Nanoleaf's hands-free lights could be smarter than Philips Hue

The Nanoleaf Sense Plus light switch on a wall
(Image credit: Nanoleaf)

Forget TVs and games consoles, innovative smart home tech is all the rage at this year’s CES trade show – and we may have finally seen a new intelligent light solution to rival Philips Hue’s range of market-leading bulbs. 

The best smart lights let you instantly shift the ambiance in your home with the tap of a smartphone, and the Philips Hue Color Ambiance has ranked as our top pick of available smart lights since 2021. Now, though, Nanoleaf has upped its smart home game by unveiling an impressively intelligent lighting system – dubbed the Sense+ Control family – at CES 2023.

Consisting of three products – the Sense+ Smart Light Switch, Sense+ Wireless Light Switch and Nala Learning Bridge – Nanoleaf’s latest range does away with the need to manually create schedules for your smart lights. Instead, the company says its new setup is capable of learning your routines to automatically adjust the brightness and color of lights already in your home. 

"Over time, users will be able to have a truly intelligent and hands-free experience with the smart lighting in their home," Nanoleaf said at CES, explaining that Nala refers to the brand’s new Automations Learning Assistant (N.A.L.A., get it?), which will also find its way into existing Nanoleaf Thread Border Routers in the future. 

All three devices in Nanoleaf’s new Sense+ Control line – which is expected to arrive in the second half of 2023 – are Matter and Thread-enabled, meaning you’ll be able to hook them up to the rest of your compatible smart home goodies with ease. 

Nanoleaf Skylight

Nanoleaf also unveiled a new Skylight range at CES 2023 (Image credit: Nanoleaf)

At CES, Nanoleaf confirmed its intentions to make its Shapes, Elements, Canvas and Lines lights compatible with Matter later this year, too. The former rank third on our list of the best smart lights money can buy, so we expect Nanoleaf products old and new to shake up the order of our list in the months to come. 

On paper, at least, Nanoleaf’s new Sense+ Control setup looks to be smarter than even Philips Hue’s top-of-the-range control models. Products available from the latter brand ask you to manually select the time and days you want to automate brightness, whereas Nanoleaf claims its Sense+ family will learn to do that same legwork for you “over time”.

Of course, we’ll have to test that claim for ourselves once we get our hands on Nanoleaf’s latest smart light solution later this year. It’s also worth noting that Nanoleaf products don’t typically offer the same level of brightness and vibrance as their Philips Hue equivalents, despite boasting the same color spectrum selections. So, although Nanoleaf’s Sense+ family doesn't include bulbs, specifically, the jury is still out on just how good its automation will turn out to be in reality. 

Check out our CES 2023 hub for all the latest news from the show as it happens. We'll be covering everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets, so stick with us for the big stories.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.