House & Home

Lights, Colour, Action! Nanoleaf Shapes Smarter Kit Review

Since we’ve been spending so much time at home this past year, many of us have turned our energy to sprucing up and personalizing our living spaces. Maybe investing in a renovation or taking up backyard gardening. Or perhaps some new paint or wall decor, helping make our homes really reflect our personalities and individuality.

At my house, we’re finally getting the exterior painted. Goodbye stained, peachy-beige stucco; hello clean, restful grey! We also repainted inside, and now we’re figuring out what to put up on our freshly painted walls to make our home feel comfortable and our own. I have about a dozen family photos I’ve been meaning to get printed and framed to create a photo wall. I’ve also had my eye on a different way of adding interest and lighting.

Nanoleaf Shapes are a unique way of customizing your lighting and decor at the same time. These free-form, modular LED panels can be mounted on any flat surface in a huge variety of designs. The Nanoleaf Shapes Triangles Smarter Kit we’re reviewing today includes everything you need to get started:

  • 7 Triangles light panels
  • 7 mounting plates
  • 8 linkers for connecting panels and controller
  • 8 double-sided adhesive mounting tape
  • 1 controller
  • 120V power supply (2-prong Canada/USA plug)
  • Quick start guide

These lights are a really cool way to personalize and light up pretty much any space in your home! Add a little mood lighting in your living room. Brighten up your home office. Or add a fun design feature to your child’s bedroom that doubles as a night light.

Nanoleaf light panels are free-form. Little tabs click in and link the individual panels together in just about any configuration, and since they’re mounted with double-sided tape, you can (carefully) change up the design whenever you like.

Each panel can be controlled individually or as a group, using either the attached controller or wirelessly via the app.

They’re not just lights though! Touch them to change colours, create effects, paint, and even play games. The controller attaches to any panel and lets you turn the lights on and off, adjust their brightness, and cycle/shuffle between colour and rhythm scenes. Most importantly, the wifi capability (2.4 GHz only) allows you to control your lights wirelessly with the Nanoleaf app. (Nanoleaf also works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Alexa, IFTT, SmartThings.)

If you just want some light, you can set the panels to emit a surprisingly bright daylight white to a warm, cozy white, or any temperature in between. For more fun though, use the app to select from a variety of colourful “scenes.” For example, “Bedtime” sets the light panels slowly pulsing through restful purples as your child falls asleep. My husband likes “Jungle” with its organic ebb and flow between four shades of green.

Or watch your favourite songs come to life with rhythm scenes that flash the lights in time with the beat of the music!

The Nanoleaf app (available on App Store, Google Play, or desktop) also lets you turn the panels on and off, adjust the brightness, group lights by home and by room, schedule on/off times, and even includes a Layout Assistant so you can virtually design your Nanoleaf panels to see how they will look on your wall before installing.

To be honest, I found the app to be a little finicky. It often took a few seconds to connect, and occasionally I had to close the app and start over. Once I had to unplug and plug back in the panels to reconnect. Despite these minor hiccups, the app offers robust functionality for virtually infinite customization. It comes preloaded with a good assortment of scenes, and the Discover tab lets you browse and download additional scenes or playlists directly from the company itself or from other Nanoleaf owners.

But it’s more fun to create your own! Each panel can display over 16 million colour options from the brightest, saturated neons to soft, meditative pastels, or deep, dramatic tones. Within the Nanoleaf app, you can design your own custom scene, then upload it to share with other users if you like.

Nanoleaf Shapes are rated to last 25,000 hours which works out to over 8 years if you use these for 8 hours a day. These lights seem solidly made and smartly designed, but nobody’s perfect and it’s just as important to me to know whether I can rely on a company to stand behind their product. Soon after installing our set, we did run into a problem with the controller running too hot. I reached out to Nanoleaf’s customer support team and got a reply back within 6 hours. After a couple of troubleshooting emails to determine the scope of the problem, they offered to immediately replace the controller. This is a company that takes care of its customers.

Nanoleaf Shapes are a fun, sleek, and stylish way to brighten up or add a unique statement to any room. Besides the triangles we reviewed, Nanoleaf also makes hexagonal and mini triangle Shapes that can be mixed and matched to create even more lighting mosaics and designs on your wall. The only con? I just wish these were a tad more affordable so we could add a few more (okay, a lot more) lights!

Disclosure: I received sample items to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.

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