Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 8, 2013.

Update #17

Final Kickstarter Milestone Reached!

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Hi Backers,

We are so thrilled to finally announce yet another milestone in our Nanoleaf journey, and the final milestone for this Kickstarter project! Good news backers, we are all done shipping out rewards! We hope that by now, many of you are reading this update in rooms lit up by our Nanoleaf bulbs, and saving lots of energy while doing so!

SHIPPING REWARDS

All rewards with adequate information has been shipped out! We realize that there are still a small number of you with incomplete information in our system (missing phone numbers, addresses with special characters, etc.). If you still haven't received any notification regarding shipping then you are among the unlucky few with incomplete information. Please send us a message on Kickstarter so we can send out your rewards! We have tried to reach many of you via email, and have not gotten responses from you.

We also have an update for our backers located in Germany. Unfortunately our bulbs are being held off by the German custom because they do not yet have CE marking. We are in the process of gathering the required documents and test results to obtain the CE mark but unfortunately this will take some time. We want to apologize to all of our German backers who have to wait a little longer. Please create a support ticket with us if you have not yet received a bulb from us, and indicate that the receiving address is in Germany. (www.support.nanoleaf.me)

On the bright side, we are definitely making progress with the testing results: http://bit.ly/1favXuI

WHERE CAN I ORDER MORE?

Good bye pre-orders, you can now place actual orders of Nanoleaf bulbs!

Backers in the United States, please visit Amazon (http://amzn.to/1nAnmXE).

For other international backers, you can order directly from our webstore (http://nanoleaf.me/products/nanoleaf). We are offering free shipping for all orders over $100. :)

WARRANTY

Many of you have voiced your concerns with our warranty policy being only 30 days, which is actually not correct. We want to clarify that we currently offer a one year warranty, and are working to make this longer in the coming months and also for our next product.

DIMMABLE BULB

Our dimmable bulb is almost ready to be launched! We are aiming for a launch date in June, so that's about 2 months away! Unfortunately there were some trademark difficulties, so we have chosen to go with another name. We will announce that along with the launching of the project in June. :) Stay tuned everyone!

NANOLEAF PHOTO CONTEST

Participate in our Nanoleaf photo contest! Simply take a photo of your Nanoleaf bulb, tag our account along with #mynanoleaf and be eligible to win prizes!
Participate in our Nanoleaf photo contest! Simply take a photo of your Nanoleaf bulb, tag our account along with #mynanoleaf and be eligible to win prizes!

Now that most of you have received your Nanoleaf bulbs, enter our Nanoleaf photo contest! Simply follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (you can pick one or do all three), post a photo on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and tag our account along with #mynanoleaf to enter into our photo contest! We will select 10 of the best/most creative entries and ship you free Nanoleaf bulbs/tshirts/Nanoleaf stainless steel water bottles! We will announce the winners in June, so start snapping those awesome pictures! There is no limit to the number of entries, so the more photos you submit, the higher your chances of winning some free Nanoleaf swag! All photos may be added to our future Nanoleaf backer gallery on our new website (with photo credit of course). :)

HELP US IMPROVE

We will be emailing you a link to a feedback survey on our Nanoleaf bulb soon. Please take a moment to complete the survey so that we can get an idea of how we can create better products for the future, how to improve upon our current product, and how to make our next Kickstarter project a more pleasant experience for everyone. Your feedback is very valuable to us, so please do let us know your thoughts, good or bad.

Finally, a big big thank you again for being so supportive and encouraging, we can't express that enough.

Christian, Tom, and Gimmy at the Nanoleaf office!
Christian, Tom, and Gimmy at the Nanoleaf office!

Update #16 - For backers only

Happy St. Paddy's Day! Time for another update!

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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.


Update #15

Just missed the mark - 700 backers left!

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Dearest Backers.

First and foremost, Happy New Year and for those of you that celebrate, also a very happy Lunar New Year! Hope everyone is doing well as we move into the second month of this new year. In this update, we have some good news and some bad news to share with you.

