Nanoleaf has just rolled out their highly anticipated Thread Border Routers—a software update to the Controllers of their Shapes and Elements light panels. With this, smart home users can now take advantage of the benefits of Thread while remaining in the Nanoleaf ecosystem, and are no longer required to purchase additional Thread Border Router enabled products in order to use it. Following the release of their Essentials line of Thread-enabled smart Bulbs and Lightstrips in 2020, this update closes the loop of the company’s entry into this emerging mesh network protocol.
iOS users can enjoy this update immediately. On Android it is currently in public beta, with a full rollout coming very soon.
What is Thread?
Thread is a low latency low power mesh network protocol. You can use Thread to efficiently control all of your smart home products at once. It is similar to Bluetooth, but vastly superior. Comparing the experience of the two technologies, Thread is much faster and more reliable. It eliminates long wait times and dropped connections all while extending the control range and battery life of your devices.
What is a Thread Border Router?
Thread Border Router capabilities are built into different smart home devices like the HomePod mini, Apple TV 4k, and now your Nanoleaf Shapes and Elements Controllers. You need to have one of these devices within your home in order for you to use your Thread-enabled products. But what sets these apart from your standard smart home hub or bridge is that you only need one Thread Border Router to communicate with ALL of your Thread-enabled products, rather than having one designated hub per product or brand.
How does the Nanoleaf Thread Border Router work?
Nanoleaf’s Thread Border Router is built into the Controller of all Nanoleaf Shapes and Elements panels. So if you already have a set, you will now have access to these new capabilities without any additional purchases. While the panels themselves will continue to run on Wi-Fi, these Thread Border Routers will now allow you to control all of your other Thread enabled devices automatically.
And this does not only apply to the Nanoleaf Essentials line of Bulbs and Lightstrips. You can use the new Shapes and Elements Thread Border Routers to control ANY of your other Thread-enabled devices! Because Thread products all speak the same language, each additional Thread device in your home actually expands your Thread network, contributing to an improved reliability and range.
It also enables Cloud Control on your Essentials devices. This now lets you use integrations like Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, and Google Assistant with your Nanoleaf Bulbs and Lightstrips.
How do you activate this feature?
Existing Shapes or Elements users will be able to use Thread immediately on the latest firmware. Updating is quick and easy, and takes only a couple of minutes. To update, go to More > Firmware Updates.
Here are the minimum requirements:
Nanoleaf Shapes (6.1.1)
Nanoleaf Elements (6.1.1)
Essentials Bulbs and Lightstrips (1.6.8)
Nanoleaf Smarter Series App (6.1.0)
With this update you can now fully enjoy a fast and reliable smart home experience!
Learn more about Thread here.