Early in the year, Matter compatibility got lots of attention with Nanoleaf being first to announce Matter-compatible lights – an A60 Bulb (available in B22 and E27) and Lightstrip. It took a little while but they finally came to market in late June 2023.

Nanoleaf + Matter

What is Matter and Why Does it Matter?

Matter-certified devices are designed to work with a simplified setup, seamless control and personalised automation that work across platforms and multiple devices of your choice.

With Matter, you’re no longer restricted to certain platforms or having to check which devices are compatible; all Matter-certified devices work seamlessly together regardless of the brand or manufacturer for the most unified smart home experience yet.

The theory is good, but how is the practice?


First Impressions

I am just going to gloss over this here. The Nanoleaf Essentials A60 is a light bulb and you cannot mistake it for anything else. It is all very angular and pretty funky looking though.

Similarly the Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip is a RBG lightstrip that also cannot really be mistaken as anything else.

Both of these devices from the Nanoleaf Essentials series are Matter compatible, and setup should be a breeze.

Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip


In Use

Rather than a review of how the light globe and lightstrip works, I am going to focus on the experience of working with Matter certified devices. After all, it is the highlight of these two devices.

Starting with the simple things as my place has plenty of Nanoleaf units around, I used the Nanoleaf app to get things going.

The first thing I did was to update the firmware on the Elements and Lines Squared, which brought them up to date with Thread Border Router features. This was easy enough to do via the Nanoleaf app and only takes a few minutes to complete. May quite a few as the update took a little while to go through.

Adding the Nanoleaf Essentials devices were as simple as scanning the QR code in the Nanoleaf app, or typing in the 11 digital code manually. Again, at least that was the theory.

In reality I had mixed success with various phones, Nanoleaf accounts and methods. In the interest of transparency, the first few goes I had on this was an exercise in frustration. I could add the devices via Bluetooth using Jett’s phone and his own Nanoleaf account. After resetting the devices, I struggled to add them via my own phone and the home global account. I gave up for a bit as I had more urgent matters to deal with at the time.

I did return to the task at hand from time to time but never really invested into the troubleshooting until recently. I managed to pair the devices with my phone to my account on the first go, and immediately found there was a critical update available. In fact all my Nanoleaf devices had firmware updates available so I just mashed the buttons to get them all up to date one at a time.

The great news is that this got the Thread Border Routers to be more stable on the Elements and Lines Squared. Connecting to the Essentials devices also got a little better as well. The major improvement for me was that I could quite easily assign them to the Thread Network via the app.

Nanoleaf Essentials
Nanoleaf Essentials
Nanoleaf Essentials
Nanoleaf Essentials
Nanoleaf Essentials
Nanoleaf Essentials
Nanoleaf Essentials
Nanoleaf Essentials
Nanoleaf Essentials


What’s the Matter Now? (And a bit of a whinge session.)

To get the Essentials in as Matter-compatible devices needs “something else”.

As I mentioned just before, Thread Border Router is one piece of the puzzle and I already have two of those in my Elements and Lines Squared.

The other critical component is a Matter-compatible smart home hub. Your Thread Border Router may already be one,

There are a few out there on the market, and you may already own one that has received a software update that turned it on. My Echo Show 10 (third gen) is listed as an Echo device that support Matter today.

Last bit which everyone should have is a smart phone that will work with your smart home hub.

I ticked all the boxes for having all the compatible bits, except I can’t for the life of me get them all working together.

Here is the fun life of a tech reviewer, I don’t call this the bleeding edge, I call it the bleeding out edge because the night is dark and full of terrors.

With apologies to less technical readers, I am going to try keep this as simple as possible.

Matters, Thread, specification, brands. Whilst the goal is interoperability, the reality is vendors still want you in their ecosystem. That said Nanoleaf has no skin in the *Matter smart hub* game, but we still need one at the end of the day, be it HomeKit, Google, Samsung SmartThings or Amazon Echo. At this point in time not one of them will magically let you talk to anyone else.

To top it off, you need Thread 1.3.0 specification because that is there the Thread Border Router function is being standardised as well as enabling Matter-over-Thread. A lot of devices are stuck on Thread 1.2.0 and well, still stuck and good luck trying to figure out if Thread 1.3.0 has been made available to your device. To be fair, I can’t even find if the Nanoleaf 9.2.3 firmware is at Thread 1.3.0 because none of the release notes gives out specifics.

So here we are, almost a year into the big fanfare about Matter compatibility and in all honesty, things are still a shambles and there is very little mention of it in the wild.

After investing quite a bit of time and effort into this, I am no closer to being able to add a Matter compatible device into my smart home network.



The Nanoleaf Essentials, the A60 bulb and the Lightstrip are great in the Nanoleaf ecosystem. I certainly didn’t hear any complaints from the teenager when he got them. But as a dumb smart device, ability to set automation, Circidian Lighting and for the teenager to have his funky lights for gaming, the Nanoleaf Essentials are solid devices.

I do want to make it clear that I don’t think there is anything wrong with what Nanoleaf has done. From my perspective, the Matter support feels like it is very much still in it’s infancy and it will take time for this to mature to a point where it is useable. I am going to say that I have future proofed devices for when this happens.

The Nanoleaf Essentials A60 bulb (ASUD$39.99 each or $99.99 for three) and lightstrip (starter kit at $99.99) are available from Nanoleaf Au. There is a sale on at time of publishing which brings everything down essentially to half price.

DRN would like to thank Nanoleaf for providing the review units.