Author Topic: An Easy LED System on Kickstarter  (Read 2166 times)

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Offline LiTTT_up

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An Easy LED System on Kickstarter
« on: October 27, 2018, 03:56:03 pm »
Hi Guys,

When it comes to my EEVBlog diet, I'm usually gorging over on youtube not the forum here. I want to share my crowdfunding project with the most detail oriented eyes on the web, the techies & EE's that follow Dave!

Provide some feedback if you have a minute and please back it if you like it or could use it.

I just posted it last night, so I'm not sure how well it's doing yet.  :phew: I'd like to share any info or questions anyone might have about the challenges with the injection molding, sheet metal work, and overmolding. Or videography or whatever questions about my electrical connectors and LED system you might have.

It's a pretty simple concept, nothing outrageous really. Let me know what you think. Tear me apart!!

LiTTT™ Snap! An Easy LED System:

I don't want to put too many pictures here and be a complete nuisance, so I'll just drop three in to get the general idea. :blah:

« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 05:31:51 pm by LiTTT_up »

Offline LiTTT_up

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Re: An Easy LED System on Kickstarter
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2018, 11:37:43 pm »
Got a few folks over on kickstarter with frequently asked questions so I'll post it here in case they google for the answers to these questions.

One additional note though since this is EEV Blog, what do you guys think of Meanwell power supplies?

Should I recommend MeanWell power supplies to my backers?

Anyone with experience with those, I'd appreciate it. Thank you

Is LiTTT™ Snap! Compatible with any LED strips?
We've designed LiTTT™ Snap! connectors and the frames to make use of existing 3-pin digitally addressable LED strips as well as our in-house ones. As a rule of thumb any of the following will work:
• WS2811-based LED strips (3-Pin)
• WS2812-based LED strips (3-Pin)
• SK6812-based LED strips (3-Pin)
• Any 3-pin 10mm LED srip variant

10mm wide strips are best, although there is a little extra room. (inner frame width is 11mm)

Our in-house LED strips, the LiTTT™ RGBW LEDs, are designed to work seamlessly with the rest of the system when following the simple connection instructions. Fold over the correct length and plug in the connectors. Done.

If you have other plans for LiTTT™ Snap!, some 2-Pin strips fit the connectors pretty well actually. If that's a use case for you, let us know. We can get measure pin spacing if your considering strips other than our own and help you out with planning your project.

When LiTTT™ Campaign #1 is done we've been asked to make a 4-pin variant of the connectors as well. We will certainly consider this, but right now 3-pin variants are very popular and they are digitally addressable. Lastly, if you use a QuadColor LED strip such as the SK6812 with 4500K° White Diode, it opens up a lot of really cool possibilities such as Video to Light and HDR content reflected on your walls or home theater, to name just one application.

Which Power supply should I Use?
The connectors in our kit are compatible with 5v, 12v and some 24v LED strips. This does depend on the length you want to run through. Longer runs mean more amperage is required. Try sticking with 5 volt strips if you can. I'll include an online guide (thanks Adafruit) below for determing what size of power supply you'll need.

As for controllers, we are developing one. The LiTTT™ Hub. Of course, there are many controllers already out there for 3-Pin LED strips. Most are compatible with RGB 3-Pin LED strips that are based on the WS2812 IC. Theres a lot of folks using Arduinos or Raspberry Pis to control these as well if you're in to that. And there's good RGBW libraries out there as well on GitHub and Adafruit. But if your into plug and play, then Amazon and eBay is simply flooded with controller options these days at very low price points. Pay attention to connectors when ordering your controller. It will have an output connector that needs to pair with LiTTT™ Snap!'s pigtail connectors. I'll link the connector type we chose for our standard pigtail below.

Our standard Pigtails:

Keep in mind, we other custom pigtail options in some of our backer packages.

Guide for choosing an LED strip power supply:

In general, for a 30 LED/Meter LED strip (which is what our LEDs are) you want 0.6Amps per meter. So if you project will use a full reel of our LED strips go with a 5V @ 10A power supply. 8A will also work for most use cases, but if you think you entire strip with all four LEDs will be LiTTT™ up then, go with the 5V @ 10A.

Keep in mind, many controllers come bundled with a power supply and a controller already. So you can always try that first if you're not sure.

If you have any questions, just let us know. Happy to help in any way I can.

