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Nanoleaf Lines review: Gentle lighting

Nanoleaf Lines review: Gentle lighting

Nanoleaf Lines

If you're planning a gaming or entertainment den, consider getting the Nanoleaf Lines to jazz it up with some cool mood lighting. Not only does these modular light bars work with major smart home systems, they also sync with your Razer Chroma gaming accessories to enhance the immersion while gaming. And if you're in the mood to party, the Lines' backlit LEDs will jive to the beat of your tunes.

Quick specs

  • 20 lumens per panel, over 16m colours
  • Rated at 25,000 hours lifetime
  • Wi-Fi 2.4GHz (not compatible with 5GHz networks)
  • Works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, SmartThings, and Razer Chroma

I tested the Nanoleaf Lines starter kit, which comes with nine 11-inch light bars and nine mounting connectors. Each light bar weighs just 39g and has two lighting zones so you can select two different colours (up to 16 million colours like standard RGB LEDs). A light bar can be linked with up to five other via the hexagon-shaped mounting connectors. As the name suggests, these mounting connectors come with sticky tape on its underside that lets you easily attach them to the wall. One of these connectors also doubles as a physical controller with buttons for power, brightness, scenes and music mode. The actual microchip is found inside a thin wafer bar (dubbed Processor) that sits between the light bars and your electrical outlet.

Nanoleaf Lines
One of the mounting connectors doubles as the physical controller. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

To set up the Lines, you use the Nanoleaf mobile app to either scan a QR code, or tap your NFC-enabled smartphone to the Processor. It's straightforward on paper, but I was in a bit of a pickle because the Lines supports only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks. My home network uses the 5GHz channel, so I had to fiddle with my router settings. Once you have paired the Lines with the app, you can play around with the pre-made Scenes, which govern how the LEDs on the light bars behave. For example, some Scenes can sync with the sounds in the room captured through the built-in microphone. You can also create your own Scenes, though this feels tedious. And why do that when there are already numerous pre-made Scenes available for download? Nanoleaf also seems active at creating new Scenes — I saw ones for the recent Spiderman and Matrix movies.

Nanoleaf Lines
This is a Christmas-inspired Scene created by a user. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Because the LEDs are on the underside of the light bar, the illumination from the Lines feels diffused, less glaring and blends in better with the surroundings. It's like the Ambilight feature in some Philips TVs. But obviously, you can place the Lines anywhere you like (within reach of a power outlet). There's just no nice way of hiding the unsightly power cable, though. I recommend planning where and how you want to place the light bars before you mount them. The layout assistant feature in the app is helpful here. It took me around 30 minutes to get my Lines up on the wall. However, the Android app is laggy and freezes at times, which as you can imagine, is very frustrating. A good thing I could still rely on the physical controller.

The Nanoleaf Lines starter kit costs $339 while an expansion kit (with three lines) are priced at S$109. You can connect up to 18 light bars to each electrical outlet. A huge installation with more than 18 light bars will need multiple outlets. Compared to basic LED strips like the TP-Link Tapo Smart Wi-Fi Light Strip, the Lines is expensive. But I like how gentle the backlit lighting from the Lines feels compared to LED light strips. The controller panel is also handy for when the app conks out. Or you can use voice commands, too. In short, the Lines are premium indoor mood lighting products that are easy to install and looks better than the typical LED strips. Get it from Lazada and Shopee.

See Also
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED

Note: Review unit provided by Nanoleaf.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Expensive but slick mood lighting.

Buy it at Shopee
Available at Lazada

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