Nanoleaf HomeKit bulbs get Thread border router support with latest update

Cupertino, August 18, 2021

Nanoleaf is releasing an update today that transforms its Shapes and Elements smart light panels into Thread border routers. That means faster performance and better connectivity, along with other benefits such as Thread being self-sustaining and self-healing.

HomePod mini was one of the first mainstream smart home products with Thread support. Now Nanoleaf is enhancing its HomeKit-enabled Shapes smart light panels and Elements smart light panels (via the included controllers) with Thread edge router support thanks to the latest software update.

Smart lighting pioneer Nanoleaf today announced the launch of their proprietary Thread Border Routers through the Nanoleaf Shapes and Elements Controllers. With the new Nanoleaf Border Router, Essentials devices will automatically start using the Thread network once their Shapes or Elements Controller is connected to Wi-Fi. iOS users can enjoy this update immediately and Android users will soon be able to update their Apps as well (currently in public beta on Android). This will eventually open up Thread capabilities to all users.


Related: Review: Nanoleaf Shapes offer fun and flexible HomeKit modular lighting


Devices that support Thread can be endpoints or routers, and as you'd guess, Nanoleaf turning its Shapes and Elements smart light panels into Thread edge routers offers the maximum benefit of the new peer-to-peer mesh smart home networking standard.

That also means Nanoleaf's Essential smart bulb and light strip will work with Thread even if you don't have a HomePod mini after this update - again, as long as you also have Shapes or Elements.

Here's how Nanoleaf explains the benefits:

The Thread Border Router feature is built into the Nanoleaf Shapes Controller, Nanoleaf Elements Controller, and eero line of mesh Wi-Fi routers that bridges the Wi-Fi network to a Thread network, eliminating the need for additional hubs. This will help connect all your Thread devices, forming a mesh network that allows each device to speak the same universal language. The result is a much more reliable network where devices can communicate with each other, rather than relying on a single connection source like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

If you are an existing Shapes/Elements customer, you can update the Nanoleaf app to version 6.1 to start using Thread now.

Existing users with a Shapes or Elements Controller can use Thread immediately with a software update currently available in the Nanoleaf App (version 6.1). To install the latest update, go to More > Firmware Updates. Essentials will need to be updated to version 1.6 and Shapes and Elements will need to be updated to version 6.1.

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