Nanoleaf Lines Review: Fun and Creative Lighting

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Verdict

Colorful, fun, easy to build, and arguably more flexible than the company’s other light panels, the Nanoleaf Lines are a great addition to any home. Unlike previous light panels, these even look pretty cool when turned off. If you want some fun lighting to add some interest to your home, here are my new favorites.

Advantages

  • Flexible layout
  • Excellent color reproduction
  • Large number of scenes to choose from

The inconvenients

  • Ambient rather than utilitarian lighting

Availablity

  • UKRRP: £179.99
  • United StatesMSRP: $179.99

  • TypeThese smart light bars snap into any pattern you want, creating ambient light patterns.

introduction

All of Nanoleaf’s previous light panels worked in much the same way, projecting light outward from the solid pattern you assembled. They were all great fun when lit; but, except for the wood effect of the Nanoleaf elements, the panels look a little ugly when turned off.

The Nanoleaf lines are different. Made up of interconnected light bars, the gaps between the lights allow you to see past the design, so they look great when turned off. With the light directed towards the wall you also get a completely different effect. To inject a little fun into a room, these lights are perfect.

Design and installation

  • Flexible design
  • Easy to extend
  • Glue-on or screw-on installation options

As with previous Nanoleaf light panels, the Nanoleaf lines are made up of independent light bars that you connect together in the desired design.

With this model, the bars are linked together by hexagonal connectors, each of which can accommodate up to six lights. The only requirement is that the light bars are terminated at each end with one of these connectors, which can either be glued to the wall or screwed on. The latter is particularly useful if you want to place the Lines on the ceiling rather than on the wall.

Nanoleaf Lines Link Unit

Panels such as the Nanoleaf shapes were also a bit tricky to put together, but I found the lines more manageable. I created the shape on the floor first, then transferred it to the wall. When designed, each hex connector has a blanking plate that sits above it.

Nanoleaf Lines connector with cover

In addition to these connectors, there are two special connectors: one provides power and the other gives you commands on the device. I recommend gluing the power supply to the bottom of your design so there are fewer exposed cables.

Nanoleaf Line Controller

Off, all you can see is the white outline of your design. Since there are gaps between them, you can see through the pattern to your wall, making the lines less intrusive when turned off.

If you don’t like white, Nanoloeaf sells Skins packs in black or pink that sit on top of your lightbars.

You have the choice of two starter packs (nine or 15 lights), and you can also purchase expansion packs of three lights. Up to 18 lights can be powered by each power supply, but you can add multiple power supplies for larger installations. Coming soon flexible connectors, which will allow you to wrap your Lines layout around corners.

Characteristics

  • Wide range of integrations
  • Lots of scenes to choose from
  • Simple to control

Once connected and turned on, the lights can be added to the app and connected to your home network via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. Apple users also benefit from lights appearing in the Home app.

As with other recent Nanoleaf products, the Lines also acts as a Thread edge router, allowing you to add Thread-enabled products to your home without the need for additional hubs.

In both cases, most of the control is done through the app. This will automatically detect the layout you’ve created, although you’ll need to set your design orientation before you begin.

For the most part, you’ll be working with scenes, which can set your lights to one or more colors at the same time, and can be static or moving.

Nanoleaf Lines Application Scene Selection

The motion scenes are the most fun. Standard lamps simply let the lights change color, adding lively light to your home. There are also music scenes, where the Nanoleaf lines react and change color to the sound they hear – great for parties.

Although there are many light scenes on offer, you can create your own quite easily, choosing the color palette you want for moving scenes or choosing the color of each individual light for static scenes.

Nanoleaf Lines scene creation in the app

If you don’t want to access the app, controls on the front let you toggle power, adjust brightness, step forward or back through scenes, scene shuffle, and toggle music mode .

Apple users can switch to the Home app for control, although it’s much more basic: you can toggle the power and adjust the brightness, but you can only set the lights to one color. The SmartThings integration is similar. What the two systems have in common is that they expose the Nanoleaf lines to a different system, so you can create routines around them – for example, having your lights turn off automatically when you go out.

Nanoleaf Lines HomeKit

Support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant is available, giving you full voice control over your lights. You can even change scenes, though you’ll need to remember both the name of the scene you want and the name of your lights to do so; Ultimately, scene selection is vastly easier using the app.

Nanoleaf also offers a desktop app for Windows and Mac. This offers similar control over lights, but adds a Screen Mirror mode, where the lights change color to match what’s on screen. This is similar to using the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, only the Nanoleaf implementation is software only. It’s a fun way to add a little more immersion to games and such.

Performance

  • Excellent color reproduction
  • Ambient rather than functional lighting

Nanoleaf panels have always provided excellent color reproduction and the lines are no different; there are no weak colors in the pack. Since the lights shine towards the wall rather than away from it, they create a beautiful glow that radiates throughout the room.

Each panel is rated at 20 lumens, meaning they’re bright enough to be noticeable even in daylight, but not so bright to really light up a room. If you want functional lighting that can change color, you’ll want to buy Philips Hue bulbs.

Nanoleaf Line Color

Where the Nanoleaf lines really come to life is with motion scenes – by moving and blending the colors seamlessly, the lines seem to come to life that way.

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Should I buy it?

If you want fun lights that can make a room more interesting and fun, this is a great way to do it, with the option to expand in the future.

If you need functional lighting, you’re better off using dedicated smart bulbs that provide color options when you want them and bright light when you need them.

Final Thoughts

I’ve always been a fan of Nanoleaf products, but the lines are my favorite of the lot. More flexible in design and less intrusive when turned off, lines blend into a room. When you turn them on, the subtle glow adds lots of fun to a room, making a statement you can change just by choosing a different scene.

How we test

Unlike other sites, we test every smart light we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to properly compare features. We will always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product.

Learn more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main smart light for the exam period

Tested for at least a week

We test compatibility with major smart systems (HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, IFTTT and more) to see how easy each light is to automate

FAQs

What smart systems are the Nanoleaf lines compatible with?

You can use them with HomeKit, SmartThings, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Are Nanoleaf lines compatible with Thread?

These lights connect via Wi-Fi, but they act as a Thread edge router so you can add more devices without the need for additional hubs.

Are Nanoleaf Lines lamps compatible with other Nanoleaf systems?

No, these lights only connect to Lines products.

UK RRP

US Recommended Retail Price

Maker

Product Description

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

Release date

Date of first examination

Model number

voice assistant

Accessories

Networking

Jargon Buster

Wire

A low-power smart home protocol used to control smart devices. It is supported by Apple, Amazon, Google and more.

Alexa

Amazon’s smart voice assistant

HomeKit

Apple’s unifying smart home technology that lets you control compatible devices from Siri or the Apple Home app on iPhone and Mac.

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