Best smart LED wall lights: Nanoleaf isn’t the only option

The best smart wall lights I’ve found are the Nanoleaf Shapes LED lights. They have a long list of special features and can integrate with several smart home platforms. However, if you don’t need all the special features, it may not be necessary to pay the premium price of the Nanoleaf. Smart wall lights from other companies like Govee and Cololight are less expensive and may work perfectly well for your needs.

After doing some research I’ve narrowed the list down to four different hexagon lights which all have their own positives and negatives. Continue reading to learn more about what makes the best smart LED wall light.

Best Wall Lights – Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagon LED Lights

Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagons WiFi and Thread Smart RGBW 16M+ Color LED Dimmable Gaming and Home Decor Wall Lights Smarter Kit (7 Pack)
  • Truly Customizable Smart Lighting: Create your own completely unique layouts with modular panels. Big, small, or HUGE; linear, geometric, or totally abstract—the choice is yours! Use Hexagons, Triangles, or Mini Triangles on their own, or mix and match the different shapes with Connect+ technology for endless design combinations
  • See Your Music Come to Life: Transform your favorite songs into a music festival light show in your own home. Try the Pop Rocks Rhythm Scene and watch your lights dance to the beat
  • Sync Your Lights with Screen Mirror: Get in on the action with the Nanoleaf Screen Mirror feature. Sync your lights to the colors from your gameplay for an immersive experience unlike anything you’ve seen before
  • Simple Setup: Attach your panels to a smooth surface with the included double-sided Mounting Tape.
  • Sync color Scenes with Razer Chroma devices

Nanoleaf Shapes hexagon LED lights are the best smart wall lights overall. These smart lights are controlled through the Nanoleaf app, which gives users a range of color sequences and mood lighting to choose from, as well as extra personalization options like scheduling, playlists and music syncing. The Nanoleaf app allows you to connect your lights directly to numerous smart home systems like Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit and IFTTT.

What I like 

  • Nanoleaf not only connects to Alexa and Google Assistant but is also the only product on this list that works with IFTTT and Apple Homekit. This is great news if you’re an Apple user who wants better smart home integration.
  • Nanoleaf produces a variety of shapes including triangles and mini-triangles which are compatible and connect directly to the hexagon lights. This is fantastic because it lets you build your own DIY displays and pictures by combining different shapes. However, the Nanoleaf Lines and Nanoleaf Rhythm Edition are not directly compatible with the Nanoleaf Shapes series.
  • Nanoleaf smart lights are some of the largest and thinnest LED wall lights you’ll find. The hexagons measure 8.25” wide by 9.5” tall and only 0.4” thick. Other Nanoleaf shapes like triangles and circles are similarly large and thin. 
  • The lights are RGBW, which means the LED not only displays colors but can also blend the colors with white light. This means Nanoleaf’s lights produce a range of 16 million different color combinations. 
  • The Nanoleaf shapes can be controlled simply by touching them. The “touch sensitivity” feature means that in addition to remote control, you can tap the lights to activate them or see a color change response. 

What I don’t like

  • The hexagons have rounded corners and are set against a flat white backing material. The white material creates gaps between colored panels and can be unattractive when the lights aren’t on. Nanoleaf’s other shapes are also designed with these rounded corners. 
  • Some customers report their Nanoleaf lights falling off the wall. The mounting you get with your purchase consists of a double-sided tape which may not be reliable on all wall surfaces and all humidity levels. 

Verdict

Ultimately, Nanoleaf smart lights are the most popular LED wall lights for a reason. The large surface area is great for decoration and light displays, and the touch sensitivity is an added bonus. The compatibility between the hexagons and other shapes is another feature that sets Nanoleaf apart. If you don’t mind paying a little more for extra quality, Nanoleaf lights are the best choice overall. 

