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Nanoleaf Shapes

A little more specific, but no worse for that reason.

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Recently we reviewed Nanoleaf Elements, the manufacturer's most persistent attempt to break out of the RGB gamerspace and into the upper-class living room. We thought it worked quite brilliantly, but what if you directly want something "extra"? Well, Nanoleaf can certainly help you out, and Shapes would be a good place to start.

However, let's start by stating that Shapes uses the same core principle as Elements, which means that you get a series of modular units that can be put together. From there you can form the shape you want, and furthermore there is freedom as to where the final wire should emanate from.

Nanoleaf ShapesNanoleaf Shapes

Shapes, however, ditches the whole wood laminate façade, and goes more directly for a more funky aesthetic. They are made in matte plastic, and the version sent to us was in white. Fortunately, Elements and Shapes have in common that they can be put up without screws, just using a little glue, and that they can be bought in different numbers.

There's support for Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Alexa, Samsung SmartThings and other IFTTT-based services, so there are absolutely no connectivity limitations here. The difference, perhaps, is that Shapes supports Nanoleaf's own Connect+ app, which gives you a ton of different options in terms of the lighting systems you want to design and execute.

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As with Philips Hues Gradient products, Shapes becomes one big RGB gradient, which means light can move across the panels and change character along the way. The LEDs themselves are quite precise, and smooth, so if you navigate past the app and select Blinding Lights, for example, or any of the other systems either Nanoleaf itself or other users have created, the effect can be downright impressive.

Nanoleaf Shapes

Furthermore, not only is there the option to select a system from your phone, you can pair directly with your PC, and build your Shapes around a monitor, or behind a television. In fact, Shapes do best when they're allowed to stay in the office, acting as an immensely personal companion that can be timed and organised so that the light is comfortable for work, and intense for gaming or movies.

Nine panels will set you back around £120, and considering what you're paying for Hue lights, it's actually not too bad. No, there's not the same versatility as with Elements, but Shapes is solidly built, and via both app, features, and consumer creativity, can become far more personal.

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