Nanoleaf Controller Not Working: How to Fix [2023]

The controller of my party trick Nanoleaf light panels suddenly stopped working, and I had no idea why.

The colors on my Nanoleaf Shapes wouldn't change no matter what I tried with the controller.

After getting in touch with Nanoleaf support, and skimming through plenty of threads on the internet, I was surprised by just how many people faced a similar issue.

With the information being spread so thin, I figured I gather them all up and curate this troubleshooting article to help you fix your Nanoleaf controller.

If your Nanoleaf controller is not working, check with the Voluntary Shapes Controller Replacement Program with its serial number if the specific unit is from a batch with a manufacturing defect. If multiple Shapes are connected, enable power diagnostic mode to optimize the setup.

Check the internet connection and perform a power cycle. Do both a soft reset as well as a hard rest. If the issues persist, contact Nanoleaf support.

Here's a brief account of why Nanoleaf controller stops working:

ScenariosCauses and Fixes
Older Nanoleaf Controller not workingConfirmed issues on Controller released before 2021; Replace it for a new one
Nanoleaf Controller fails to control all my panelsKnown issue for Nanoleaf setups with more than 21 panels; Enable Power Diagnostic mode to set up the panel optimally
Nanoleaf Controller not responding to commandsNetwork/power-related issue; Check for issues with the network and soft reboot the device
Other ScenariosFactory Reset the Controller; contact Nanoleaf customer support
Why Nanoleaf Controller stops working

Design Failure in Older Nano Controller Batches

Design Failure in Older Nano Controller Batches

Nanoleaf has officially revealed that a batch of Nanoleaf Shapes Controllers they manufactured back in May 2021 was faulty.

This batch should still be doing rounds in the market, leading to the widespread issue of users reporting problems with their Nanoleaf controllers.

Nanoleaf claims that this batch had a 'small likelihood of Controller failure due to the power regulation design'.

This effectively results in a dead Nanoleaf controller after performing a few resets or power cycles.

Considering the fact that electronic devices such as Nanoleaf are used frequently and booted quite often, it is no surprise that this issue is this widespread.

Nanoleaf assures that there are no safety risks associated with the failure.

Fortunately, Nanoleaf has a replacement program active that allows users to send in their Nanoleaf controllers and get a new pair.

All you have to do is visit their Voluntary Shapes Controller Replacement Program page and type in your product serial number to see if your controller is among the affected devices.

I recommend you, as well as anyone you know with a Nanoleaf controller, to verify whether their product falls under this faulty batch, even if they currently face no issues.

Prevention is better than cure for a reason.

Nanoleaf also covers the shipping fees, so no reason not to send it in if your Nanoleaf controller belongs to the batch.

Activate Power Diagnostic Mode

Activate Power Diagnostic Mode

This step is exclusively for people with many Nanoleaf light panels and controllers set up.

Having many panels and controllers up at once can cause power distribution issues, which can lead to issues with the Nanoleaf controllers not working as well.

This is where the Power Diagnostic Mode pops in, giving you tips as to how you can set all your devices in an optimal fashion.

Nanoleaf recommends enabling the Power Diagnostic Mode if you have more than 21 panels and controllers in your system.

Procedure to Enable Power Diagnostic Mode

You can enable the Power Diagnostic Mode directly from the Nanoleaf shapes controller itself by following the steps given below:

  • Press and hold the + and - buttons together on your Nanoleaf Shapes Controller for 5 seconds.
  • A color-coded map should appear on the light panels.

Alternatively, you can also enable the Power Diagnostic Mode directly from your Android or iOS device running the Nanoleaf app:

  • Open the More menu on iOS devices, or the Side menu on Android devices.
  • Tap on Settings.
  • Tap on Warnings.
  • Tap on Power Limited.
  • A color-coded map of the panels should appear.

Decoding the Color-Coded Map of the Panels

The color-coded map that appears indicates the power supply issues that each panel has, and how you can optimize it.

Follow the chart below to briefly identify the various color codes with respect to the message it attempts to provide:

GreenThe power supply is well placed.
RedThe power supply needs to move.
BlueThe power supply is missing.
It also indicates the number of missing power supplies.
WhiteAn alternative place to add a power supply.
Brighter panels show better placement.
various power diagnostic mode color codes

Check the Internet Connection

Check Your Internet Connection

Your internet connection and the coverage of your WiFi are one of the most important aspects when it comes to the working of your Nanoleaf controller.

