Nanoleaf’s bold new wall panels are some of the best smart lights I’ve ever seen

Nanoleaf Shapes Ultra Black special edition
(Image credit: Future)

Nanoleaf just released a limited-edition set of wall panels, and they’re nothing like we’ve seen from the smart light savant before. To celebrate Nanoleaf’s 10-year anniversary, the company is selling a set of mountable light fixtures in black for the first time.

The Shapes Ultra Black Light Panels, which I had the chance to check out ahead of their launch today (July 14), function much like Nanoleaf Shapes or Nanoleaf Lines. They can be configured in the design of your choosing and create light shows based on the mood or music. They’re also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit, like many of the best smart home devices around.

The difference? The Shapes Ultra Black Light Panels come in all-black finish, from the small connectors and controller to the panels themselves. If you’re seen Nanoleaf’s products before, you’d know they almost exclusively come in a matte white finish (with the sole exception of Nanoleaf Elements.) 

Despite the black panel, the lights still shine through in an expanse of colors when the system is powered on. The effect is pretty magical. Then, when the lights are powered off, the panels look more like actual decor than the ones that come in Nanoleaf's typical finish.


♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

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I have the latest new Nanoleaf shape, Lines, set up in my bedroom in a lightsaber-like configuration, and it’s awesome. But the Ultra Black triangles seem perfect for a studio or the gaming setups I see on TikTok.

Many of the best gaming monitors, best gaming headsets and best gaming chairs come in dark finishes. With RGB illumination from gaming keyboards, custom-built PCs or other ornamental desk lighting, gaming setups can embody a futuristic, Cyberpunk-like vibe. Just from unboxing the Shapes, they seem to ooze “gamer.”

Fittingly, the launch of Nanoleaf’s new Shapes triangles in Ultra Black coincides with the company announcing a partnership with AbleGamers, a non-profit organization that supports gaming opportunities for people with disabilities.

Nanoleaf Shapes Ultra Black Light Panels — are they worth it?

Nanoleaf’s products tend to be pricey, and the new set is no different. The Nanoleaf Shapes Ultra Black Triangles Smarter Kit costs $219 for nine panels. An expansion pack with three more panels costs $69.

I always think Nanoleaf’s prices are a lot to spend on something ornamental, but if you’re going to get wall panels, I usually recommend the splurge. In my experience, the products are a breeze to set up, built to last and the most comprehensive I’ve seen from all the best smart lights in terms of features. There are more settings than you’ll ever use, plus the HomeKit integration comes in handy. Nanoleaf is also a member of the forthcoming Matter protocol.

Nanoleaf Shapes Ultra Black

(Image credit: Future)

Nanoleaf panels also make for some of the best TikTok lights, meaning they look great for creating content with mood lighting. Similarly, if you’re a streamer, the lights elevate any setup.

The Ultra Black Light Panels in particular are perhaps the most gamer-friendly option from Nanoleaf yet. Existing models already let you mirror the colors displayed on your gaming monitor to your lights with a feature called Screen Mirror, but the Immersive extension could look even cooler on this limited-edition set.

Again, the catch is that they're limited-edition, so if they've caught your eye like they've caught mine, you'll want to act fast.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.