Light Bandit captures sunlight, brightens up homes without electricity

Sunlight is incredibly important for all aspects of life, from quality of sleep to energy levels and focus throughout the day. With everyone’s general well-being as intimately connected to the amount of sunlight as it is, it’s a shame more and more people are living with less of it due to the prevalent lifestyles of the day.

The Light Bandit by Think Tekk, LLC is a box installed at a window’s edge that captures sunlight that otherwise may add unwanted levels of heat to a home, and redirects it to different parts of a user’s home with optical cables. This light can be used to provide more natural, soft lighting to darker corners, help indoor plants grow stronger, or simply for decorationall without any electricity or power whatsoever.

With a 3×3 sq ft of sunlight providing as much light as 100 bulbs, the Light Bandit can capture enough to equal about two to three bulbs at once, and multiple cables can be used at one time to brighten up different parts of the home. Unfortunately, there is nothing installed that can save the sunlight for later. The Light Bandit can be had with a $299 backing, and is expected to ship in November 2015 should Think Tekk, LLC’s campaign reach its $200,000 goal.

Home Lighting

Shade light switch auto-dims lights, smartens smart bulbs

The lighting in any home can make or break a room. It’s best to have lots of light so as not to be left in the dark, but have the ability to dim those lights for dinner or intimate time with a spouse. However, constantly running to the light switch to adjust these levels isn’t very smooth.

Shade is a smart lighting system that adjusts light automatically. It will brighten or dim any room based on sunlight. With photocells, this product detects sunlight and brightens or dims accordingly. In addition, it uses Wi-Fi to allow for scheduling, remote control and geolocation settings. However, as Shade is used more and more, the product will learn common habits and adjust the lights to match them. For instance, if brighter light is desired on weeknights, Shade will customize itself to such a preference.

Unlike other smart light switches, Shade doesn’t require a smartphone to turn lights on. It uses a physical on/off switch. This is because the folks at Shade believe such a tool is much easier to use than having to get out the phone, a good thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the technology of it all without recognizing that sometimes the old ways work better.

Shade will definitely make a great addition to any home. For offices, however, it may not work as well. Workers need bright light to see whether the sun is high in the sky or not. Still, it’s great for setting the mood for dinner. Unfortunately, backers much purchase one light switch at a time, so rigging the whole house may prove costly. For one switch, Shade is asking for an $88 donation with estimated delivery in July 2015. This product is looking to raise an ambitious $125,000 on Kickstarter.

Kids/Babies Lighting

PopSwitch turns light switches into simple animations

It’s quite possible that kids are the only ones who pay attention to light switch covers – but maybe that’s because your average cover is pretty boring and little kids are actually fascinated with the result of flipping the switch, which adults tend to take for granted. PopSwitch takes the idea of pop up story books and creates an interactive light switch that may very well double as a child’s newest “toy” if installed. For those who won’t mind the constant on and off flickering, the only instillation involved is the base plate, which requires a screwdriver. After that, the sliders get placed on top of the base plate, and the magnetic cover mounting holds both pieces in place.

This constant switching of scenes means that the pieces may get lost when mom or dad’s back is turned. Nevertheless, the product does seem like a fun one to own. This campaign seeks to raise $5,000 by December 10, 2014. Early bird backers get one single switch scene for $30, or one double switch scene for $40 with an expected delivery of December 2014.


Printed-light has no moving parts, is actually not printed

Adding a little extra light to a workspace or lounging area is often as simple as just finding a suitable table lamp. Printed-light is basically an LED table lamp suitable for any room in the house or personal office space at work. Operated by a proximity sensor, it allows the user some control over how much light is being given off. It doesn’t have any moving parts and can be run by a laptop computer, which might be the one significant thing that sets it apart from the standard table lamp outside of its shape, though there are other lights out there that can be run from a laptop. So, unless one just happens to like the unique shape, it’s not really clear how this particular LED it is an improvement over what is already available on the market. Other LED lights that backers might want to check out include Nimbus and the Phantom light. This campaign seeks to raise £7,500 (~$11,800) by November 30, 2014. Early bird backers get one light for £150 (~$240) with an expected delivery of December 2014.

Connected Objects Lighting Music

Playbulb is a connected light that plays music

Music is something everyone can enjoy privately, but all it takes is the right lighting to make it perfect for any party.

PLAYBULB color is another combination smart lightbulb and wireless speaker, offering multiple configurations of light shows, a spectrum of colors, and thumping sound to turn any room into a party room. Using Bluetooth 4.0, PLAYBULB color supports modern iOS and Android devices firmwares, and can also update its own firmware to allow for new features.

With a range of 30 feet, PLAYBULB color streams music from any smartphone or tablet and can change color on the fly or even every time a phone has been shaken, to create personal choreographed light shows. The PLAYBULB color can also be set up in any E26 or E27 lamp to stream ambient light and music for sleeping or as a wake-up alarm. Developer MIPOW only needs $10,000 to bring these bulbs to shelves, and backers can install one for $49 in January.

PLAYBULB color is neither the most innovative product on the market nor the most practical, as colored light often does very little illumination. That being said, it’s a great addition to any dorm room, bedroom, or any room where ambience is key.

