It’s no fun being stuck in coronavirus lockdown.
Since March, I’ve worked from home and woken up to the same old room every day. I live here, I play here and I work here. At times the peace is nice, but the monotony sure isn’t — which is why the Nanoleaf Hexagons have arrived at the perfect time.
Nanoleaf’s latest smart lighting set comes in the form of new hexagon-shaped lights. When connected, they form a beehive-like pattern you can design any way you like. The lights produce up to 16 million different colours, interact with music and touch, and you can design your own colour patterns (or load other people’s) to totally transform your space (and your mood) in unlimited ways.
They’re easy to set up, great to look at and a very fun addition to any home space, whether you’ve been staring at the same wall for four months or not.
How to set up your Nanoleaf lights
When you open up the Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagon Starter Kit (available for $349 at JB Hi-Fi), you’ll see nine light tiles, several power clips and a power supply. Also available are smaller five-panel starter kits for $229 and additional panel expansions. For the more budget-conscious, this smaller pack may be more appealing. Each panel is fairly large (23 centimetres from edge to edge) so even five of them is enough to create a fun pattern.
To set up your desired pattern, you’ll need to snap the power clips between each panel. There’s a divot where these clips go, and fitting them in is simple. They snap and lock in place.
To mount your Nanoleaf Hexagons to a vertical wall, you should pre-plan on the floor and then transfer two panels at a time for the best results.
You’ll want to use a ruler or very straight line to attach your chosen pattern. Once you take off the tape at the back of each panel, your Nanoleafs will be firmly locked in place. Because they all fit together squarely, your pattern will be set as soon as you align the first panel.
Each hexagonal panel will need a connecting power clip to make sure it has power. It’s a bit finicky to get them all connected but as long as you have an awaiting power clip ready, you can simply press a light panel onto it to connect it.
If you’re unhappy with the design and want to change it, you may need to purchase additional tape to reattach it (3M would be best). Once the panels are stuck on, they have a very firm grip so you’ll want to be sure before you dive in.
My final pattern ended up being a longer strip to fit the side of my desk. In my current living space, I can’t attach items directly to my wall. There’s no other option for mounting, so if you’re choosing a Nanoleaf set make sure you have an appropriate space planned out.
Once they’re all set up, you can sit back and absorb the zen.
The Nanoleaf Hexagons have a range of interactive elements.
Through the use of an app, you can set your chosen pattern to display or set the Hexagons to light up to a beat. Each set includes pre-designed patterns easily accessed through the built-in control panel, but there’s also a range of downloadable options available online. Via the Nanoleaf app, anyone can upload new pattern designs or download some crowd favourites.
“Party Time” was one I was very excited to discover. This user-made pattern features a range of pastel lights appearing randomly across the Hexagons. It’s very subtle and lovely to have on the background. Every colour is vivid and floods the entire panel with light. There are 16 million colours available to show off, so you’ll be very busy finding your perfect pattern.
The lights of the Hexagons have a brightness toggle that goes up so high you shouldn’t look at them directly. If placed in the right spot, this brightness produces a great halo effect that’ll douse your room in whatever colour you like.
Also included with the Hexagons is a touch feature integrated into lighting patterns. With Party Time, touching a single panel will make every panel jump between colours faster and give you a lighting halo around your hand. In other patterns, touching a panel will cause the light to fade to white. It’s a very fun addition to the Hexagons and makes the panels a blast to play with.
If you really want to feel the party, the music feature is also fantastic. Switching to music mode (via a chosen in-app pattern or a switch on the controller) means the Nanoleafs will react to any music in your room. If you ever had an iDog in the early 2000s, you can imagine how this functions.
For those who missed out, here’s the Nanoleaf Hexagons’ musical function in action:
this week in 'leah likes ridiculous lighting' we have the new nanoleaf hexagons which boop to the sound of a beat ???? pic.twitter.com/HRLTCijLib
— Leah Williams (@legenette) July 1, 2020
If you’re a voice control fanatic, the Nanoleaf Hexagons are compatible with most smart assistants. Using Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, you can control the timing, brightness, pattern and function of your Hexagons. It’s a great little quirk and incredibly handy. You can even set the Hexagons to wake you up with the subtle light shades of a sunset if you choose.
Setting the mood
It’s amazing how quickly your mood can change when it comes to lighting.
Colour plays an essential part in the behaviour and emotions of humans. Blue lights are calming. Yellow lights can provoke anxiety. Red is often associated with rage. Colours have been used as mental and physical therapy for centuries, dating back to ancient practices. The right lighting can make you happier, healthier and far more relaxed.
Coloured lights have also been known to stimulate nerves and increase blood flow in the body. It’s not something I was tangibly able to test, but sitting in a dark room with the Nanoleafs pulsing beside me gave me a relief I hadn’t felt in many, many weeks. While the Hexagons won’t replace a trained therapist, they do have an incredibly calming, zen effect.
The Nanoleaf Hexagons are just flat out pure fun, and they do really change the atmosphere of an entire room. Whether you’re looking for something to spice up your gaming space or just want to mess around with a fun new gadget, the Nanoleaf Hexagons are highly recommended.
If you like experiencing joy, you’ll love these lights.