Nanoleaf Aurora

I've been thoroughly invested in smart lighting for a while now. Several rooms in my house have been fully converted, fully connected to Google Home for voice control, and so far I'm pretty happy with the setup. Smart lighting is absolutely the way forward for me, especially as costs come down and more options become available. Combining convenience with a familiar form factor is exactly what I thought I wanted, but these new lights from Nanoleaf have me questioning that last part.

Instead of making another lightbulb with smarts, the Nanoleaf Aurora is a modular solution that makes the lights part of the decor. It sounds a little crazy, and has a price tag to match, but these lights are seriously changing how I think about smart lighting in my home.

Every Nanoleaf Aurora setup is a little different, which is fantastic.

Every Nanoleaf Aurora setup is a little different, which is fantastic. You open the box and find nine triangles and a wire for power. These triangles can be assembled in whatever array you choose, as long as one of the sides is able to touch another triangle side.

A simple connector attaches each triangle, sharing power and network information along the chain. When you have the triangles mounted the way you want, you can pick where the power cable gets attached so you can discretely hide the cable however you want. It's a simple, elegant setup that allows you to expand by buying more triangles to add on to the kit. You can have up to 30 triangles attached to a single Aurora, so there's a lot of flexibility here.

Nanoleaf Aurora

It's not hard to imagine an Aurora panel completely replacing the lights in a decent-sized room.

Once everything is connected and powered up, you head to the the Nanoleaf app and set the lights up however you want. The app is aware of where each of the triangles is positioned as soon as it connects to the hardware, and from there you can either choose individual colors for each triangle or adjust the whole array as a single bulb.

If you're using this to light a room, the lights get plenty bright — roughly 100 lumens per panel — and you have fantastic control over the light temperature as you set things. If you're using this as an accent, the lights can also be set to rotate through a palette of colors in several different patterns. The most impressive part of this whole experience is the way Nanoleaf's app is aware of how your array is set up, adjusting the app to match.

Nanoleaf Aurora

Nanoleaf hasn't quite worked out the whole "talk to literally everything" functionality that Philips has with the Hue bulbs yet, but what exists right now is a solid start. You can connect to IFTTT, and there's some basic Amazon Echo integration, but a full open API and Google Home support is planned for later this year.

These lights are becoming more common as accent lighting for a lot of environments, but it's not hard to imagine an Aurora panel completely replacing the lights in a decent-sized room. The panels mount anywhere, and as long as you can make the wire disappear these lights are an amazing alternative to LED strips or recessed lighting in many environments.

Naturally, the big question here is price. The Nanoleaf Aurora starter kit isn't cheap — those nine starter panels will run you $200. If you want to expand, each three triangle kit will run you an additional $60. What you get in exchange is arguable more functional and undeniably more attractive than your average Wi-Fi connected lightbulbs though, and that's significant. These lights become a totally personal way to illuminate your space, and the end result rarely disappoints.

See at Best Buy

Latest And Best Prime Day Deals

It might be Prime Day, but this Instant Pot deal is available to everyone
Instant Pot 3-Quart Duo Mini Pressure Cooker
$39.95 $65.00 Save $25

This 3-quart multi-cooker is perfect for smaller households or serving sizes, and today's deal beats the others we've seen.

Unlock voice control with Echo device deals and $5 Amazon smart plugs
Amazon Echo devices bundled with $5 smart plugs

Amazon's Smart Plug lets you start voice controlling anything plugged into it by asking an Alexa-compatible device, and today's deal lets you snag one for only $5 with purchase of select Echo devices.

Be more productive with a year of Office 365 Home and a free $50 Amazon gift card
Office 365 Home 12-month subscription and $50 Amazon gift card
$99.99 $150.00 Save $50

The subscription works with up to six people, but that card can be all yours.

Amazon's Fire TV Cube is down to just $70 thanks to this Prime Day deal
Amazon Fire TV Cube
$69.99 $119.99 Save $50

Grab TCL's 32-inch 720p Roku TV for less than $100 in this Prime Day Lightning deal
TCL 32S325 32-inch 720p Roku TV
$99.99 $130.00 Save $30

Act fast while you can. These Lightning deals tend to sell out quick.

The Ring Alarm security system is reaching new low prices for Prime Day
Ring Alarm home security systems

Various configurations of the Ring Alarm are discounted to their best prices yet exclusively for Prime members at Amazon through Tuesday night to help keep your home secure.

The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and 2 $50 Amazon gift cards
The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and $100 in Amazon gift cards
$359.00 $499.00 Save $140

That's just so much savings in one deal. You'll have to wait for the physical gift cards, but that's basically $100 to spend however you want.

Prime Day dropped this PlayStation 4 console bundle to just $250
PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console with Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn
$249.99 $359.98 Save $110

This deal on the PlayStation 4 Slim console saves you $50 off its regular price while also including Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for free. You'll just need an Amazon Prime membership to snag it.

More Prime Day Deals