Not that long ago, Nanoleaf announced a more affordable (for the company anyway) take on its lighting products featuring a new smart bulb and LED strip. Now those products are here—or at least they’re at the Apple Store anyway. That’s where you’ll need to go to pick them up.
In case you missed it, Nanoleaf Essentials is, as the name implies, less about super-premium (and expensive) lighting, and more about the “essentials.”
To start, the company unveiled a $20 color smart bulb that takes on a unique rhombicosidodecahedronshape. It also showed off a $50 two-meter LED strip and a one-meter expansion strip. All three work with Nanoleaf’s app, naturally, but they also pack a unique connection scheme—Thread.
Thread resembles Z-wave and Zigbee in that it joins devices together to create a mesh network to connect all your ZigBee devices. But unlike Z-Wave, you don’t need a specific Z-wave hub device, instead, another smart device, like the HomePod Mini, can act as an “edge router” to connect all the thread devices in your home.
That’s the promise of Nanoleaf’s essentials, a lower power mesh network with a wide range. And it works with Homekit as well, so you can keep everything locally controlled. Nanoleaf also promises Circadian rhythms that adjust the lights throughout the day for a more pleasant experience.
It’s similar to Apple’s HomeKit Adaptive Lighting feature, which Nanoleaf plans to support in full in a later update. Nanoleaf’s Essential line is one of the first (if not the first) consumer products to support Thread out of the box.