The Nanoleaf Aurora smart light is really amazing


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Erin Lawrence

nanoleaf-4First we had fire, then electricity. Tesla, Faraday, and Franklin pioneered the technology behind electricity, and then Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. The way we light our homes really hasn’t changed much since that auspicious day in 1879. The lightbulb is round, it screws into a fixture, which requires a tradesman to install; electricity is dangerous for the uneducated.

Forget the bulb, there’s a whole new way

But now, a Canadian company has really, actually, reinvented the way we light our homes. Nanoleaf, based in Toronto, has invented lightweight, flat plastic panels that fully illuminate, change colour, morph and swirl. They’re bright, responsive and fully configurable, both in terms of how you place the lights, and how you operate them. This lighting system is called Aurora, and yes, it’s deliberately named after the Northern Lights phenomenon known as Aurora Borealis.

The story of how this technology came to be is charming; flying from Toronto to
Vancouver, Nanoleaf’s CEO & Co-Founder Gimmy Chu, glimpsed the Aurora Borealis while looking out the window of the plane. He was so inspired by the colour and movement of the lights, he started a three year project that has since become the Nanoleaf Aurora.

Nanoleaf Aurora – What’s in the box?
Nanoleaf supplied me with a test kit called the Smarter Kit (a cleverly named starter kit). Inside are 9 flat, lightweight plastic light panels, and the various cords and cables to connect it to power. There are also some flat microchip-like wafers called ‘linkers’ that connect each panel to its neighbour. Helpfully a packet of 3M command strips removable adhesives are also included for getting it on and off the walls.nanoleaf-aurora-4

The Aurora was easy to use and I must admit, really fun. Playing with the colours and the animations, using it to change up the colour in a room or the feel in my home was really enjoyable. There’s a nearly endless list of colours you can get it to display, and even when it comes to whites, you can provide a warmer white light, or a cooler one, depending on your needs and preferences.

Want to read more, including what the kit’s limitations are? This blog was done for Best Buy Canada. Check it out at

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