Let’s start with the bad news: 

While we have been working tirelessly (7 days a week) trying to ensure all the bulbs are being manufactured and shipped out, we regret to inform you that we missed our target of getting all of our bulbs shipped out prior to Chinese New Year (1/31). It has been a record breaking month as we have shipped out bulbs to about 3000 backers however we were about 700 backers short of finishing all of our shipments. For those that have not received an email with a tracking number, we truly apologize for the delay once again but rest assured that we haven’t forgotten about you.

There are two reasons for the delayed shipment of these last 700 backers:

1. We use a custom developed shipping program to extract information from our database about each backer's reward and send to our courier service. Some backers may have indicated that they may move, filled out an address with special characters, wrote some extra instructions in the notes of the KS surveys. This caused our shipping program to place these backers on hold status. We needed to go through these backers' information manually to update whatever needs to be updated before being able to send these rewards out. We are working on these, but they are taking a bit of time to go through. There were also some May backers that may not have received their bulbs due to some bugs in the program earlier on, so if you have not heard from us please send us a message to expedite things. Otherwise, we will be running another program to find those May backers we have missed later on next week.

2. It was a really stressful time for our suppliers as it always is before Chinese New Year when many customers, not just us, place extra orders to fill the gap during the two week long shut down. For several item variations, we ran out of stock for the required LED's. Despite our best efforts (and a little bit of bribing), there were some parts needed to make the the black color LEDs & 1800Lm chips that the suppliers could not deliver to us in the timeframe needed in order to complete all the backers’ orders. The supply chain is tough to manage because no one likes to hold stock. It’s just dead cash sitting around. As we’ve discovered, the problem gets exasperated in the weeks before the Chinese New Year holiday.

Unfortunately our manufacturing facility has shut down for the next two weeks due to the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. The Nanoleaf team will continue to work through this holiday, but we will not be able to begin production of these final bulbs until after February 10th with the bulbs shipping out shortly after that.

Going forward, to mitigate these types of inventory & material control problems, we have decided to invest some funds into creating a stock so that we always have product available & ready to ship out on demand. We are truly sorry to those backers that are still waiting and we really appreciate your extended patience. 

And now for the good news:

1. We started this Nanoleaf light bulb project about a year ago with a goal of introducing a super energy efficient light bulb to the market and showing the world that innovation has no bounds. We launched on Kickstarter with the hope of raising a fairly small amount ($20k) so that we can get 1000 lights out there. Little did we know just how amazing this crowd of backers that eventually came to support us would be. Just like many Kickstarter projects, the launch of an unproven product that requires an upfront payment long before it has even fully materialized takes a certain kind of person to commit into. You guys, our backers, are true supporters. Backing us with so much support and patience through our good and bad times… that is touching and very much a demonstration of the greatness of humankind. Thank you for believing in us and supporting us! We have just passed the one year anniversary of the start of our little project on Kickstarter, it has been an exhilarating ride, and we have you guys to thank for making everything possible. So… a year later, what has all that work materialized into? It turns out that Nanoleaf has caught the eyes of some major game changers…

For those of you who follow our Facebook page/Twitter, you may have heard the news already. We are now partners with Mr. Li Ka-shing's (Asia's business magnate, investor, philanthropist known for his very generous efforts and billions in donations covering the entire world, and a very prominent figure in Asia) Horizons Ventures, as well as Silicon Valley's Kleiner Perkins. This is a huge new step for us at the Nanoleaf, because it is perfectly in tune with everything that we stand for and believe in, and this also means that we now have the resources we need to grow our R&D and equally importantly scale up our manufacturing! In a couple more months, we will have the scale we need to fulfill orders at a much faster speed, and on a much larger scale. We are truly grateful for you, our backers, for helping us get to this point! Without you guys we would not be here right now, so thank you again for always being so supportive and being there with us through all of the growing pains. It is a very exciting time and we really look forward to this year and beyond as we grow, hire new staff, release a few more products, and generally bring a lot more green oomph.

