A Step-By-Step Guide To Successfully Setting Up Your Nanoleaf Shapes Smarter Kit & Expansion Pack

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December 6, 2021 | 10 Min Read | By: Alyssa C.

*DING, DING, DING* Welcome to Nanoleaf Shapes 101, here you’ll learn all about setting up your Nanoleaf Shapes Smarter Kit and Expansion Pack! There are a few different panel options: Shapes come in Hexagons, Triangles, and Mini Triangles. So if you have any of these then you’re in the right spot.

Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagons smarter kit
Nanoleaf Shapes Triangles smarter kit
Nanoleaf Shapes Mini Triangles smarter kit

I’ll be taking you through a step-by-step guide addressing topics like:

If you’re ready, let’s get to it, starting by opening your Nanoleaf Shapes box—it’s important to familiarize yourself with what’s in it so you can follow along.

STEP 1: Unboxing Your Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagons, Triangles, and Mini Triangles

As I mentioned, it’s important to know and understand what you have in front of you! Depending on your region and the box you have, there will be different contents in your box.

Shapes Smarter Kits for Hexagons or Triangles

If you’re a first time user you need to start with a Smarter Kit, which will have:

  • • Light Panels
  • • Mounting Plates
  • • Mounting Tape
  • • Linkers
  • • A Controller
  • • A 42W Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Depending on your region, Hexagons and Triangles will come in packs of 5, 7, and 13 panels. Mini Triangles come in a pack of 5 panels.

Shapes Expansion Packs

If you’re looking to add to a Smarter Kit, an Expansion Pack is what you need. It’ll come with:

  • • Light Panels
  • • Mounting Plates
  • • Mounting Tape
  • • Linkers

Also, region-dependent, Hexagons and Triangles will come in packs of 3 and 20 panels. Mini Triangles come in packs of 10, 25, and 50 panels.

NOTE: For exact amounts of each item refer to the manual or the Hexagons, Triangles, or Mini Triangles unboxing videos.

STEP 2: Designing Your Shapes Layout

Now the fun and creative part, designing your unique layout! It’s important to plan your layout on a table before mounting it and plugging it into a power source to make sure all is good. Make sure your design fits into your space by measuring the width and height of your intended setup. For the best placement of your panels, please refer to Placement Recommendations. If you’re looking for inspiration, look at some of the layouts from the Nanoleaf team!

Check out these tools to help plan out your one-of-a-kind design:

Layout Assistant

Explore different panel layouts with the Layout Assistant and preview them in your room using the AR feature. Download the Nanoleaf App and open the Layout Assistant to get started.

Flex Linkers

Extend the possibilities of your Nanoleaf Shapes even further! Bend around corners, mount the panels to angled surfaces, maybe even create something a little radical. Each linker bends 360 degrees, available on the Nanoleaf Shop.

Design Inspiration

Get inspired by the Nanoleaf community, check out our Social Media channels to see what other Nanoleaf owners are creating, or explore the Nanoleaf Inspirations.

STEP 3: Mounting & Dismounting Your Panels

Okay, think you’re finally ready! But before you move onto the mounting step, here are some things to keep in mind when installing your Nanoleaf Shapes. Time to stick these panels on your wall, so listen closely.

Preparing Your Surface

The Nanoleaf Shapes should only be installed indoors and on a flat surface that can support the weight of the panels. Clean your surface to be free of dust, moisture, and oil.

PRO TIP: The included Mounting Tape is NOT recommended for textured, popcorn, and porous surfaces (ie. wallpaper or brick walls) or for use on ceilings of any texture. If you plan to use your panels on surfaces like these please, Screw Mount them in. See how here.

Preparing Your First Panel

Designate a panel from your setup as the starting panel. Attach all needed linkers before you attach any panel to the wall.

Connecting the Controller & Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Connect your Controller and PSU into available linker slots of the first panel. Plug the other end of the PSU into a power source to ensure that your setup is on and properly connected as you continue to connect your panels together. 

FUN FACTS: Each standard 42W PSU supports up to 21 hexagons (2W per panel), 28 Triangles, or 78 Mini Triangles. Each Controller supports up to 500 of any shape. The Controller and PSU can be connected to any panel. If you think you’re cutting it close, use this PSU calculator to find out if you have everything you need.

