Luxafor - the LED Status Light and Productivity Tool
Luxafor - the LED Status Light and Productivity Tool
This is Luxafor, a productivity tool that reduces interruptions, shows notifications and makes it easy to stay focused on your tasks.
This is Luxafor, a productivity tool that reduces interruptions, shows notifications and makes it easy to stay focused on your tasks. Read more
About this project
Luxafor is a productivity gadget that lets you stay focused on your tasks. With the help of built-in LEDs, it uses light to show your colleagues when you're hard at work and can't be disturbed, provides alerts about all manner of notifications at the speed of light, helps you effectively plan your day with features like the timer or Pomodoro, and even lets you track the quality of your work with productivity app integrations. When we sat down to create our first prototypes of Luxafor, we had one goal: to pack as much usefulness as possible into a tiny gadget that could improve the quality of life in offices and workplaces around the world.
So we created Luxafor, the tiny LED indicator that you can connect to your PC via USB or Bluetooth. It’s available in 3 different models to meet the varying needs of all workplaces: Luxafor Mini, Luxafor Flag and Luxafor Bluetooth.
The entire idea of Luxafor was born when we were working day and night on countless projects and constantly had to bother each other with little things. We noticed that this actually made quite a dent in our overall productivity, so we wanted to find a meaningful way to deal with the problem. But first, we did some research:
A study from the University of California found that interruptions at work greatly influence workers’ productivity. The Guardian even calculated that if you’re interrupted 16 times during an eight-hour day, you may as well stay in bed, because an average worker needs about 25 minutes to get back into the work flow after an interruption.
Once we completely understood the problem, we put our minds together to create a solution to all the problems people face in co-working spaces and open offices. And our answer was Luxafor - the traffic light of your productivity. Luxafor lets you avoid disruptful conversations and keep focus on the work you’re doing.
As the name implies, Mini is the most compact version of Luxafor - meant for people who are all about improving their personal productivity. The idea was to create a tiny personal assistant that discreetly lights up when you receive emails, notifications, or calendar reminders, ensuring you never miss anything important. No need to check your inbox every 10 minutes. Luxafor Mini saves time and lets you fully focus on your current task. Even with its tiny frame, the Mini provides the full punch of the Luxafor software.
The original product that we created when we first set out to tackle the problem of workplace interruptions. After the product proved successful and gained a high demand in offices around the world, we decided that it was time for an upgrade. Now it has evolved through several stages and is more durable, polished and bolsters a higher performance. The Flag promptly displays your availability to your colleagues while also alerting you to incoming notifications (and flawlessly performs all other Luxafor features) - making it a perfect gadget for the entire team.
The Luxafor Bluetooth idea began from popular demand - many people contacted us that they'd love a version of Luxafor that could be placed anywhere in the office and controlled remotely. Thus we created the Bluetooth model. It can be used to display the availability of rooms, such as conference rooms or closed offices, or you can place it in a spot that your entire team can see, so everyone is notified about any important incoming information.
The Bluetooth model will be controlled via a mobile app (which is already in the works!) and will also have the ability to show notifications about incoming phone calls, SMS messages and the battery status of your phone. Through the app you’ll be able to swap through the many function modes offered by Luxafor or even change the power settings of the device to your preferences.
While we aimed to pack in as many features as possible, we still wanted to retain a clear and easy usability. The set-up is as simple as 3 steps: connect the device, download and install software and you're ready to go!
Luxafor already has working software available that just received a great rework - sporting a new, user friendly design and a batch of new features - along with a polish to all existing features.
With the built-in LEDs, you can switch through countless color modes for your Luxafor device - green may be an indicator to when you're available for a chat, while red could show you're busy working at the moment. Set any other imaginable color to whatever meaning you or your team can come up with.
Sync your Luxafor software with your e-mail, Skype for Business, or calendar and receive customized notifications about anything important that you would not wish to miss. You can even set up a notification pattern when receiving an e-mail that contains specific words - like regarding a purchase or scheduled conference. With the open source software and upcoming IFTTT support, there really is no limit to what you can do - like receiving a notification when the coffee machine has finished making you that nice Latte!