2. In terms of R&D, our genius scientist Tom has been quite busy in the last few months. As a result, we now have a working prototype of the dimmable version of the Nanoleaf bulb! This required a complete re-design of our existing circuit, but we have managed to maintain the same level of efficiency while creating dimming functionality in a very unique and "intuitive" way. We still have some bugs to work out but we’re confident that our dimmable bulb will finally see the light of day by the middle of this year!. We also have several additional technology innovations included in this bulb! Stay tuned for more info on this!

(On a related note, we are looking for a few stellar technologically talented engineers to fill some specific roles on our team. If you feel like you have the skills/experience, and believe in our cause or know someone who shares our passion for green technology and may be a good candidate, please message us to get more details).

One of our creative backers - Michael Morris - posted this picture on our Facebook page, and we felt that it is just too awesome to not share with you guys. :)

That's all for now. 'Til next time, keep living green and stay classy everyone. :)


Update #14

Holiday Greetings and Progress Update

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Hi Backers, 

Here at the Nanoleaf, we want to wish all of you and your loved ones a fantastic holidays! Many of you have already received your new Nanoleaf light bulbs and I hope they are keeping your homes brightly lit while you enjoy good times with family and food. Unfortunately, those bulbs are probably not keeping you warm. :P That is what the fireplace is for! We have been shipping bulbs like mad and a lot of you have been receiving them and writing some pretty awesome comments to us. Thank you! We are always happy to hear what you think. For those of you still waiting for a Nanoleaf bulb, please do not worry, your bulb is definitely coming! 

In the meantime, we’d like to give you a bit of an update about our progress thus far:

Our current status: When we posted our last update, we were working with our partner to start making new LEDs using a refined manufacturing process that fixed the LED failure issues that we were experiencing. We are happy to report that to date, we have not had a single light bulb fail due to a manufacturing defect in the LEDs. Since the last update, we have been cranking out bulbs and shipping them. We have shipped out well over a thousand bulbs to our backers just this past month and we have another thousand bulbs that have just come off the line and are scheduled to ship out before the end of the year. During the last update, we posted a timeline of our projected shipping and delivery schedule. We are happy to say that we are still very much on schedule, so please continue to be patient with us as we strive to get everyone their bulbs out as quickly as possible.

Plans going forward: We will continue to manufacture and ship out bulbs after the New Year, with the goal of sending out everyone’s bulbs by the end of January or first week of February. Our manufacturing partners will be shutting down for two weeks during Chinese new year (January 31 - February 6, 2014), however our logistics partners will be working. Our plan is to manufacture enough bulbs to be able to fulfill all Kickstarter orders and we will personally pick and pack the remainder of the bulbs during the Chinese New Year holidays.

Important Reminder: The Nanoleaf bulb is not dimmable, so please DO NOT use the Nanoleaf bulb in a dimmer! Your bulb might stop working if you do it. From our testing, we have not been able to damage a bulb with a dimmer but we have had reports of people that managed to do it. It depends on the dimmer. We don’t have every type of dimmer on hands so we cannot do exhaustive testing. To be safe, keep your light bulb away from a dimmer controlled socket so that the bulb stays alive and well. We cannot afford to keep replacing these Nanoleaf bulbs!

Other than that, keep posting the photos of your Nanoleaf bulbs in action on Twitter/FB/Instagram/Pinterest/Etc. At the end March we will send prizes to the best photos that we received from our backers! So far we have received or seen posts of some great photos and messages from our new Nanoleaf owners! 

Thanks for being so supportive. We feel so lucky to have such an amazing backer-base. See you all again in the new year!

Stay warm and play responsibly. :)

More Nanoleaf bulbs shipping out to their forever homes!
More Nanoleaf bulbs shipping out to their forever homes!
Happy Holidays!
Happy Holidays!

Update #13

Production Issues Resolved | Revised Delivery Schedule

70 comments
78 likes

Dear Backers,  

As is now more than obvious, we are behind schedule. Thank you very much for your patience and understanding while we continue to resolve some problems and start producing light bulbs at a fast pace once again. Here is a recap of what has happened since May: 

We produced our first set of light bulbs, over 1000 pieces, and started shipping these out in June. Production was starting to go smoothly and although we were a month late with the first batch, we were hoping to ramp up production so that we could deliver the rest of the batches on time or early. However, a few weeks after the first set of light bulbs went out, we received a few reports of light bulbs that died soon after being received. We asked the Kickstarter backers to return the bulbs and we spent some time analyzing and identifying the cause of failure. In the meantime, we paused production. We discovered a problem with the controller IC behavior and we implemented a workaround that fixed the issue. Although this issue didn't affect a large percentage of bulbs. 

