Update March 29, 2023: As of now, the products are also available via the European online store (link).
Original news dated March 24, 2023:
The product merry-go-round is slowly picking up speed: Nanoleaf has begun pre-selling its first Matter-certified products in the US. The Essentials Matter Lightstrip and the Essentials Matter Smart Bulb can be pre-ordered from the company’s online store there (link). The two-meter LED strip costs around 50 US dollars, while the bulb with E26 socket is available for a twenty.
Nanoleaf is thus keeping its promise to bring the Matter lamps to market in the first quarter of 2023. At least almost: According to the website, delivery is to begin in April. Other models in the Essentials series, such as the BR 30 parabolic lamp and the spotlight with GU10 socket, will be available later this year.
At launch: compatible with Apple, Google and SmartThings
The new edition of the Essentials series was necessary because the first generation of devices could not simply be upgraded to Matter via a software update due to hardware limitations. Read more in the interview with Nanoleaf CEO Gimmy Chu.
Like their predecessors, the new models use the Thread protocol for their wireless connectivity. “We’re excited to not only launch our first Matter products, but to be the first company to offer Matter over Thread smart lighting,” Chu told the press (link). Thanks to the new standard, the light sources are no longer limited to Apple’s ecosystem. All it takes is one of the following Thread Border routers to get the lightstrip and bulb up and running:
- Apple HomePod mini
- Apple HomePod (2nd Generation with Thread)
- Apple Apple TV 4K (2nd and 3rd Generation with Thread)
- Google Nest Hub (2nd Generation)
- Google Nest Hub Max
- Google Nest Wifi Pro (Wi-Fi 6E)
- Samsung SmartThings Hub (3rd Generation, 2018)
- Aeotec Smart Home Hub for SmartThings
A Border Router establishes the connection to the home Wi-Fi or Ethernet network, which can then be used to control Essentials products as usual via smartphone and voice assistant. In the future, a growing number of devices will perform this task. Amazon, for example, has announced that it will equip some of its Echo speakers with the Border Router functionality. However, the necessary software update is still pending.
More than the standard provides
To differentiate itself from other manufacturers who also offer Matter light sources, Nanoleaf equips the products with extras in its app. For example, “Circadian Lighting” can be switched on, which adjusts the color temperature of the light to the course of the day. Similar functions already exist in other systems; Apple calls them “Adaptive Lighting”. However, this simulation of natural sunlight is not part of the manufacturer-independent Matter standard. Providers can implement it independently using their own software – and also reserve it for themselves.
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