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Nanoleaf Lines Review: Futuristic Color-Changing Ambient Light Bars


Supporting millions of colors and plenty of animated scenes, Nanoleaf Fonts can make any look you desire. They’re at their most magical in a darkened room, traversing through color, yet so versatile. I use the daylight effect to brighten my desk during the day and avoid the gloomy winter outside, then switch to the flowing, animated colors at night.

The app isn’t the most straightforward, but it’s worth going in to browse and download scenes. There are many options, and you can make your own. But I spent way too long creating a disappointing scene, so I recommend just picking from the popular list in the Discover tab.

Fortunately, you don’t have to use the Nanoleaf app much, as you can link Lines with the Google Assistant via the Home app, or connect them to Apple’s HomeKit or Amazon’s Alexa. It also supports IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, and can extend connectivity for Thread devices by acting as a Thread router.

Smart Sync

Photo: Nanoleaf

What elevates Nanoleaf’s lines, compared to the cheaper options, are its polished sync capabilities. Once the original panels were added, a Nanoleaf Rhythm unit was incorporated here, meaning the lines could interact with any music playing in the room. This is great when you want the atmosphere of the party. The colors pulse in time with the melodies.

I set the lines above my desk and was excited to test the effect of screen mirroring, which matches colors to whatever is on the computer screen. You have to run the Nanoleaf desktop app for this to work (which means it won’t work with your TV unless you’re using a PC or laptop with your big screen). But PC gamers will get out of it. It adds even more immersion, and Razer fans will be happy to see Razer Chroma support, too.

Nanoleaf lines look much better lit than lit, but they’re not as ugly as panels when you’re not using them. You still have to consider whether matte white plastic (there are optional matte black or pink skins for an extra $20) will match your decor. They won’t look out of place in a gaming setting, modern minimalist office, or kids’ room, but they will clash in some settings. Some additional options, such as wood finishes, can help them blend in with other rooms. Unfortunately, wherever you put them, you’re stuck with the power cord flush with the bottom of the wall, and it just looks messy.

At $200 for a starter set with only nine lines and $70 for an expansion set of three, they’re pricey. The nearest competitor, Govee’s Glide light bars, probably starts at half that price. But Nanoleaf lines produce beautiful lighting effects that are guaranteed to turn heads and work seamlessly with any smart home setup. After spending a few weeks with them, I am convinced that they are the best that the company has to offer.

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