Nanoleaf's new light panels finally let you mix and match shapes
New, second-gen Triangles and Mini Triangles are joining the Nanoleaf lineup, and you can connect them with Nanoleaf's Hexagons.
Ry CristSenior 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.
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10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Nanoleaf is best known for making smart LED light panels that can change color and dance in rhythm with your music -- but with a lineup consisting of triangles, squares and, most recently, hexagons, you've never been able to mix and match different shapes within a single setup.
Now, Nanoleaf is changing that, with new second-gen, triangle-shaped panels and new Mini Triangle panels, each of which you can use on their own or in combination with each other or with the hexagons. Both go on sale today at Home Depot, at Best Buy and on Nanoleaf's website -- $200 for a seven-Triangle starter kit and $120 for a starter kit with five Mini Triangles.
The new interchangeable design uses the same, improved snap-on connectors that the company introduced with the hexagons -- and that's also why the first-gen triangles and the square-shaped Canvas panels don't get to come along for the ride as far as mixing and matching is concerned.
I was a fan of the new design when I tested Nanoleaf's hexagons back in the summer. With detachable base plates, the new approach to mounting and connecting the panels makes it easier to get them off the wall without tearing up paint if you ever want to rearrange them, and with the new Triangles, it'll also let you connect panels at staggered intervals.
Like the square- and hexagon-shaped panels, the new Triangles and Mini Triangles use a microphone built into the control bar to flash patterns in rhythm with whatever music or media you're listening to, and they can also mimic the colors of whatever's on your computer screen.
The new Triangles and Mini Triangles are also touch sensitive, which lets you swipe across them to adjust their brightness or to create a ripple effect. That's a step up from the original triangular panels, which weren't touch-sensitive at all.
Like all of Nanoleaf's panels, you'll set the things up and control them from the Nanoleaf app on your Android or iOS device. That app's getting a makeover, Nanoleaf says, with a new color picker and a more intuitive dashboard.
Beyond the app, Nanoleaf's panels can sync up with Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant for voice controls, and they also support IFTTT, a free online automation platform.
Nanoleaf also says to expect new devices in November -- namely, an "Essentials" line of smart lighting products that features bulbs and light strips. Nanoleaf adds that they'll be the first smart lighting devices to work with Thread, a low-power mesh networking protocol. Next year, those Essentials will soon be joined by new Nanoleaf smart switches, motion sensors and other lighting accessories announced earlier this year at CES.
Along with the new panels, I'll keep an eye on all of it and let you know as soon as I've had a chance to test it out.