BriteDrops: Instant Light Bulb Decorations
BriteDrops: Instant Light Bulb Decorations
BriteDrops is a fast and casual decoration that instantly retrofits your exposed light bulb with a fun and creative lampshade.
BriteDrops is a fast and casual decoration that instantly retrofits your exposed light bulb with a fun and creative lampshade. Read more
BriteDrops was envisioned as a project that will create fast and casual indoor lighting solutions for the home that decorate existing open light bulb fixtures in just minutes.
The design is simple to install without the need for special tools or electrical expertise. Anyone can just choose their favorite shade design and enjoy it immediately.
It's modular design and affordable cost also allows to change the lampshade to decorate for a new occasion, in just seconds.
The idea started in our home when we began noticing the large number of open lamp fixtures lighting up our garage, basement, closets and some hallways. The light bulbs were bright, distracting and certainly not decorative. We knew that if we wanted to install a new lamp fixture and shade, we needed to turn off the electricity, remove the existing fixture, safely strip and connect the proper wiring and attach the new fixture. This takes time, electrical expertise and the proper tools.
That’s when the idea hit!
We thought of a series of design concepts to quickly and easily transform these harsh lamp fixtures into attractive and creative home decorations. Over time we could provide a large variety of design motifs and even offer original art and other personalized decorations to the shades. We decided that the designs would bring attractive and simple lighting solutions to those busy garages, basements and closets that we use so much but often leave unadorned.
We would create BriteDrops of light to decorate those useful spaces!
Fast and Easy Installation
BriteDrops are simple, standardized and interchangeable systems that allow you to quickly and easily decorate an exposed light fixture. By design, the patent-pending BriteDrops system is modular so new decorated shades can be substituted. It requires no tools nor expertise to install. BriteDrops are lamp shades that can be attached with a twist of the wrist onto most exposed light fixtures that takes a standard E26 screw light bulb.
The Connector that holds the lampshade is screwed into the original light socket of the fixture in your ceiling. With the shade now secured, you simply screw your light bulb into the bottom of the connector and turn on your new light fixture. That is all there is to it!
The lampshades will be offered in a variety of shapes and materials. They will be very lightweight. Initially we will start with molded heat resistant plastic and aluminum.
A molded shade requires a precise and expensive tool to produce the part, but once the tool is made, thousands of pieces can be produced of excellent quality. A large variety of colors can be molded in. The various decorations can be added to the shade after the molding process.
The initial shade prototypes were designed by our Industrial designer and CAD designer to create the precise shapes we were looking for. The CAD (Computer Aided Design) files were then uploaded to a reputable 3D Printing company in Ann Arbor, Michigan for manufacture of the prototypes.
The aluminum shades are produced with a spinning process and then are completed with various processes including polishing, powder coat painting, anodizing and other attractive finishes.
The Standard and Pendant Connector
The Connector that holds the lampshade is screwed into the original light socket of the fixture in your ceiling.
We started with the Standard connector that you see here below. It is a unique custom design that we developped with our partner supplier who specializes in manufacturing electrical lighting equipment for the home. The Connector is made of a special heat resistant and insulating plastic material.The lampshade products will be tested and listed by a nationally accredited laboratory prior to any shipments to our backers.
BriteDrops has also designed the Pendant Connector to increase the versatility of the product line and offer more options for the rooms & spaces in your home or apartment. We will offer the Pendant in various soft cord lengths.
The Pendant prototypes will soon be finished and will look similar to the CAD images below.
All of the lampshade designs will be able to fit on either the Standard or the Pendant style connector.
Variety of Decorations & Themes
BriteDrops is about offering products that are functional and creative.
As a decorative piece of work, the lamp shades will give you the ability to personalize your home or apartment thanks to a multitude of designs and shapes. Our plan is to commission artists and graphic designers to create unique decorative themes to accommodate all sorts of customer tastes and interests.
The backlighting from the light bulb adds another dimension to the color and decoration on the shade.
Also, before and after installation, the Connector design allows you to turn the shade to display its decoration in any direction you choose.
Over time we plan to offer various design categories and themes by changing the decorations, shapes, colors and materials.
Here are some examples of design themes we are considering;
Seasonal and Holidays
We plan to develop over time with talented artists and accredited organizations an entire palette of Seasonal and Holiday decorations with both original artwork and traditional images from times past.
A hallway could be made instantly festive for a season by replacing a Thanksgiving shade depicting the red leaves of autumn with the bright lights and white snow of Christmas, all with a simple twist!
And of course, it can now be a gift item for family and friends because it is enjoyed immediately by quickly attaching it to their open bulb light fixture!
Original artist collections
Our vision for this is very simple. The lampshade is the canvas. BriteDrops provides the canvas and the potential marketplace. The Artist renders their original art on the lampshade. The design is manufactured starting with a limited series run of the lampshade to various markets. The Artist is commissioned or compensated with a royalty plan that provides for payment based upon the number of lampshades units sold.
With this concept, it is possible to imagine an artist located anywhere in the world, being able to provide unique and original work to a new marketplace and being compensated according to their success.
