HomeKit compatible Thread Border Router other than HomePod Mini

Started by PBA


I've just bought 6 Essential light bulbs - they're fantastic. Bluetooth - not so much.

I'm a HomeKit user, but I won't be buying HomePod mini's, as I'm heavily invested in another smart home speaker ecosystem (Sonos).

I've tried the OpenThread Border Router, but there seems to be some Bluetooth magic going on that OTBR doesn't know about.

I really want a HomeKit compatible Thread Border Router that is plug and play. Some options would be:

  • Nanoleaf HomeKit Border Router that plugs into a wall socket. Low cost enough so I can sprinkle them about the house to extend coverage if needed.
  • HomeKit Border router built into another, "always on" Nanoleaf product, such as your upcoming light switch.

Some wilder ideas:

  • Contribute to or Fork OTBR project for Raspberry Pi, and add HomeKit commissioning features. (Not really plug and play, but I'm technical enough to live with this for now.)
  • Work with Sonos to get HomePod Mini-like Thread BR features into their product (especially if it can be done in software only)


Agreed. I just built an OTBR compliant router but can’t for the life of me figure out how to join a Nanoleaf device to it. Would love to not be tied to a HomePod just to use Thread. It does have a compliant Bluetooth module, but I need information like it’s IEEE EUI-64 or that in a QR code or something to be able to get the router to scan for the device.



Echoing the above, I'm very interested in the Thread capabilities of the new Nanoleaf hardware, but wondering if it is really Thread, or they just happen to use Thread plus some magic bits specific to HomeKit / HomePod mini.

1) Is there any official word whether it will be possible to control "Thread-capable" Nanoleaf lights using something other than HomePod mini, or are they only with certain "certified" border routers? (in which case what's the point of the Thread standard…)
2) In this new world order where Nanoleaf uses Thread to communicate with (hopefully any) Thread border routers, does this mean there will be some published set of commands? I'm hoping developers can use Thread to exercise the full gamut of capabilities like the Nanoleaf API, and not some limited set (or limited throughput), or channeled exclusively through HomeKit.
3) Can a developer actually direct Thread commands to a light via the HomePod mini (configured as a Thread border router), or is that just an implementation detail between the HomePod mini and the light, but HomeKit is the only way to "speak" to the light?



+1. I don't like that I have to wait a few seconds for my phone to connect my LED strip each time I want to change something. I got a thread dongle and set up a Border Router. I was disappointed to find out that I can't add the LED strip to the thread network.



Would also like some information on this - I'm keen to develop an integration for home assistant to support thread devices including nanoleaf essentials in particular


Josh N

Thanks for all the valuable feedback and suggestions! This has been noted and will be sent to over to our team for them to look into so we can enhance and improve our experience for the future!



I don't think *Josh.N post is very credible…

Also echoing a lot of (if not all) comments past and present.
It would be nice if we could just utilize the thread enabled essentials bulbs as FED's within our networks to start with… seeing as one of the key marketing points is that it plays well with all other devices running thread stack.
Could it not be a quick addition to the device info field on the nanoleaf app? To at least display EUI64 info and (I may be pushing it) but its current thread config.
Guessing the current 'compatible' thread boarder routers utilize bluetooth to do some wizardry in joining it to its thread network.