Best Display Quality – Govee Hexagon Light Panels 

Govee Glide Hexa Light Panels, RGBIC LED Hexagon Wall Lights, Wi-Fi Smart Home Decor Creative Lights with Music Sync, Works with Alexa Google Assistant for Living Room, Bedroom, Gaming Rooms,10 Pack
  • Customize Your Home Aesthetics: Design your hexagon light panels layout or choose from massive recommended designs in the App. Create a personalized lighting with inspiration for your room. Suitable for New Year gift and gamer gifts.
  • Unique RGBIC: Each edge has different light colors to produce more effects like ultra-smooth flowing or gradient color between wall panels. The translucent back shell design can shine onto the wall to make extra layering light for New Year decor.
  • Visualize Your Songs: 6 kinds of Music Sync Modes make every lights panels dance to the rhythm. Turn your favorite songs into a symphony of flowing light and make you enjoy the fantastic moment.
  • Rich Animated Effects: Select from animated multicolor scene effects based on nature, holidays, and more. Govee Home App intelligently recognizes the position of hexagon lights for seamlessly flowing rainbow-like effects across your entire design.
  • Smart App & Voice Controls: Experience in-depth features via Govee Home App including Music & Scene modes, daily scheduling, and sharing user-made effects. Works with Alexa & Google Assistant for hands-free control of colors, brightness, and effects.

Govee hexagon light panels are another great choice for smart wall lights, and arguably have the best LED display quality. The lights are controlled with the GoveeHome app and can be connected to your Alexa or Google Assistant for smart home integration.

The lights have many dynamic settings and modes like mood lighting, rainbow gradients and six different music sync options. If you want to brighten up your gaming setup, bedroom, or office, Govee LED wall light panels are a great choice.  

What I Like 

  • Govee wall light panels are fairly large, measuring 7” wide by 7” high and 0.67” thick. However, they are still a bit smaller than the Nanoleaf Hexagons.
  • The panels are raised about half an inch off the surface of the wall, allowing the light to spread farther. This backlight effect is good for diffuse light and makes color changes and light patterns more visible. 
  • The use of an RGBIC or “independent chip” means each light panel can display multiple colors at once. This creates smoother color transitions and an enhanced color profile.
  • The lights utilize a two-part hanging system where a fixture is attached to the wall with adhesive, and the LED panel is slotted in from above and held in place by gravity. This means you can easily hang the light panels on your walls without worrying about them falling off, or stripping paint or drywall if you have to remove them later. This is one of the most common complaints about competitor Nanoleaf’s LED wall light panels. Govee’s hexagon wall lights are each about a pound lighter than their Nanoleaf equivalent.  

What I Don’t Like 

  • Although Govee sells hexagons, triangles and circular wall lights, there’s no compatibility between different light panel shapes. This means you won’t be able to connect different shapes into a single display, a feature Nanoleaf light panels have. 
  • These lights are not outrageously priced but still on the expensive side for what you get. And if you want more than the standard 7 light panels, you’ll need to pay for an expansion pack.  
  • There’s no touch sensitivity, so you won’t be able to turn these on and off or interact by tapping the lights. Again, this is a “premium” feature that is available on the Nanoleaf panels.

Verdict 

At first glance, you might think Govee smart lights are identical to other LED panels in the same price range. However, they have a few standout features that make them worth a second look. The RGBIC and backlight function gives them noticeably brighter, richer colors. And the gliding lock system means you won’t have to deal with the lights falling off your wall.  

Overall, Govee hexagon light panels hold their own against competitor LED wall lights like Nanoleaf, and have superior color and display quality.

Best Mini Panels – Cololight Hexagon Wall Lights 

Cololight RGB Light for Gaming PC Setup, USB-Power Gaming Lights, Sync Music Hexagon Wall Lights with 70 Effects, Desk&Wall Multi-Use, Work with Alexa&Google 10pcs PRO
  • ✅【SMART CONTROLL】: Cololight Pro hexagon lights can work with Alexa, Google Assistant, Stream desk and Razer Synapse 3(not support Homekit). You can control the light panels anywhere anytime anything with your voice, like color, brightness, time setting.
  • ✅【DANCE WITH MUSIC】 : Cololight hexagon led lights have built-in pickup modules that pick up audio and make the entire room light respond to sound. Own our RGB wall lights and No need to worry about the light monotonous uninteresting.
  • ✅【BREATHTAKING LIGHT EFFECTS】 : Winner of the CES 2019 Innovation Award. Each hexagon light panel with 19 light beads can Customize 16M Colors, over 70 Dynamic Effect, Brightness & change speed via Cololight APP. Even can independent control each beads to create unique light effects.
  • ✅【CUSTOMIZE ROOM DECORATION】: Use Cololight hexagon lights panels to set up your favorite shape, and through the wall kit to install our gaming lights on the wall or use base on the table as night lights. Cololight hexagon light in any order you want for a shape that’s truly your own style.
  • ✅【QUALITY & PACKING】: 365 days quality guaranteed, contact us via Amazon if you have any question with our RGB lamps.What in the box? Light panel*10;Connector*9;Cololight PRO Controller*1;Base*1;Fixator*8;Wall Kit*1.

