Nanoleaf String Lights

Smart lights are one of the best investments you can make for your home. They let you turn lights on and off with voice commands and even change the colour of the light itself. This flexibility helps set the mood for movie night, hosting parties, and late night gaming sessions. Today, I’m taking smart lighting outdoors to the next level with a new, innovative product.

I’m reviewing the Nanoleaf Matter smart multicolor outdoor string lights. This is a 15m (49 ft.) multicoloured outdoor string light with 20 LED bulbs. Best of all, it reacts to the beat of music. Could this be the missing piece in your outdoor space? I just happen to have the perfect covered outdoor backyard patio in need of a lighting makeover. So let’s get started.  

Specs: Nanoleaf Matter string lights

  •     1,100 lumen with over 16 million colour options
  •     Matter-enabled, connects with Apple Home, Google Home, Amazon Alexa 
  •     Attached in-line controller to power on, adjust brightness, and cycle scenes
  •     Expansion packs up to a maximum of 45m (147ft.)
Nanoleaf Matter outdoor string lights

Design of the Nanoleaf Matter string lights

At first glance, the Nanoleaf Matter outdoor string lights look like any string lights. There are 20 LED bulbs spanning every two feet on the string line. At one end is a 6.5 ft. power cord followed by a controller module. It has four buttons: Power, Next Scene, Brightness Up, Brightness Down. After that, the first of 20 LED bulbs hang down across the string line every two feet. Above each bulb is a hook to mount the light onto a surface.  

The LED bulb itself looks like glass, but it is made from a hard plastic. It has a classic gem design that gives it an elegant, classy look. Each bulb provides 55 lumen for a total of 1,100 lumen across the entire string light. Strands can be connected together to a maximum length of 147 feet. The lights have IP65 water resistance while the controller has an IP67 rating. Therefore, it can be used outdoors all year. 

Nanoleaf String Lights

Setting up the Nanoleaf outdoor string lights

The string lights setup happens on the Nanoleaf app. The app instructed me to scan a QR code on the Quick Start Guide. From there, I followed the app instructions to complete the setup. Next, I updated the firmware in the device settings menu. Once that was completed, I was able to turn the lights on and off in the app, select scenes, and change colours. 

I then connected the string lights to Matter. Since I have a Google speaker on my deck, I connected it to Google Home. Now I can turn the lights on and off with voice commands. This is normally how I control all my other smart lights. 

Mounting options

There are three ways to mount the Nanoleaf Matter string lights. One is by screwing in each light to a surface. Simply, ensure the screw will fit in between the mounting hole. (This is the option I chose.) The second way is running a string line though each of the mounting holes. The lights will sag down off the line for a decorative look. The last mounting option is to use a hook for the mounting hole. Ensure the hook is drilled into a surface before attaching the string light. 

Installing the Nanoleaf Matter smart multicolour outdoor string lights

I have a covered backyard deck in need of a lighting makeover. The first task was determining how I wanted to run the string lights. I had three power outlets to choose from. My priority was to position it in a way where the controller was placed in a convenient and accessible place. 

After choosing a power source, I ran the string line under the rafters. I used screws to fasten it to the rafters. Once I ran the entire line, I was ready to turn it on.  

Nanoleaf Matter smart multicolor string lights installed on a patio

Using the Nanoleaf Matter smart string lights

Once it got dark, I was ready to test the lights out. First, I tried white light options. I was surprised at just how bright the lights were. The entire back deck was illuminated. I then selected a more yellow light to simulate traditional string lights. Again, at maximum brightness, the lighting was spectacular.

Next was to try RGB colours. Again, it was incredibly bright through all the popular colours. Personally, I think purple is the best colour to use for outdoor lights. It’s bright, not hard on the eyes, and looks cool. In the Nanoleaf app, I cycled through some of the scenes. This takes everything to the next level. I choose one of the scenes that reacts to music. Then, I played music off my Google Deck speaker. Instantly, my backyard deck looked like a club. The lights matched the beat of music. Needless to say, these lights provide a lot of lighting flexibility depending on the mood. 

What I like about the Nanoleaf Matter string lights

These lights are incredibly easy to install and set up. And, they are incredibly bright and expandable. It’s rugged yet elegant design makes it perfectly suitable for an outdoor space year-round. With Matter integration, it’s super easy to setup and control these lights with voice commands. You can BBQ and turn the lights on and change colours hands-free. Your friends will be impressed. 

What I don’t like about the Nanoleaf Matter string lights

If I had it my way, the controller would be wireless and rechargeable. If you want to use the controller often, it has to be accessible. That means, you almost have to work back from where you want the controller. That of course, will be based on the available power source. It would be much better if you could mount the controller and have it connect to the lights wirelessly.  

Another issue is a slight delay in the app. When I select a scene, it takes a couple of seconds before the lights switch. This is likely due to the Wi-Fi connectivity between the lights and the app. I wish it was a little faster, but that is not a deal breaker for me. Hopefully in a future update, that issue will be resolved.

Nanoleaf Matter smart multicolour string lights turned on

Who are these string lights for?

Anyone with an outdoor space that requires lighting should consider the Nanoleaf Matter smart multicolour outdoor string lights. If you need traditional lighting, it can do that. If you want to really set the mood with funky colours and scenes, it can do that too. It’s something that will certainly impress your friends. The effect of outdoor mood lighting with smart lights is powerful. I see it all the time in restaurants with outdoor patios. Now you can bring that same experience to your home with hands-free, voice activated control.

If you’re ready to make your outdoor space smart, then I highly recommend you try out the Nanoleaf Matter smart multicolour outdoor string lights, available at Best Buy.

Andy Baryer
Andy Baryer aka “Handy Andy” is a technology journalist, gadget reviewer, and DIY/how-to content creator. Known as the handyman of tech, Andy enjoys fixing poor wireless networks, building smart homes, and cooking with the latest kitchen gadgets. He’s a competitive whistler, a budding woodworker, and loves gardening in his home-built smart garden.


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