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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The panels

The base

Getting connected

Connector chips

Slide it in

Test it out

Sticky tabs

Easy does it

Buttons

App controls

HomeKit controls

Coming soon

Pricing

Nanoleaf Aurora is like Philips Hue for your walls, and it takes the novelty of color-changing light to a whole new level. Click through to see what it has to offer.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Each Nanoleaf Aurora panel is a thin, triangular LED light source. They're less than half an inch thick, and about 9 and a half inches to a side. The starter kit comes with nine of them.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The starter kit also comes with this base attachment. It's the power source for the setup, and it can power up to 30 panels.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You'll start by connecting a panel to the base, then building out from there. You can connect any panel to any other panel by joining their sides.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You'll join the sides of two panels using one of these connector chips. Its job is to transfer power from one panel to the next.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The connector chip slides in like a little SD card.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Nanoleaf recommends playing around with the panels on a tabletop first to get a sense of how you might like to hang them up.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Once you've got a pattern figured out, you'll start hanging everything to your walls with these sticky tabs. They're the standard, paint-safe ones you'll find in any hardware aisle, and Nanoleaf gives you a bunch of them.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Nanoleaf doesn't offer a whole lot of guidance as to the best way to hang your panels up. Just take it slow and remember to use plenty of those sticky tabs to keep everything nice and snug.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

There are just two buttons on that base attachment. One turns the panels on and off, the other cycles through all of the preset scenes you've created in the app.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Creating those scenes is pretty easy, and even kind of fun. The panels will appear in the app exactly as you've arranged them on the wall. You can tap any individual panel to change its color or brightness, or you can pick a "palette" of colors for the panels to cycle through using whatever transitional effect you like.

Caption by / Photo by Ry Crist/CNET

The Aurora panels are compatible with Apple HomeKit, too -- that means you can control them alongside other HomeKit gadgets, and control everything with Alexa. Here, we grouped our Aurora lights with a Philips Hue bulb, then told Siri to change everything in the studio from blue to red.

Caption by / Photo by Ry Crist/CNET

Nanoleaf tells us that Alexa compatibility is coming by the end of year, giving you a second way to control the panels with your voice. There's also a sunrise/sunset mode in the works that should let you use the panels as a wake-up light.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The nine-panel Nanoleaf Aurora starter kit is available now for $200 (about £165/AU$260). Additional panels are available in packs of three for $60 (about £50/AU$80). They're certainly tempting, but are they worth it? Check out our full review for the final verdict.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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