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  • Cheryl Tan

Nanoleaf Elements Review: Looks Good Switched On or Off!

Nanoleaf recently added Elements to their range of innovative smart lighting solutions, in the form of Wood Look Hexagons. It is quite a departure from their previous offerings like the Light Panels, Shapes and Canvas, which feature fun, multi-coloured lighting panels of different shapes, mostly popular with the gamers.

Credit: Nanoleaf

What sets Elements apart from Nanoleaf’s earlier lighting panels is its wood-like texture. Finished with an elegant wood grain veneer, these highly customisable modular plastic panels are both a lighting fixture and a piece of wall art, which promise to seamlessly fit into your home’s aesthetic. Whether it fits into your budget, I’m not sure. Read on to find out more, and you can be the judge of it.

Set-up wise, it was fairly straightforward. Simply scan the QR code on the set-up manual to download and install the Nanoleaf app, which is available on all iOS and Android devices. The set-up guide recommends you start with the layout assistant, which you can use to create your own design. There’s even an AR feature that you can use to preview the selected layout in your room. Unfortunately, the AR feature is limited to iOS users for now. I did try to use the AR feature on an older model iPad but it wasn’t able to detect the white wall space despite multiple attempts. The process of pairing the device with the app was also rather simple.

I personally like the wooden aesthetic, so I was rather excited to receive the Smarter Kit for review and explore how it can complement my home decor. It came with seven light panels which measure 23cm (W) by 20cm (H) each and adhesives, a remote control, connectors, and power supply. It was easy to figure out the installation and what goes where without having to study the manual. The hard part was figuring out the design I wanted and where in my home it will be installed.

There is a removable rotating base attached to each lighting panel which you can easily snap on or off for adjustments. The rotating base is quite useful when you are installing the first panel, you don’t have to worry if it is perfectly aligned and you can still do minor adjustments where necessary. The good news is that anyone can do this, there is no complicated wiring or drilling involved.

In terms of connectors, there are just enough connectors included in the kit for the corresponding number of panels. There are no extras, so make sure you don’t lose them. It would have been useful, though, if they provided a few clear plastic clips for management of the power cable along the wall.

Nanoleaf Elements comes in Smarter Kits (seven light panels) and Expansion Pack add-ons (three light panels). You can control it with the manual controller included or by using the Nanoleaf App for more customisation. It also works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT and Samsung SmartThings.

Nanoleaf Elements feature cool white to warm white tones, with a colour temperature of 1500-4000K. While it is not bright enough to replace your usual lighting fixture, it acts as a nice mood lighting that can create a relaxing ambience. You will find a range of Scenes on the Nanoleaf app that will allow you to pick something that suits your mood.

Let your creativity take over - choose between one static colour or different glow variations, or simply take your pick from 11 lighting scenes, some of which will illuminate different panels in different tones to create a soothing lighting display. My favourite is the "Warm Waves" scene which mimics the gentle flicker of a warm fireplace. Just imagine the warm tones making you feel like you’re chilling out in front of a warm fireplace in Singapore (without the heat!).

After pairing it with Google Assistant, I found that it will allow me to change the brightness of the lights and also the temperature. However, the selection of scenes is a feature limited to the Nanoleaf app and the manual controller.

I thought the touch control and music sync features were a nice touch to the overall experience. The panels are responsive to touch and will illuminate as you tap on them to create your own light show. They can also illuminate in sync with your music playing in the background if you so choose. There are also a series of touch gestures that you can enable, and assign an action to each of these gestures.

Available online on Lazada, Shopee and Amazon, the 7-pack Smarter Kit is priced at S$429, while the 3 pack Expansion Pack will cost you S$149.

The Nanoleaf Elements is an interesting feature to have in your home, and it will surely be a conversation starter. It’s definitely not high on the list of practical items for the common household, and its premium price will likely appeal more to those who are inclined to indulge in elevating their home decor. However, I’m sure it will be on the wishlist of many home decor aficionados!

With Singaporeans shelling out good money on renovating and decorating their HDB flats these days, this can be a great feature in many new homes. And if anyone is feeling particularly generous, this would make the perfect housewarming gift for your friends or family.


Written by Joy Foo

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