Plan your day ahead - the timer function lets you specify periods of time when you'd want Luxafor to display a predefined color. Blue for those busy hours when all your focus goes into finishing that pile of tasks on schedule, green for the moments when you're taking a breather and are open for conversations, and perhaps red for those pre-coffee hours when no one should dare approach you!
The Pomodoro technique is one of the most popular productivity methods, and something we’ve used diligently in our own office (it works like a charm!). The main concept behind the technique is to work in blocks of time, switching between productive periods and smaller breaks, and Luxafor guides you through these cycles so you're always in top form! The technique aims to provide maximum focus and creative freshness, and allows one to complete projects faster, with less mental fatigue.
Our most recent feature added to the Luxafor software - Skype for Business integration. Link the app with your Luxafor device and it will change lights according to your Skype status automatically - or vice versa, use the Luxafor software to change colors and your Skype for Business status will be also adjusted. Let everyone know that when you switch to "Do Not Disturb" you're not to be bothered - both online and in person!
When we created the new and upgraded Luxafor software, we kept the many available productivity apps in mind, so we knew that Luxafor would work great with them. Currently, you can hook your Luxafor up with Desktime, an app that lets you see when you're spending time on productive tasks and when you're leaning towards leisure. And that's just an example of what Luxafor can work with - give us your feedback about which productivity apps you'd most like to see integrated, and we'll do our best to bring it to you!
With configurable hot keys, you can control most of Luxafor’s functions quickly and with ease. Since productivity is the main goal of Luxafor, we wouldn't want you to waste time browsing through countless software tabs!
While we polished Luxafor to include a wide array of features, we knew that people around the world could find a lot of other uses, tailored to their needs. We had this in mind right from the get-go, so we made all of our software open source, so people all around could configure their Luxafor to whatever creative solutions they may require!
All-in-all, Luxafor was created to be your tiny personal assistant and productivity traffic light, allowing you to both save time (and, in turn, money) and increase the value of your productivity. Streamline your office communication by letting others know when it’s a good time to converse with you, or quite the opposite - show them that you’re in the middle of a particularly demanding task and should not be bothered. Set up all sorts of important notifications to be displayed by your Luxafor so you never miss any news, then configure patterns, brightness and color schemes to best fit your needs. Or, use some of the integrated productivity tools to plan your day and let Luxafor be your guide - keep your working hours neat and tidy!
Since Luxafor is an open source product, and since it’s been around for a while now, there’s a wide variety of creative solutions already available, created by the inventive minds of Luxafor users around the world. Such examples include the Luxafor-Spotify integration by Otto Vehviläinen; Luxafor for Slack integration by Lochlan Bunn and Luxafor for Linux by Felipe Martín.
Height: 22mm (0.86’’)
Width: 18mm (0.70’’)
Depth: 8mm (0.31’’)
Weight: 3g (0.10oz)
Light: 2x RGB LEDs
Consumption: Rated power up to 0,15 W
Charging: USB powered
Height: 48mm (1.88’’)
Width: 15mm (0.59’’)
Depth: 34mm (1.33’’)
Weight: 8g (0.28oz) - without cable
Light: 6x RGB LEDs
Consumption: Rated power up to 0,5 W
Charging: USB powered (standard micro USB data cable)
Available cable lenght: 0.5m (20’’) / 1.5m (~60’’)
Height: 124mm (4.88’’)
Width: 24mm (0.94’’)
Depth: 23mm (0.90’’)
Weight: 70g (2.47oz) - with battery
Light: 2x RGB LEDs
Consumption: Rated power up to 0,2 W
Charging: With a standard micro usb data cable
Built in 2600mAh battery
Working Time: 92h (~6month) depending on brightness and working mode
We are a team of 5 based in Europe who are passionate about implementing new ideas into reality.
Kristians and Kaspars are the co-founders of the company. They are the ones who had the idea for Luxafor and pursued it. While Kaspars is the brain behind the technical solutions, Kristians manages all the challenges of the business side of things. Kristaps is a talented engineer who manages Luxafor production. Every device goes through his detailed inspection. Matiss is an outstanding designer with an eye for details. Agnese is our marketing project manager. She is also the one who replies to every single one of your emails.