Mounting Your Panels

Placing mounting tape
Mounting

With a piece of tape, attach one adhesive side to the Mounting Plate at the back of the panel. Make sure to place it between the two holes on the plate, DO NOT cover them. To mount, position your panel on your surface and use your fist to apply strong pressure to the center while rubbing in a circular motion for 30s.

PRO TIP: Make sure to leave the end of the tape sticking out. This will allow you to safely remove them later from the wall.

Completing Your Shapes Setup

Attach all needed linkers before you mount the next panel to the wall. Continue to link each panel together and ensure that each panel lights up. Make sure the linkers are fully snapped onto the linker slot, the panels should be aligned edge to edge.

Do You Need to Dismount Your Shapes?

If for some reason you need to take your panels off your wall, I have the solution for you:

  • • Gently snap off the panel from the wall.
  • • The Mounting Plate will remain on the wall.
  • • With one hand on the Mounting Plate, use your other hand to pull the end of tape along the wall. Do not pull perpendicularly or at any other angle, otherwise, you may damage your wall.
  • • Do you want to put your panels back up? You can always get more mounting tape at the Nanoleaf Shop.

STEP 4: Pairing Shapes To Your Smart Device

Pairing for iOS Users

We’re almost ready to pair your Nanoleaf Shapes to your iOS device! To ensure a smooth pairing process, please make sure you have the following things ready:

  • • Your iOS device updated to iOS 12+
  • • The pairing code for Shapes can be found on your Welcome Card, Controller, or PSU.
  • • A 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Network (5 GHz networks are not compatible with Nanoleaf products)
  • • Your Shapes are plugged in and powered on—the controller is ready when the Status LED is solid white.

Let’s get to pairing:

  1. Download and Open the Nanoleaf App. You can find the official Nanoleaf Smarter Series App in the App Store. Make sure you have the latest version.
  2. Now in the Nanoleaf App select the MORE tab represented by the 3 dots (· · ·).
  3. Select MY DEVICES and + to add a device.
  4. Select SHAPES as your product and START PAIRING. If you have more than one set of panels connected to your network, select the magnifying glass to identify the correct setup (it will flash green).
  5. Once identified and selected, the camera will open.
  6. Scan your pairing code to pair.
  7. Your Nanoleaf Shapes should now be connected and ready to go!

See the Nanoleaf Shapes manual for additional iOS pairing methods and to learn how to connect more than one user to the same layout.

Pairing for Android Users

Now it’s your turn Android users, please make sure you have the following things ready:

  • • Your iOS device updated to iOS 12+
  • • The pairing code for Shapes can be found on your Welcome Card, Controller, or PSU.
  • • A 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Network (5 GHz networks are not compatible with Nanoleaf products)
  • • Your Shapes are plugged in and powered on—the controller is ready when the Status LED is solid white.

Time to pair:

  1. Download and open the Nanoleaf App. You can find the official Nanoleaf Smarter Series App in the Google Play Store. Make sure you have the latest version.
  2. Ensure your location settings are enabled on your device.
  3. Now in the Nanoleaf App select the MORE tab represented by the 3 dots (· · ·).
  4. Select MY DEVICES and + to add a device.
  5. Select SHAPES as your product and pair with QR Code by scanning the code in the Quick Start Guide, Controller, or Power Supply Unit.

See the Nanoleaf Shapes manual for additional Android pairing methods.

STEP 5: Controlling Nanoleaf Shapes

I know I said that designing your layout was the fun part but I think this one tops it. This is the part where you learn about all of the cool and different ways to control and enjoy your Nanoleaf Shapes. So let’s jump right in!

Controller

The Controller is the brain of the Nanoleaf Shapes! The Controller can be attached to any available linker slot in your layout. On it, you’ll see touch control buttons that can provide convenient shortcuts to common commands.

  • Power ON/OFF Button: Easy peasy, turn your Shapes on or off.
  • Dim/Brighten Button: Adjust the brightness of your lights to match the mood in the room.
  • Next Color Scene Button: With one quick click, cycle through Default or saved Color Scenes.
  • Shuffle Button: The Controller comes with dozens of preloaded Scenes, using the shuffle button to cycle through them. Hold the Shuffle button to return to a previous random Scene.
  • Rhythm Scene Button: The built-in Rhythm Music Visualizer is a pretty cool feature if I may say so myself. Turn up your go-to playlists and watch in awe as the lights dance to the melody in real-time. With a click on the music button, cycle through Default or Saved Rhythm Scenes which will react to your favorite songs.