So about August time, we gave the go-ahead for the second, much bigger, batch of production. Thousands of bulbs were ordered. About a month later after bulbs were emerging from the pipeline and started their burn-in testing phase, again we noticed that bulbs were failing. This time, the rate of failure seemed higher. We continued burn-in to gauge a longer term estimate of the failure rate. 2 - 3 weeks on burn-in and bulbs were still failing. We couldn't ship these bulbs knowing that they might not last all that long out in the field. Therefore, we halted the production again. 

The clear symptom was that in a failed bulb we always found that one of the LEDs had failed and broke the current flow to the rest of the LEDs. No other failed components were found. We first looked closely at the power supply. Although the current to the LEDs is regulated very tightly to prevent any flickering of light, we saw that there is an overshoot of current at the time the bulb is turned on. We thought that this may be the culprit: a surge that overloads the LEDs and causes one to fail. We implemented a soft start feature so that current is ramped up more slowly with zero overshoot upon power up. We produced about 100 bulbs with the soft start to check if the problem was solved. However, the failure rate was not improved and we were still stuck and it was already October. 

The next course of action was to look at the LEDs in detail. These types of LEDs are made on a mass scale and the methods are tried and true, or so we thought. We spent a solid week just looking at failed LEDs under a microscope. We set up several tests to isolate the problem. This is where science and well controlled experimental technique was essential. To make this story short, we discovered that the cavity inside the LED that contains silicone was slightly under filled. This caused an air void near one of the gold wires. The gold wire electrically connects the LED die to the package housing so that the light producing chip can get power. During operation, the light bulb heats up and the silicone inside the LED expands, causing pressure onto one side of the gold wire. Because of the air void, there is no counter pressure to keep the gold wire in place, and it bends on a microscopic scale. Upon repeated thermal cycling, the gold wire is bent back and forth until failure. With great sadness, we declared the approximately 150,000 LEDs plus the hundreds of light bulbs that we produced unusable. It was like being in the middle of a graveyard of LEDs and Nanoleaf bulbs. Yes, saddening, that is all to be said. 

Having identified the problem, we asked for some changes to production in order to drastically improve the reliability of the LEDs. There were three changes that we made that are aimed to strengthen the region of the site of failure dramatically. We did another small production of LEDs, enough for about 60 bulbs and these bulbs have been in burn-in testing for about a week now and so far zero bulbs have failed, whereas before, bulbs started failing after only two days of burn-in. As you might guess, we are extremely happy to see this result. We actually do expect some non-zero failure rate. Like with any product on the market, each part has a certain failure probability and thus a perfectly reliable product is impossible to make. We hope you can see from our story that we care very much about the quality of our Nanoleaf bulbs and we will continue to study points of failure in order to improve long term reliability to the best it can be. 

So, we hope that this Kickstarter update will be taken on a very positive note. We have already asked the facility to start production of new LEDs with our changes. There are a lot of LEDs to be re-made and this will take a bit of time. Production will start this week. The printed circuit boards are already made and ready to go and just waiting for new LEDs. We have a revised production schedule as follows: 

Revised Production Schedule
Revised Production Schedule

Please note that shipping time is approximately 3 - 4 weeks depending on the destination. 

We are quite embarrassed and sorry that we have had to delay these bulbs several times now. We want to get these Nanoleaf bulbs out to the backers desperately. We have been pushing all the production people to bump priorities and get things moving as fast as possible. Thanks so much for your support and patience. 

Sincerely, 

The Nanoleaf Team 

www.thenanoleaf.com 

follow us on twitter @thenanoleaf 

like us on fb: facebook.com/thenanoleaf 

follow us on instagram @nanoleaf


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