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7 June 2020

REVIEW: Nanoleaf Canvas

Nanoleaf canvas review

Smart lighting

You might have heard of Nanoleaf. Their triangular lighting panels seem to dominate the backgrounds of gaming streams and smart home promotional photography alike. But whereas their three-sided panels featured edges and a strange shape, their latest product is designed for full-wall coverage... at a price. We check out the Nanoleaf Canvas.

In a nutshell, the Canvas from Nanoleaf are very similar to their previous, popular smart lighting system. Connect the individual panels together, stick 'em on your wall however you want, then control the multi colour lights with your phone or smart home system. However, Nanoleaf has updated a few niggles that have been raised since the original's launch, most noticeably the shape.

Nanoleaf canvas review

The Nanoleaf Canvas are square, as you can see, meaning it is more than possible to fill an entire wall with them (which also tend to be squarish). They can still be used for small bursts of colour and interest, as could their predecessors (and judging on the price, that's all they'll ever be) but you could therefore in theory decorate and entire side of a room.

Apart from the panels' shape, Nanoleaf have also included a few useful extras. First of all, the panels respond to touch. Each one is a capacitive senor, which will change the colour and brightness of the light when you run your hand over it. All the specifics of this can be set in the newly updated Nanoleaf app, but it means this is an interactive gadget, not just a decorative thing.

Nanoleaf canvas review

Gone also has the small additional control unit that needed to be plugged into the previous triangular system. Now Canvas features a control panel with each set; a unique panel with subtly printed control buttons on the bottom edge. This allows you to turn them on, cycle through colour scenes, and also adjust brightness - all without using your app.

Set up of the Nanoleaf Canvas was exceptionally easy. In fact, the toughest thing about this is deciding where you want the panels to go. Oh, and choose wisely, as once they're up, the included sticky tabs won't be letting go of your wall easily, so try to get it right first time to avoid having to paint over where the pad ripped your wall up a bit.

Nanoleaf canvas review

With your shape chosen (the app offers inspiration and advice) and the panels connected via the small connection strips, you can set it up to run however you want. It's possible to use the panels as occasional lighting, should you wish, hooked up to the likes of Google Home or Alexa to come on a specific time or via specific prompts. Or you could go nuts, using them as a true feature piece, blinking, flashing and fading through colours and scenes, acting as a real highlight of any room.

And that's the magic of the Nanoleaf Canvas - their versatility. At just a few millimetres thick, and 15 cm across, you can do pretty much whatever you want with them, far easier than you could with their forebears. 

But here's the catch. The Nanoleaf Canvas are expensive. Although they offer a Mini Starter Kit for around £89.99 containing four panels, there isn't much you can do with only four. Bear in mind that four of them are only 60cm in length. 

Nanoleaf canvas review

They do larger packs, with a more usable one with nine panels, but that will set you back £179.99. If you're looking to fill an entire wall, or wrap the corner of a room with light, you could end up spending thousands.

But - and this is real, happily put 'but' - if you are looking for a smart wall panel light system, we've not yet seen better than Canvas. The shape makes total sense, the compact and integrated design means you can have total coverage (if you can afford it) and the interactive touch system makes for a truly unique smart product.

We're pretty sure that if you pick up and use the four-panel kit, you'll quickly be saving the pennies to fork out on more.



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