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a photo of Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip installed
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Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit Review

Unveiling the Versatility and Performance: Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Lightstrip Smarter Kit Under Scrutiny

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When discussing smart lighting for your home, the options extend beyond simple LED bulbs. You now have a variety of intelligent lighting devices available to suit your specific lighting needs. In addition to smart LED bulbs, there are options such as recessed lights, strip lights, spotlights, and even outdoor lighting solutions. It's crucial to select smart lights compatible with your existing smart home system to avoid the hassle of managing multiple apps for control. Nanoleaf stands out as a company offering smart lighting compatible with a wide range of smart home hubs, including Apple HomeKit, Bluetooth, and the new Matter protocol. Recently, we tested Nanoleaf's latest offering, the Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit, gaining insights into how the Matter protocol facilitates seamless connectivity with various smart home hubs. Explore our review to discover the functionality and benefits of these innovative smart lightstrips.

What is the Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit?


Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip unboxed,

The Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit is a cutting-edge lighting solution that elevates your smart home experience. Equipped with Matter-enabled technology, this lightstrip seamlessly integrates with all major smart home platforms, ensuring effortless control and compatibility. Built on Thread, a smart home communication protocol, this lightstrip delivers unparalleled reliability, faster speeds, and an extended control range, ensuring optimal performance in any environment. The lightstrips also work on a Bluetooth wireless connection.

With dynamic color scenes, the Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip allows you to personalize your lighting experience like never before. Choose from preset scenes or unleash your creativity by crafting custom scenes in the Nanoleaf app, with vibrant colors and captivating motions like Fade or Highlight. Plus, with the ability to set schedules, you can effortlessly establish daily routines, ensuring your lights turn on and off at your preferred times, day or night. Pair the lightstrip with a Matter-compatible smart home hub, such as Apple TV, to access remote control and scheduling features outside your home. (Use our compatibility find engine to find and buy a Matter-compatible smart home hub.)

Nanoleaf Essential Matter Smart Lightstrips come with strong adhesive backing.

a photo of Nanoleaf Essential Matter Smart Lightstrip installed

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Nanoleaf Essential Smart Lightstrip come with an adhesive on its backside to hold the lightstrip in place.

Featuring warm to cool white lighting and over 16 million colors to choose from, the Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip offers unparalleled versatility and ambiance. You can create the perfect atmosphere for any occasion with white light temperatures ranging from 1600K to 2700K. Additionally, the lightstrip comes equipped with Circadian Lighting, allowing you to adjust the color temperature throughout the day to promote your body's natural rhythm and prepare you for restful sleep.

For added convenience, the Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip includes an in-line controller, providing manual control over power, brightness, and color settings. Plus, with four white LEDs per LED set – two warm and two cool – this lightstrip delivers even illumination across its entire length, eliminating hotspots and ensuring consistent lighting quality. With a maximum brightness of 2200 lumens, the Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip illuminates your space with stunning clarity and intensity, transforming any room into a vibrant and inviting environment.

How do you set up the Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit?


Screenshot of Nanoleaf app's add a device screenNanoleaf app will guide you through the setup process.GearBrain

To set up your Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip, start by unpacking the contents of the Nanoleaf Smart Lightstrip Starter Kit to ensure you have all the necessary components: an 80-inch or 2-meter lightstrip, one controller and PSU, and a Quick Start Guide. Next, download the Nanoleaf app from either the App Store (for iOS devices) or Google Play (for Android devices). Remember that you will need a mobile device that can run iOS 16.4 or Android 9 or later.

Plug your smart lightstrip to a power source and open the Nanoleaf app on your smartphone or tablet. Follow the prompts within the app to add the lightstrip to your Nanoleaf account. This typically involves selecting "Add Device" and following the on-screen instructions. Also, ensure you have the Nanoleaf box and instructions handy. You will need to use the QR code for Matter pairing. The app will say look on the box or the manual in the box for the QR code. Our sticker was located on the manual. Once you add the pairing code, you can complete the setup process and start controlling the lightstrip using the Nanoleaf app via Bluetooth. Note: at this point, make sure the firmware is updated. If not, you will see an alert to download the new firmware.


Screenshot of Nanoleaf app after pairing instructing to update firmwareMake sure to update firmware after pairing your Nanoleaf devices with the app.GearBrain


Once the lightstrip has been added to the Nanoleaf app, if you wish to connect your Nanoleaf lightstrip using Matter, you'll need a Matter-compatible smart home hub and a Thread border router. Many Matter-compatible smart home devices, such as the Amazon Echo (4th Gen), come with a built-in Thread border router, eliminating the need for a separate device. If you're unsure whether your existing smart home hub supports Matter or has a Thread border router, you can use Nanoleaf's compatibility finder tool to check. Or you can use our product find engine to see if your smart devices are compatible with Nanoleaf or any other smart device. Just click here to learn more.

If your current hub isn't compatible with Matter, you must acquire a Matter-compatible hub to connect the Nanoleaf lightstrip to your smart home platform and enable remote access. The Nanoleaf app will guide this process, ensuring a smooth setup experience. Once connected, you can enjoy the full functionality of your Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip and control it seamlessly from your smart device.



Smart Home Integrations

Since the Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit is Matter-compatible, it can be connected to all the major smart home platforms as long as you have the Matter-compatible hub. They work with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and If This Than That (IFTTT). You can use the Amazon Echo smart speaker and display, Google Nest Hub Max, Nest Hub, Apple HomePod, and Apple HomePod mini for the voice platforms. Just make sure you have the right generation. Not all generations of these smart speakers and displays are compatible. Also, as of today, you need to know the integrations with these smart devices are limited if using Matter. The new wireless protocol is still developing; features like setting up automation or schedules are limited.


