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