Nanoleaf Rhythm Review – Brighten Up Your Playstation

Have you ever felt like the space around your gaming setup is a little too static? Nanoleaf is hoping to rectify this situation with its smart lighting panel and Nanoleaf Rhythm Set. Featuring thin, bright triangular panels with Wi-Fi connectivity, these lights promise to react dynamically to whatever game you choose to play. But is it worth hanging up those LEDs and does it really add to the ambiance of your games?

More than just LEDs

For those wondering, the Nanoleaf Smart Light Panel is a smart lighting product that includes thin panels that you mount on one or more walls in your home. They provide 100 lumens of brightness per panel. Considering that up to 30 panels can be connected to a single power supply, the brightness can quickly build up. Each panel only consumes a maximum of 2 Watts of electricity. They are another alternative to the high temperature, electricity-monopolizing outlet misery of incandescent lighting. Add networking capabilities and a microphone, and suddenly there are even gaming apps for the Nanoleaf.

There are many Nanoleaf starter kits to choose from. We were sent the R Starter Kit, which contains nine panels, a control unit, connectors to wire all the panels together, and a rhythm sensor (MSRP $ 199.99 USD), as well as a set of additional extension containing three additional panels and connectors (MSRP of $ 59.99 USD). As these are shaped like a triangle, many interesting arrangements can be made. The included manual contained several layout suggestions, depending on the number of panels available.

Each triangular panel weighs only 210 grams, or approximately 7.4 ounces. They are wall mounted with included 3M double sided tape which is traditionally used for photo frames. Additional tape is included in case you have made a number of mistakes or want to move some panels in the future. But since the standard 3M adhesive can be used, it should be easy to buy more later.

Augmented planning

I’ll be the first to admit that interior design isn’t my strong suit. Nanoleaf made it as easy as possible for me to visualize my creation, as their phone app includes an augmented reality (AR) mode, to virtually place my panels in the room I planned to hang them in. The result was accurate enough that I was able to mount the panels over and around my TV’s wall mount, without having to reposition them due to measurement issues. The hardest part of mounting multiple panels is inserting the small connector, which protrudes from either side of each triangular panel, into the neighboring panel before the panel is glued to the wall. Perhaps a magnetic connector on the sides of each panel could work a little better, but it would also likely increase the price of those already expensive panels by a considerable amount.

The Nanoleaf is also connected to WiFi i via the free smartphone app. This process is pretty much the same as connecting a smart light to your home network. For those who haven’t yet, you essentially put the new light into pairing mode (which usually happens when the device is first powered on), select it in the app, and enter your network credentials. When I finished this I immediately got a message that the Nanoleaf lights needed a firmware update. Welcome to 21st century, where even your lights need updating.

Updating is usually a quick operation, and when complete, the lights will restart and reconnect to the internet automatically. During our first two weeks with these lights, Nanoleaf (the company) was in almost constant contact with us as a strange issue occurred with the panels losing connectivity overnight and glowing white at full brightness, which is almost painfully bright (especially at 12 in a group). Other times, a single panel lit up a dark blue tint. A power cycle would usually fix the problem, but connectivity would be lost overnight again. After several firmware updates, the issues seem to be gone, as it’s been about a month since the last issue.

Create your own scene

Once the panels are all configured and updated, using them to their full potential requires the use of the app. There are options to set the panels to a static form of white light: warm white, reading light, and daylight are the built-in options. The Color tab allows you to choose from different dynamic color modes, which feature different color change patterns, as well as sliders to change the color change frequencies to your liking. The app also allows the creation of custom scenes, using a custom color palette and color change rules. Beyond that, there is also a Discover section, where one can find new color schemes and effects created by the developers and the community. These custom scenes can be previewed on a device before saving them. There seems to be a fair amount of activity in the Nanoleaf community, as some of these user-submitted modes have had well over 100,000 downloads. But for the product in question, the Rhythm, the aptly named Rhythm tab contains scenes that respond to audio.

A small upgrade module is included in this set, which can be plugged into any unused slot on a panel. It includes a microphone and seamlessly controls all panels when plugged in. The microphone appears to be sensitive enough to react to anything you can hear within a few feet of the device, so you don’t need to crank up your sound system unnecessarily. Selecting a rhythm scene is very similar to selecting any other scene. Once activated, the simple act of playing games, watching movies, or doing anything that produces sound causes the Nanoleaf panels to react dynamically according to the rules of the scene. It can range from the calming blue hues of the Ripple scene to the trance-inducing madness of Fireworks.

Whatever the scene, the additional ambiance offered by these panels is unmatched. There also doesn’t seem to be any bad play to associate with these panels. The most intense effects occur with games that have a lot of action, naturally. Something like Borders 3, for example, will light up the wall, while something more casual like No Man’s Sky will result in a slow change of colors interspersed with occasional breakouts. There are also music viewing scenes, which can add to the listening experience while jamming.

Improved for PC

Nanoleaf is also compatible with Razer Chroma. Games should be compatible with the service, but if they are, cool game-specific lighting effects can be used to enhance gameplay. This is a feature only on PC. There will likely never be such an integration with a console, simply due to the closed nature of this ecosystem. It’s a neat effect, but not so much enhanced that console gamers miss a lot.

Outside of the game, Nanoleaf panels definitely prove their usefulness. They are compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit. You can name your panels however you like (As these panels have a futuristic vibe, I named mine Deus Ex), then have your assistant handle the color setting, turn them on and off, or even run specific scenes. It’s fun to say “Hey Google, turn on The Flames” to initiate the Flames scene where the panels slowly spin through a collection of flame-colored hues. There is also IFTTT integration, so you can flash the lights of a certain color if you get an email, if an astronaut enters space in real life, and whatever else you can find on the service. popular automation.

So, are Nanoleaf Rhythm panels worth an investment of at least $ 200? It really depends on your appreciation for ambient lighting and the added convenience of using voice assistants. The lighting effect during games is fantastic, although the experience is not as improved as it is on PC. This seems like a glimpse into the future of home lighting, and with any luck consoles will be incorporated into these types of products in the future. As it stands, however, the Nanoleaf is an impressive, but not entirely crucial, addition to any gaming setup, thanks to the Rhythm add-on.

Nanoleaf Rhythm Exam Unit supplied by the manufacturer. For more information, please read our review policy.

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