This is the first HomeKit enabled Bulb that supports Thread. It sort of looks like a standard US Lightbulb that fits Into the usual screw in fixtures but has a unique design (more about that below). And right now, it’s one of the lowest priced smart bulbs, coming in at less than $20 on Amazon.
The First Thread Enabled Lightbulb
To fully use the Nanoleaf A-19 you need to have a Thread enabled device, and currently (Spring 2022) there is only one, the Apple HomePod mini.
It is still possible to control the bulb via bluetooth, but you won’t have full HomeKit integration if you do. Instead you can control it right from the downloadable app
Installing the Nanoleaf Essentials A-19 Bulb
After unboxing the bulb, it is super easy to install. Simply scan the HomeKit code that is on the bulb (it is also printed on a little card that comes in the box), and screw it into your fixture.
Make sure your fixture is “on” and always has power. If you turn off the fixture it won’t work.
Once you scan the code with the HomeKit App, it will immediately ask you to name the bulb, and choose a room for it to go into.
That’s all there is for the install.
While the bulb is working it does NOT get hot at all. In fact you can unscrew it easily without burning yourself.
Of Course I can’t go without making a light bulb joke so:
How many REALTORS does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Just one, but you have to have some idea of what kind of bulb you want, what
location to screw it into and a pre-approval to pay for it. Otherwise,
please leave him alone until you are serious.
Design of the Nanoleaf Essentials A-19 Bulb
The Nanoleaf A-19 is designed to replace the standard lightbulb.
It has a metal part that screws into the socket like a regular bulb, but then there is a white plastic part in the middle that contains the electronics. At the top is a cool looking 20 sided opaque white glass dome.
Technically a 20 sided bulb is called a rhombicosidodecahedron (20 regular triangular faces, 30 square faces, 12 regular pentagonal faces, 60 vertices, and 120 edges) so it isn’t your typical shape.
Looks great as a bare bulb, or behind a shade or other fixture.
Right now I only have one installed in a brass lamp next to my bed, but I’ll be changing out other bulbs around the house with this in the next few weeks.
Features of the Nanoleaf Essentials A-19 Bulb
Since this is a smart bulb, you can do lots of things with it.
- Turn on and off with an app, voice, or automation
- Change Colors
- Change brightness
- Adjust color temperature
- And more features are coming
Turn on and off with an app, voice, or automation – Because this is a HomeKit enabled lightbulb you can use the Home App on your iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad to turn it on or off. This means you can also use Siri and say “Hey Siri, turn on the bedroom Light”. It also is programmable in the different Automations like “Good Morning” (turn on), “Good Night” (turn off), or other similar controls.
Change Colors – The NanoLeaf Essentials A-19 can accurately reproduce 16 MILLION colors. In the home App you simply tap on the tile for the light to turn it on or off, and a short press on it opens the first menu which allows you to adjust the brightess and select from 6 editable colors. Pressing on any of the colors opens up another second menu with the 12-million different color combinations.
If you want to adjust the color temperature that is a 3rd menu past the change colors section. Within the Home App you can select 2,700 Kelvin (warmer like a regular bedroom bulb, to a cool 6,500 K which is closer to a LED style blue-white color.
More features are coming: Like changing colors to music or using the Adaptive lighting feature which is coming soon to HomeKit which will allow you to automatically adjust the temperature or brightness of the light to the time of day.
How long will the Nanoleaf Essentials A-19 Bulb Last?
According to the box, the Nanoleaf Essentials A-19 Bulb will last approximately 25,000 hours. According to Siri that is 1,041.67 days of continuous use or 2.85 years.
How much does it cost to operate an A-19 Nanoleaf Essentials Bulb
Another question I was wondering about was how much it would cost to operate a Nanoleaf A-19 Essential lightbulb. Of course electricity rates vary, but in my region it is about 11.50 cents per kilowatt Hour. This bulb does not have a set wattage output (it ranges from 9-60), so I’ll use the highest value to calculate the cost. Running at 6 hours a day, (4166 days) it would cost $0.0414 per day at the high end and $0.0062 on the low end. This puts it in the range of a standard LED bulb, but with a whole lot more cool features.
Final thoughts on the A-19 Nanoleaf Bulb
Overall I am extremely impressed with this bulb.
The setup is super fast, with a HomeKit code printed right on the bulb. It responds very quickly to Homekit commands (when a HomePod mini is in the same room), and fits into the standard E-26 base that is most common in US households. The price makes it one of the more affordable bulbs, and that makes it easy to change over the bulbs in my house so the are all the same.