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Thinking Outside the Box - Nanoleaf Hexagon Review

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We’ve had a lot of fun in the last year with the Nanoleaf Canvas product. The general square designs can be formed into fantastic wall art that also adds splashed of light and colour to a room, and now the company has gone one massive leap further by changing the shape which manages at adds so much more versatility to your designs.

These super-smart lights now come as Hexagon shapes and are part of the Nanoleaf “Shapes” line. This basically means that they will work with any other Nanoleaf product in that line, unfortunately for us, we had the Nanoleaf Canvas squares so they didn’t interconnect. Well, we say unfortunately but what it actually meant is we got to set up a brand new design on a different wall using the latest upgrade. 

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These new designs are the thinnest yet and also significantly larger than the previous range. The six-sided hexagon allows you to really go off in all directions, giving you more freedom of design than the squares and triangles previously did, in fact, the CEO and co-founder of Nanoleaf Gimmy Chu says that “With our new Shapes Hexagons leading the Smart Decor category, we’re fusing technology and design to bring to life the intelligence of smart lighting while encouraging creativity through flexible, unified capabilities. We believe the future of smart lighting truly has no limits.”

The Hexagons snap together much easier now with the new mounting plate system, I quickly found myself swapping and changing them out to create a unique pattern, playing with something that resembled the “Very Hungry Caterpillar” from those children’s books, having a kid under 2 means that stuff is burnt into my brain. In fact, even though these products are used a lot by online gaming streamers or for stylish people wanting to light up a dining area in the house it made me think that a great way to use it would be as a design in the kid’s room that also acts as a night light. After all, you can operate the entire thing from your smart device to turn it on and off, adjust the brightness or even the colour palette with over 16 million colours. 

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Those smart devices are through the Nanoleaf app using your local WiFi, so you can use Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit or even the Samsung SmartThings. That makes it compatible with pretty much everything and anything.

The app is really easy to use, and it feels instantly quicker with the Hexagon product, the colour transitions would happen instantly. The thing that will absolutely blow your mind is the LayoutDetect™,  basically whatever design you hang up on your wall or wherever you choose to put it, shows up on the app screen and allows you to modify the colours and play with the theme. You can play with designs before you start sticking things to the wall using the layout assistant featuring some AR technology, so get a look and feel first.

Separating the controller from the light panels is a clear sign of engineers always looking to improve on a design, it allows you to place the control device on any panel so you can hide it away in a corner or place it in a more accessible spot for instant access. 

All the regular features are back, the touch experience lets you change colours or use it for interactive games, the rhythm setting move to the music you are playing, and screen mirror is fantastic if you set your lights behind a TV or Monitor as it reflects the light into your lights to make it more immersive. 

Overall these are unbelievably versatile smart lights that will add a spark to your room and create a talking point for visitors. It allows you to imprint your own artistic flair on a room, even if you use one of the pre-thought designs. The light emitted from the panels can illuminate a room and add some atmosphere to an otherwise boring space. Much like Nanoleaf have done when you are setting up the Hexagons, think outside the box. 

Remember you’ll have to set them up near a PowerPoint because they don’t run on magic. 

DoccyDarko is the official game and tech reviewer of The Random 30 Countdown

Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagons are available to pre-order exclusively at JB Hi-Fi, estimated to be in store by early August.