Cololight hexagon wall lights are the best LED wall light panels for a mid-range budget. These hexagon light panels are much smaller and thicker than the premium brands. They are only 3.3” wide, 2.9” tall, but are over 1” thick. Once assembled, the lights are controlled remotely using the Cololight app. The lights work with smart home systems like Alexa and Google Assistant for voice activation and other features. 

Using the app, you can choose from different patterns, changing sequences and music sync options. The app also provides easy-to-follow suggestions for how to make patterns with the hexagons. 

What I like 

  • Cololight hexagon panels come with the option for a plastic base with rubber feet. Rather than hanging the lights on a wall, you can use the base which turns the display into a lamp.
  • 19 LED beads inside every light create a uniform soft glow. Using many small bulbs distributed throughout the light prevents bright or dark spots from showing through the plastic like on some cheaper LED lights.
  • The lights are powered by a regular USB cable, which makes it easy to replace if you lose the original one. 

What I Don’t like

  • Although Cololight also produces triangle and circle lights, there’s no cross-compatibility. 
  • The Cololight app requires WiFi to connect to the lights and there’s no bluetooth accessibility. Some users also report issues connecting to the device and controlling it through the app. 
  • There’s no touch sensitivity, so you won’t be able to turn these on and off or interact by tapping the lights.

Verdict

Although you’re sacrificing some smart features and display quality, Cololight hexagon wall lights are still reliable LED wall lights. The optional base feature combined with the soft glowing color is great for turning the lights into a bedside lamp, nightlight or desk display.

Budget Option – Yescom Hexagon LED Lights

Yescom APP Control Hexagon LED Lights 10 Pack WiFi Wall Hex Light Gaming Room Bedroom Decor Work with Alexa Google
  • [Smart Control]: Intelligent hexagon lights can work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant & Razer Synapse 3, you can customise your mode via smartphone for colors & brightness changing, even for time…
  • [Fantastic Function]: Up to 16 million colors & 70 dynamic effect for ultra-smooth flowing and gradient color; Music sync mode can make each light dance to the songs rhythm, bring you an immersive…
  • [Creative Decoration]: Honeycomb structure for seamless connection, you can create a personalized lighting shape for gaming room, living room, bedroom and other wall decoration artwork
  • [Portable Design]: Come with base to stand alone, lightweight for portable carrying to outdoor party, wedding, camping and more places, it’s a perfect ambient light for tent & rv; Increasing family…
  • [Reliable Quality]: Lifespan up to 20,000 hours, CE, RoHs, FCC Certification & 1-year warranty for quality guaranteed, ensure to give you the best using experience

A decent budget option for smart wall lights are the Yescom hexagon LED lights. These are a similar size to the Cololight panels, and can be secured to the wall or mounted to the included base to make a freestanding lamp-like piece. The lights are controlled through the Yescom app using a WiFi signal or bluetooth. After setup is complete the lights can be connected to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for smart home functionality. As with other smart lights, the Yescom app gives you plenty of options for pre-programmed light sequences, music syncing and DIY light patterns.

What I like 

Price is the big reason to like this option from Yescom. Size-wise, they are basically the same as the Cololight lights, so any price comparison should be made with the Cololight product.

  • The smaller size means you can power more lights through a single power source. And the app allows you to create custom sequences for the light displays you build.
  • Yescom hexagon lights come with the option for a base which turns the lights into a freestanding lamp. 

What I Don’t like

  • The plastic wall mounts are secure but require you to drill a hole to hang them.
  • Yescom light panels have the most complaints about trouble connecting and controlling the lights out of all the products reviewed.
  • Customers also have complaints about low sound sensitivity, poor app UX and shoddy power connections between the individual panels which lose power if bumped or jostled.
  • Other than the on/off switch on the lamp base, there’s no touch sensitivity on Yescom lights.

Verdict

Yescom hexagon LED lights are one of the cheapest available wall light systems, and unfortunately that shows in the final product. Once installed, they can fulfill their basic role as remote-operated wall lights or decorations. But that assumes you can get them to reliably connect to the app and continue working. If you want to buy some cheap lights to experiment with smart functions or custom light displays, these might be a good choice.

