In­doors or out­doors, here’s the lat­est clever tech you need to cre­ate your new smart home

Mac Format - - APPLE HOME -

Light­ing is one of the most pop­u­lar cat­e­gories for home au­to­ma­tion prod­ucts, with sev­eral com­pa­nies pro­duc­ing app-con­trolled smart light bulbs and lamps

for both in­door or out­door use. Though Nanoleaf might not be one of the best known com­pa­nies in this field, its early sup­port for HomeKit means that its range of pow­er­ef­fi­cient LED light bulbs is a real ri­val for big names such as Philips’ Hue range.

Nanoleaf started quite sim­ply, with its Smart Ivy light bulbs ( MF299), but its new Aurora mod­u­lar light­ing sys­tem is in a dif­fer­ent league al­to­gether. Rather than us­ing con­ven­tional light bulbs, the Aurora kit con­sists of nine tri­an­gu­lar LED pan­els that can click to­gether and be ar­ranged in dif­fer­ent shapes – rather like il­lu­mi­nated Lego bricks. Each panel is just 8mm thick

The pan­els are light enough that you can eas­ily ex­per­i­ment with shapes and de­signs

and weighs about 200g, so they’re light enough that you can ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent shapes and de­signs, and move the pan­els around a room, at­tach­ing them to walls us­ing dou­ble-sided tape (in­cluded).

The pan­els can dis­play 16 mil­lion dif­fer­ent colours, and the iOS and An­droid app en­ables you to cre­ate and save your own colour schemes, rang­ing from sim­ple white light for day­time use, through to gen­tle, coloured mood light­ing in the evening, or mul­ti­colour disco lights for party time. Nanoleaf is also pitch­ing the Aurora at public venues, such as ho­tels and restau­rants.

The ul­ti­mate panel show

Along with the LED pan­els, the Aurora kit in­cludes a con­troller unit, which you con­nect to any of the nine pan­els; it con­nects to your router via Wi-Fi and pro­vides sup­port for HomeKit, so you can im­press your friends by con­trol­ling all your lights us­ing Siri. UK pric­ing had not been con­firmed when we went to press. You can also buy ex­pan­sion packs with three ex­tra pan­els ($60), and each starter kit can con­nect 30 pan­els at once, en­abling you to cre­ate re­ally spec­tac­u­lar light­ing de­signs.

Aurora’s pan­els can be ar­ranged in all sorts of shapes to suit what­ever space you have avail­able.

Each Aurora Starter Kit can con­nect up to 30 pan­els, and you can set each one to a dif­fer­ent colour for a per­son­alised touch.

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