The Nanoleaf Elements is the latest design in the Nanoleaf family. The tech has been around since 2012 when it was launched with a successful Kickstarter, since then the brand has gone from strength to strength. A shot spin around Instagram will show you the lengths that fans will go to to Nanoleaf their homes. On a personal note, I’d always been on the fence. A fan of LED technology and smart solutions, the product was intriguing to me, but never essential.
Now, thanks to Nanoleaf Australia I’ve had the chance to play around with the Nanoleaf Elements kit and safe to say, I’m on board.
What’s in the box?
To be fair at first glance the cost of getting started with your Nanoleaf journey looks expensive. However, it really is a quality product, the packaging is clean and solid. Everything is exactly where it should be, every piece feels well constructed and functional. Even the size of the Nanoleaf Elements impressed, each hexagon being a good 23cm across, it certainly makes a statement.
The basic starter kit for the Nanoleaf Elements weighs in with seven panels, the extender kit adds another three. Enough to set up a decent light panel or spiralling line across your wall. As mentioned Instagram is a solid base for inspiration and there are some very aspirational setups over there. Other than than once you’ve picked a spot the native app (iOS and Android) has a random pattern designer to help your creative juices.
Why Nanoleaf Elements?
The attraction to this set has to be the woodgrain finish. Without power to the LEDs the panels make for a pleasing installation on their own. The Nordic feel of the surface could be at home on any wall, and the nature of the panels lends itself to the warm colour scheme it provides. Where I struggled to buy into previous Nanoleaf designs, this tactile wood styled panel feels more ‘grown up’.
It also has a warmth to the colour scheme, it makes sense that the finish dictates the colour range. The panels can vary between bright white and delightful amber glows. When these are mixed up, sequenced and affected by timing some remarkable effects come to life. The glow is warm and soothing, throw in some firefly effects, you may as well be sitting by a fire.
From go to whoa.
Set up is easy, really, super easy. Your first priority is to grab the Nanoleaf app and get your account set up. Follow that with a quick think about your layout, and use the app for that. Each panel needs connectors snapped to it so they can join the next one. They fit with a satisfying click and won’t move. they also help you maintain positioning as you build your design.
Each panel is stuck to the wall with an adhesive sticker, these come off easily without damage after you pop out the panels. The only other special requirements are to add the control panel and power. Both separately, obviously making sure the power cable is accessible and within reach is key, so start there.
Once you are happy with your design, orientate the design on the app. This is important so that light effects travel properly. Then sync the setup and away you go. The app comes loaded with a decent list of preexisting patterns and behaviours. Pattens being glowing light shows, ranging from bright reads lights to ember like glows.
The behaviours add some interest as the control panel senses sound and fires lights accordingly. Pick the right profile and the right music, you’ll get a light show to remember. The panels not only respond to sound, but also touch. There is something satisfying about stroking the panels and seeing them sporadically light up.
A few days in and I am still getting to grips with the scenes and timing setups. Marketed as supportive to your circadian cycles, I can see going to sleep and waking with these lights would be soothing. It’s also integrated with my Google Home setup, in case I forget to control the design via my app.
Position is everything.
I started out planning to enhance the office with these panels. Once they were out of the box, there was a group vote to move them into the TV lounge instead. It made sense, with the effects and the ambient glow, considering we have no fireplace. The fact that they are relatively easy to move and replace shouldn’t be a roadblock to refining your design. The package comes with extra stickers and once its up, you’ll no doubt be wanting to just move the design.
Right now we’re debating whether to extend this pattern or move it to a strip under the wall mounted TV.
Having a few days to get used to the Nanoleaf Elements, I’m convinced. It’s a great looking interactive addition to the house and we will certainly be making it grow.