All too often, smart lighting ends up looking way more boring than it should. With exceptions here and there, we’ve mostly seen connected lights made to look like the lamps and bulbs we’re used to. Nanoleaf decided to shake things up with Aurora, a smart lighting system that dares to have a little design flair.
Forget bulbs — Aurora is all triangles. Just one can produce a fair amount of light, but the fun really starts when more of them come together. Up to 30 can be pieced together on a wall in whatever configuration you can dream up — they’ll all end up interconnected, which means no matter what pattern you use, you’ll only need one plug going to the wall.
Smart lights are connected lights, and these being LEDs, they can be made to do a lot more than just light up. Using a companion app and a Wi-Fi connection, each triangle’s color can be individually customized. We’re not talking just a handful of preset colors, either. Aurora covers a spectrum including 16.7 million colors, making it possible to make subtle, gradual changes from triangle to triangle — if you want to do a kind of ombré thing going across the wall, that’s totally doable. Light temperature is adjustable, too, if you want to get a nice gentle glow to wake you up in the morning.
Besides the app, you can control Aurora the old fashioned way or the new fashioned way. You can get a simple physical controller to turn your light array on and off or select a single preset, or, if you’re invested in voice control, Aurora works with both Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
There are a few features in development too, although, as with any future promises, those shouldn’t be taken as sure things. These include a rhythm mode that moves to music, Samsung SmartThings support, and a motion sensing module to turn lights on when someone enters.
We gave the Nanoleaf a spin and quickly fell in love with it! It really jazzes up the interior of just about any room, and the fact that you can match its colors to the decor, and that it’s able to get very bright, makes it practical too. The system is also pretty easy to set up.
The Nanoleaf Aurora starter kit includes nine panels, and is available from Nanoleaf, Best Buy, the Apple Store, and the MoMA Store for $200. There’s also an expansion kit that includes three panels for $60.