How much does the Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit cost?

The Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit cost is based on the length of the lightstip. Nanoleaf offers Matter Compatible Smarter Kits with 80" (2 meters) for $39.99 and 197" (5 meters) for $69.99. Suppose you don't want Matter-compatible lightstrips and would rather have Apple HomeKit-compatible Smarter Kits. In that case, Nanoleaf sells these in 80" for $49.99. And if you need a longer length of lightstrips, you can add a Nanoleaf Expansion Lighstrip to either your Apple HomeKit or Matter Lightstrips. The Expansion packs come in 40" lengths and cost $12.99 for one and $29.99 for a three pack. Note: You can connect up to 10m of lightstrips without reducing the maximum brightness.

The Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrips are available on the company website, Amazon, Best Buy, and other major online retailers and lighting sites.




Performance

After testing the Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit (197" version), we found a lot of good features and some very confusing processes. As for the good features, we liked the brightness and output of the lightstrip. The 197" pack comes with four lightstrips and a controller that allows you to turn the smart lightstrip on and off and change the colors. We tested the lightstrips in our den and used them as accent lights. We found the right brightness and colors to help accent the room using the Nanoleaf app. It was simple and similar to what we experienced with other smart lighting apps. And we liked the Circadian Lighting features. This lightstrip feature, which allows users to adjust the color temperature throughout the day to support their body's natural rhythm and promote better sleep, is an excellent addition to any smart lighting system, especially lightstrips.

As for the setup process, installing the lightstrips was easy. However, we had a few issues connecting the light to an in-line controller. The pins at the end of the lightstrip are exceptionally delicate, and you need to be careful not to push too hard to connect the light strip to the controller or another light strip. If you do, you could damage the pins. So, make sure you are careful with this process.

A photo of the connection tip on the Nanoleaf Essentials Smart LightstripThe Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrips come with delicate connecting tips. Be careful when connecting multiple lightstrips.GearBrain


In addition, we had issues with connecting the lightstrip to our Matter Compatible smart home hub, Amazon Echo (4th Gen). The process was not as easy as it is with other smart lights that are compatible with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices. First, we had to ensure our device was connected to our smartphone via Bluetooth and a Wi-Fi network. Then, we had to find the 11-digit pairing code on the supplied manual. You will need this to pair your lightstrips with a Matter-compatible hub. Once we found the pairing code, we had to scan the QR code and add the 11-digit pairing code. This allows the Nanoleaf lightstrips to be connected to a Thread Border Router, which in our case was the Amazon Echo (4th Gen). We also tested the Google Nest Hub Max.). Now, we had to connect the lightstrip to the Amazon Alexa app, search for devices, and then add Nanoleaf. This took a while, but we got the lightstrip connected.


Once you connect to the Amazon Alexa app, we were a little surprised by the limited number of light strip routines when connected to a Matter-compatible hub. We could turn the lightstrip on and off and adjust the brightness and colors. We were able to create routines, like having the lights go on and off on specific days and times, having the colors change, and adjusting the brightness. But one of the things we are surprised you can't do with a Matter Compatible hub like an Echo smart speaker is to set scenes or use voice commands to activate a Nanoleaf scene in the Nanoleaf app. This is one of the limitations of using a Matter-compatible hub; you can only do basic commands today, and you need to use the Alexa app. for these commands, especially for remote access. Over time, as the Matter protocol advances, users can do more than turn products on and off or adjust colors and brightness with the Alexa app or the manufacturer's app. But until then, you need to understand the limitations and use the Matter-controller's app when outside the home or out of Bluetooth range.

That said, if you are an Apple HomeKit user and have an Apple HomePod (2nd Gen) or Apple HomePod Mini, you will love these smart lightstrips. We have found that many Matter-compatible devices work well with Apple HomeKit. And since Apple HomePod (2nd Gen) and Apple TV are Matter-compatible controllers, you can do more remote access and integrations.

a screenshot of Alexa app showing controls for Nanoleaf Matter LightstripAlexa app offers limited controls of Nanoleaf Matter Smart LightstripGearBrain

Summary

After extensive testing of the Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit (197" version), we were impressed with its smart light features, but some challenges were encountered during testing. The brightness and output of the lightstrip were commended, with the kit providing four lightstrips and a controller for convenient control. However, issues arose during setup, particularly with delicate pins on the lightstrip's end and difficulties connecting to a Matter-Compatible smart home hub, such as Amazon Echo (4th Gen). The process involved multiple steps, including scanning QR codes and entering pairing codes, leading to a lengthy setup duration. Additionally, limitations were noted when integrating with the Amazon Alexa app, particularly regarding the range of available routines and commands. Despite these challenges, we did like its compatibility with Apple HomeKit, offering smoother integration and the potential for enhanced remote access and functionalities with Apple HomePod devices.

While the Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit showcased promising features, users may encounter setup complexities and limitations when integrating with certain Matter-compatible smart home hubs. But if you are a gamer or interior designer and want an excellent functional smart lightstrip in your smart home, Nanoleaf Essential smart lightstrip is a good addition. They work with all the smart home ecosystems, provide vibrant RGB colors, and can help you find the perfect immersive lighting experience that fits your needs for gaming, watching your favorite movie, or just adding the ideal lighting for your favorite space.

Buy Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Lightstrip Smarter Kit

Pros

  1. Circadian lighting
  2. Easy setup
  3. Dynamic Color schemes
  4. Smart Home Integrations with Matter and Apple HomeKit

Cons

  • Limited smart light features when using a Matter-compatible hub
  • Matter setup process is confusing.
  • The in-line controller on Lightstrip is big and bulky.
  • The lightstrip is very stiff - hard to bend.


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