Nanoleaf’s upcoming smart lights could be the shining stars that Matter needs

Nanoleaf's A19 Rhombicosidodecahedron bulb
(Image credit: Nanoleaf)

Nearly three months after a CES 2022 tease, Nanoleaf returns to the Matter standard with a new set of smart lights for its Essentials series. 

The lineup is split between four different bulbs and a light strip sharing many of the same features. They can all output over 16 million colors and have “tunable whites” that can be controlled with the official Nanoleaf mobile app via Bluetooth. To get the most out of the lights, you will need a smart home hub compatible with the Matter standard plus a Thread border router to ensure fast connectivity. Devices like the Google Nest Hub Max can do both, so if you have that, you're good to go. We should also mention the lights won't work to their fullest extent on Apple Home because its Adaptive Lighting feature doesn't support the Matter standard as of this writing.

In the meantime, you’ll have to use Circadian Lighting, Nanoleaf’s version of the tech, if you want the lights to adjust their color temperature throughout the day automatically. Other notable Essentials features include Customized Schedules for automating the lights to turn on or off at specific times and Screen Mirror to reflect the colors coming from a connected display.

Slight differences

The differences between the lights mostly come down to their design and what people are looking for. First, you have the A19 ($19.99 for one or $49.99 for three) taking the shape of a rhombicosidodecahedron (say that three times fast) instead of your standard round bulb. Then you have the more spotlight-esque models with the BR30 and the GU10, both are $49.99 for a pack of three. There will also be the four-inch recessed Downlight; $34.99 for one or $119.99 for four.

Only the A19 is currently open for pre-order with shipping to begin mid-April. Pre-orders for everything else will become available in the coming months.

The light strip comes in two models. You have the 80-inch Smarter Kit ($49.99) complete with a controller at the end and a 40-inch Expansion Pack ($12.99) to grow your already existing setup. Pre-orders are now open with the shipping date set for the middle of April, just like the A19. If you do purchase Nanoleaf’s latest offerings, make sure your smart home devices meet the system requirements. Using the lights on Google Home requires you to have Android OS 8.1 or newer, while Apple Home requires both iOS and TVOS 16.4 or more recent.

No word on if any of the new lights will be offered outside the US.

Future update

The company plans to roll out a software update to its “line of modular light panels and light bars” that will expand Matter support. Hopefully, that update adds more Nanoleaf features to the Essentials line because there were some notable ones missing like the music visualizer Rhythm. We reached out to the company to see if there are plans for an Essentials software update in the near future. This story will be updated if we hear back.

If you’re thinking about sprucing up your home and don’t want to wait for the A19, check out TechRadar’s recently updated list of the best smart lights for 2023.

Update 3-23-2023: A Nanoleaf representative got back to us and said the Matter-enabled Essentials lights "will be available globally with different timelines for region." However, they didn't go into further detail regarding which regions will be getting the lights first. Also, there are plans to add new features with the company's Rhythm music visualizer being one of them.

Update 3-27-2023: That same representative got back to us with more details on the global roll-out for the Essentials lights. For Canada, pre-orders are currently open with products shipping mid-April, just like the US. For Europe, pre-orders are opening this week with the shopping date set for late April. Australia is slated to get the lights this June, however that launch window remains tentative.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.