The Renter’s Guide to Nanoleaf Tiles

The Renter’s Guide to Nanoleaf Tiles

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Like a moth to a light bulb, gamers are drawn to Nanoleaf wall lights as if they were the most incredible things they’ve ever seen. But are Nanoleaf tiles a good idea for renters?

Many of us aspiring Nanoleaf enthusiasts are, to no one’s surprise, renters! What a horrible turn of events: wanting to put high quality (and very expensive) light tiles on your wall and worrying about keeping your bond if you move.

Well, as a renter in Sydney’s increasingly expensive outback, I’m happy to report that I’ve just set up a starter pack of Nanoleaf canvas lamps (the square ones) on the walls of my apartment, for scientific purposes, of course.

We have done Nanoleaf reviews beforebut we never paid much attention to the tenant’s perspective on Nanoleaf products.

That’s what we do today. Because even if you can’t afford your own home, and probably won’t soon, you’re entitled to a comfortable home with comfortable lighting.

Let’s do it: Nanoleaf for renters, everyone.

Nanoleaf lamps, from easy to difficult

So before we really get into it, let’s run through the Nanoleaf product catalog, from “easiest for renters” to most difficult.

We start with the Nanoleaf Bulbs, these are threaded Bluetooth and smart bulbs, available in bayonet and screw configurations. These are obviously the easiest for renters to use as they can be easily installed and removed from most lighting fixtures.

Then we come to the Nanoleaf Light StripsIdeal for installation, usually on furniture or on sofas, usually to illuminate the underside or back of bulky things (by illuminating the surfaces they touch, without the lights themselves being so visible). These are probably the most ideal for renters as they tend to be the most secluded and will likely be placed on objects you own in the house.

Then we come to the Nanoleaf panels, where the brand specializes (competition is fierce, with Philips and Sengled also making a name for themselves in the space). These come in all different forms, including: square canvas panelshexagons with wood pattern and RGB hexagons† Since these are mounted to the wall with command strips, this can be quite a concern for renters, which is exactly what I was concerned about when I was installing them.

After some thought, I think the best way to discuss this is to allay our concerns with a list.

They really bring the room together. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

What tenants need to know about Nanoleaf tiles

Please think of the wall they will stand on

Don’t walk around and find out. If you’re putting your tiles on a wall with weak, easy-to-crack paint (common in many rental properties I’ve lived in), don’t use that wall. At best you will tear the paint and it will be used against you when you go outside, and at worst the tiles will fall off at some point, tearing the paint and possibly breaking the lights. The rules are not the same for Nanoleaf tiles and posters: blu tack is not enough.

nanoleaf tenants
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Think about the pattern and the arrangement

Arrange the tiles the way you like best, but pay attention to the connectors on the bottom. There are not often connectors on every spot of the underside of Nanoleaf tiles, so make sure your setup works and is properly aligned between all the tiles before determined to hang them on the wall.

As long as all the tiles are connected to at least one connector each, they will work fine. Make sure the connector modules are also firmly in place and find a way to slide them in without much fuss (I simply slipped them into already placed tiles and slid additional tiles on top). In addition, keep in mind that your layout may change if you flip the design while planning.

To get you started, Nanoleaf offers a “Layout Assistant” in its free app, which not only allows you to arrange your tiles the way you want (including connector modules), but also allows you to place your creation on your wall. with your phone’s AR lens (this was a really cool part of the process).

nanoleaf tenants
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

There is no room for mistakes

When I was installing the Nanoleaf Canvas lights (which I did with my good friend Claudia), we were quite impressed with how few command strips there were. There is no room for error, which means you Absolute must have your arrangement in order before you hang it. If you make a mistake it’s not the end of the world (if you’re quick you can take the panel off the wall and put it back in), but consider buying some more command strips.

mistakes happen

While there is no room for error, you can make a mistake on the fly. There’s no shame in lifting your tiles and putting them back in a hurry, especially if they’re out of order or disconnected from power, but be quick before you lose the power of your command strips. This happened to us, but luckily we were fast.

Be prepared to change the paint

Unless you want repair costs to be deducted from your security deposit (in the event the paintwork is damaged), Nanoleaf tile tenants should be prepared to do some painting if you move. Lifehacker has a great article about thatbut make sure you get the right paint.

Bluetooth and ‘wire’

The last thing I’m warning you about is Nanoleaf bulb connectivity. For light customization, Nanoleaf tiles require a 2.4 GHz modem (5 GHz connections are not compatible). Nanoleaf lamps require a Bluetooth connection to your phone or they can be connected to your modem via a “threaded” network, available on some modems. When I switched to the thread network of my Eero modemmy Bulbs worked much faster, with less downtime.

However, the connections on these bulbs aren’t perfect: when using Bluetooth connectivity on the bulbs, the bulbs were often “unreachable” via the app or linked smart home apps (for some reason, HomeKit seemed to work better for me than Google Home). The canvas panels are also sometimes “unreachable”.

These problems can be solved by supplying power to the devices. Keep in mind that you may have to get up and hit a light switch or turn the panels off and on from time to time. Also note that you cannot turn off the lights from the outside.

The Renter's Guide to Nanoleaf Tiles
More annoying than it should be. Image: Zachariah Kelly

That’s about it

We hope we’ve helped at least a few tenants who want to pick up some Nanoleaf tiles. If you think we should include something in this guide, drop me a line.

Nanoleaf Collection

Nanoleaf Light Strip ($99.99)Nanoleaf Spheres ($39.99)Nanoleaf Lines ($349.99)Nanoleaf Elements ($429.99)Nanoleaf Shapes ($189.99)Nanoleaf canvas ($349.99)

#Renters #Guide #Nanoleaf #Tiles

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