A few days ago I was listening to a fantastic, older, episode of The Blindboy Podcast. Blindboy was speaking with Dr. Sabina Brennan, a neuroscientist, author, and podcast host. They were discussing all things “brain”, but one thing, in particular, piqued my interest; circadian rhythm. It was of interest not least because a few weeks back Nanoleaf sent over some Elements lights for me to test out. I’ve been living with them for a while now and love the mood they give my gaff.
What Are Nanoleaf Elements?
Nanoleaf is a smart light manufacturer. I met them a few years ago at IFA and have to say they’ve come on leaps and bounds since then, even though they were exciting back then too. Nanoleaf focuses on bringing products to market that no one else does and their uniqueness does shine through. I love my LIFX Beam for example, but there are others on the market like it.
Nanoleaf’s Elements are a twist on the colourful light panels which brought the manufacturer to the fore. Elements are faux-wood panels with a gorgeous grain design making their wood look very convincing. While they look great turned off, they’re in their prime lit up. The pack I was sent came with seven panels and how you organise them is totally up to you.
Unlike many similar products on the market, Elements are limited to warmer colours because they only produce white light and an orange hue from the panels natural colour. Personally, I’m loving these colours on cold winter nights, but some may see this as a bit limitation of choice. The atmosphere the lights pump into the room is immense. Since getting the LIFX Beam and the Dyson Lightcycle Morph, I’ve become a little obsessed with lighting not simply being a bulb in the ceiling in the middle of your room.
Controlling The Nanoleaf Elements
I’ve positioned the Elements somewhat out of reach as you can see above. One downside of this is that I can’t make use of the touch controls.
First, there are controls built into the panels. This will appeal to the many seeking atmosphere without the need for smart connectivity. The panels themselves react to touch too and can even be set to bop along to your music.
As you might very well expect, you can also control Elements from your smartphone or by connecting to your smart assistant. The latter is my primary way of controlling the lights along with them being on a schedule. This finally brings me to talking about circadian rhythm.
How To Fix Your Circadian Rhythm With Nanoleaf Elements
The podcast I opened with spoke about how messed up our natural rhythms are thanks to lockdown and extended periods working from home. Let’s jump in.
What Are Circadian Rhythms?
We are completely hardwired based on our surroundings. What I mean by that is that how we spend out day massively impacts our moods and energy levels. Circadian rhythms follow a 24-hour cycle and are directly linked to how much light or dark we’re exposed to. Ultimately, these rhythms are why we sleep during the dark night and wake during the bright day.
I’m sure you’ve heard that you shouldn’t be using your phone too close to bedtime, right? Well, that’s because the blue light from your screen messes with your natural circadian rhythm and melatonin production leading to poor sleep hygiene and likely a bad nights sleep.
What Can Nanoleaf Elements Do For Your Circadian Rhythms?
In the Nanoleaf app, you can choose from a wide range of lighting scenes and options. You can animate your panels, schedule them and have them react to various different parameters. Another option you have is called “Circadian Lighting”. Once you pop in your location, your Nanoleaf Elements lights will automatically adjust themselves to align with the ideal lighting for your locality. The idea here is that the lights help you light the room you’re in with lightning that can adjust to get you ready for bed.
Just be aware that if you’re going to brush your teeth before bed, the bathroom is really bright and can undo lots of your good clock setting work! Dr. Brennan recommends that you brush early instead of just before bed so you can get your clock back into position, along with no phone before bed either.
I love using light in this manner and I have to say my LIFX Beam is where I notice it most. I have these beside the bed where I’m naturally woken up by an artificial dawn. I’ve noticed that I regularly wake just before my alarm and feel far more energised. So now I have an extra bit of circadian rhythm management in my life thanks to Nanoleaf.
Nanoleaf Elements: The Verdict
Let’s kick off with the price because this is the biggest hurdle you’ll need to overcome while weighing up whether or not to buy the Elements. You can buy the Elements directly from Nanoleaf for €229. For just lights, that’s steep. But if you view these as a feature of your living space it quickly becomes a great value inclusion in your living room. The Nanoleaf Elements are almost like a piece of art, as much as they are lights. Add in the additional benefits of training your circadian rhythms and you might very well start to see that price tag as a great investment.