The two best Nanoleaf
Now let’s be honest, what gamer has ever dreamed of hanging their own Aurora Nanoleafs above their gaming setup.
The triangular LED panels look simply super cool on the wall and lift every room visually to the next level! If there wasn’t this one catch, namely the price of over 150€ in the starter version!
That’s why I did some research and picked out the two best cheap Nanoleaf alternatives and compared them with the original. What came out of it, you will learn in this post!
Table of Contents
If you still can’t imagine what cool lighting effects are possible with the Nanoleafs or you are just looking for some nice examples of setups with the triangular LED panels, be sure to check out this video. It features the gaming rooms of some well-known Youtubers.
Aurora Nanoleafs - What makes them so special?
In order to be able to compare the Aurora Nanoleafs better, I will now show you what the triangular panels have to offer and what makes them so special.
The Aurora Nanoleafs are individual triangular LED panels that are individually plugged together, which allows you to conjure up a variety of different patterns. You are only limited by your creativity when choosing the shape 🙂
The triangles are not screwed to the wall, but attached to the wall with the enclosed double-sided adhesive tape and at the same time connected with 4 pin plugs, which look similar to sim cards.
The different parts of the set
The backside of the LED-Panels including the 4 pin connectors and the power supply unit
The standard version comes with a rhythm module that allows the LED panels to pulsate in certain colors. However, the rhythm module is not included in every variant, so you should check this before buying if you are interested in these features.
A power cable is connected to the lowest LED panel and must be connected to a power outlet.
Find Nanoleaf's cool design and install it on the wall
In addition to the panels, the connectors, the power supply and the rhythm module, the scope of supply also includes the same number of paper triangles as you ordered panels.
You should hang these on the wall as a test, as it is difficult to change the arrangement of the panel afterwards. It is best to start at the bottom and work your way up.
Since it is not always easy to find a visually appealing pattern, I will now show you a video with the best 10 designs for 9 LED panels so the starter set. You can use this as a guide if you are not yet sure in which form you want to hang the panels.
In the associated app, the layouts can also be tested on a trial basis. But that’s just one small of the app’s many features, which I will of course introduce to you in more detail later in the review.
In general, it is worth taking your time when assembling, especially the first triangle must sit horizontally, otherwise all the following panels will also be crooked.
But once you have fixed the first panel, you can fix two triangles together in advance and always stick them to the wall at the same time. In total, depending on the number of panels, this is a matter of between 7 and 15 min approx.
I can also recommend this video to you. The clip explains exactly what you need to pay attention to during assembly.
The app and voice control of the different modes and colors
Now we come to the exciting part namely the control of the numerous modes and colors of the Nanoleafs. The Nanoleafs are in fact compatible with all the latest smart home systems such as Alexa, Google Home or Apple Home via Wifi linkable. All you have to do is register for free in the app.
Thousands of commands can be set in the app, which can then be executed either directly with the smartphone or the voice assistant. There are three main settings: Colour, Rhythm and Group, which individually have a seemingly infinite number of settings.
Colour is, I think, a matter of course, so that the panels shine in the desired colour. In Rhythm mode, the Naoleafs respond according to the sounds in the environment such as music, speech, computer games etc….
For example, if you set the Fireworks mode, you will see more or less fireworks depending on the volume.
The Nanoleaf App
In addition, the brightness can of course also be adjusted or the luminous color changed by command. You can even enter a color code in the app or change the color of each panel. The Nanoleafs are sufficient to brighten up an entire room.
In addition, with the timer function you also have the option, for example, to set an alarm clock in the morning and then wake up with your desired light, which gently wakes you from sleep.
Conclusion about the Aurora Nanoleafs
The Aurora Nanoleafs convince with excellent workmanship, a very well thought-out and implemented lighting control concept and a wide range of design options.
Thus, they make in really every room what and enhance your gaming setup also guaranteed. From there, the hype of the Nanoleafs is completely justified.
Whether there is really a comparable alternative, I tell you in the following!
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Life Smart Cololight LS160 - The small competitors
From the function it acts with the Life Smart Cololights LS160 to a counterpart of the Aurora Nanoleafs and they convince apparently with a more favorable price. But are they really a good alternative to the Aurora Nanoleafs?
