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Hands-on review: Nanoleaf Rhythm Edition

By Lama Farhat
Thu 28 May 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

For the past year or so, I have been obsessed with building the “perfect” desk setup. From comparing 4K monitors to hunting down the smallest accessories, I have spent many hours and lots of dollars trying to make this perfect setup complete. 

The reality is that the perfect setup extends beyond what you put on your desk. If the room and the walls around the desk are not as smart and as exciting, then have I really succeeded? This is when I decided to take a look at the Nanoleaf Rhythm Edition to see if they are worth a spot on my walls. 

What's in the box

I got my hands on the Nanoleaf Rhythm Edition Smarter Kit (9 panels). Its box is compact and well designed. Inside the box I found:

  • 9 Triangular Nanoleaf panels
  • Light Panels, Wi-Fi Controller, power supply unit, and power cord
  • Rigid Linkers
  • Nanoleaf Rhythm Module 
  • Wall mounting stencils and strips 

The box is a great starting kit as it includes everything you need. This set is also available with 15 panels. While it is more expensive, I recommend choosing the 15-panel setup. Nine panels were enough to make a basic shape, but extra panels would’ve given me the opportunity to create something much more exciting. 

Setup

The fear of mounting something to the wall of my rented apartment has always stood between me and such products. Between that and the complicated setups, I never thought I would have smart lights. The Nanoleaf starter kit addressed both fears. 

The set up was seamless. All I had to do was download their mobile application, connect the product to my Wi-Fi and it automatically synced to my phone. 

After that came the tricky part: deciding on a pattern. The phone application is intuitive - after you choose your model and the number of panels you have, it automatically generates patterns. You can then select a pattern and test how it would look via AR. The application lets you see how these will look on your wall before you mount them. 

I ended up going with this pattern:


The wall mounting part was also easy. There’s no drilling required as the panels come with wall mounting tape. The tape is also easy to remove and will not ruin your paint if you want to take the lights down and put them up in a new room or house. 

Controls

The panels surprised me with how easy and versatile they are to control. They can be controlled from the Nanoleaf application on your phone, the included controller and through voice control if you connect them to any smart assistant. They can also be controlled through any home hub you might have set up. 

The phone application is fun to tinker with. Other users have created hundreds of modes like sunrise to sunset, fireworks, and the northern lights. You can also create your own, but why do that when others have done the work?

The small Nanoleaf Rhythm module gives these panels life. It gives the ability to react to music and sounds. My favourite was Pulse Pop Beats mode that truly brought my music to life. 

Other products

These panels have been around for a while now, but they still feel innovative. Nanoleaf just launched the Nanoleaf shapes series with the “Hexagon” as the first shape. They just look elegant and feel like they would make a great design tool. Sadly these are still in the pre-order stage but I will be rushing to get my hands on them as soon as they are out. 

Verdict

If you are looking for a smart lighting option that is stylish and can be an addition to both your smart setup and your decor, then Nanoleaf is a great choice. While it may look pricey, it is certainly worth it. 

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