Nanoleaf announces massively upgraded light panels: square, smart, touch- and motion-sensitive

Nanoleaf – best known for the light panels we reviewed and I covered in my smart home diary back in 2016 – has announced an upcoming all-new version that looks set to put the originals in the shade.

Unlike the existing triangular modules, the new ones will be square – and the previous limit of 30 panels per base station is being increased to a staggering 1,000. You will, though, need a power booster for every 60 additional panels …

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More impressively, Nanoleaf told CNET at CES that the square panels will be much smarter.

Each individual panel will be touch sensitive, allowing you to turn them on and off, dim them up and down, or change their color just by tapping on them. The base station will also come embedded with its own music sync microphone and motion sensor capable of lighting the panels up whenever you walk by. Chu says that Nanoleaf plans to open up the software for all of it to outside developers, an approach that’s already led to things like third-party apps capable of simulating a thunderstorm on the panels, or a crackling fire.

The photo above shows an entire wall of panels, something that will now be technically possible but likely crazily expensive. The company hasn’t yet announced either pricing or availability for the new panels, but they will certainly cost more than the present kits.

Existing panels cost around $200 for the starter kit of nine panels, then $80 for each expansion pack. Add in the cost of motion-sensing and touch-controls, and the price is likely to increase significantly – though the company says it wants to make the pricing ‘accessible.’

Nanoleaf today advised pricing and availability of the 12-sided remote it showed off yesterday: it will cost $50 and be available in the spring.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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