review

Nanoleaf Canvas Smarter Kit Review Touch Sensitive RGB Tiles

Friday, June 19, 2020

Highly sophisticated and interactive, the Nanoleaf Canvas square panels bring the funk back into home lighting with a neat RGB tile solution that integrates a rhythm and voice control modules to control the Nanoleaf square lights via Alexa or Siri voice voice commands, as well as have the Nanoleaf square panels light up to the sound of music.
The rhythm module and voice control module are built into the Canvas controller, although you do need to own an Amazon speaker (i.e. Echo, Echo Dot) or Siri HomePod speaker to use voice commands.
Each panel weighs 160 grams and measures 15cm by 15cm and 1cm thick. The Canvas controller, which is the brain of the operation, is a little heavier, weighing 169 grams. There are a total of six buttons with responsive touch control sensitivity.
Nanoleaf Canvas is powered via mains electricity only via the included Nanoleaf Canvas power supply unit, which has a long 1.80 meter long cord attached to it that terminates into a proprietary flat gold plated connector.
The included Nanoleaf Canvas AC adapter is bulky (9cm long, 3cm wide, 6cm tall) and fairly heavy (173 grams) but, it can support up to 25 Canvas light squares.
If you do plan on using more than 25 Canvas panels, you will need to buy the 75W AC adapter version, which supports up to 75 light squares. There is only two AC adapters models (25W and 75W), being sold currently for Nanoleaf Canvas; hence you will only be able to use a maximum of 75 panels for any setup.
The Nanoleaf square panels have a cross line design that splits the Nanoleaf square into four small squares that light up independently the whole panel.
The cross line design may not be everyone's cup of tea but having the whole panel light up does seem to look better than having unlit areas like on the tips of the Aurora triangle panels. Under certain light patterns the cross line produces a blade helicopter effect.
The backing of the Nanoleaf Canvas panel is made of hard plastic while the front is made of a diffused rubberized material, which helps the touch sensitivity feature.
The Nanoleaf Canvas lights can be used without the Nanoleaf mobile app and Wifi connection, allowing you to use the panels as ambiance lighting for a room.
The brightness/energy consumption of each Nanoleaf Canvas panel is approximately 1 watt of power. The Nanoleaf Canvas 9-panel kit uses 9 watts of power, which roughly equates to a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb (800 lumens).
To produce 800 lumens with Nanoleaf Canvas, you would need 16 panels which still wouldn't produce the same brightness as a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb because the Canvas panels front covers are diffused, sapping out some brightness. Each Canvas panel is capable of producing 50 lumens but only when selecting white RGB at maximum brightness.
There is up to 16 million colors for you to choose from the Nanoleaf Smarter Series mobile app palette section. You can create any color pattern you want by literary picking any color for each Canvas panel. You can also choose from a myriad of preset color patterns and rhythm scenes for your very own home-made light show.
There is a schedule feature too within the app to let you run Scenes automatically, as well as a color calibration tool that you can use when one of the Canvas panels colors are off.
The calibration tool lets you calibrate the same shade of color so, it matches with the rest of the panels.
The Nanoleaf Canvas squares are controlled via the Nanoleaf Smarter Series mobile app but, before you can use the app, the Canvas controller panel has to be paired to a smart device (phone or tablet).
Pairing can be done three ways via QR code scanning, NFC tapping or manual input, which requires manually entering the 8-digit pairing code located on the welcome card or back of the Canvas panel controller.
After the Canvas panel is paired, you are prompted to enter the Wifi credentials of your Home network. The Nanoleaf Canvas can only be connected via 2.4GHz Wifi channel as it doesn't support 5Ghz Wifi or Bluetooth. If you have a dual band router set to broadcast on both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, you will have to set it to broadcast on 2.4Ghz only in order to be able to successfully configure the Nanoleaf Canvas.
Alternatively, you may prefer to change the Wifi frequency band of the smart device you are using, which maybe more preferable than tweaking router settings. Once Nanoleaf Canvas is configured, you can revert the router or phone back to automatic broadcast (both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz).
Once Nanoleaf Canvas is connected to a Wifi network, it cannot be connected to another Wifi network unless you perform a Soft reset of Hard reset to erase the previous WiFi and pairing information.
To perform a Soft reset, you simply hold down the Power and Dim (plus and minus buttons) for 10 seconds while Nanoleaf Canvas is plugged into the mains. A Hard resets is performed similarly but the Power and Dim buttons are held down before plugging Nanoleaf Canvas into the mains.
If you already own a Nanoleaf product (i.e. Nanoleaf remote, Ivy Smarter Hub, Ivy Lights), you won't have to download another app since the Canvas square light panels use the same app.
The Nanoleaf Smarter Series app is easy to navigate and guides the user each step of the way, showing how to assemble the squares and how to mount the sticky adhesive tape.
Setting up the Nanoleaf canvas lights is fairly easy and quick, although that depends on the Canvas Smarter kit you buy. The Nanoleaf canvas smarter kit is available as a 4-panel kit, 9-panel kit and 17-kit. You can purchase extra Canvas square panels to add on to your setup.
The Canvas panels have a phone sim card design connecting mechanism that allows the panels to be connected to one another via long, gold plated contact connectors (Linkers), which insert inside the gold plated slot pins located on the back of each panel.
There is a total of four gold plated slot pins strategically positioned on three of the corners of each panel to allow you to configure the  Canvas panels anyway you want.
The Linkers weigh 1 gram each and measure 50mm long, 10mm wide and 1mm thin. The Linkers have a reversible design with gold plated contacts on either side; hence the Linkers don't have to be inserted in one specific way, making the connection process easier.
Nanoleaf Canvas lights includes strips of reusable putty-like adhesive for attaching the Canvas lights onto a surface. The Nanoleaf adhesive is sticky and stringy similar to bubble gum but doesn't leave any residue behind when removed from a surface.
The Nanoleaf adhesive strips are applied onto three strategic areas on the back of each Canvas panel. That means, three Nanoleaf adhesive strips per Canvas panel, which is important for securing the panel onto a surface.
The Nanoleaf Canvas kit doesn't come with any spare Linkers or adhesive strips so, you do have to use them wisely. You can buy Nanoleaf Canvas on amazon.
Gadget Explained disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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