Over the past couple of years, Nanoleaf has made a name for itself as the brand for cool, funky, unusual, and colorful smart lights. I dubbed its Aurora panels “the coolest and most extravagant smart lights you can own” when I reviewed them, and they’re still just as awesome as they were back in 2017. But you can’t sit still while the world moves on, so Nanoleaf is back again with the Canvas.
Square tiles with multiple connection points replace the triangle ones, but the real advantage is in the touch reactivity and built-in Rhythm mode that follows your music. The Canvas are better than the Aurora in almost every way, but they’re also more expensive. Read on for my full review.
Left: Finding Nemo. Middle & right: Christmas tree animation.
|Simply awesome||There are no two ways to say this, the Canvas are amazing. The thousands of shapes, colors, and setups you can achieve with them will brighten any room.|
|Different designs||The square shape allows for different layouts than the Aurora’s triangles.|
|Powerful app||From solid colors to funky music scenes, making your own design to downloading presets, the Nanoleaf app has everything you need and then some.|
|Touch + Buttons||Not only for toggling the lights or changing brightness and scenes, it lets you play games as well!|
|Built-in Rhythm||No more separate module for music, the Canvas already have the functionality.|
|Smart Home||Google Assistant, Alexa, HomeKit, and IFTTT integration. The bases are covered.|
THE NOT SO GOOD
|Price||At $250 for 9 panels and $80 more for each 4-pack expansion, the Canvas are more of an extravagant buy than any other smart light.|
|Permanence||Once you pick a layout and stick it on your wall, you can’t easily go back and change it. It’s not Nanoleaf’s fault, but it’s sad nonetheless.|
|App limitations||You can’t use the Nanoleaf app at all if you’re not on the same WiFi network as the Canvas.|
Hardware, design, what’s in the box
With the Canvas, Nanoleaf provides a different design and possible configurations than its previous Aurora Light Panels. The square shape is perhaps less funky than the triangle, and leads to more rigid layouts. It’s also a bit smaller: with each side measuring 15cm (5.9″), a tile’s surface is 225 cm², whereas the Aurora’s triangle had 24cm sides (9.4″) for a surface of 250cm².
The starting point to a Nanoleaf Canvas installation is the “Smarter Kit,” which is what I used for this review. The box includes everything needed for a Canvas installation: 8 Light Squares, 1 Control Square, 9 Linkers, 28 pieces of double-sided adhesive foam mounting tape and a power supply. The Nanoleaf Smarter Series app is available for iOS and Android, at no charge.
Priced at $199.99 the kit is available nationally at retailers and online, including Home Depot (and homedepot.com).
You can expand from the Smarter Kit if you want a more elaborate installation. Additional Canvas Light Squares are available in expansion packs (4-Squares $79.99 and 25-Squares $499.99). Nanoleaf also offers accessories such as Flex Linkers (for corners), additional power supplies (needed for every 25 additional Light Squares), and screw mount kits for ceiling and textured wall installations. If you want to get funky with the controls instead of using the app or touch, Nanoleaf also makes a remote that looks like a giant, glowing, 12-sided die