Advanced Button Controls

You can also use the Controller’s touch buttons for advanced commands—most commands can be executed by holding buttons, or tapping two buttons at once. Here’s a full list of shortcuts:

Return to previously random Scene (Hold the Shuffle button for 3s)
This will return you to one of the last 5 loaded Scenes at random. A flash of yellow on the panels will indicate that you are at the end of your browsing history.

Save a Current Scene (Hold the Next Color Scene button for 3s while using the Scene)
Try this shortcut when you want to save a Scene you like while using the panels (assuming it’s not already saved).

Activate White Lighting Mode (Tap the Dim & Brighten Buttons together once)
Cycle through a great selection of preset white light modes: Warm White (2700K), Reading Light (4000K), and Daylight White (5000K).

Activate Power Diagnostic Mode (Hold the Dim & Brighten Buttons together for 5s)
This mode helps you place additional power supplies to optimize your Nanoleaf Shapes system (so you have the best possible experience. Having more than 20 panels connected to your Controller will enable or disable Power Diagnostic Mode. 

Pair a Remote or Third-Party App (Hold the Power button for 3s)
Try this shortcut to open a 30s window to pair.

Activate Wi-Fi Hotspot Mode (Hold the Power and Rhythm buttons for 30s)
This mode allows your Controller to act as a local network hotspot without an Internet connection. When this mode is active, you can use the Nanoleaf App to operate your Nanoleaf Shapes without needing a router or access point.

NOTE: During Wi-Fi Hotspot Mode, your Controller will not be able to download firmware updates. The Discover content from the community will also be unavailable.

Touch Feature

The Touch features are pretty cool! Touch Actions allow every panel to become a large smart button that you can interact with—allowing for the most seamless control of your entire smart home. With as little as a single press on a panel, activate HomeKit Scenes to control any or all of your HomeKit products at once (see it in action).

Touch Gestures can also be used to change brightness, Scenes, or to turn your Shapes on and off. Find more about this function here.

The Nanoleaf App

Nanoleaf App with Shapes

Turn your lighting on and off, control brightness, group lights by home and by room, create and use Scenes, and much more.

  • Dashboard: Choose an existing Scene or create your own (Static, Dynamic, Rhythm, Group, Layered). You can also use the Paint Tool to color panels individually.
  • Explore: Find helpful information including tutorials and new device features.
  • Discover: Find and download new Scenes created by the Nanoleaf community. Learn everything you need to know about Nanoleaf Scenes.
  • Schedules: Automate your Scenes to turn on or off, see the different ways to easily plan your schedule.

Nanoleaf Desktop App

With the Nanoleaf Desktop App, control your Panels from your computer. Create and download new Scenes, set Schedules right from your computer, and try the Screen Mirror feature—reflects your PC’s on-screen colors to your lights. The Desktop App was designed to simplify the management of larger installations and offer control of many different layouts at once.

Voice Control

It’s time for your Tony Stark moment!!

Nanoleaf Shapes with Apple HomePod mini

Easily control your Panels by voice in a few different ways. In the Nanoleaf App, make sure to name your panels something easy to say.

Hey Siri…

“Turn [Device Name] on/off.”

“Set [Device Name] to 10% brightness.”

“Set [Device Name] to [Scene Name]”

“Brighten/dim the lights to [%].”

“Set [Device Name] to [Color].”

“Set [Scene Name].”

“Brighten/dim the lights.”

Okay Google…

“Turn on [Device Name or Scene Name].” “Turn on/off the lights in [Room Name].” “Turn on/off all my lights.”

“Turn off [Device Name].”

“Brighten/dim [Device Name].”

“Brighten/dim the lights in [Room Name].” “Brighten/dim all my lights.”

“Set [Device Name] to [%].”

“Set [Device Name] to [Color].”

Alexa…

“Turn on [Device Name or Scene Name].” “Turn off [Device Name].”

“Brighten/dim [Device Name].”

“Set [Device Name] to [%] brightness.” “Set [Device Name] to [Color].”

Class is officially out of session! Now get to playing with your Nanoleaf Shapes! If you’re looking for some fun features, check out this blog about some of the favorite features from the Nanoleaf team.

Nanoleaf Shapes with screen mirror in a living room

Share with us how your Nanoleaf Shapes set up experience went! Also, find us on Instagram @nanoleaf, Twitter @nanoleaf, or Facebook @thenanoleaf and join the Nanoleaf Community.

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