It’s possibly some of the most interesting and unique lighting on the market today. Nanoleaf, makers of the jaw-dropping Aurora light panels, have added some accessories to their lineup. New are the Nanoleaf Remote and the Nanoleaf Rhythm module.
What is Nanoleaf Aurora?
Let’s start with the basics. The Nanoleaf Aurora, for the uninitiated, is a kit consisting of flat, connectable LED light panels. They plug into AC power, and can be stuck to walls, surfaces, or just about anywhere. They’re smartphone controlled and can be configured to display one colour or a kaleidoscope of scenes and shades. Read my full review of the Nanoleaf Aurora here.
What is Nanoleaf Remote?
Remote is a new component for the Aurora lights. As you might guess from the name, Remote is a remote control for the lights, but it, like the lights themselves, is unlike any remote you’ll ever see. There’s not a single button on it.
Shaped like a 12 sided dice or a polyhedron, Remote allows you to easily change up your light panels, just by rolling the die. The remote comes with pre-programmed scenes for each side so that it’s even ready to go out of the box, but you can and will want to add your own favourite scenes.
Remote requires the Aurora panels (of course) and also the Rhythm module to operate.
What is Nanoleaf Rhythm?
Rhythm is a real-time music visualizer; it’s a small triangular dongle that slides into one of the Nanoleaf chip slots and ‘listens’ to sound around it, changing the light patterns and colours to noise, sounds or to the beat of music playing in the room. The dongle is available as an add-on for older versions of Aurora, or you can also find it as part of the starter kit now.
Nanoleaf Remote Review
How do I set up Nanoleaf Remote?
The Remote comes in two halves, with batteries included. You’ll need to pop the batteries in, and click the two halves together; that’s it. It’s also important to note that for the Remote to work, you do need the Rhythm module. Purchasing both will set you back at total of about $120CAD.
How to get Nanoleaf Remote working?
After you assemble the remote go to the Nanoleaf app. Head to Settings, then My Devices, then navigate to Add Device. You should see the Remote as one of the options. Click to pair; you can use two options to do the pairing, the easiest one is to scan the Apple HomeKit code which will be on the included instruction booklet. You can also bring the phone into proximity of your smart phone. I opted for the HomeKit option and it was connected in seconds.
Next you’ll want to set up what each of the Remote’s sides can do. You should be prompted with this next step in the app already. Inside the app, you’ll select each side of the Remote; each one also has a subtle number stamped on it on the device itself. Then you can choose the colour or lighting ‘scene’ that will be applied with a turn of the Remote.
On iOS, the Nanoleaf Remote is a HomeKit experience and requires iOS8+ and a Home Hub (Apple TV, iPad, or HomePod). Note that making use of the ‘rotate to brighten or dim’ feature also requires a Nanoleaf Rhythm (Apple HomeKit does not yet support this gesture natively).
On Android, the Nanoleaf Remote requires Android 5.01+ and a Nanoleaf Rhythm connected to your light panels.
Using Nanoleaf Remote
Remote has lighting and vibrations built-in so that when you turn it, you’ll get tactile feedback and confirmation of a change. You can also control brightness or dimming by rotating the remote like a dial, though this feature didn’t work for me after several tries.
The Remote is a super neat idea, and the design is absolutely standout. It completely turns the idea of a physical remote on its head.
If there are any downsides to it, it’s that I found it pretty much impossible to remember which programmed effects where assigned to which sides. But the upside to that is that switching up my light panels is like a game of roulette. I also don’t know what the battery life will be like. The Remote takes two AA batteries.
Nanoleaf Rhythm Review
Setting up Nanoleaf Rhythm
Rhythm is easy and straight forward to get going. You’ll plug the dongle into one of the chip slots or ports in the side of your Aurora panels. Rhythm works with iOS8 or later (HomeKit), Android 5.01 or later, Apple Home App, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT. The Rhythm requires (obviously) the Nanoleaf Light Panels Smarter Kit to work.
Here’s how to set Rhythm up:
Ensure your Light Panels firmware is updated to at least version 2.1.0 (check settings / firmware update in the app).
Plug the Nanoleaf Rhythm into any free panel port.
Wait for the indicator light to stop blinking (turned off).
Press the center triangle to turn the Rhythm on.
Press again to change the music scene.
Customize and create your own music scenes in the app.
Using Nanoleaf Rhythm
Rhythm operates pretty much on its own once it’s turned on. It will hear or listen to the music in your room and flash, strobe or cycle the lights in the panels to the beat.
There are a couple different music modes, and you can access them from the Nanoleaf Dashboard screen in the app, or by pressing that button. The main options are labeled Fireworks, Meteor Shower, Paint Splatter, Pulse Pop Beats, and more. Some of the scenes or modes seem fairly similar but there are enough of them that you do get a good variety of visualizations.
The Rhythm is a neat add-on to an already outstanding product that lets you experience it in a whole new way.
I did have some difficulty initially getting things going, but that was while I was still trying to figure out how to turn the module on and off. Once you’re clear on that, it works pretty well.
Overall review of Nanoleaf Remote and Rhythm
Overall I really love these new accessories for Nanoleaf Aurora. They’re smart and they work really well and add a whole new dimension to these stunning lights.
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