CNET First Look
Color your smart home with Nanoleaf's geektastic light panelsThe Nanoleaf Aurora starter kit is like Phillips Hue for your walls, and you can control it with Siri command
I'm here with Nanoleaf Aurora, which is a set of color changing LED light panels. These are a smart gadget that you can sync up with your phone and with Apple HomeKit if you're an iOS user. That lets you control them alongside other HomeKit gadgets and using spoken Siri commands. So the basic pitch here is that these are a Philips Hue for your wall. You can stick these up in a modular fashion, connecting each triangular panel to another one along the side using a little connector chip. It's a little flimsy feeling. I wish they did a better job of providing some good mounting instructions. They sort of just throw sticky tape at you and say have fun. Once you've got one that you like you can save it and then tell Siri to run it whenever you like, or control it right from the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad, thanks to that HomeKit integration. That includes HomeKit compatible Phillips' uBulbs, like the one I've got in the lamp behind me right now. If I group them together into the same. Same room and then tell Siri, change all the lights to green. You can see that everything happens all at once together. Really cool. The Nanoleaf Aurora Starter Kit with nine triangular panels and the base station there sells for $200, so it's not cheap. But it's about About the same price as a three bulb Phillips Hue starter kit, so not as outrageous as you might think. If you want to add additional panels to your setup, Nanoleaf sells three packs for $60 each, and the base station can control up to 30 in total, so a lot of room to Grow your setup. Given how cool and unique it looks and how well it worked in my test, I actually think it makes sense that's a fun splurge if you want something really design focused for your smart home.