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Helios is a modular touch screen wall light that turns walls into a canvas for illumination, using your hand as the brush.
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1,008 backers pledged £128,931 to help bring this project to life.
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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Project supporting material callout image

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

Helios is a modular touch screen wall light. This design allows the user to effectively swipe where they want or need light, turning the walls into a canvas for illumination using their hand as the brush. The combination of modularity and the lighting controls equals a product that can be completely tailored by the user. This product provides the opportunity for a lighting solution that is specific to each and every environment.

A finger touch turns the panels on and off.
A finger touch turns the panels on and off.

This product consists of multiple plastic hexagons that can be connected together via magnets and interlocking patterns to form a touch screen wall light. The magnets that form the physical connection between components also allow the electricity to pass through from one piece to another.

Prototype on display and winning prizes
Prototype on display and winning prizes

With the power running through the product, each individual component is turned on and off via a capacitive touch sensor incorporated into each piece. The underlying idea for the product is to give the user the ability to turn the interior architecture of a space into the light source. It gives potential for the user to just swipe the surface of the wall and it will illuminate the path of their touch. Turning the interior architecture into a canvas for illumination with the users hand as the brush.

Create any shape and turn on individual panels as you swipe your hand across.
Create any shape and turn on individual panels as you swipe your hand across.

Building the Display

The individual components can be easily pieced together via the magnets that are located around the edges of the product. The hexagonal shape allows the pieces to tessellate together and gives the opportunity for a variety of multiple different structures. This process allows the user to create a light that suits the needs they have. The customer can purchase as many units as they need.

Swipe On / Swipe Off

The wall lamp is turned on and off through the physical touch from the user. Using capacitive sensors as the switch, when the user's body comes into contact with the surface it will toggle each component on or off. This design allows the user to effectively swipe where they want or need light. Turning the interior architecture into a canvas for illumination with the users hand as the brush.

Capacitive touch circuit
Capacitive touch circuit


Currently up to 105 tiles can be joined on the same power circuit. Further testing and development will be done to increase this. Larger displays can be made by isolating the contacts between groups of tiles.

Wall Mounting

Only the central units need to be rigidly connected, allowing the user to move around the other units to make different shapes. We tested various methods and the best solution was a choice of either nails or just sticky pads running around the perimeter of the rear face.

Nails are the most secure attachment and a template for their placement would be provided with the product. The sticky tabs provide an alternative or a back up to the nail connection if mounting onto surfaces where nails cannot be used, for example glass or tiles.


The combination of the modularity and the lighting control equals a product that can be completely tailored by the user. This product provides an opportunity for a lighting solution that is specific to each and every environment.


Helios Touch is powered from a mains power supply supplied with the packs with the correct plug will be supplied for your location. The 120 / 220 v to 24v 2A adapter will power up to 35 panels. For larger displays additional power supplies can be plugged in to increase the capacity to up to 105 panels.

Power Adapter

Supplied with International Plugs

Pledging For Rewards (Please read)

IMPORTANT: Kickstarter will only allow ONE pledge per person, you can not add expansion packs separately. Please choose the reward with the number of light panels required.


Outer Shell

The two external parts for the product will be injection molded. Ribs have been added to all bosses in order to reduce sink marks and improve quality. The wall thickness has been kept uniform and consistent at l.5mm throughout the piece to ensure the quality and even cooling during the injection moulding process. The l.5mm thickness was chosen because it is within the optimal thickness range for the material and thin enough to allow for some of the intricate details.

 Mold Flow Analysis

Autodesk Moldflow was used to improve upon the existing design and create a more suitable part for injection moulding. Reducing sink marks was an important area to address as the model was initially prone to the defects in a visible area. The sink marks have been reduced by reducing material in certain areas and also ribbing necessary bosses.

The materials used for the outer shell will be a key factor in optimizing manufacturing and functionality of the product. The outer shell will also need to meet industry standards for electronic device housing.

