The New Way to Create Amazing Lighting
Why did we do this? We love lighting! And we know what it’s like to have an idea for a particular look and not have the time or tools to create it.
Light by RocketLife is a combination of software and hardware that lets anyone tell a story with rich color transitions, sparkles, and natural motion effects. Set up fantastic home, business, and holiday lighting. Make retail displays and animated signs. Enhance your crafts. Create a work of art. Then control it all from your phone.
We worked hard to make it easy. Simply connect the included LED strip to LightBox and choose a lighting effect. And because we’re makers too, we included tons of advanced options for designers, artists, and people who want to get even more creative.
Create a Mood: Home & Office Lighting
Take It with You: Mobile & Wearables
Celebrate: Create Custom Holiday Lighting
Shine: Animated Signs & Retail Displays
Light Is Perfect for...
- Home and business lighting
- Holiday lighting
- Cars, bikes, and RVs
- Arts and crafts
- DJ lighting
- PC mods
- Costumes, wearables, and cosplay
- Architectural lighting and interior design
- Animated signs
- Retail displays
- Theatrical special effects
- Photo and video atmospheric lighting
- Educational, STEM, and maker projects
- Home Automation systems (Alexa, HomeKit, Google Home, etc.)
Why Light Is So Special
Conventional LED lighting systems limit you to one color at a time or preset patterns. Light by RocketLife lets you tell stories, from beautiful sunrise and sunset sequences on your wall to sophisticated holiday lighting and attractive animated displays.
- Super Easy: Choose from our huge list of dynamic programs and effects or make your own.
- Ready to Use Anywhere: Power Light from its internal rechargeable battery or an optional power adapter.
- Flexible: Light works with many different styles of LEDs, from light strips to grids, circles, discs, and decorative strings.
- Completely Wireless: The easy Bluetooth LE mobile app lets you change programs instantly.
- Beautiful: Layer animations for smooth crossfades, sparkles, and highlights.
- Visual: Take a picture, draw lights on top, add some patterns, and voilà — amazing custom lighting! You can even create multiple groups of differently animated lights.
- Expandable: LightBox includes advanced features for connecting and controlling other hardware (see "Tech Talk" below).
- Homegrown: LightBox and Light Effects Designer are designed and manufactured in the USA. (Woohoo!)
Nothing on TV? Light up your wall with Light by RocketLife.
Here we turned an ordinary countertop into a coffee bar by adding an uplighting strip and a custom sign. The strip is playing a sunrise animation here. With a tap on your phone, you can select a night mood.
- Supports many types of popular LEDs.
- Bluetooth LE wireless control from your phone or computer.
- Flexible power: Runs from its internal rechargeable battery or optional DC adapters.
- Can drive over 1,000 full-color LEDs with optional power supply.
- Maker-friendly case: Give a polished look to your projects or easily remove the board to use it standalone.
- Easy connection of sensors, servos, sound modules, Arduinos, and more. (See "Tech Talk" below.)
- Light fully supports addressable LEDs, meaning each one can change instantly and independently to any of thousands of colors. (Conventional systems set all LEDs to the same color.)
- Our Kickstarter specials include a 2-meter LED strip and/or a 3.6-meter string. Both have an IP65 waterproof rating (except for the connectors).
- Light also works with many additional LED layouts and formats. (See "Tech Talk" below.)
- Easy Bluetooth remote control app for iOS and Android.
- Choose programs with a tap or schedule them to play automatically using the precision clock and calendar in every LightBox.
- Works with multiple LightBoxes. Just select one from the list.
- Store your own programs and download new ones.
- Lets advanced makers wirelessly configure sensors and other peripherals. (See "Tech Talk" below.)
- Creative lighting design software for Mac and Windows.
- Take a photo, draw virtual LEDs on top of it, drag and drop animations, and voilà — amazing custom lighting.
- Send new programs to your LightBox over Bluetooth — no need to plug in a cable.
- Preview your animations onscreen and on actual LEDs at the same time.
- Advanced timeline editor supports up to 21 animation streams for dramatic crossfades and positional effects. (See "Tech Talk" below.)
Tech Talk: What Makes Light Different
Recently, we got a great question on an LED forum: "What is so special about it? How is it different from an LED strip attached to an esp8266 or an ESP32 [microcontroller]?"
Here's the short answer: Like so many others, we have years of experience crafting custom code to create LED effects on Arduinos, ESPys and anything else we could get to blink a light. The reason we created Light was to solve the technical problems we've had over and over again, so that we and others could spend more time on the creative side, making LEDs tell the stories we see in our minds. Our Kickstarter packages include a compact strip or string so you can get started fast, but because we support most WS, APA, and SK strips, strings, grids, and discs, you can add to your heart's content. We routinely drive 1,000+ LEDs with LightBox.