Offline pylo

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Re: An Easy LED System on Kickstarter
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2018, 10:05:08 am »
I'm talking as somebody with relevant experience as I've planned and built/assembled the lighting in my whole flat myself which is 100% based on led strips. I'm talking about both room lights and decoration.

I think it might be worth to explain to your potential backers what advantages your system provides. Even myself, somebody who knows what it means to assemble such a system and build it on your own, I don't really see why I would choose LiTT as opposed to just buying another solution. You make it seem one advantage would be the easy joints and corner pieces, but they also exist for other strips, in fact, you can buy them in bags of 100, are low cost, and a single type works with strips of multiple brands.

Another advantage could be the "easily setup and work with existing tech such as Arduino, ..." point from your campaign page, but this seems a bit made up because you don't have your own controller yet, so backers basically have to use another controller already on the market. In the end your users then have the exact same controlling possibilities as with other solutions.

Any assembled LED system will need 1) the LED strips, 2) joints and cables, 3) power supply, optionally 4) a metal profile for cooling, and optionally a 5) controller if you want more than just on/off. As far as I understand LiTT has exactly these components too to manually assemble, so why is it easier to use?

Actually, the RPVC profile of the LiTT seems very redundant in your system and only seems to increase bulkiness and add cost, because LED strips are usually self-adhesive so you can easily mount them anywhere. The only (but very common) case where you would really want a profile is when you have strong LED lights such that cooling is needed, so instead of sticking your strips directly onto surfaces, you'd use a metal support profile to act as a heatsink. The LiTT profile is inappropriate for this use-case because it is made of plastic, so it won't be able to cool anything.

Another advantage your system could have is the ease of buying - users not having to mix and match components of various shops and manufacturers. Instead of having to "know what they are doing", users could just buy your components because they form a consistent system whose parts are guaranteed to be compatible. This could be a valid value proposition, but this isn't the case with your system either AFAICT, as your users still need to buy the power supply and LED controller from another manufacturer. At the end of the day your users still manually have to make sure to get the compatibility and parameters right. Actually, the supply and the controller are the two parts where electrical compatibility (and quality!) problems are most likely to arise, so you left the two most problematic units up to your users. Meh...

Sorry for being so critical. But what I see is that the campaign isn't going too well anyway, so maybe these points above can give you some hints how to improve the system in the next version.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 10:08:46 am by pylo »
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Offline pylo

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Re: An Easy LED System on Kickstarter
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 10:43:18 am »
Just seeing that you're about to re-launch the campaign with a lower funding goal. IMHO that is not the right solution. I'd rather spend some time on the above points to make the system more attractive to users. Also, re-launching brings up a lot of questions that make the campaign (both old and new) come up in not-so-good light. If you needed so much more funding before, isn't the new campaign likely going to fail due to lack of funds? You say you can do this because now you have an alternative quote from a supplier. Why, didn't you ask for multiple quotes before? Didn't you then do a proper supplier research and cost analysis? How come you didn't realize your parts were so overpriced?

Also, there's one sentence in one of your updates that strikes a red alarm in my head:
"Now would be a great time to back us, no risk! Remember Kickstarter is All or Nothing, so you won't lose any money at all!"
That is just pure misinformation. Anybody who's even remotely familiar with crowdfunding knows that even if funding is successful, there's no guarantee for delivery, and not delivering after a successful campaign has happened many-many times on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. People will then lose money. Stating that there is no risk purely because of the "all-or-nothing" is wrong. And worse, even that you are working around by re-launching the campaign. That is basically the same as if you had taken the money in your original campaign without reaching the funding goal.

Doing a re-launch is fine, but first you must address why users didn't buy your product. You haven't even collected 1/20th of your original funding goal. You might have reduced manufacturing costs by finding a new supplier, but not 1/20! As long as you don't make your product more attractive, the re-launch won't solve anything.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 10:54:36 am by pylo »
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Offline electrodacus

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Re: An Easy LED System on Kickstarter
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 06:49:18 am »
I had three successful Kickstarter campaigns and currently ruining another one Link if curious you need to know that Kickstarter itself is not going to help with any (almost any) backers so You will need to find a way to get those in other ways than just Kickstarter.
Looking at the PCB I do not understand why the LED's are not rotated 90 degrees as it will make for a much better layout.

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