If you are connected to an unstable connection, or if the coverage of your WiFi is low it can lead to a situation where your Nanoleaf controller won't respond.

In fact, it has been the primary cause of a rather infamous bug with Nanoleaf controllers, namely the Read/Write operation failed and Nanoleaf Unreachable error messages.

Nanoleaf controller can only connect and operate on a 2.4Ghz WiFi signal, and won't work with a 5Ghz or 6Ghz band.

Check your internet connection for any issues with data transfer.

The best and easiest way to check your internet connection is to connect your smartphone or laptop to the same WiFi and try to access the internet.

If you are facing issues, check with your internet router. It should have status indications light to signify any issues from their end.

Just reboot the router and check again if any error signals pop up on the router.

If so, contact your internet service provider and get it patched up.

Power Cycle the Nanoleaf Controller

Power Cycle the Nanoleaf Controller

If your Nanoleaf controller's inoperable condition is the result of any temporary hardware bug related to charging, then performing a power cycle ought to mend things up.

Power cycles are basically hardware reboots that reset all charges from the internal components of the Controller, ensuring it works seamlessly.

In fact, it is one of the most popular methods for fixing common Nanoleaf issues, such as Nanoleaf not connecting and connected accessories not found.

To properly perform a power cycle on your Nanoleaf controller, follow the steps below:

  • Unplug the Nanoleaf controller from its power source.
  • Let the Nanoleaf controller sit in its powered-off state for about a minute.
  • Plug the Nanoleaf controller back into its power source.
  • Let the Nanoleaf controller sit in its powered-on state for about a minute.

It is recommended to do multiple power cycles in order to extract the best seamless experience.

Soft Reset the Nanoleaf Controller

Nanoleaf controllers have a method to do a soft reset in order to get rid of any temporary bugs that might be related to connectivity in general.

Basically, it resets the WiFi and all saved connections. You will not lose your saved scenes.

To perform a soft reset on your Nanoleaf controller, follow the steps below:

  • Long press the power and + buttons on your Nanoleaf controller for about 15 seconds, till the status indicators, start flashing.
Soft Reset the Nanoleaf Controller
  • This commences the soft reset. Wait till the power button status led becomes steady.
  • Open the Nanoleaf app on your compatible smartphone or laptop, and delete all paired devices.
  • Pair the devices from scratch again.

Hard Reset the Nanoleaf Controller

If the above steps don't do much in patching your Nanoleaf controller, then the only option left is to hard reset.

A hard reset is a step further than a soft reset, in that it also resets your Nanoleaf Shapes to factory defaults. Doing so could also benefit you in resolving issues like Nanoleaf Lights not responding.

If you have backed up your scenes to your Nanoleaf account, then you can restore the same after the hard reset. If there is no backup, you will lose your Scenes as well.

To perform a hard reset on your Nanoleaf controller and Shapes, follow the steps below:

  • Unplug the Nanoleaf Shapes from their power source.
Unplug the Nanoleaf controller from its power source.
  • Long press the Power and + buttons, and plug the power supply back into the power.
  • Keep holding the buttons till the Nanoleaf controller's button LEDs turn on.
  • Once it's on, release the buttons quickly.
status LED lights flashing indicates that the hard reset process
  • If the status LEDs flash, it indicates the commencement of the hard reset.
  • Wait for about a minute or two, till the power button LED turns on and cycles through different colors.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

If you have further queries regarding your Nanoleaf controller, feel free to contact Nanoleaf support.

I hope my article on how you can fix your Nanoleaf controller that is not working correctly has been a helpful read and has aided you with the same.

Have a good day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is a controller necessary to control Nanoleaf light panels?

The Nanoleaf Shapes Controller is a necessary component as it acts as a controller hub for the Nanoleaf light panels, connecting to the WiFi and giving commands.

Does the Nanoleaf controller work without WiFi?

The Nanoleaf controller is a WiFi-based controller for Nanoleaf light panels, and therefore a stable WiFi connection is necessary for its proper operation.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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