Nanoleaf is still closely associated with its signature light panels, but it’s now diving headlong into the ‘conventional’ smart lighting space dominated by the likes of Philips Hue. The company has introduced an Essentials line that includes its first bulb and lightstrip. They offer the multi-color lighting you’d expect, but they’re also the first home-oriented lights to work with Thread mesh networking for smart home devices — you just need a “border router” (even a speaker like the HomePod mini) to get a low-latency, reliable link between your bulbs without a dedicated hub or bridge.
They can also connect through Bluetooth if Thread isn’t an option. The A19-sized bulb is reportedly offers the brightest white lighting on the market with a peak 1,100 lumens and an average 806 lumens, while the lightstrip is available in an 80-inch cuttable length with 40-inch expansions that can extend a strip to nearly 33 feet. As you might guess, you can control any Essentials hardware with Nanoleaf’s app, Google Assistant or HomeKit.
The Essentials line will cost you $20 per bulb, $50 for the base lightstrip and $25 for a lightstrip expansion. They’ll initially be available solely through Apple’s online and retail stores. They won’t be the most affordable smart lights you can get, then, but the hub-free Thread approach might make them appealing if you’d rather not pay for a special box just to have your lights work in harmony.