Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Experience the future of party costumes! Smart LEDs, holographic sequins, remote-control lighting effects, multi-cloak sync & more...
Experience the future of party costumes! Smart LEDs, holographic sequins, remote-control lighting effects, multi-cloak sync & more...
45 backers pledged $10,306 to help bring this project to life.

About

The Firefly Cloak: A Revolutionary Smart LED Costume project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

The Firefly Cloak: A Revolutionary Smart LED Costume

$10,306

45

 

Hi! We are Gerry Gilligan and Jason Balcauski, the founders of Austin Bright Light Design and the makers of the Firefly Cloak. Thank you for checking out our Kickstarter! 

We created the Firefly Cloak as a natural follow up to our work on LED art installations that used individually addressable LEDs, custom controllers and infinity mirrors. Our plan was to create the most outrageous costume we could imagine, then fit it with a portable version of the advanced LEDs and electronics used in our installations to create dynamic wearable art. Our early prototypes evoked countless smiles from strangers and broke down social barriers, leading to more friendships and fun. It’s hard not to say hello to someone lit up and wearing a Firefly Cloak! 

We are launching this Kickstarter so others can get in on the fun and spread joy of their own! If successful, we plan to offer additional designs and lighting effects in collaboration with other artists and electronics gurus willing to help out.

I’ve seen lighted costumes before. What’s so special about the Firefly Cloak? 

There are primarily two types of lighted clothing available in the market: elaborate one-off custom pieces usually seen on stage costing thousands of dollars, and simple lighted fur costumes using single color, “dumb” red/green/blue (RGB) LEDs or electroluminescent (EL) wire. The Firefly Cloak has many of the features of the custom LED costume - and has been used on stage - but at a fraction of the cost and in a design that welcomes movement and dancing!

 

  • Custom designed, addressable “smart” WS2811 LEDs
  • Over 300 pre-programmed effects Easy to use remote control
  • Dimmable
  • Adjustable timing
  • Pair with multiple Firefly Cloaks to sync lighting effects (40’ radius) 
  • Holographic sequins 
  • 6000mAh lithium ion battery pack with 5V USB to double as phone charger
  • Custom laser engraved Firefly clasp
  • Breathable materials with high performance wicking liner
  • Discreet hidden pocket
  • Hand holds for uninhibited dancing
  • Professionally engineered for comfort and performance
  • Firefly drawstring backpack to transport and store your cloak

Standard LEDs are ‘dumb’ - they change colors and blink all together. Our LEDs are much smarter than that!

Austin Bright Light Design™ “Smart” LEDs (WS2811) can be programmed like a pixels on a television screen. Addressable LEDS allow the user to activate over 300 pre-programmed lighting effects from the included remote control: chases, rainbow pulse, dripping water, blue lagoon, sunburst surprise (Ok, we made up the names as we went along, but you get the idea!) ABLD™ “Smart” LED strips are custom designed and made to our specifications to hold up to the rigors of use in the Firefly Cloak. We use a strengthened PCB, modified insulation and added heat shrink to minimize the chance of breakage.

 

Holographic sequins have holograms embedded in the surface. This gives the sequins extra sparkle from any direction even in low light. High quality, anti-MOOP fabric keeps the sequins secure and helps prevent unintentional sequin litter.

 

 

The 12V 6000mAh power features UL Listed cells and can last from 4 - 20 hours depending on user operation. Included is a 2 amp 5V USB port allowing the power supply to double as a phone charger so your phone doesn’t die mid-show.

 

We use a breathable, wicking material similar to what is used in performance running and cycling clothing to line the Firefly Cloak. This helps make the Firefly comfortable to wear in even the warmest conditions. 

Professional engineers using Computer Aided Design (CAD) helped us to develop an exclusive pattern and support system to evenly distribute weight across the shoulders, not the neck. 

The Firefly Cloak also includes a discreet hidden pocket for holding your valuables while you shine, and hand-hold straps for uninhibited dancing.

The Firefly is sized to “fit most”. It will fit people from 4’11” and taller. The maximum neck size is 19”. It is not designed or intended for children.

