Colourful, 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 ones even look pretty cool when they’re turned off. If you want fun lighting to add a bit of interest to your home, these are my new favourites.
- Flexible layout
- Excellent colour reproduction
- Huge number of scenes to choose from
- Ambient rather than utility lighting
- TypeThese smart light bars clip together in the pattern you want, creating ambient light patterns.
All of Nanoleaf’s previous light panels have worked in roughly the same way, projecting light outwards from the solid pattern you put together. They’ve all been great fun when turned on; but, with the exception of the wood-effect of the Nanoleaf Elements, the panels have looked a little ugly when turned off.
The Nanoleaf Lines is different. Made up of light bars that are connected together, the gaps between the lights let you see past the design, so that they look great when turned off. With the light shining towards the wall, you also get a completely different effect. For injecting a bit of fun into a room, these lights are great.
Design and Installation
- Flexible design
- Easy to expand
- Stick-on or screw-in installation options
As with previous Nanoleaf light panels, the Nanoleaf Lines are made up of independent light bars that you connect together in your desired design.
With this model, bars are connected together with the hexagonal connectors, each of which can take up to six lights. The only requirement is that light bars are terminated at each end by one of these connectors, which can either be stuck to the wall or screwed into place. The latter is particularly useful if you want to put the Lines on a ceiling rather than wall.
Panels such as the Nanoleaf Shapes have been a bit fiddly to clip together, too, but I found the Lines easier to deal with. I first created the shape on the floor, and then transferred it to the wall. Once designed, each hexagonal connector has a blanking plate that sits over the top of it.
In addition to these connectors, there are two special ones: one delivers power, and the other gives you on-device controls. I recommend sticking the power at the bottom of your design so that there’s less of the cable on show.
Turned off, all you can see is the white outline of your design. Since there are gaps between it, you can see through the pattern to your wall, which makes the Lines feel less intrusive when they’re turned off.
If you don’t like white, Nanoloeaf sells Skins packs in black or pink that sit over the top of your light bars.
There’s a choice of two starter packs (nine or 15 lights), plus you can buy expansion packs of three lights. Up to 18 lights can be powered by each PSU, but you can add multiple PSUs for larger installations. Coming soon are flexible connectors, which will let you wrap your Lines layout around corners.
- Wide range of integrations
- Lots of scenes to choose from
- Simple to control
Once connected and powered on, the lights can be added to the app and connected to your home network via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. Apple users also get the benefit of the lights appearing in the Home app.
As with other recent Nanoleaf products, the Lines also act as a Thread Border Router, letting you add Thread-enabled products to your home without the need for additional hubs.
In both cases, most of the control is via the app. This will auto-detect the layout you’ve created, although you should set the orientation of your design before you get started.
For the most part, you’ll work with scenes, which can set your lights to one colour or multiple colours at the same time, and can be static or in motion.
Motion scenes are the most fun. The standard ones just let the lights shift colours, adding a living light to your home. There are also music scenes, where the Nanoleaf Lines will react and change colour based on the sound they hear – it’s great for parties.
Although there are lots of light scenes on offer, you can create your own easily enough, picking the colour palette that you want for motion scenes or choosing the colour of each individual light for static ones.
If you don’t want to reach for the app, the controls on the front let you toggle power, adjust brightness, step forwards or backwards through scenes, shuffle the scene and toggle the music mode.
Apple users can switch to the Home app for control, although this is much more basic: you can toggle power and adjust brightness, but can only set the lights to a single colour from the main control. Scenes are available in Favourites or when you long-press the lights. SmartThings integration is similar. What both systems have in common is exposing Nanoleaf Lines to a different system, so you can build routines around them – say, having your lights turn off automatically when you go out.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support are available, giving you full voice control over your lights. You can even change the scene, although you have to remember both the name of the scene that you want and what your lights are called to do this; ultimately, scene selection is largely easier using the app.
Nanoleaf also has a desktop app for Windows and Mac. This delivers similar control over lights but adds a Screen Mirror mode, where the lights change colour to match what’s on-screen. This is similar to using the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, only Nanoleaf’s implementation is software only. It’s a fun way to add a bit more immersion to games and the like.
- Excellent colour reproduction
- Ambient rather than functional lighting
Nanoleaf’s panels have always delivered excellent colour reproduction and the Lines are no different; there are no weak colours in the pack. Since the lights shine towards the wall, rather than away from it, they create a nice glow that radiates into the room.
Each panel is rated at 20 lumens, which is to say that 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 colour, you’ll want to buy Philips Hue bulbs.
Where the Nanoleaf Lines really come to life is with motion scenes – seamlessly moving and blending colours, the Lines seem to come to life in this way.
Should you buy it?
If you want fun lights that can make a room more interesting and fun, these are a great way to do that, with the option to expand in the future.
If you need functional lighting, then you’re better off with dedicated smart light bulbs that offer colour options when you want them and bright light when you need it.
I’ve always been a fan of Nanoleaf’s products, but the Lines is my favourite of the lot. More flexible in design and less intrusive when turned off, the Lines blend into a room. When you power them on, the subtle glow adds a lot of fun into a room, making a statement that you can change simply by picking a different scene.
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You can use them with HomeKit, SmartThings, Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.
These lights connect via Wi-Fi, but they act as a Thread border router so that you can add other devices without the need for additional hubs.
No, these lights only connect with Lines products.