Nanoleaf update: Touch-sensitive Canvas panels coming Dec. 1

We can't wait to stick these things all over the CNET Smart Home.

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Expertise Smart home technology and wireless connectivity Credentials
  • 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Ry Crist
3 min read

We've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Nanoleaf's new touch-sensitive, color-changing, square LED light panels ever since we first saw them in action last January at CES. Now, at the IFA tech showcase in Berlin, we're getting some fresh details on how those Nanoleaf Canvas panels are coming along.

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Nanoleaf's touch-sensitive Canvas panels are coming December 1.

Chris Monroe/CNET

"We launch Dec. 1," Nanoleaf CEO Gimmy Chu tells me, adding that the panels, which will sell in a 9-panel starter kit for $199, are still in the prototype phase, but close to being finalized.

Take a close look at them and you'll notice that there's still a cross on each panel splitting it into four sections in order to diffuse the light more evenly. At CES, Chu told us that the company was working to refine the design and get rid of those crosses, but he tells me now that they're here to stay.

"We ran a poll, and the current design actually did really well with our users," Chu said. "Some of them liked that it gave the panels sort of a marbled effect."

Another change since January: The total number of panels you can connect to a single power source has fallen from 1,000 to 500.

"I think that's still pretty good," Chu said, smiling.

Other than those changes, the pitch remains the same. Like the triangular Nanoleaf panels that came before them, you'll stick the Canvas panels up to your walls using removable sticky tabs, then plug them in and pair them with your home's Wi-Fi network. From there, you'll be able to paint colors across your setup in the Nanoleaf app, or choose from hundreds of Nanoleaf and user-created color-changing presets. You can also touch any of the panels to send waves of light rippling across your setup.

The panels will also work with Alexa and the Google Assistant, as well as with Siri thanks to Apple HomeKit support. Nanoleaf also boasts a channel on the free online automation service IFTTT, which lets you sync them up with other IFTTT-supported services and devices. On top of that, an integration with Razer Chroma lets you sync Nanoleaf's panels with your color-changing PC gaming gear, and with your games, too.

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Unlike the triangular panels, previously known as Nanoleaf Aurora, Nanoleaf Canvas won't feature a dedicated base with physical buttons for turning the panels on and off or cycling through your presets. Instead, one of the panels in each starter kit will include touch button icons along the bottom edge to replace those controls. There's also a new shuffle button you can press if you simply want to see some new colors across your walls. Chiu tells me that feature is intended primarily as an option for users who put the panels up but leave them unconnected to Wi-Fi.

You'll also find a new button that brings up your favorite preset, as well as a button that turns the built-in microphone on to sync your panels up with whatever music you're listening to.

The Nanoleaf Canvas starter kit will come with nine panels and the power supply when it arrives this December. You'll find it on Nanoleaf's website and also at Home Depot.

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