The Cololights are available in two versions on Amazon: The Starter Set for around 45€, which consists of three hexagon shaped panels and comes with a plastic base and the Stone Set for around 90€, which consists of 6 LED panels and has a stone base. In addition, individual panels can be purchased for around 12€.
Cololight Starter Pack
The functions of the Cololights
The colors and modes are also controlled with app or voice control, as with the Nanoleafs, but only Google Home and Alexa are supported.
If you are at home in the Apple ecosystem, the only control you have is via the app. It is also astonishing that when registering no Double Opt in is required, but you are logged in directly.
Otherwise, the app seems a bit old-fashioned, but the switching of modes works without delay, only the rhythm mode which reacts to sounds goes much worse, so that it flashes rather like wildly, but does not really follow the music etc….
On the other hand, controlling individual panels does not cause any problems, nor does dimming the brightness or the other modes.
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Cololights vs Nanoleafs the price comparison
At first glance, there seems to be a clear price-performance winner in the comparison of the two variants. 90€ for the Cololight Stone Set or even 35€ for the Starter Set vs 180€ for the Nanoleaf Aurora Starterpack.
However, if you compare the illuminated area of the Nanoleaf triangles (approx. 254 cm²) and the Cololight Hexagons (approx. 48cm²), taking into account the non-illuminated corners of Aurora, the triangles offer a five times larger illuminated area than the Hexagons and this at a price of 9€ for the Cololights compared to 20€ for the Aurora LEDs.
Likewise, the seemingly lower power consumption via USB of the Cololights comes into question. Because if you take the values from above as a basis, you end up with the following result:
An Aurora panel with 254 cm² consumes 2 watts and a Cololight panel with 48cm² requires 0.5 watts according to the manufacturer. If you now take 5 Cololight hexagons to get the approximate area of an Aurora triangle, it will be 5 x 48 cm² = 240 m² (a bit smaller area). So if you calculate now 5 x 0,5 Watt you get 2,5 Watt.
This leads to the result that the power consumption is about 0.5 W higher for the Cololights with almost the same illuminated area.
What is also noticeable is that a Hexagon Cololight is five times smaller than a Nanoleaf triangle. Furthermore, the Cololight panels are 3 cm thick and the Aurora triangles are only 1 cm thick. The question is whether you want such a large distance to the wall.
Therefore, in contrast to the Nanoleafs, the Cololights are only worthwhile in my opinion if you need a small area of LED panels or want to put them on the table. Then you are well served with the starter version for only 35 €!
Advantages and disadvantages compared to Aurora
Alphawise A9 PRO - The Chinese Nanoleaf Alternative
Alphawise A9 Pro in Action
Another Nanoleaf alternative are the Alphawise A9 Pro for about 135 €, which are very similar in shape to the Cololights.
They are made of plastic with glass optics and are delivered in a box with a power supply, which has the sound module directly integrated, which however only fits into the socket with an adapter. And oddly enough, the scope also includes an AUX splitter.
The Alphawise panels are fixed to the wall with the included double-sided tape, and the colors and modes can again be adjusted via app. But unfortunately the pairing only works with Bluetooth, not as with the Cololights or Nanoleafs via Wlan.
You have 180 different light modes to choose from and brightness etc… is also easy to adjust. The built-in equalizer is supposed to transmit music to the panels in the form of colors displayed at different speeds, but this isn’t really convincing since the Alphawise panels have delay.
In addition, it must be said, is a Chinese product with EU plagiarism, which is also not available for purchase on Amazon and where the delivery time at Gearbest, for example, 20 business days.
From there, I would pay the small premium and go with the Nanoleafs for your gaming room. Since they are of higher quality and you have a better contact person with Amazon, if something should break.
Advantages and disadvantages compared to Aurora
There is currently no real alternative to the Nanoleafs. Unless you only need a small table light then Cololights are the perfect choice.
The competition has similar products with the Cololights LS 160 and the Alphawise A9, but from the price-performance ratio you don’t get better than the Nanoleafs at this point.