Recently, both flourescent lights that I had installed in the kitchen broke even though I had recently replaced the bulbs. Because of this I decided to go for a more high-tech solution to the shadowy countertops in my kitchen and purchased a Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip Starter Kit from Amazon, which turned up today. This particular lightstrip has a control panel that allows you to control the colour and brightness, but it can also be connected using Bluetooth, or if you have an Apple HomePod Mini on your home network, you can use Thread to connect it to your Apple Home Router. What Thread does is to turn any smart device into an access point, which can make connection easier. Luckily I was able to take advantage of this new technology, even if I only have the one Thread-enabled smart device at the moment.
I decided to set up the lightstrip while it was still coiled up to test out it’s capabilities. Setting up the Nanoleaf Essential strip was easy enough, though the Add Accessory screen on the iPhone was not as intuitive as I’d have liked as I had to go to More Options before I saw that the the Nanoleaf’s NFC-enabled control box had been picked up. Once set up, I was able to test out what the strip could do. Immediately I was blown away by the brightness of the strip, and just how much light it actually generated. That said, the Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip is one of the brightest RGB Strips on the market at the time of writing. This strip can do extremely bright shades of white. It can do both the standard cool/warm temperatures one would expect from LED lights, but it can also do different shades of white with colour biases. Unlike with my bulbs from VOCOLinc and LIFX, I have found that pastels can be a wee bit more difficult to achieve. I believe this is due it appearing to have seperate LEDs for white and colour. If you’re cycling through colours, it can turn the white LEDs on and off as you go through them, which can can cause stark changes in brightness. Also it does concern me that one can’t purchase additional two meter strips from Nanoleaf, only 1 metre ones. If I needed for example to relocate the strip, due to the sticky backing I would not be able to relocate the current strip and would need to purchase a whole new kit, despite my having a perfectly functional easy access controller..
Those concerns aside, so far I really like the Nanoleaf Essentials Striplight Starter Kit. It’s bright, produces some beautiful colours, and works well with Apple Homekit.
I’d like to do a wee blog post on my thoughts on the effects of RGB lighting on my mood, but one thing I will say here is that this lightstrip will allow me to both have enough light to safely cook a meal, and to enjoy some chill ambient lighting if I fancy a wee fly cup (sneaky wee cup of tea) in the wee hours.