Over the last year, we have worked with professional clothing designers and seamstresses in Austin to improve the cloaks and renamed it, “Firefly Cloak”. We used high performance materials including unique holographic sequins, a breathable, wicking liner and special faux fur that diffuses light from the LEDs in a dazzling way. Thought was put into an even weight distribution for people from 4'11" and taller, so wearing the cloak is unobtrusive and comfortable. The electronics package has been vastly improved to include 300 pre-programmed lighting effects, dimming, and the ability to sync light patterns with other nearby Firefly Cloaks. Today, that includes any cloaks that are within forty feet of a synced remote control!

With each successive generation of the Firefly Cloak, we plan on updating and altering the fabrics and materials that are used based on themes, time of year, upcoming festivals and holidays. ABLD will be working with artists, painters, graphic designers, graffiti artists and others to bring their designs to life on our clothing. We would love to connect with you if you are creative, so please send us a message via our social media channels. With each generation of cloaks, our customers will truly be receiving limited edition art pieces that may never be duplicated again! With your help and a successful crowdfunding campaign behind us, we plan to offer an array of lighted costumes and accessories that share a similar electronics package and features. Our goal is to offer high quality products that can truly be en-“ABLD” throughout a venue to show the glow in your soul, all at an approachable price point.

 

Thanks: 

To One-2-One Bar in Austin, TX for providing us with a location to shoot our video and a creative space for our community. To our friend Kendra Rose who sewed the very first Cloaks. To our models: Amanda Shaftel, Christina Kuhlmann, Ryan Leman, Jillian McCann, Son Nguyen, Michelle Simpson. Thanks to our rockstar friends: Kevin Russell of Shinyribs, A Live One, Graveltooth, Trouble in the Streets and HeartByrne. To our collaborators: Dustin & Evan Bozarth at AIRSHP, Mountain Trout Photography, Jamey Simmons, Andrew Hall at the Hippie House, Nga Keith of Bluebonnet Cut and Sew, Tina and Ester of Whitestar Manufacturing, John Hoeffleur at Panic Buttonz, Cobih at Facebook.

 

 

Risks and challenges

Challenges

Manufacturing

After building multiple prototypes, we enlist professional designers and engineers to help perfect our designs and put them into formats for manufacturing (patterns, CAD designs, Tech Packs, electronics specs etc). Those designs are shared with manufacturers for pricing, tooling and sample production. Once samples are returned, we measure and test each sample to ensure they meet our quality standards and specifications. While a sample may pass our inspection, a production run item may not. We plan to use internationally certified quality inspectors to inspect the components of the Firefly™ cloak, but there is a risk that one or more the components for our first production run could fail to meet our specifications and lead to delay.

Customs Classification

We are using a qualified Customs Agent to assist with US Customs processing, taxes and tariffing. Our agent advised us that the uniqueness of our product (even US Customs may think it’s unique!) may lead to questions by US Customs on how to classify it for taxes, tariff and import quota purposes. While not expected, the need for a US Customs ruling (to decide the tariff classification) could delay shipment by several weeks.

Environmental, Labor and Safety Audits/Factory Shut Downs

We seek out factories with internationally recognized certification for worker safety, environmental compliance and child labor prohibition. These factories are all subject to surprise audits by the certifying organizations and the government. If conditions are found lacking as the result of an audit or other means, a factory may be shut down for an indeterminate amount of time until the conditions are corrected. While we will have back up manufacturers to step in if necessary, the small size of our first production run, tooling and material acquisition time could lead to delays.

Lithium Ion Batteries

Our use of lithium ion polymer battery packs has its own set of challenges both in importing and use in the countries that we would like to sell to. We use batteries with UL listed cells, overcharge protection and CE and RoHS certification. We will only be shipping to the US to start, but we hope to expand worldwide as soon as possible.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Glow Squad!

    Get a personalized thank you note from the ABLD team and acknowledgement on our website!

    Includes:
    • Email List
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ABLD Graphics Drawstring Pack & Pins

    With this reward level, you will receive a first run drawstring pack emblazoned with the ABLD logo! We will also two high quality ABLD and Firefly Cloak logo pins to stick on your gear or clothing.

