January 7, 2021
READ TIME: 5 MINS
Smart home technology is meant to be seamless, simple, reliable, and fast. But let’s face it: it rarely lives up to those expectations. With constant connectivity and set-up issues, plus the confusion of different protocols and languages, it often just feels like one big hot mess.
But what if we told you there was already a solution to all of these issues? And THEN what if we told you that solution has already existed… for several months?
That solution is called Thread, and has unintentionally become the tech industry’s biggest game-changing secret.
Thread is a smart home solution created by the Thread group—including leading technology companies like Apple, Google, and Nanoleaf—with the goal of creating a unified smart home experience the way it was actually meant to be. It’s an incredible innovation that takes smart home living to its fullest potential.
…So why have you never heard of it?
Thread has been described as a “low-latency low-power mesh network protocol” which to most of us means… absolutely nothing. But what it translates to is the most exciting thing to happen to smart home:
Low Latency – Thread is Lightning Fast
Latency refers to delays in speed, so we’ll gladly take a little less of that. Or in the case of Thread, a lot less. Thread is lightning fast, so there’s no more waiting time between turning your lights on and… turning your lights on. Think of what you’ll do with all that free time! You could learn a new language. Merci, Thread!
Mesh Network – Thread is Ultra-Reliable
With each additional Thread enabled product working to expand the network, Thread’s ecosystem functions like one free-flowing conversation rather than whispered messages between point A and B like with Bluetooth. This “mesh network” means that if a device goes out, the others in the network will find a different way to stay connected, and you won’t be left in the dark. This also leads to a larger control range, making that dreaded “unreachable” message a thing of the past, no matter where you are in your home.
Because “unreachable” should stay where it belongs: with your New Year’s resolutions.
Low-Power – Thread Uses Less Energy
This may not have too many implications when it comes to Nanoleaf’s Essentials Bulbs and Lightstrips specifically as they aren’t battery powered, but just as Thread is designed to be forward thinking, this feature is too. As more products are released that utilize Thread, those that do run on batteries will enjoy the benefits of Thread’s lightweight consumption for an incredibly long lifespan (as compared to the life-sucking big boy that is Wi-Fi). This will especially be the case for Nanoleaf’s upcoming Learning Series of lighting automation products, including a learning motion sensing button that will change your life—without you changing its batteries.
So now that you love Thread as much as we do, how do you get it?
To access all the wonderful features of Thread, you’ll need two things:
1. A Thread border router.
Fear not, this is NOT yet another uni-tasking bridge or hub. Thread border router capabilities are built right in to the smart devices you already use every day, with many coming out this year from your favorite tech brands.
Apple’s newly released HomePod mini is the first of many upcoming products that works as a compatible Thread border router for your Thread enabled products like your Nanoleaf Essentials Bulbs and Lightstrips. Previously with Zigbee, each smart lighting product spoke its own secret language and therefore required its own designated hub, letting the hubs pile up with each smart addition. But with Thread, all of your products speak the same language, meaning only ONE compatible Thread border router for EVERYTHING (and what that really means is no more hiding your endless hubs in that one closet you have to keep closed when company comes over).
2. Any Smart products that work with Thread.
With all the big name tech companies getting behind Thread, it has become the future standard of smart home. Keeping an eye out for Thread compatible products will not only give you the best experience instantly, but also future-proof your purchases and your smart home ecosystem for the long term.
Lucky for you, the Nanoleaf Essentials line of Bulbs and Lightstrips are just the first of many Nanoleaf products that will work with Thread. We are committed to including Thread support on all our smart lighting products moving forward, so you can shop with confidence!
With all of these upgrades and steps forward in smart home technology, we at Nanoleaf are incredibly excited about Thread. And now that you know all about it you can be too, and can finally enjoy smart home as it was meant to be!