Connected Objects Lighting

Waves connect with each other for elaborate light and sound shows

On any given day, there are a myriad of things that can and will stress you out, but what’s most important is how you deal with it. Drinking a calming tea, yoga, breathing exercises — there are a variety of ways to decompress when you need to. For inventor Frank Cohen, the colors, lights, and rhythms of a lava lamp helped him after particularly draining days. After so many years, he now feels the humble lava lamp deserves an appropriately modern upgrade.

Waves is the modern lava lamp that comes in the form of a Bluetooth speaker within a slim box that can sit desk-side or be mounted onto a wall. Thin diffusion filters stand atop the unit, allowing pre-programmed light shows to do everything from brightening up a space to soothing someone who may be feeling weary after a long day. The inexpensive diffusion filters are also easily cuttable, giving more artistic types the room to explore whatever designs might interest them.

The product is also incredibly social. Along with being able to sync up to most popular social networks and act as a push notification hub instead your buzzing phone, each Waves unit can talk to each other. This communication between five, ten, or even fifty units can facilitate light shows with all of them participating and gives the product the versatility to be used in ways that haven’t even been thought of yet. Fortunately, new ideas will be in abundance as Waves is supporting a strong communal aspect where members can create sell their own filter designs and share light shows, with the option of earning royalties on our show. Control everything with a Web app or your iOS or Android device. Two Waves are going for $149 and are to be delivered by December 2014. To do that, the campaign is looking for $10,000 in funding.

For now, Waves must be hard-wired which severely limits its aesthetic appeal. But, all in all, Waves is an imaginative product that will make a great conversation piece in any environment. Its open-nature also stands out as a great entryway to technology and its use of the Processing language will ensure it more converts. A product like this is only limited by how much interest there is in it, so only time will tell if this can be what Frank Cohen wants it to be.

Connected Objects Kids/Babies Lighting

BabySleep is a connected nighttime lamp for kids

Toddlers and small children are notorious for refusing to go to sleep. Even when they can barely keep their eyes open, they insist on staying up, unwilling to miss any action. Babysleep is a clock designed for these types of kids, teaching them when it’s time to go to sleep and wake up. Looking like a little wooden birdhouse, the product has a sun and moon on it. When the sun is lit, it tells the child that they should be getting up. When the moon is lit, it’s time to go to bed. Parents have several options in controlling Babysleep. They can either set times from the product itself, from a computer or even use an accompanying app. Times can be adjusted easily for nap time, traveling or sleepovers. Brightness of the lights as well as colors can also be customized.

The campaign included testimonials from parents claiming that Babysleep has become a fun nightly ritual for their child. It also goes into the detrimental effects of the often erratic sleep patters of terrible two-year-olds. Other children’s alarm clocks focus on different goals, such as the Onaroo Alarm Clock. This product urges kids to stay in bed longer so that their parents can sleep. Babysleep focuses more on the child’s well-being than the parent’s. Backers can donate £99 (~$160) for this Italian product. Babysleep is looking to raise £50,000 (~$80,600) on Kickstarter.

Chargers/Batteries Lighting

The Phantom toots its horn as a desk light and wireless charger

Here we have something for art deco lovers that doubles as a desk light and wireless phone charger. The fact that Phantom is shaped like a horn may make it especially appealing to musical types. In addition to wireless convenience, there is still a USB port charger available so that more than one device can apparently be charged at a time. Phantom seems to be primarily compatible with Nokia 1520 and LG Nexus5, though it appears it may be able to be adapted for several Samsung and Galaxy products and some iPhones.

In a similar vein, check out Granola Strolla for something more eco-friendly in nature. The Phantom campaign seeks to raise $2,900 by October 30. Early bird backers can get one product for $55, which is half off of the anticipated retail price, with an expected delivery of January 2015.


Mule Light Orb taps LEDs to stick it to the glow stick

Having an easy-to-carry light source available when you need it most just got easier. Mule Light Orb got its inspiration from green glow sticks, with the intention of improving on a good idea and arranging for it to offer greater functionality. This green orb can attach to a key ring, backpack for camping, bike handlebars, and multiple other locations. Its energy saving settings allow it to extend the life of the LED light, but even once that dies out, it can be recharged via a USB cable. Use it as a flashlight, campsite safety light, hiking trail marker, or signal while biking or walking at night. The campaign fails to clarify if the 100 hours the orb is supposed to last is with or without the energy saving setting being exclusively implemented. While the item isn’t going to be something that can replace a good flashlight or other camping or cycling accessories that are light sources, it might make for a useful emergency light item to have on hand.  This campaign is seeking to raise $67,000 by October 30, 2014. Backers get one product for $25, with an expected delivery of November 2014 and a $67,000 campaign goal.


Swan-like Showcome lamp offers many methods of control

For those who find the words “on” and “off” to be boring and predictable, there is now a light that responds to the word “aladdin” instead. And yes, it is shaped like a lamp, sort of.

Probably more of a cross between a swan and a lamp. But Showcome also responds to other forms of communication. It also offers a Smartphone app, motion-sensor control for hands-free operation, and touch control that also allows the user to adjust how much light is being given off. The LED light source also offers potential room-to-room portability with a height of just over two feet and a width of just over seven inches.

The cord may be a bit short, though, at only 5.9 feet, depending on where and for what purpose one wants to use it. For $58, backers get one product with an expected delivery of January 2015.