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A computerized replacement for the in wall dimmer switch that learns your patterns and monitors your energy usage.
116 backers pledged $36,309 to help bring this project to life.

The End of the Line for the Luminode

Posted by Think Automatic (Creator)

Back in 2005 I had the start of an idea that I believed could help spread the promise and benefit of home automation around the world. I believed it so much that I would spend the next decade working towards making it a reality.  

The idea makes installation and setup of home automation extremely quick and simple. It works by the automation system programming itself via a machine learning algorithm built out of a database management system.

Early on I saw that it could work. However, for it to work to its full potential it needed quick accurate feedback from people in their homes. And there was one device that could serve that purpose that was familiar, ubiquitous and that everyone knew how to use it. And that was something that looked and acted like a light switch.

Unfortunately back at that time the available existing networked light switches were not designed to work well with a learning system like this. After unsuccessfully trying to persuade the manufacturers to make modifications to their products I decided to embark on a journey to build the right light switch.

I first contacted local hardware designers and builders back in 2008. Since then the team of engineers, partners and friends has evolved until finally we were able to nearly reach a UL approved Luminode, twice. It is a device I will always be proud of and I hope everyone who was a part of it will always be proud of it. These tiny computers each have about 8,000 lines of code running on them with more features and capabilities than need to be explained again here.

But it turns out that building a smart, electronic dimmer switch on a shoestring budget is a very difficult task. And to drive that home I have just learned that the Luminode will not receive UL approval once again after failing what's called the limited short circuit test.

It is with a heavy heart that I have realized I no longer have enough remaining financial and emotional fortitude to repeat this difficult process of re-designing, re-building and re-testing the Luminode.

I will be following up individually with each and every Kickstarter backer and other people with pre-orders placed to make sure you receive a refund. Please be patient, it will take some time to gather the funds and to get to everyone.


Steve Harris


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    1. Think Automatic Creator on

      Thank you Margue. You have also been so supportive, engaged and kind. I of course would also like to see the technology live on. Unfortunately the Luminode is very important to the technology, and now with UL dis-approval the technology is severely hobbled. I will of course see if there is any way for the learning system to live on without the Luminode. But first I'm going to take a few deep breaths..

    2. Margue on

      Steve: Sorry to hear about the directional change, but I would love to see all that hard work leveraged and brought to life, even if it is a slight deviation from your vision. The technology and you are worthy by standards other than the UL ... hope you will explore the potential beyond those bounds!

    3. Think Automatic Creator on

      Thank you Greg, that means a lot to me. You have been so supportive and engaged all along for which I am so grateful. I wish I could have gotten all the way there. I wish you the best as well.

      - Steve

    4. Greg Rudisel on

      Hi Steve,

      I'm sorry to hear that UL did not approve the Luminode. Hopefully all your work will not be wasted and be incorporated into another manufactures switch.

      After funding over 100 Kickstarter projects I have been disappointed that over 20% were failures. Not so much failures but out right theft. Because of that and the no existence support from Kickstarter I have stopped funding projects.

      With that said your project is the first project I feel you as the creator did everything possible to bring the project to completion. This is the only failed project where I do not feel cheated.

      I feel I have received what I expected from the project I funded. Please put me on the satisfied customer list. I do not expect or want a refund. Thank you for your hard work. Good luck with your future endeavors.