Jul 03, 2023
Nanoleaf 4D hands
Screens serve as modern gateways to entertainment in our daily lives, yet their size can sometimes curb full immersion and optimal experiences. Thankfully, there’s an innovative remedy that extends
Screens serve as modern gateways to entertainment in our daily lives, yet their size can sometimes curb full immersion and optimal experiences. Thankfully, there’s an innovative remedy that extends light beyond your screen through the use of an LED strip.
A prominent player in the smart ambient light market, Nanoleaf, released their latest offering in this category this year: the Nanoleaf 4D. Priced at $100 for the 65-inch display pack, here’s a brief overview of what it brings to the table.
Setting up the Nanoleaf 4D can be a bit intricate, although there are some subtle details that prove quite useful in simplifying the process.
The base pack provides a long strip designed to accommodate displays up to 65 inches. During installation, you need to trim any excess parts (these can later be reconnected using a proper adapter with the power off). While the strip comes with adhesive stickers on its backside, their adhesive strength might not be robust enough. As a result, the relatively thick strip—commended for quality and build—might struggle to effectively stick onto the uneven surfaces commonly found on the backs of displays.
What’s good is that Nanoleaf offers additional accessories to assist with managing the corner parts. However, it runs into similar challenges, especially when dealing with uneven surfaces, and requires more creativity or strong glue to fix them.
The pairing experience is somewhat underwhelming and could do with some improvements. The two QR codes designed for Apple and Google users are somewhat problematic due to their close proximity. This arrangement creates an issue where iPhone users encounter difficulty scanning without obstructing the other code. This concern has since been brought to Nanoleaf’s attention, and an improved version that rectifies this glitch might be in the pipeline for future releases.
The setup experience can vary depending on the working condition of your 2.4 GHz network. I tested the device’s setup process with a hotspot and Wi-Fi 6 router, which often results in significant delays and failures in pairing and configuring key options. Despite this initial hiccup, once the installation process is completed, Nanoleaf’s reliance on Wi-Fi connectivity diminishes, as the majority of functions operate efficiently on a local level.
The Nanoleaf app is user-friendly, setting up the corners of the illumination with distinct green light sparks. You’re then required to fine-tune the camera’s viewing range, which faces the display.
Under ideal circumstances, the display delivers a stunningly vivid illumination effect, swiftly capturing content with minimal delay. Its sound-responsive rhythm feature is visually appealing, marked by seamless, elegant fades that create a soothing visual experience rather than an overwhelming one.
The device doesn’t introduce any major distractions while gaming or viewing broadcast series, with colors seamlessly extending from the display. It serves as an excellent addition to your entertainment hub, providing an exceptionally captivating ambiance while playing the music-plus action game title, Hi-Fi Rush.
The Nanoleaf app offers an array of hues and color presets for the light strip, with the cinematic color in 4D mode being my personal favorite. Additionally, you can sync the scenes across Nanoleaf and Apple Home, facilitating control of lights via Siri
You can also switch between modes with the control panel.
However, optimal conditions aren’t always the norm, especially if your wall print or wallpaper exhibits various patterns and textures. Under these conditions, the user experience might not meet expectations.
Consider that any physical display is essentially a mirrored surface that reflects light. The camera can pick up these reflections, potentially leading to color inaccuracies. Therefore, it’s essential to position the display away from other light sources, including mirrors, glass windows, and doors, given that the display and strip are light sources in themselves.
The strip’s low bulb density might compromise image sharpness, regardless of whether your display is large or small. The number of light bulbs in each strip is fixed.
In instances when the device isn’t in use, the camera can be safeguarded with a magnetic lid, bolstering privacy.
The Nanoleaf 4D strip is available at a retail price of $100, which stands as a competitive offer compared to exorbitantly priced alternatives. While a hundred dollars might appear relatively steep for a light strip, it presents a fairly affordable option for non-DIY enthusiasts seeking ambient lighting for their displays.
Under specific conditions, the product delivers satisfactory performance, enriching your entertainment experience. It boasts extensive compatibility with diverse display sizes and signal inputs.
However, room for improvement remains in terms of the setup experience. Despite its commendable compatibility, the actual experience can exhibit variability and potential drawbacks.