Review : Nanoleaf Aurora
The first time we laid our eyes on Nanoleaf Aurora, we fell in love with it’s aesthetics. We’d even imagine having an entire wall full of the colorful, mesmerising LED panels.Well, that is if you have money to burn. In Singaporean context, we call it damn bloody chio LED panels that do not look beng at all!
One of the most design centric connected home devices we’ve ever seen, the Nanoleaf Aurora is yet another iOS, Android and voice enabled smart lighting panels. Unlike the typical Philips Hue bulbs, these ultra bright LED panels are triangular, modular and are usually wall mounted. The Aurora panels work with Apple HomeKit, an iOS 10 smart home standards built into iPhones and iPads. With it’s latest firmware, it is also compatible with Amazon Echo. With all these, you can either toggle your lights and devices right from your phone’s Control Center, by using spoken Siri commands or by talking to your Amazon Echo speakers.
The starter pack with 9 LED panels cost SGD 399 (with local 3 years warranty). It sounds expensive but considering the price you pay for a Philip Hue starter kit with only 3 bulbs, the features, aesthetics and the flexibility of these panels seem to be quite worth the bucks.
Setting up the Aurora is entirely up to your own creativity. The panel connects to each other with a SIM card like connector that is rather fragile. The controller attachment connects to one of the panels and can power up to 30 panels. Yes, you start with 9 panels and can purchase additional sets of 3 panels at SGD129. The box doesn’t tell you much on the setup but provides you a few idea on how you can organise the panels. We guess the panels and the parts looks rather intuitive to connect and get going.
Once the panels are connected and the controller attachment powered up, simply download and launch the Nanoleaf app to sync them up to your phone. If you own an iPhone or iPad running iOS 10 and above, you will be able to connect it as a HomeKit device and start controlling them via Siri as well. For Android owner, you can control the lights only via the app.
What we like best is that your panels will appear in the app exactly as how you have arranged them physically. Unplugging a panel and shifting the panel will be instantly reflected in the app. You don’t have to power the panels off at all.
You can change its brightness or color of the panels or to specify the transitional animation. You can also control the speed of all of the effects, along with fine details such as direction and smoothness. Once you save your own designed effects as a scene, you will be able to trigger them by a tap/schedule or by saying hey Siri, set the Relax scene for example.
The Aurora IFTTT channel is also available for even cooler integration such as changing scene based on weather, location, notification or even your phone battery level. If you have the Amazon Echo, you can also set connect it to the Nanoleaf Smarter Series Skill.
Promising Feature Pipeline
For home automation enthusiast and geeks, the Aurora API is already in beta, which means you can look forward to integrate it your existing home automation systems. Nanoleaf will also be launching speakers attachment so that your lights can dance to the beat. The panels will also come in shapes other than triangle (though we felt triangles are already the most versatile, squares are quite boring actually). Google Home support will also be available late 2017. With these promises, the geek in you will not hesitate to put this beautify piece of marriage between art and technology on your wall. The Nanoleaf Aurora is also available here.