Lighting up Glow
Small update on the product development front.
Lately, we've been working on honing in the design for the top glowing light system. RGB LEDs like the ones we are using to generate Glow's visual feedback, tend to deliver light in a single primary direction. This is unlike incandescent or fluorescent lights which emit light in 360 degrees around the filament or tube. Because of this directional nature of LEDs, we have to go to significant lengths to spread out the light from our four LEDs to uniformly light GLow's upper surface.
In several prototypes we used LED strip lighting to illuminate Glow (including a Philips Hue light strip which fueled our commitment to add Hue integration to Glow). The LEDs in these strips are high intensity and there were a lot of them. Together they overcame the limitations of our early light diffusion attempts by overwhelmingly lighting the whole interior of Glow and spilling out the top (these prototypes also suffered from light leakage at any seams in the prototype--which we sealed up with sticky tack!).
After cutting up many LED light bulbs, trying a wide variety of plastics and changing the type of LEDs we were using, we think we've settled on a light diffusion system that will perform well without requiring more or larger LEDs (we were actually able to reduce our total LED count from six discrete LEDs to four). Here's a cutaway image of the diffusion system.
We're now working to validate this solution using rapid prototyping methods. Our goal is to validate this system extensively before we have final molds created.
As always, thanks for backing Glow… and helping us out along the way!
Ben, for the whole team
P.S. This teeshirt won.