Requirements of the material:
Strong enough to protect the internal components from some of the stresses the product may be exposed. These stresses may include the product being dropped on the floor and accidentally being stepped on.

Materials and Recycling 

·        Neoydin magnets

These magnets have been chosen because neodymium magnets are the strongest type of permanent magnet commercially available.

·        PCB

The substrate most commonly used in printed circuit boards is a glass fibre reinforced (fibreglass) epoxy resin with a copper foil bonded on to one or both sides. This has been chosen as it is less expensive and most commonly used.

·        LED

LED'S have been chosen for the product because of their current cost and energy efficiency, however as technology progresses, OLED's may be a more suitable option.

·        Life Cycle

All components within the product have a long life span (5+ years). The part to most likely fail first are the internal components mounted onto the PCB. The integration of the PCB has been designed so it can easily be replaced if this does occur.

·        Environmental Impact

The ambition of the product is to reduce the energy consumption for lighting in commercial buildings with a more tailored and customized light fixture, thus reducing energy wastage with an attitude of 'as much as you need'.

·        Recycling

ABS is not a biodegradable material, therefore in order to keep the environmental impact minimal all parts have been designed so they can be taken apart. The two ABS parts can detach from one another and be recycled into ABS pellets to be reused for other products. Another advantage to the product being designed to be easily taken apart is that the internal parts can be replaced if they fail or can be updated if new technological advancements are made, thus saving some parts from being thrown away.

·        Shipping

Materials and parts will be sourced as close to the manufacturing as possible. This is to reduce the total amount of shipping for the product and thus reducing the environmental impact of the product.

·        Packaging

The intention is to offer Helios lights in a 5 module starter pack with mains adapter, or 10 module expansion pack. This will allow the same packaging to be used for both. Circular or hexagon tubes will be used to pack the modules securely.

 The Story of Two Jameses

James G & James V
James G & James V

James Vanderpant is an extremely ambitious product designer who has just graduated from Brighton University. He already had 4 years experience in architecture and lighting prior to studying and has had the opportunity of working with some high end clients on a number of bespoke projects.

James has a great attention to detail and is destined to become a successful designer after already receiving awards for his work on Helios lighting, including New Designers Associate Prize in 2016. He co-created and manages the Brighton Design Exhibition to create an event that brought important and exciting design projects to the surface and acting as a major curator for up and coming creative talent within the Sussex area.

James Glover is an experienced Chartered Mechanical Engineer & Naval Architect, with extensive technical design experience in the automotive and marine industries prior to starting his own design company, Dyena.

His original specialty was suspension design for race car producing designs for Formula One, World Rally and Touring Cars. After motorsport world, James moved into the maritime sector, working first on a new marine propulsion technology, then as Head of Engineering Design for high performance powerboat company and as a technical design consultant within the maritime military industry.

How it all started

Currently spending most of his time on a new engine concept which is due to be launched at the end of 2016, James Glover happened to meet James Vanderpant at the Brighton Design Exhibition where he was demonstrating the Helios Lighting system. Instantly convinced by the concept, he offered his experience and contacts to develop the final design and release Helios Lighting to a wider market.


Risks and challenges

This project is already mature with a fully working prototype and agreed manufacturing plan. Any project could encounter unexpected obstacles but we are confident that, if successful, we can deliver without delay. Potential risks to achieving this include:

1. Lead time of PCB assembly. Lead time is the time between placement of an order and delivery of the product. We have already secured supply of the components for 10,000 units. If we need more units to match the demand of our backers, we will place orders for more parts during the Kickstarter campaign to ensure punctual delivery.

2. A second potential problem is preparing for the injection moulding manufacturing process. Injection moulding is the fastest and most reliable way to manufacture cases for the hex modules. We have already designs for each part and have existing relationships with two trusted manufacturing companies. During the campaign we will be working on prototype moulds to get everything ready.

We are fully aware that unexpected bumps in the road may arise, but our team is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to keep our promises. We will update you on our progress and can’t wait to hear feedback from our backers in order to deliver the best product possible.

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Funding period

- (41 days)

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