Nanoleaf, which is known for its smart light with a difference, released the Nanoleaf Lines early this year. Unlike the likes of Nanoleaf Shapes or Elements, the new Lines don’t project light outwards rather, they are LED light bars that project light onto the wall.
I have been using the Nanoleaf Lines in my home for the last few months as part of my HomeKit setup, and I want to share my thoughts with you.
Nanoleaf Lines Review – Key Features
- Come in a starter kit of either 9 bars around £179 or 15 bars at £239
- Each line is 26cm long
- Additional packs of 3 can be purchased
- Coloured skins available in Matt Black and Pink
- Flex connectors for more creative mounting options
- Connect 18 lines to one power supply, but you can add more power supplies for bigger designs
- Luminous Flux Per Panel: 20 lumens
Colour Zones: 2 colour zones per line
- Colour Temperature: 1200k – 6500K
Wireless: WiFi (2.4 GHz b/g/n)
- No hub required
- Work with HomeKit
- Feature a Thread Border router
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Nanoleaf Lines Design
The Nanoleaf Lines are made up of independent light bars that are 26 cm long you connect in your desired design. The Line bars are connected together with the hexagonal connectors, each of which can take up to six lights. One of these connectors must terminate at each end of each line bar.
I first created the shape on my table and then transferred it to the wall. Once designed, each hexagonal connector features a sticky pad that I pressed onto my wall.
Besides these connectors, the Nanoleaf Lines have three other important components. One is the power brick, then the other contains the smart hardware and the final one gives you on-device controls. I placed the final one that looks like one of the hexagonal connectors at the end of any design, ideally to avoid exposing the cable.
If you don’t like the colour style of the Lines kit, then Nanoleaf also offers Skins in matt black or matt pink for £14.99/US$19.99. These are plastic covers that change the colour of the bars. Fitting these is fairly easy and just involves sliding them over the top of the bar.
Setting up in HomeKit
Once connected and powered on, the lights are added to the app and connected to your home network via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. You can use the Nanoleaf App or the Home App for HomeKit and, in my case, I choose the latter. But whichever setup app you use, it will appear in both apps because HomeKit is the centre of things if you are using Apple’s smart home platform. Setup up in the Home App is like any other device in HomeKit. You scan the code, add to a room, name the design and add to any automations that you desire.
Opening the Nanoleaf app and navigating to the control tile gives you the option to turn the Lines on and off. You can also adjust the brightness via a control slider from 1% to 100% range. The Nanoleaf Lines support white colour temperatures ranges from 1,500 to 6,500 Kelvins. On the RGB colour side of things, the Lines support 16 million different colours.
This best bit about the Nanoleaf app is it comes pre-loaded with scenes that take advantage of the panels lighting effects feature. Which is a combination of different motions of colour.
You can create your own scenes in the app, but I found this was long winded and was happy with the built in scenes provided. You can also or download more from the Discover tab in the app.
Nanoleaf Lines in HomeKit
The Nanoleaf Lines appear just like any other smart light device in HomeKit with dimming, colour controls in the app. So right in the Home App you can control the brightness of the Nanoleaf Lines and adjust the colour choices using the scroll wheel. I found this to be fast and responsive.
They also work with Siri, with commands like Hey Siri — turn on the lights. I found this worked fine and with no noticeable lag.
Automations & Scenes
As with any other HomeKit accessory, you can include the Nanoleaf Lines in automations. During the review period, I used the Elements with my Philips Hue dimmer with no issues.
I also could also pair it with a motion sensor, so if someone walked into a room, the Lines would spring to life.
In terms of scenes, you can include them in scenes and the scenes found or created in the Nanoleaf app are also transferred over to the Home App. You can also include these in automations. So, for instance, I used the “Kaleidoscope” or “Northern Lights” scenes most often.
After a recent firmware update, Nanoleaf has updated the Shapes, Elements and lines to act as Thread Border Router. However, connectivity to your smart home is still via Wi-FI. Nanoleaf has not yet enabled Thread Border Router support in HomeKit.
This is following a recent announcement that support was not arriving soon and has given no timeline. But this might change once Matter arrives later this year, but as always, don’t buy these for a future promised feature.
The Nanoleaf Lines deliver great colour accuracy and just the bright balance of brightness. Since the lights shine towards the wall, rather than away from it, they create a nice glow that radiates across the wall outwards.
Nanoleaf designed each light bar to be rated at 20 lumens, so that bright enough to be noticeable, even in daylight, but not so bright to really light up a room. If you want lighting for this purpose, then option is the Nanoleaf Elements bulbs.
I didn’t have connectivity issues with the Lines during my time testing them, and I did spend several months using with them before finishing my review, so I feel they are fairly reliable.
Nanoleaf Lines Review Summary
I’ve always been a fan of Nanoleaf’s products as I have several Shapes and Elements across my home. But I have to say the Lines range is my favourite so far. While the Shapes or Elements have not put me off when turned off. The Nanoleaf lines with the Skins look really nice.
When you power them on, the subtle glow adds a lot into a room, making a statement that you can change simply by picking a different scene.
I also like the fact that the Nanoleaf App is well designed and the included scenes are enough without having to go in designing your own. While I manage most of smart home devices in the Home App for HomeKit. In this case I simply used the scenes transferred over from the Nanoleaf app in automations and dimmer controls.
While everything is great from a performance perspective. I am a little disappointed at the time of this review. That Nanoleaf has not enabled Thread Border Router support within HomeKit. This is despite this being promised at CES 2022 and slated for coming before the summer. I hope Nanoleaf address this soon, but luckily it should not be one of the main reasons you buy this product.
Price vs quality
In terms of the pricing and this is always subjective, but at full price of £179, these things are on the expensive side. But I believe you get what you pay for, and with the Nanoleaf Lines, it’s a quality product at a price that matches.
So that’s a wrap on the Nanoleaf Lines Review and hopefully you have found it useful. Don’t forget to subscribe for more HomeKit and smart home reviews. If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.