[Update: Improved Support] Nanoleaf Smart Lighting Steps Into The Future With Thread Border Router Update

A set of Nanoleaf Shapes panels on a living room wall.

The latest Nanoleaf firmware update brings Thread Border Router support to the Shapes and Elements smart lighting panels. Not only does this update instantly increase the speed of your Shapes and Elements lights, but it will improve the performance of all Thread-enabled devices in your home (assuming that you own Nanoleaf’s Shapes and Elements lights, of course).

Update, 1/6/22: Nanoleaf tells us that it will update its Shapes, Elements, and Lines products to support all HomeKit over Thread devices. This should dramatically increase smart home reliability and speed, so long as you own a lot of Thread-enabled products, of course.

The update should arrive sometime before April of 2022.

Like most smart home protocols, Thread is a bit difficult to understand. But here’s the short of it—instead of connecting all your smart home devices directly to your Wi-Fi router, Thread creates a standalone smart home network where all of your devices talk to one another. The end result is a faster, wider, more reliable smart home network and a less-congested Wi-Fi network.

Nanoleaf’s Shapes and Elements lighting panels supported Thread before this update, but they needed to interact with a Thread router (the Apple HomePod is a popular choice) to benefit from the protocol and link your Nanoleaf products to HomeKit. Adding Thread Border Router support allows the Shapes and Elements panels to act as their own Thread routers, removing the need for a separate device like the Apple HomePod.

Of course, this means that any other Thread-enabled devices that require a router, such as Nanoleaf’s smart bulbs, can now piggyback off the Shapes and Elements lights. Doing so will significantly increase the speed and reliability of such products (especially if you’re using those Nanoleaf smart bulbs, which only work over Thread or Bluetooth).

Nanoleaf is placing itself in an amazing position here. Not only is it preparing to embrace the universal Matter standard, but it’s turned the Shapes and Elements smart lights into two of the best starter smart products on the market. Someone with no knowledge of smart homes can buy a Shapes or Elements light and connect it directly to HomeKit, or even use it as a dedicated router for future smart home purchases … so long as they’re Thread-enabled.

Nanoleaf Shapes - Mini Triangles Smarter Kit (5 LED Light Panels) - Multicolor

Now with Thread Border Router support, Nanoleaf's customizable Shape smart lights fit together into an array of futuristic designs on your wall.

Source: Nanoleaf

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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