Comparing Nanoleaf and LIFX: Determining the Supreme Smart Outdoor String Light

best, LIFX, Nanoleaf, smart outdoor string light, versus

How to Illuminate Your Backyard with Smart Outdoor String Lights


When it comes to creating the perfect ambiance for your backyard, lighting plays a crucial role. Whether you want to enjoy a cozy evening outdoors or host a festive gathering, the right lighting can transform your space. However, finding durable and versatile outdoor string lights can be a challenge, especially in areas with harsh weather conditions.

In this article, we will explore two new smart outdoor string lights from Nanoleaf and Lifx that claim to be sturdy and long-lasting. We will compare their features, design, light quality, lighting effects, cost, connectivity, and compatibility to help you choose the best option for your backyard. Additionally, we will provide our own insights and opinions based on our experience testing these lights.

Design and Build Quality:

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Nanoleaf and Lifx outdoor string lights is their unique and stylish designs. Nanoleaf has taken inspiration from its dodecahedron heritage to create faceted bulbs that resemble crystals hanging from trees. The faceted face creates a dazzling effect even when the lights are turned off. On the other hand, Lifx has opted for a sleek, modern look with tubular-shaped bulbs that emit light from within. This design allows for a cleaner look when hung along a structure like the wall of a porch.

Both lights are solidly built with durable materials. The acrylic bulbs are resistant to breakage, and the cables and plugs are weatherproof. They can withstand rough handling during installation and are covered under two-year warranties. However, it is worth noting that neither light offers replaceable bulbs.

Light Quality:

When it comes to light quality, Lifx offers better color rendering and a wider range of tunable white light compared to Nanoleaf. Lifx has a color rendering index (CRI) of 90 and provides white light that ranges from a warm candlelight glow to a cool icy blue, with the ability to adjust the Kelvin temperature from 1500 to 9000. Nanoleaf, on the other hand, has an 80 CRI and offers tunable white light ranging from 2700 to 6500 Kelvin.

In terms of color saturation, Lifx’s colors appear more vibrant and true to their intended hue. The Nanoleaf lights tend to produce softer and slightly pinker shades. While brightness is usually a desirable feature in a light bulb, accent lighting in a garden may not require the brightest settings. Both lights provide enough richness and warmth for ambient outdoor lighting.

Lighting Effects and Features:

Lifx shines in its ability to create lighting effects and offers a wide range of options for customization. Each Lifx bulb has three addressable zones that blend together seamlessly, creating a soft and magical ambiance. The color blending technology used by Lifx is impressive and provides a pleasant change from the jarring multicolor effects on most addressable lights.

Additionally, Lifx offers options like twinkle, color cycle, strobe, and morph, allowing you to create a fun and dynamic atmosphere in your backyard. You can adjust features like speed, colors, and direction to personalize the lighting effects. Lifx also has a library of colorful lighting designs, including an art series inspired by famous works like Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.”

While the Nanoleaf bulbs can only display one color at a time per bulb, their cut glass design creates an array of different shades. Nanoleaf’s scenes can cycle through different colors to provide a similar effect to Lifx’s color blending. However, Lifx’s technology is more advanced and offers better control and customization options.

Both Nanoleaf and Lifx allow you to create your own lighting designs using their respective apps. However, it’s worth noting that the Nanoleaf app can be messy and crash frequently. Lifx’s app, on the other hand, is easier to use and provides basic functions like setting schedules, which is not available on the Nanoleaf app. Nanoleaf’s new AI scene generator may make designing easier, but the overall app experience is less user-friendly compared to Lifx.


In terms of cost, Nanoleaf offers a better deal for those looking to cover a larger area. While both lights have a starting price of $130, Nanoleaf provides 20 bulbs on a 49-foot string, compared to 12 bulbs on a 24-foot string for Lifx. Nanoleaf’s lights also have a greater spacing between bulbs, at 28 inches compared to Lifx’s 23 inches. This makes Nanoleaf a more cost-effective option for illuminating a patio or backyard.

If you require a longer string of lights, Nanoleaf offers a 98-foot string with 40 bulbs for $200 and a 147-foot string with 60 bulbs for $300. In comparison, the maximum length of the Lifx lights is three sets combined, totaling 74 feet and 36 bulbs, which costs almost $400. It’s important to consider your specific lighting needs and the size of your outdoor space when making a purchasing decision.

Connectivity and Compatibility:

Both Nanoleaf and Lifx lights connect to Wi-Fi networks and can be controlled using various smart home platforms. Lifx lights connect easily without any connectivity issues, while Nanoleaf lights might require certain adjustments, such as moving the router closer, to establish a stable connection. Both lights are compatible with major smart home platforms like Apple Home, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Samsung SmartThings, offering a wide range of integration options.

Nanoleaf’s lights are part of its Matter Essentials line, which means they work with any Matter-compatible platform. However, a Matter controller is required for this integration. Lifx relies on individual integrations with each platform, which means it works with fewer platforms but doesn’t require any additional hardware. Lifx has also announced that a firmware upgrade will bring the option of Matter-over-Wi-Fi compatibility later this year.

In our testing, we found that connecting the Nanoleaf lights to a Matter platform required multiple attempts and was unsuccessful using an iPhone 15. Eventually, we were able to connect using a Samsung Galaxy S22 and share the lights with other platforms. Lifx lights, on the other hand, connected easily and reliably without any complications.


In conclusion, both the Nanoleaf and Lifx outdoor string lights offer unique and stylish options for illuminating your backyard. While Lifx provides better lighting effects, more customization options, and an easier-to-use app, Nanoleaf’s lights have a visually appealing design and offer a more cost-effective solution for larger areas.

When it comes to light quality, Lifx offers better color rendering and a wider range of tunable white light. However, Nanoleaf’s lights provide enough richness and warmth for ambient outdoor lighting. Connectivity-wise, Lifx offers a more reliable experience, while Nanoleaf provides more connection options and compatibility with Matter platforms.

Ultimately, the choice between Nanoleaf and Lifx will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider the design, light quality, lighting effects, cost, and compatibility factors discussed in this article to make an informed decision. Creating the perfect ambiance in your backyard with smart outdoor string lights is an investment that can significantly enhance your outdoor living experience.

Source link

Leave a Comment