Nanoleaf Shapes review: Let there be light

Jitendra Soni
Nanoleaf Shapes

Nanoleaf Shapes are positioned as the easiest way to add a flair to your home, work desk, or gaming den. But how do they perform in real-life scenarios? We find out.

Light, if colorful and smart, adds a ton of personality to your setup. RGB lights play a significant role in setting up the right ambiance, be it your living room, work desk, or gaming setup.

Nanoleaf one of the first brands that comes to mind when discussing smart RGB lights. The brand has been dishing out lights in various shapes and sizes, including strips, ropes, triangles, and more, but the hexagonal-shaped “Shapes” are the most popular.

We got our hands on a 9-panel standard white-colored hexagonal “Shape” for this review. So, if you plan to get any of these modular light panels, read this review first.

Key specs

  • Size (per panel): 7.75inch * 9 inch
  • Mounted thickness: 0.39 inch
  • Weight (per panel): 208 grams
  • Colors: 16 Million+
  • Color Temperature: 1200K – 6500K
  • Color Channel Configuration: RGBW
  • Max brightness (per panel): 100 lumens
  • Compatibility: Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, Nanoleaf Remote, SmartThings, Razer Chroma

Design and installation

The hexagonal-shaped panel comes in three colorways – Matte Black, White, and a Wooden finish. These panels are incredibly light and thin; which means that installing them is pretty straightforward.

Nanoleaf Shapes

You only need dual-sided tape with strong adhesive and connector pins to install these panels. Thankfully, everything comes in the box. Zeroing in on your specific design might take longer than setting up the panels. If you need help with a design idea, Nanoleaf also has an interactive website to let your creativity flow.

Once you’ve finalized the design, all you need to do is stick the tape on the back of the panel, plug in the connector, and press the panel on the wall, then, just align each connector until your shape is complete.

Nanoleaf Shapes remote

Interestingly, even the physical controller and the power cables are modular, which means you can connect them to any panel and in any direction you choose. This modularity also makes replacing any faulty unit extremely easy. Adding more panels is also incredibly simple.

Nanoleaf Shapes

In my case, everything, including the layout design, setting up the panels, and linking connectors, was done alongside my twelve-year-old daughter, who easily and clearly understood all the instructions, which is a testament to how simple it is to install the lights.

Software and features

I generally have zero expectations from any products I review when it comes to software, I’ve just been burned one too many times. But, it’s safe to say that Nanoleaf impressed me with almost everything from packaging, explainers, setting up the lights, and even pairing it with the mobile app.

You can control the panels in multiple ways: through the mobile app, the physical remote, tapping the panel itself, or via voice assistant using Google Home/Alexa or Siri.

Since it is compatible with Matter, I also paired one of my Flic smart buttons to turn the light on or off and change its color. Placing this button near my bed allows me to silently turn off the lights when I decide to call it a day. There is no need to fumble with a phone, or ask Alexa to turn the lights off. The pairing is simple, and the response is immediate too.

You can set the panels to rhythm mode if you love listening to music or have a TV in the same room. This makes the lights react to the sound frequencies and enhances the overall experience.

Nanoleaf app

What’s most impressive is that when you pair the lights with the mobile app for the first time, it automatically identifies the layout of the lights, and the same can be seen every time you open the app.  

The mobile app also lets you customize the touch gestures that can be used to increase or decrease the brightness or change the color or mode. You can even sync other Nanoleaf products to enhance the effects.

The app has two modes to choose from. The basic one has a color wheel where you can select the color output by simply selecting the color zone; the “Scene” mode has a set of color patterns. You can choose the brightness to auto or use the given toggle to increase or reduce the brightness.

Overall, the mobile app is intuitive and very responsive. It lets you play with lights and colors like a kid at a candy store.

Should you buy it?

The Nanoleaf Shapes are a must-have for any smart home enthusiast. You don’t have to be a gamer to love RGB lights in your living room reacting to the music you play or the movies you watch. These lights are mood enhancers and can add value to your party or any get-together.

Verdict: 4/5

Nanoleaf Shapes

The Nanoleaf Shapes are a well-rounded product that has a great build and is pretty handy. The entire experience has been around ease of use, and Nanoleaf excels in this. You’ll have to be highly nitpicky to find issues with these lights; But, its price tag can be a big turn-off for some.

I’ve lost count of the combinations and customizations I’ve used with these lights, and barring just a single errant instance, the lights have always responded to what I wanted.

The overall experience of using Nanoleaf Shapes is exceptionally smooth, and I’ve hardly used another smart home device that is so responsive.

If you click on a product link on this page, we may earn a small affiliate commission.

Related Topics

About The Author

Jitendra loves writing about tech, especially smartphones. He has almost 10 years of experience. He spearheaded the TechRadar India editorial operations and has written for TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Free Press Journal, Mobile Scout, IB Times Singapore, Indulge Express, and more. He can be reached at