Sat. May 18th, 2024


Key Takeaways

  • The Nanoleaf Umbra Cono lamp is a versatile, easy-to-use smart lamp suitable for kids’ rooms or any space.
  • With 16+ million colors and up to 5 hours of battery life, it offers functionality and creativity for all ages.
  • Despite its higher price and lack of battery life indicator, it’s a unique addition to any home, especially for smart home enthusiasts.


A good smart nightlight for a young kid’s rooms is tricky to find, but the Nanoleaf Umbra Cono portable lamp might just fit that bill perfectly. It isn’t even targeted at kids specifically, but since it can be controlled without a phone, is easy to carry, and has a built-in battery, it works well.


A Smart Lamp For Kids and Adults

Nanoleaf Umbra Cono standing upright turned off
Jerome Thomas / How-To Geek

For a fixture that looks like something you might find in a roadside construction zone, the Umbra Cono light is highly functional. It features 16+ million colors, including a range of whites. It dims completely, can operate on battery power, recharges via USB-C, and should work with nearly any smart home platform.


In addition to its raw features, there are a bunch of reasons I love this lamp for a kid’s room. It can be used in a variety of positions, so it can be stood up, laid on its side, or put upside down. There’s no wrong way to use it. Kids like to get creative. The base is great to use as a handle too.

It can be used while connected to power or unplugged and moved around and used for up to 5 hours on battery power. The USB-C cable is easy enough for most kids to re-attach when it needs more juice.

There’s only one button on the light that can turn it on and off, cycle through colors, or adjust the brightness. It shouldn’t be too tricky for a young kid to figure out. More functions are available in the app, but all the basics can be covered if someone needs to use the light during the middle of the night.

Using the Nanoleaf app with the Umbra Cono
Jerome Thomas / How-To Geek


Speaking of the Nanoleaf app and its connected nature: custom colors can be used, automatic schedules can be set up, and voice assistants can be linked. There are a ton of ways to use this little lamp. It’s not just kids either, I liked using it on my desk—before my daughter stole it for her room. Although the lamp is the most valuable when it’s connected to a Matter-compatible smart home hub like a HomePod, it can be used by connecting via Bluetooth.

The Price Is One of the Hurdles

Showing the USB-C port on the Nanoleaf Umbra Cono
Jerome Thomas / How-To Geek

Although the Umbra Cono light is great in a lot of ways, it still has issues, with two big hurdles specifically. The first is its $95 price. For a decor piece in a single person’s home, it might be worth splurging on, but if you have one, you’ll surely want a second or third to compliment it. The cost adds up quickly.


But as a frugal parent, I can tell you that $95 for a nightlight is a hard pill to swallow. But if it fits well and gets the job done for a kid with a specific need, then you won’t find any judgment from me.

The second issue is more subtle, but I couldn’t find a place in the Nanoleaf app or on the lamp to see the battery life remaining. The only indicator to speak of is a charging indicator on the light itself as a pinhole light just below the USB-C port. I searched for a way to monitor the battery life online and in the manual, but couldn’t find anything. So it seems like you can see when it’s fully charged, but nothing more. Strange. I even did the latest firmware update to make sure something new hadn’t been added.

Is the Nanoleaf Umbra Cono Portable Lamp Worth Spending Money On?

Nanoleaf Umbra Cono in a dark room standing up with its light on
Jerome Thomas / How-To Geek


For as much as I like the Nanoleaf Umbra Cono portable lamp, it definitely has its quirks. For its premium price, I do wish it felt higher-end, instead of completely being made out of plastic. It could use some kind of battery indicator—hopefully Nanoleaf will add that to the app in the future. I also would have liked the button to be a little more tactile, instead of being more touch-sensitive. It doesn’t press in.

If not for the steep price, I’d be shouting for all parents of young kids to snatch one of these up. As it stands, the value is off here, even if there are plenty of reasons to like what Nanoleaf and Umbra are offering. But the Matter compatibility still makes it interesting for any smart home tech enthusiast, parent or not.

Nanoleaf Umbra Cono

Nanoleaf Umbra Cono

The Cono has a playful design that allows you to direct light by positioning it upright, on its side, or upside down for a hint of illumination. It’s unique leg design doubles as a handle so you can comfortably use it like a torch. Create the perfect ambiance wherever you might go.

Working Temperature
2700 – 6500K

Brightness
130 lumens

Light Colors
16+ million

Protocol
Matter

Hub Required
Matter-compatible smart home hub for certain functionality

Music Reactive
Yes

Multicolor Capable
Yes

Wattage
~9W

Connectivity
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Outdoor
No

Pros

  • Multiple usable positions (No wrong way to set it down)
  • Portable with integrated battery
  • Connects to nearly all smart platforms
Cons

  • No easily findable battery indicator
  • High price for a small light with all-plastic design
  • Touch-sensitive button isn’t super satisfying



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By John P.

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