I was a fan of Nanoleaf Lines, the modular “light lines” from the makers of the Shapes and Elements light panels. The backlit, foot-long lines make for a snazzy way to light up your walls, or at least they do when they’re glowing; turned off, the slender white lines look decidedly eh. Now there’s an accessory designed to make the Nanoleaf Lines a little more eye-catching, even when they’re not doing their thing.
Announced at the same time as the Lines but shipping only now, the Nanoleaf Lines Skins are plastic covers that fit over both the lines and their hexagonal connectors. Available in matte black or pink, the Lines Skins give the Lines a dash of color that’s particularly noticeable–and welcome–when the Lines are powered off.
Nanoleaf sent me a pair of the Skins kits to try out on the Lines installation in my office. Going for a Miami Vice vibe, I chose the matte pink option.
Each of the $20 kits comes with 9 Skins and 9 matching connector caps, which replace the existing caps covering the hexagonal Lines connectors. That’s enough Skins to cover all the line lights and connectors in a 9-piece Lines “Smarter” kit, although you’ll find yourself short if you sprung for a three-piece expansion set.
By far the easiest part of the installation process is sliding the snug-fitting Skins onto the light lines themselves.
You will need to apply some pressure to make the Skins fit completely flush with the full length of the lines, and pulling the Skins off may present a challenge, particularly in terms of making sure you don’t loosen the connector hubs holding the light lines on the wall.
Speaking of the connectors, you can–if you wish–replace the original white connector caps with the blank or pink caps that come in the Skins kit. I say “if you wish” because strictly speaking, you don’t have to replace the old caps if you don’t want to; after all, the Lines Skins are only about aesthetics, not functionality. That said, the overall effect will look better if you swap out the standard caps with the Skins caps.
You’ll first have to remove each of the original white caps, which requires a fairly strong tug. When removing one of the old caps, I accidentally broke off one of the three plastic pegs that holds the cap onto its connector–not a huge loss, since I’m not planning on keeping the white cap, but still worth noting.
Once all the original white caps are removed, you snap on the new caps that come with the Skins.
There is one wrinkle when it comes to the connector caps, and it concerns the single Lines connector that has a push-button controller rather than a cap.
You have two options with the controller: You can either leave it as-is, meaning there will be a single white piece marring the new look of your Lines, or you can remove the controller and replace it with a Skins cap. The latter option means you won’t be able the control the Lines using the controller anymore, although you’ll still be able to control it with the Nanoleaf app or voice commands. I opted to keep the controller where it is, simply because I like being able to turn the Lines on and off without having to dig up my phone.
All told, I finished adding the Skins to my Lines installation in roughly 10 minutes, and I must say I’m happy with the result.
As snazzy as the Lines look when they’re powered on, I always thought the Lines were a bit of an eyesore switched off; now, however, they look considerably more stylish. All and all, a pretty decent return for 20 bucks and 10 minutes of my time.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.