The idea came up while we were working in an open office ourselves. One day, Kaspars, who was coding at that moment, got angry that Kristians was asking him questions during coding sessions. So they decided they needed some indication of when they could talk and when they shouldn’t disturb each other. After the idea was born, work on the device started. A lot of different shapes and possibilities were explored until the prototype was born.
A year ago we launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund our first Luxafor batch. Although the campaign was unsuccessful, the interest was high enough to continue work on Luxafor.
Since then, we have sold over 4000 Luxafor devices - all printed with a 3D printer and manufactured right here in our office in Latvia – all up to the quality standards set by the EU. During this time we have updated the software and created a more user friendly design, and we continue working on office solutions that will improve productivity.
Final Working Prototypes
Now we have come to a point where we have produced the best working prototypes that our very own workshop could offer. With the success of the initial Luxafor Flag device, we want to take the next step forward and bring our devices to mass production - providing the best quality to our clients.
“In an open office layout, Luxafor has helped us to create protective safe zones for designers to stay engaged and increase their productiveness.”
- Brad Jones / Advent
“We love our Luxafor devices! They are great for alerting others that you are busy, without having to say a thing.”
- Kimberly Kajdan / Experience Grand Rapids
“Our productivity has increased because we feel more comfortable approaching one another and can quickly tell when others are free to chat.”
- Constance Awenasa / Washington STEM
“The Luxafor Flag offers a unique and compelling way to let others know you don't want to be disturbed.”
- Avram Piltch / laptopmag.com
“Luxafor is a powerful and professional tool. It really helps a lot for working peacefully and efficiently.”
- Shivani Srivastava / techgyd.com
The Luxafor Kickstarter campaign is set to last 35 days - in this period of time, we hope to achieve the set goal of $33,000 USD. The first step we have planned once the campaign has concluded is to deal with all necessary tooling requirements (tooling for the Luxafor Bluetooth and Mini devices will require a longer period of time than the Flag) and ordering components. After an estimated 45 days, we plan to begin mass production of the Luxafor Flag devices. According to the timeline we’ve calculated and set, the first batch of Luxafor Flag devices would be delivered to backers mid-March (roughly 60 days after the end of the campaign). At the start of June, we’ve scheduled putting the finishing touches on the Luxafor mobile app, and during the second half of that month the production of Luxafor Mini and Bluetooth will begin. Luxafor Mini is bound to be finished first, and backers can expect the first batch to be delivered mid-July (~130 days after the end of the campaign), and the Bluetooth version is set to be finished at the beginning of August (~150 days).
With the funds we hope to achieve through Kickstarter, we intend to provide a reliable manufacturing process for our products - covering the cost of molds, materials and such components as diodes, PCBs and processors. We wish to ensure that our production is reliable and our products are in an affordable price range - giving our clients and backers a quality gadget within the promised time period.
Risks and challenges
We believe that it is a great bonus that we have an already established business; thus, we understand the process behind a successful product development and delivery, and, in turn, understand what the possible risks are.
Component supplier delays
To create the Luxafor devices, we have to partially rely on outside sources - suppliers - to receive all the required components on time and within a price range that would not make our completed product too expensive for the user (and not at the expense of quality). We have already gathered a trusty network of suppliers with whom we have worked from the very early stages of the Luxafor project. Still, we are aware that in order to bring fully functional Luxafor devices to all backers, it would require handling orders of a much larger size, and we are already in talks with suppliers that could accommodate these requirements. Possible hindrances that we could face are how fast we and the supplier can handle these orders and the possibility of some faulty components (which are bound to happen to some degree in orders of such sizes).
Thus far, we have assembled the current Luxafor devices in our own office - 3D printing the encasing of the device. While this process is handled by professionals, it puts a certain stranglehold on the quantity and production time. With the success of this campaign, we intend to bring this process to mass production, increasing the production time and overall quality of each batch. This is another case where we rely on a manufacturer - yet it is our responsibility to oversee this process, so a high level of quality is met for each device. As a safety net for any unexpected problems that may emerge, we have all the necessary tools (and experience) to create and/or assemble the devices in our very own office.
While we have an established pipeline to deliver our products to our clients in the expected time, the delivery process can be influenced by many unpredictable scenarios: customs errors, weather conditions, postal traffic, etc.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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