| Cult of Mac

Go to the dark side with special-edition Nanoleaf Shapes smart lights

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See the special-edition all-black Shapes turned off, at left, and turned on, at right.
See the special-edition all-black Shapes turned off, at left, and turned on, at right.
Photo: Nanoleaf

Celebrating its “10-year Nanoversary,” Nanoleaf put out a special edition of its Shapes smart-lighting panels. It’s a new all -black color option: Ultra Black Shapes Triangles.

Like the other colors, the new set works with HomeKit as part of your smart-home lighting.

MacBook Air centers wide-ranging workstation in Germany [Setups]

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It looks like a comfy chair, but you can only get it in Germany.
It looks like a comfy chair, but you can only get it in Germany.
Photo: pixel205@Reddit.com

We don’t run across huge numbers of computer setups online driven by M1 MacBook Air laptops. When a laptop is the main computer, it’s more often a MacBook Pro.

But a MacBook Air powered by an M1 chip is a formidable machine, whether you’re tossing it in your knapsack for work on the go or leaving it on a stand on your desk, jacked into a USB-C hub and external display.

An M1 MacBook Air drives today’s featured setup — located in Germany — which also features some interesting bits and pieces we haven’t seen elsewhere. Those are a nifty Marshall wireless speaker and a foot hammock.

Apple’s hardware plans for 2022 sound positively intoxicating [The CultCast]

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Apple's hardware plans for 2022 sound intoxicating [The CultCast]
This year's looking good!
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Even more details surface about Apple’s hardware plans for 2022. If last year was “modest” (LOL), this year looks jam-packed with major updates. We’re talking redesigned AirPods Pro, a new Apple monitor, even-more-impressive MacBook Airs and … an iPhone? You gotta be kidding us.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Apple hits $3 trillion market cap, albeit briefly.
  • A giveaway that features a great-looking charger from Journey.
  • The most interesting products out of this year’s big CES trade show in Las Vegas.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.

HomeKit shakes things up at CES 2022

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HomeKit was a stand-out star at CES 2022
CES 2022 brought daily announcements of new devices with Apple’s HomeKit home-automation system.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There is a lot to get HomeKit fans excited at this year’s CES tech showcase in Las Vegas. Quite a few companies announced products that will support Apple’s home-automation system, including lights, door cameras and more.

Glitzy projects like concept cars get more attention, but HomeKit accessories are more likely to make people’s lives better.

Nanoleaf lights are first non-Apple Thread border routers for HomeKit

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Nanoleaf's groovy mood lighting products will soon be Thread border routers for HomeKit devices.
Nanoleaf's groovy mood lighting products will soon be Thread border routers for HomeKit devices.
Photo: Nanoleaf

At CES 2022, Nanoleaf said an upcoming firmware update will make its lighting products the first third-party border routers for HomeKit-over-Thread devices available now and coming out in the future.

The firmware update, due to roll out in the first quarter of 2022, will broaden Nanoleaf products’ support for Thread, improving devices’ connectivity and reliability over home networks.

Guitar-wielding student marshals nifty light show [Setups]

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Nanoleaf Shapes give you interesting lighting options.
Nanoleaf Shapes give you interesting lighting options.
Photo: arnaki_gkioulmpasi@reddit

If one thing catches your eye first about Redditor arnaki_gkioulmpasi’s setup, it’s probably the interesting light show on the wall behind it. That array is made up of Nanoleaf Shapes that can be arranged any which way.

Those cool-looking lights, along with a Yeelight Screen Light Bar Pro atop the Dell 32-inch curved 4K monitor and a standing lamp next to the desk, keep eyestrain to a minimum.

HomeKit-powered lights give this setup a Star Trek vibe [Setups]

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A cozy but epic setup
A cozy but epic wfh setup
Photo: @mrisad

A set of origami-style lights illuminate the cozy setup of Instagram user @mrisad, an integration delivery manager. The Nanoleaf lights floating above his dual monitors evoke the control panels from some ’70s sci-fi show. And they’re integrated with HomeKit, Apple’s home-automation platform.

The heart of his rig is a beautiful pair of screens. The large main screen is a $1,000 curved, 38-inch screen from LG. The second screen is a 28-inch Asus gaming monitor. He hooked them both up to a Mac mini, and elegantly suspended them in midair by an inexpensive ($40) but fully articulated desktop stand.

To round out his setup, @mrisad has a Magic Keyboard and Trackpad from Apple, and a trio of chargers for his iPhone, iPad and AirPods. As for audio, he has a HomePod and a pair of Sennheiser noise-canceling headphones.