The Long Version: The big difference between Light and general-purpose hardware is that the entire Light system (LightBox, PC/Mac software, and mobile app) is designed for animating LEDs. On the hardware side, LightBox is based on the Nordic nRF52832, a 32-bit ARM procesor with integrated BLE. We include level-shifting on multiple ports, a LiPo battery with a software-adjustable charging rate up to 1A (so you can go big or small depending on your project) and "best power" capabilities so LightBox will always choose the optimal supply.
LightBox also includes a precision realtime clock with backup battery to keep your events on time. And LightBox has a very low sleep current because we included software-switchable power to the LEDs. That means they don’t continue to suck power when you put LightBox to sleep.
The board itself is designed for expansion. It can be used in or out of the box. It includes 3.3 and 5V power ports and extensive I/O for digital, analog, I2C, and serial connections to sensors, actuators, and other systems such as ESPy, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi.
What makes the Light system especially powerful for animating LEDs is the included software, Light Effects Designer. We’ve been working hard on this app for more than a year, reaching deep into the hardware to make it extremely high-performance. Light Effects Designer provides both powerful effect creation and easy WYSIWYG layout. You can load a photo of your project, draw groups of virtual LEDs on top of it, and have the system instantly control X, Y, circular, and rotational mapping across the LEDs.
The Light Effects Designer timeline supports up to seven completely independent groups of LEDs, each playing back different visuals simultaneously. In addition, each group can have up to three layers with alpha, making it possible to set up crossfades, gleams, sparkles, and other effects (that's 21 unique animation streams). Every event on the timeline can also support external I/O calls to jump to other effects via sensor input and drive peripherals such as sound modules. The Halloween clip in our intro video uses a motion sensor to trigger the lightning flash and thunder sound.
★★★ NEW Stretch Goal ★★★
We’ve reached 100% funding! Help us reach 125% and everyone who backs the campaign will get an upgraded version of LightBox with a cool new technology called Near-field Communication. NFC will let you instantly connect your phone to your LightBox simply by waving your phone next to it.
Depending on the reward you choose, Light by RocketLife includes:
Notes: Light by RocketLife uses standard power adapters, sensors, and addressable LEDs, so it’s easy to expand through RocketLife and other sellers.
LightBox, LightMobile, and Light Effects Designer are designed and manufactured in the USA. Specifications are subject to change and improvement.
What People Are Saying
❝ RocketLife offers an awesome software option for animating LEDs easily. ❞
❝ Simple enough for virtually anyone to use. ❞
❝ It's ridiculously simple to map out LED strings, then group them into sections to make animations. ❞
❝ The dragging interface is ideal for new makers, or anyone seeking a streamlined way to create an LED animated visual display. ❞
❝ Stunning potential. ❞
❝ One of my favorite highlights from Maker Faire. ❞
When we previewed Light at the 2018 Bay Area Maker Faire, we were thrilled by the project ideas people shared for their homes, art, and businesses. That inspired us to add many new features to both the hardware and software, and we have tons of ideas for the future. We can’t wait to see what you’ll do with Light!
The Rocketlife Team
RocketLife is a company of designers, programmers, artists, and engineers with special expertise in visual effects technologies. Team members have designed and shipped more than 100 products used by millions of people around the world and won multiple awards, including two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development. We make creative software, consumer electronics, and even a mobile game where you can save the Earth from giant mushrooms. We believe the best products and technologies come to life when you bring diversely talented people together and let them follow their passions.
Help Us Bring Light to the World
Beta versions of Light are already lighting up a huge variety of projects, from home and business lighting to lamps, signs, and even a treadmill. Your support on Kickstarter will enable us to go into full production of our second-generation system. The production version will include flexible power options (use either a wall adapter or the built-in rechargeable battery), a custom case, and numerous other upgrades to the software and hardware.
At RocketLife we’re looking to solve universal problems of creative LED lighting by applying design, technology, and artistic ingenuity. We strive to combine hardware and software into integrated solutions that offer a beautiful user experience — solutions that aren't gadgets or toys, but lighting technologies designed for anyone. Because we’re makers too, we included tons of advanced options in Light for do-it-yourselfers, designers, artists, and anyone who wants to get even more creative.
We have multiple tested prototypes, and our technology partners, supply chain, and shipping are aligned and ready to go. All we need is funding to start production. We invite you — families, professionals, designers, makers, lighting and LED enthusiasts, and the entire Kickstarter community — to back our project and get your own Light system delivered to your door. We can't wait to see what you’ll do with Light!
Risks and challenges
Members of the RocketLife team have shipped over 100 creative hardware and software products, so we have a comprehensive plan to deliver Light to you. Working with our manufacturing partners, we have selected high-quality, readily available components to ensure the most reliable lead times, but unexpected delays or shortages cannot be foreseen. If a delay happens, we’ll keep you informed and work with our partners to quickly solve any problems.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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