Buying Guide

Panel size

Make sure you have an idea of the size of the space you want to fill with your lights. Then, pay attention to the size of each panel as described in the product specifications. The images that manufacturers use on their product pages don’t always do a great job of showing the absolute size of the panels. It seems to me that the some of the makers of the smaller panels deliberately don’t show images that clearly show the size of the panels. They hope that you will think they are all basically the same size, then choose their smaller panel since it’s so much cheaper.

Nanoleaf Shapes hexagon LED lights are the largest smart lights in this list at 8.25” wide by 9.5” tall and only 0.4” thick. Govee hexagon light panels are the second largest, measuring 7” wide by 7” high and 0.67” thick. Cololight hexagon wall lights and Yescom hexagon LED lights are smaller, both measuring about 3.4” wide, 2.9” tall and 1.2” thick. 

To keep the comparison fair, I’m using the hexagon shape variety for all four brands. Nanoleaf, Govee and Cololight also produce other shaped wall lights, while Yescom does not. 

Touch activation

The only lights with true touch sensitivity and feedback are the Nanoleaf Shapes hexagon lights. However the optional base for Yescom and Cololight includes a physical on/off switch.

Color and light quality

Govee hexagon light panels have the best color and light quality out of all the brands listed. The independent chip and elevated backlight makes these lights more visible than premium competitor Nanoleaf. However, Nanoleaf’s lights are a close second, using an RGBW chip that produces similar color quality and transitions.

Sync with sound and media

One of the most popular things people use their LED wall lights for is to enhance their media experience.

All four brands of smart light panels are capable of syncing with music using their app. The Nanoleaf app provides additional media-related options like scheduling and syncing the lights to set playlists. However Govee provides many different kinds of music sync responses, ranging from fast and rhythmic to slower, smoother color changes.

Mounting method

These LED panels are fastened to the wall by either using an adhesive or drilling a hole and screwing in some screws. Both methods will typically work fine, but some special situations may be better suited for one or the other. For example, if you plan to hang your lights on a brick wall, you probably won’t have much success getting an adhesive to stick.

The best mounting method is probably the Govee hexagon light panels, which use a two part system that sticks to the wall with adhesive and then slides the light into the fixture from above. Nanoleaf panels are mounted with a form of double-sided tape that’s included with the starter kit.

Cololight also uses adhesive backing, but because the lights are larger and heavier, the method is less reliable. Yescom lights can be mounted, but the mounting kit requires you to drill holes, which might not be ideal for some. 

Smart home integrations

All the lights on this list will work with Alexa and Google Home, which gives you the convenience of voice control and the opportunity for some automation. The Nanoleaf Shapes is the only option I found that is also compatible with Apple HomeKit. In addition, Nanoleaf is also compatible with Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT, which adds the potential for more advanced automation. 

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to consider when shopping for smart LED wall lights. All four lights have smart home functionality and a variety of color patterns and sequences to choose from. 

Nanoleaf Shapes hexagon LED lights have the most unique features. The Nanoleaf app connects to other smart home systems like the Apple HomeKit, not just Alexa and Google Assistant. Nanoleaf panels are the largest and thinnest. And Nanoleaf is the only system that has cross-functionality between hexagons and other panel shapes so you can build more complicated custom designs. If you’re comfortable paying a premium price for extra features and functionality, Nanoleaf hexagons are the best wall light for you.

If you’re looking to get your money’s worth for a wall light that has decent quality and functionality, Govee’s 10 panel starter kit is a good choice. Govee lights have backlighting and an RGBI chip that gives them bright, dynamic colors. And Govee hexagon lights are almost as big as Nanoleaf while being a little less expensive.

If you don’t mind reduced size and only basic smart functions, Cololight is a cheaper option. Cololight hexagon wall lights are smaller and only come in one shape, but still have value. The lights are solid and durable and have a soft glow that’s great for decorating bedrooms or shared spaces. A pack of 7 or 10 Cololight hexagons are also significantly cheaper than an equal number of premium brand wall lights. 

If you’re really in a tight spot, Yescom’s lights are the cheapest of the bunch. With lights the same size as Cololight, they’ll work as a wall light or lamp display but the clunky app and connection issues make them less desirable for smart home integration. Ultimately it depends on what you’re looking for in a wall light panel set. 

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