Back in June, Toronto-based sensible lighting firm Nanoleaf unveiled its newest mild panels, dubbed the ‘Elements Wood Look Hexagons.’ I’d supply a snarky comment concerning the prolonged title, but it surely’s correct to what the sensible lights are — hexagon-shaped panels that seem like wooden.
The Elements exist in a bizarre spot inside Nanoleaf’s product lineup. The firm just lately launched Hexagon, Triangle and Mini Triangle panels below its ‘Shapes’ line. Those panels are all interoperable, permitting customers to create massive mild panels with a number of shapes.
Although Elements will work with the Shapes panels (they use the identical connector items for linking panels), it looks like they aren’t meant to. First, the plain: Elements panels seem like wooden, making them stand out when positioned subsequent to Nanoleaf’s plain, white Shapes panels.
Another potential downfall to mixing Elements and Shapes is that the Elements panels solely assist white mild in varied temperatures, whereas Shapes panels have a full vary of RGB colors.
Nanoleaf will presumably develop on the Elements panels sooner or later, most likely with extra shapes (I’d guess on Triangles) and maybe even new supplies for individuals who aren’t into the wooden aesthetic. However, having spent just a few weeks with the Elements panels, I’m not completely certain why somebody would choose them over the Shapes choices. Aside from the wooden styling, the Elements don’t do something that the Shapes can’t do higher.
‘Wood’ you have a look at these lights!
The wooden Elements panels look very nice. The wooden grain sample varies from panel to panel and, whereas it possible gained’t idiot anybody into pondering it’s actual wooden, it positively appears to be like like wooden. The styling can also be, sadly, at its finest when the lights are off.
I’ve spent loads of my time with the Elements panels serious about that conundrum. Sure, the Shapes panels don’t look the nicest after they’re turned off — they’re simply hexagon- or triangle-shaped white panels in your wall. So, the wooden styling does resolve the issue of creating your sensible lights look good when turned off — however is that actually an issue?
I’d say for most individuals, it most likely isn’t. Having examined a bunch of Nanoleaf lights, I usually don’t thoughts how they give the impression of being when turned off as a result of the purpose is to have fancy, vibrant lights. I exploit Nanoleaf’s Shapes Mini Triangles on my desk largely as a result of I like how they cycle by varied colors and since sometimes they make for a very good picture background. I wouldn’t do the identical with the Elements as a result of they’re the primary set of Nanoleaf lights that look higher when turned off.
When on, the Elements solely assist varied temperatures of white mild and the sunshine largely washes out the wooden texture. Further, Nanoleaf designed the Elements panels to be semi-transparent. Unlike the Shapes, which solely illuminate the entrance of the panel, the complete Elements panel will glow, together with the sides. It’s a neat impact, however as a result of the panels are a brown shade to mix with the wooden, it turns some temperatures extra orange than they usually could be.
All the opposite options seen on the Shapes stay. That means the Elements panels can reply to the touch or sound and customers can management them by way of the Nanoleaf app, the digital assistant of their alternative or by tapping the contact buttons on the hooked up management block.
Speaking of the app, the Element’s white-only mild makes controlling them quite boring. I can set the lights to a brightness and color temperature of my desire, and that’s about it. Sure, I can apply a number of the hundreds of ‘scenes’ out there within the app, however most of them are designed for Nanoleaf’s vibrant panels.
The Elements will routinely alter the scenes to work with shades of white, however making use of a theme that cycles by all the colors of the rainbow to the Elements leaves you with panels biking by all of the supported shades of white. It’s simply not the identical.
Mounting is a breeze, the app stays a ache level
I’ve reviewed a number of Nanoleaf panels now, however that is the primary time I really mounted them on a wall. The final time I reviewed Nanoleaf mild panels, I used to be getting ready to maneuver and didn’t need to mount them simply to show round and take them down once more.
This time round, I used to be in a position to mount the Elements panels, which was a lot simpler than anticipated. The panels include double-sided adhesive pads already positioned on the again (they reside on removable plastic items so you may take away the panels from the wall and put them again on). Users simply have to take away the sticker, place the panel on the wall and press on the centre of the panel to safe the adhesive pad. It’s the identical course of because the Shapes panels, so in the event you’ve tried these, you’re set for the Elements panels.
It positively helps in the event you take the time to plan out the place you need to place your panels earlier than you begin placing them on the wall. Overall, the method went shortly and it took me perhaps quarter-hour to get the Elements panels mounted securely.
I additionally need to take a second to speak concerning the Nanoleaf app. It usually works decently, however in my expertise is a little more dependable on iOS than Android. I primarily use the app to arrange the lights after which management them with Google Assistant, however sometimes I pop into the Nanoleaf app because it presents higher controls for adjusting mild colors. It additionally enables you to choose ‘scenes’ — Google Assistant works effective for on/off instructions and brightness.
However, in the event you use a number of gadget ecosystems — for instance, an iPad and an Android cellphone — you’ll need to choose one to make use of with Nanoleaf. I’ve tried switching Nanoleaf lights from an iPhone to an Android cellphone and the method is terrible, partially as a result of the iOS Nanoleaf app syncs the whole lot to HouseKit. That mentioned, switching from the Nanoleaf app from one Android cellphone to a different can also be a ache. I’d like to see higher sync choices from Nanoleaf that allow me management the lights from any gadget with ease.
I ‘woodn’t’ get the Elements, however perhaps they’re best for you
In a phrase, I feel I’d name the Elements disappointing. Coming from Nanoleaf’s different glorious panels, the Elements simply really feel plain. I can consider one good use case for them: the Elements could be good in my bed room by my studying chair for some additional studying mild at evening. That mentioned, I might additionally meet the identical want with a a lot, less expensive lamp.
In virtually each different use case I can dream up, the Shapes panels could be a greater possibility. When you want white mild, they will supply it. And the remainder of the time, the Shapes panels can show vibrant colors.
To be honest, I feel the Elements panels could possibly be an awesome possibility for some individuals — they only don’t match with how I exploit my lights. Anyone who actually, actually likes the wooden aesthetic would most likely benefit from the Elements.
“if you want something that looks more interesting than a basic smart bulb but isn’t as colourful or flashy, get the Nanoleaf Elements.”
Plus, the Elements lights get pleasure from turning right into a room function once you don’t want the additional mild.
Ultimately, the query comes right down to what you want out of your sensible lights. Just searching for fundamental mild performance? Great, purchase a wise bulb — you may get them for fairly low-cost from some producers, and Nanoleaf even has one in the event you like that model. If you need fancy wall-mounted panels able to displaying tons of of vibrant colors, get any of the Nanoleaf Shapes.
And final, however not least, in order for you one thing that appears extra fascinating than a fundamental sensible bulb however isn’t as vibrant or flashy, get the Nanoleaf Elements. They’re nice lights, however I’m not within the area of interest market that would love them.
The Elements ‘Smarter Kit’ begins at $369.99 and comes with seven panels and applicable numbers of linkers, a controller block, energy provide and the whole lot else it’s essential get began. There’s additionally an Elements growth pack with three panels for $119.99 (notice that it doesn’t include an influence provide, so that you’ll want a Smarter Kit first).