    Includes:
    • ABLD Logo Backpack
    • Logo Hat Pins
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Custom Graphics T-Shirt, Stickers, Pins

    ABLD is hard at work connecting with some amazingly talented artists and graphic designers. With this reward level, you will receive a unique, first run t-shirt emblazoned with the ABLD logo. We will also include high quality stickers and pins to slap on your gear.

    Includes:
    • Custom ABLD Graphic T-Shirt
    • ABLD Stickers
    • Logo Hat Pins
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $249 or more About $249

    Firefly Cloak- Early Adopters!

    Get your very own Firefly Cloak! These costumes elicit smiles from strangers, foster friendly conversation and help you connect in a positive way. We want others to spread fun and create smiles of their own! As a thank you to our early supporters, we are offering a limited number of Firefly Cloaks for a pledge of $249, or $100 off retail!

    You will receive 1 Firefly in blue or pink holographic sequins, 1 battery, 1 strip of ABLD LEDs, 1 control unit and 1 remote control.

    Includes:
    • Firefly Cloak
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $269 or more About $269

    Firefly Cloak- Second Wave!

    Get your very own Firefly Cloak! As a thank you for being a supporter "in the know", we are offering a limited number of Firefly Cloaks as a thank you for a pledge of $279. Save $70 off of retail. You will receive 1 Firefly in blue or pink holographic sequins, 1 battery, 1 strip of ABLD LEDs, 1 control unit, 1 remote control and drawstring backpack to carry your Firefly.

    Includes:
    • Firefly Cloak
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $279 or more About $279

    Firefly Cloak- Party Crashers!

    Get your very own Firefly Cloak! Fashionably late to the party, but still ready to glow! We are discounting this tier $50 off of retail! You will receive 1 Firefly in blue or pink holographic sequins, 1 battery, 1 strip of ABLD LEDs, 1 control unit and 1 remote control.

    Includes:
    • Firefly Cloak
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $540 or more About $540

    Firefly Cloak- Couples Skate!

    Cloaking is always better with a partner! Take advantage of the LED syncing technology with a friend or partner with this bundle of two (2) Firefly Cloaks for a pledge of $540! We are discounting this tier to encourage the synching of two or more Fireflys to a single remote - allowing all Fireflys within a 30’-40’ radius to share the same color, timing, pattern and dimming. Split your pledge with a friend or make it a gift to receive two Firefly Cloaks for $270 each. A total savings of $158! You will receive 2 Fireflys in blue or pink holographic sequins, 2 batteries, 2 strips of LEDs, 2 control units and 2 remote controls.

    Includes:
    • Firefly Cloak
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Buy 4 Get 1 Firefly Free Party Pack!

    Pledge $1000 or more and receive five (5) Firefly cloaks in your choice of hot pink, sea blue or any combination. It's like buying 4 at the early adopter tier and getting 1 free! We want to get our wearable art out to the world and this is may be the most cost effective way for you and your crew to glow together. Additional Firefly Cloaks may be added for $249 at this level. Ships to one US address only.

    Includes:
    • Firefly Cloak
    • ABLD Logo Backpack
    • Li-Ion Power Supply (6000mAh) with USB
    • LED controller and remote
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    SXSW Music Weekend Extravaganza!

    Party in the "Live Music Capital of the World" during it's preeminent music festival, South by Southwest! For one lucky backer, we will be including two (2) all access music badges which allow primary access to all music events, two (2) Firefly Cloaks by ABLD that just might get you whisked to the front of the line, lodging for you and your guest close to the action and rideshare credits for your stay in Austin! In addition, the founders of ABLD will take you on a personal tour of their fair city, pointing out the best clubs, nightspots and more bbq than you can handle! For this tier, you must be available March 12th-18th, 2018 for travel to Austin. Travel to and from Austin is not included.

    Includes:
    • SXSW Music Badges
    • Firefly Cloak
    • Lodging in Austin
    • Personal Tour of Austin from the Founders
    • Rideshare Credits
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)