The world of smart home lighting is getting more and more crowded. HomeKit-enabled products are popping up left and right, but that’s not always a bad thing. There are plenty of great options out there now, and Nanoleaf is one of them. Today, we’ll be looking at the newest addition to their lineup: the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 Smart Bulb! If you only read one thing about this review, know this: It’s one of the only HomeKit bulbs with Thread support.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
Why HomeKit bulbs?
There are two ways to have HomeKit lighting at your house. The first is with an outlet adapter connected to a lamp. The second is with dedicated HomeKit bulbs like the Nanoleaf Essentials A19. These are great for lamps, but they also fit in overhead lighting as well. Another question people often have (especially non-9to5Mac readers) is “Why HomeKit?” The benefit of HomeKit bulbs is that they can be controlled with Siri, controlled from the Home app and placed into scenes, and controlled by other HomeKit accessories. For example, you can have a scene turn on all the lights in your house when you arrive home or trigger them to start flashing when an alarm goes off.
Nanoleaf Essentials A19 specs
The Nanoleaf Essentials A19 HomeKit bulb has a maximum power draw of 9 watts and a color temperature of 2700 to 6500K. It includes countless color options with over 16 million possibilities. It’s also dimmable, with a range from 800 to 3200 color temperature. Its life span is 25,000 hours, which means that if you keep it on for 14 hours a day, it will last for about 11 years.
It works with other HomeKit devices, including Nanoleaf Light Panels and the Nanoleaf Remote. It also has Thread support, which means you can connect it to other devices that use Thread technology to create a faster and more reliable HomeKit environment.
What is Thread and why does it matter?
Thread is a home automation protocol that’s designed for products like light bulbs, thermostats, and doorbells. It’s a mesh network that allows devices to communicate with each other, so you end up with a more reliable network. Thread is a protocol (think HTTP) versus a platform (Alexa, HomeKit, Google Assistant, etc.).
Thread is a mesh network where the devices on the network can talk to each other independently of a bridge or centralized hub (single point of failure). Even more so, they can relay messages to other devices on the network, sharing them so they reach some devices otherwise inaccessible due to range, walls, or other factors that would typically reduce coverage. A Thread network also contains a self-healing feature where the network can reorganize if some devices disconnect from the network.
The Thread network consists of two types of roles: routers and endpoints. One thing to note is that if a device is capable of routing on a Thread network, it can also act as an endpoint, depending on the current network situation and demands. Each device on a Thread network is called a node.
Router nodes can route data packets around the network to complete operations. A Thread Router node might include endpoints as well. Powered Thread accessories that are always on, such as Eve Energy, can act as routers within your Thread network and relay data packets. Thread endpoint nodes are the ones that are attached to a router node and are not participating in the packet routing and can still send and receive packets.
Overall, it might sound complicated, but the goal is to dramatically simplify and streamline smart home operations in a vendor-neutral way.
Onboarding Nanoleaf Essentials A19 bulb to HomeKit
The Nanoleaf Essentials A19 HomeKit bulb includes a HomeKit bulb screen printed on the device, so you’ll never need to worry about losing it. Screw it into a light socket, turn it on, and scan the code. It’ll quickly appear in HomeKit as a light – ready for automation, scenes, or simply using it with Siri. From a physical appearance, it’s one of my favorite HomeKit bulbs to date.
Wrap up on Nanoleaf Essentials A19
For a HomeKit bulb under $20, the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 bulb is an incredible value. It works natively with HomeKit, supports Thread, and contains countless color options. If you’re looking to outfit your house with HomeKit bulbs, you should definitely consider this great option from Nanoleaf. It can be purchased from Amazon or directly from Nanoleaf.
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