Special credit to Benjamin L., Faisal A., and Aliakbar E. from the Nanoleaf Research & Development team.
Are you a tech-savvy coder and a fan of Nanoleaf smart lighting products? Well if you answered yes to both of those questions then Nanoleaf’s Open API is perfect for you…that’s right we have an Open API and it works with Nanoleaf Shapes, Canvas, Elements, Lines, and Light Panels!
With some help from the Research and Development team here at Nanoleaf, we’re going to explore Nanoleaf’s Open API. By the end you’ll have answers to 3 main questions which should be enough to help you get started:
1) What is the Nanoleaf Open API?
2) What do users need to know in order to successfully use it?
3) What are some of the awesome ways the Open API can be used with your smart lights?
Defining An Open API
Chances are if you’re a tech-savvy coder, you likely know what an Open API is but it doesn’t hurt to explain it so everyone is caught up!
First, API stands for “application programming interface” so an Open API is a publicly available application programming interface. In the case of Nanoleaf products the Nanoleaf Open API specifically allows for third-party developers (such as yourself) to extend your experience and allow you to integrate the Nanoleaf Smarter Decor with third-party devices and services, as well as enable more control of the hardware.
The Nanoleaf Open API is really neat because it encourages community members to get creative. For example, you can adjust how your Nanoleaf light panels/bars read information like space, time, or even the weather outside and program them to represent that information in new and exciting ways. So developers can really play with these flexible aspects to create a unique experience.
Getting Started On Nanoleaf’s Open API
Now I know you may want to jump right in but there are a few things to keep in mind before using the Nanoleaf Open API:
☑️ You’ll need to have an understanding of code and how to work with REST API’s. You can perform simple tasks that don’t really require coding like turning on a Scene but we already give you the tools to do that in the Nanoleaf Mobile and Desktop Apps. So you may as well go all in and get creative with it!
☑️ The Nanoleaf Open API is local so you’ll need to be using it over the same Wi-Fi Network as your Nanoleaf light panels/bars.
☑️ To access the Nanoleaf Open API documentation you can log in to the developer forum here. You’ll need to log in using a Nanoleaf Cloud account. If you have the Nanoleaf App, you may have already created one, if not don’t worry you can create one now!
☑️ When you log into the Nanoleaf developer forum you’ll instantly have access to a community feedback forum and board to suggest features, but to access the Open API documentation you’ll need to opt-in for the Nanoleaf Developer Program. This will grant you access to developer topics on the forum.
Once you’ve checked all those boxes you are ready to begin building a Nanoleaf experience that’s truly your own, but where to begin? 🤔
Uses For The Nanoleaf Open API
There’s a lot you can do with the Nanoleaf Open API. You may be interested to know that some of the features and integrations we know and love today got their start on the Nanoleaf Open API. The inspiration for the Screen Mirror feature came from an external streaming command and then our current desktop app was built around this Screen Mirror feature. Our Razer, Flic, and Portal integrations actually all work over the Open API as well (pretty cool)!
Here are some of the other awesome (unofficial) features you can build with complex commands in the Nanoleaf Open API:
• Turn your Nanoleaf layout into a gamepad, MIDI controller, a giant keyboard, and even use it to switch between channels on Discord using touch data stream. Touch Data Stream allows you to get real-time touch data from our devices to use for whatever your heart desires (Shapes, Canvas, and Elements only).
• Make your Nanoleaf lights match your gaming rig! Integrate with a hardware monitoring plugin and set the color of your Nanoleaf lights so they align with the CPU/GPU temperature on your gaming rig.
• Design completely custom animations for your specific layout. Use Custom Effects to run frame-by-frame animations or the External Control Effect Mode to stream color data in real-time.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, the possibilities are endless and we’re so excited to see what you come up with. Who knows…it could be the next big thing!
Do you have any other burning questions about the Nanoleaf Open API? Ask away, we’d love to help! Also find us on Instagram @Nanoleaf, Twitter @Nanoleaf, or Facebook @theNanoleaf and join the Nanoleaf Community.