Hexagons, and Shapes Triangles lines will gain the ability to function as Thread Border Routers.
As a Thread Border Router, users can add Thread-enabled devices, like our top pick for the best HomeKit light bulbs — the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 Light Bulb, to their smart homes without the need for an additional hub. However, despite enabling Thread, Nanoleaf tells us that the Elements and Shapes controllers will only act as Border Routers and will still rely on Wi-Fi for connectivity as they do not run on Thread themselves.
The Nanoleaf Elements Wood Look Hexagons are available now directly from Nanoleaf and will hit Best Buy and Apple online stores later this year. A seven-panel Nanoleaf Elements Smarter Kit retails for $299, and additional three-panel Expansion Packs are available for $99.
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