In the past 8 months, our company has gone through some major positive transformations and it is largely thanks to the contribution and support from our awesome KickStarter backers. With the funds raised from KickStarter, we were able to start mass production and really get our invention on its feet. With our last update, we shared with you some pictures of the completed bulbs and we have been shipping them out as they come off the line. It's been a while since the last update, so it's time to share with you a few more exciting things that have been going on in our NanoLeaf world:
Our NanoLeaf factory has been hard at work with manufacturing and assembling all the NanoLeaf bulbs for our backers. We’re currently in the process of streamlining our inventory receiving / inspection, production & material flow, safety / automation procedures, and most importantly, stringent testing procedures. We place heavy focus on the quality of our product, so we’re making sure that we eliminate as many manufacturing defects as we can through our meticulous testing and quality control, even if that means that we have to delay our production schedule a bit. We are constantly taking feedback and improving upon our system as well, so all feedback from our backers have been greatly appreciated.
With our first batch, we had discovered further problems with the PCB, related to some of our tolerances not being met in the milling of the PCB shape and LED holes. This led to a few issues during final assembly, namely difficulty of inserting LEDs and folding the bulbs into their final shape. We have changed to a new supplier of PCBs for the next production batch. However, the process of working with the new supplier to iterate through several samples has cost us time. The new supplier is now producing PCBs that we are satisfied with and production is continuing.
New Support Page
As with any hi-tech product, issues affecting a small percentage of bulbs are inevitable. Despite our quality control and 4-hour burn-in testing, and even though bulbs leaving our factory are fully working, we have received word from a few backers that their new bulbs have been damaged during transport, simply don't work, or work for a short time and then fail. For anyone experiencing an issue, please log a support ticket at support.theNanoLeaf.com so that we can keep track of all the symptoms that our backers are experiencing and give personal attention to each case.
First Batch of Bulbs Shipped
We have shipped out about 90% (~1000 shipments) of the batch of bulbs that had an estimated delivery date of May. We have printed labels and shipped bulbs in the order that the pledges were made using a procedure that relies largely on automated data processing. However, there were many cases that could not be handled automatically such as cases that had address changes, special characters in names and addresses, pledge amounts that didn't correspond to the pledge categories, or choosing a voltage that is inappropriate for the destination country. We resolved these cases manually, but often resulting in the shipment losing its priority in the shipping sequence. We are very sorry to those backers that pledged early but have not received a bulb yet. The other complication was that we didn't have exact numbers of black vs. white bulbs at the time that we started manufacturing. We had to make an estimate. Turns out that we made too many black bulbs and not enough white ones. Please know that it is our top priority to ship out the rest of the May bulbs.
With over 6000 backers, it is essential that we automate as much of the shipping and handling part of the process as possible. It took a bit longer than we had hoped, but we now have the necessary software in place to send out tracking numbers. We have sent tracking numbers to all of the May backers that we have shipped to. If you have not yet received a tracking number, your bulb has not yet been shipped and we apologize for the delay.
Revised Shipment Dates for July / September / October bulbs
We believe that we have now ironed out the quality issues with the PCB. We are in the process of manufacturing the bulbs for the remaining 10% of the May batch, as well as the the July and September batches. A few of you have messaged us asking for the tracking number, and we really appreciate your enthusiasm and excitement to finally be able to get your NanoLeaf bulb, but please know that we are making and shipping these as fast as we can. We will send out the tracking numbers once the bulbs ship. Our next manufacturing run is underway and we expect that the next set of shipments will start going out in September. We really appreciate your patience as we work through the complexities of making and shipping over 6000 bulbs.
Research and Development - The Dimmable Version
Our R&D department has not stopped working on developing the next version of the NanoLeaf. We are aiming to launch it at the end of this year and with it will come several product innovations & improvements. We have gotten lots of great feedback from our backers so we're working to incorporate them into the next version. Please stay tuned!
We’ve given our website a complete makeover to better represent our brand as well as to provide an easier and more enjoyable user experience. A few of the changes that we have made to the site include: more pictures, better and more comprehensive presentation of our product details and specifications, as well as an improved overall look and feel of the website. Feel free to check it out: http://thenanoleaf.com. If you need more light bulbs, October pre-orders are being offered via our web-store. However, we won't be fulfilling these orders until after all the bulbs go out the the Kickstarter backers.
User Feedback on the website is also greatly appreciated. Please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the last few months, a large number of distributors world-wide have reached out to us about distributing the NanoLeaf bulbs. We’re excited to know that there are others who share our passion in promoting energy efficient products. We are working hard with many of these distributors to get our NanoLeaf bulbs available more widely in different countries!
The rules to the NanoLeaf photo contest has been posted on our Facebook page.
Please go there for the official rules, prizes and other details. We look forward to seeing your awesome submissions! Here is an example entry from one of our backers:
University of Toronto Solar Car Team
Here is a small factoid: the NanoLeaf team (the three of us) met while we worked on the solar power car for the University of Toronto back in 2006. A lot of our project management and engineering skills were learned from that very project. There, we also discovered our passion: renewable/solar energy, power electronics , and other green technologies. Years later, we founded our company with a goal of bringing efficient lighting, and solar power technology to more people. But even further, we strongly believe that if we are going to solve some of the worlds key problems, we need to start by supporting the education of the younger generation.
The NanoLeaf is a proud sponsor of the University of Toronto's Solar Car Project. We have been working closely with them in developing the solar power controller technology for their solar car, which will race 3000km across Australia this October. Most recently, we have been running tests with them in the Bombardier labs in Toronto to put the final touches on the car. The car is an eye opening demonstration of what is possible with Earth-friendly technologies. We strongly support their cause and believe that this is something worthwhile. Please take a moment and support this team of young students who are trying to bring inspiration to the world: