Nanoleaf Canvas Smart LED Lighting REVIEW | Mac Sources

Nanoleaf Canvas Smart LED Lighting


Impressive lighting option for home or office uses.

A couple of years ago, I reviewed the Nanoleaf Aurora, which features smart modular light panels. When you link the panels together, you create a work of art that shines bright in any room. Given the fact that lighting design makes me as happy as a child on Christmas morning, you can imagine my excitement when I found out I was going to be able to test out the Nanoleaf Canvas, another smart lighting product that provides a truly unique lighting fixture.


The Nanoleaf Canvas is made up of modular LED light squares (the Aurora has triangular light panels). The panels are touch-enabled and can control the lights or allow users to play touch games. More than 16 million colors are accessible for functional or ambient lighting. Canvas features flexible control options. Users have the ability to control the squares by the built-in touch remote, voice (through hands-free assistants, like Siri), touch, or the Nanoleaf App. One of the lighting modes included is Rhythm Mode, which causes the lights to react to sounds of all kind. The panels are easy to install and mounting tape. Nanoleaf Canvas does with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant.


  • [8] Light Squares with offset Linker slots
  • [1] Control Square (also works as a Light Square)
  • [1] Power Supply Kit (World Voltage, 120vac ~ 240vac)
  • [9] Linkers for connecting Light Squares and Control Square
  • [28] Double-sided adhesive mounting tape
  • [1] Quick Start Guide

Expansion Pack

  • [4] Light Squares with offset Linker slots
  • [4] Linkers for connecting Light Squares and Control Square
  • [12] Double-sided adhesive mounting tape


The Nanoleaf Canvas was designed to add a dash of playful, ambient light to any room. I borrowed this line from the Nanoleaf website because I feel like it accurately describes the experience you get when you install the Canvas.

One of the first things I noticed when I got the Canvas panels out of the box was their shape. The original Nanoleaf Light Panels were triangular in shape. This made it possible to create an installation that could twist and turn on your wall. With the Canvas panels being square, you are somewhat limited in your design. Don’t get me wrong. I like the modern look the straight lines provide, but it’s something to be aware of as you plan your installation. I actually like the square panels better than the triangular ones because they seem more natural and provide a cozy feel to most rooms in the home.

The Canvas installed very similarly to the original Light Panels. There is a small connector chip that slides into connector channels on the backs of the Canvas panels. Those chips communicate the programming signals between the panels and also provide power to the panels. They do lock into place and when you are working with the panels, you will feel a ‘click’ when you push the chips into place.

The biggest criticism I have — and I think that most people have is the expense of Nanoleaf’s products. The starter kit for the Canvas includes 9 panels and retails for $199.99. The expansion pack (an additional four panels) is $79.99. It’s a lofty expense for most users especially when the only purpose of the panels is to look pretty on the wall. I have heard of many people using these as replacements for primary lighting in rooms, but if it’s only a supplement to existing lighting, I can see the expense being a turn off.

The Canvas panels are touch sensitive and have a really cool Rhythm Mode built-in to the programming of the device. With the touch-sensitive feature, users have the ability to turn the panels on or off with tapping them. You also have the option to ripple colors through the installation with a long press of a panel. Nanoleaf built in a memory-style game that can be played through the use of the touch controls. There are three touch options — short press, long press, and double-tap. With this functionality, the squares can be turned into a ‘smart button’ and control all HomeKit products without the use of a phone.

Rhythm Mode was the feature I was most looking forward to having. The original Light Panels did not include this natively although you now have the option of adding in panels that have that feature built-in. I love that the Canvas has it included by default. One small note here regarding privacy — I found information from Nanoleaf that indicates that all the audio functionality is occurring locally and never broadcast anywhere. Rhythm Mode is responsive and very fun to play with. I have included a short video that Robyn helped me make that demonstrates what Rhythm Mode can do and how it works.

Each of the panels is ‘patterned’ with its diodes divided into four sections in the block. This allows the light to disperse more evenly. The lights get bright, but not too bright. I actually found the brightness level to be just right for the panels. While installation is, in my opinion, not complicated, they are a little ‘trickier’ than the original Light Panels. This is because the connector ports are offset on the back of the squares. This means that you have to plan a little more carefully before placing the panels. The Nanoleaf app (available for Android and iOS) does have a Layout Assistant option that can provide a helpful diagram to you depending on your chosen layout.

I have one MAJOR word of caution. Plan your design carefully. Once the panels are stuck on the wall, they aren’t going to come off easily. I found this to be true with the original Light Panels when we decided to move the panels from one location to another in our office. Even though the adhesive strips being used are similar to Command Strips, they can still tear up a wall. Nanoleaf provides its own double-sided adhesive strips so that they are nearly invisible, but this also means that you can’t grab onto the tabs like you can with a Command Strip. I have found that if you get a thin gauge of fishing wire, that can help eliminate chunks of wall coming off with the adhesive, but it still leaves a mess to clean up. So, my advice is to find a design you like — take the time to plan it out! — and stick with it.


I feel as though Nanoleaf is trying to evolve its products with each release. The original Light Panels were pretty and provided a ‘smart’ way to have colorful light in a room. Now, they have taken the original product, made improvements on it, and are looking to find new ways to bring light products to homes. Even though there is a hefty expense involved with a decent sized installation, I think it’s worth it to add these remarkable panels into your home or office setting.

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Originally published at on September 27, 2019.



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