At BriteDrops we decided to put this concept to the test by offering our backers a chance to participate in the vision.
We commissioned a young artist whom we know, Rachel Bruhn, based in SE Michigan, to provide several sketches of whimsical Cats. We selected one design, which we named "Rachel's Cat #1". Rachel then completed the illustration and we placed her design onto 2 of our lampshades. The images are unique, entirely original, and signed by the artist. They are available as Rewards to our Backers in this Kickstarter campaign. We hope that you like them!
Licensed Sport, College & Armed Forces
Imagine being able to instantly transform your garage into a space of celebration for your favorite sports team or your college Alma Mater.
What if you could adorn the light fixture in your garage or basement with a lampshade emblazoned with the bright logos of the US Armed Forces, be it the Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force or Coast Guard.
At BriteDrops we will seek to partner with the Licensing organizations that manage the use of these trademarked logos and over time provide a wide assortment of Licensed logos on the shades.
We cannot show actual Licensed logos without proper agreements in place but you can see below the basic concept we want to offer. We think this will be very popular.
Organization and Brand promotion
Many organizations, be they non-profit or for profit, work very hard to promote and support their messages, causes and brands, often illustrated with well known logos and artwork.
At BriteDrops we are actively seeking to support this activity by providing a new product line on which they can promote their message to their audiences. Not only can a decoration be added, but it is possible to design a unique shape for the lampshade that best illustrates their brand.
Family & Schools Customized drawings
There is great interest in providing school systems and related social organizations with the ability to render the fun sketches and drawings made by their children in the classroom onto a real lampshade that is backlit.
We think of occasions like Mother's and Father Day, Birthdays and other special family events where the children draw special messages full of love with crayon or water colors; "I Love You Mommy! Happy Birthday from Sarah" all scribbled in delightful colors.
We want to transfer these custom images right onto the lamp shade of your choice so they can light up your home for the occasion!
The lampshade is now your canvas!
Design Anything at All!
Over time, we will give BriteDrops the ability to receive your custom design and turn around a one of a kind lampshade, just for your celebration!
Our Rewards for Our Backers
To all of you that choose to support our BriteDrops project, we are truly in your debt. We are using this Kickstarter campaign to raise initial funds to pay for the first two sets of production tools for the shades, the custom connectors, the decoration tools, the national laboratory testing and listing and the cost of the gifts themselves.
For this 1st campaign, we are limiting the availability of the Shades to the USA.This is because we plan to first complete the national laboratory testing & listing for the USA first, before we proceed to other countries. We do not want to provide a functional electrical device to a country where we have not yet completed the accredited national laboratory testing. To our Backers living outside the USA, we would be most pleased to ship a Reward to your family or friend residing in the USA.
We have chosen to list the shipping charge within the USA as a separate cost so that our backers clearly see the cost for the gift by itself. The shipping cost is based on quotations from the US Post office for the packaged lampshade.
Of course, at this early stage of the BriteDrops project, we cannot offer all of the designs and shapes we describe above. We have limited our Rewards to shapes, designs and decorations that are feasible for us at this initial step but demonstrate the potential of this new product.
Here is a picture guide of the Rewards we are offering (final designs may vary slightly):
There still remains development work to do on finalizing the designs, tooling and choice of materials and production processes with our expert suppliers. For this reason, we estimate our timing for delivery to be at the end of this year 2015.
With your support, we hope this will kickstart BriteDrops forward so that the team can build up and ultimately offer all of the variety and designs the customers desire.
We also are in need of your feedback; we value your opinions and critique of our campaign, our product line and the markets we are trying to serve.
If you have your own ideas to share, please connect with us to discuss them.
Thank You for all of your support.
The BriteDrops Team
Key Technical Contributors
Mayberry Media - Flint, Michigan mayberrymedia.com/ Video Production
ThingSmiths - Ann Arbor, Michigan- thingsmiths.com - 3D Printed Prototypes
Rachel Bruhn - SE Michigan - Artist
Don Jing - Rochester, Michigan - Quality and Manufacturing
Olivier Boinais - Birmingham, Michigan - Industrial Design
Joe Dick - Warren, Michigan - CAD Design & Rendering
Ken Cendrowski - kencendrowskidesign.com - Graphic Design
Risks and challenges
As we begin our Kickstarter campaign, let us explain where we started from and the current state of our project development.
We began the product development about 15 months ago, in early 2014. Prior to that the work consisted mostly of conceptual and legal IP activity.
We began by assembling a part time team of industry experts and partner suppliers involved in Industrial Design, CAD Design for Plastics, electrical fixture manufacturing, plastic injection molding & tooling, prototype building, graphic and original artist design. Most of us come out of the high volume and prototype areas of the Auto Industry and are familiar with the design and manufacture of plastic and electrical components.
We have completed building 20 prototype Connectors, 3 different 3D plastic shades and 12 different aluminum shades. We have designs completed on a total of 7 different shade designs to date. The prototypes you see in the pictures above are functioning.
We are in the middle of conducting design reviews with the supply base, in particular the injection molding and tooling companies that provide the lamp shades. The shades themselves do not pose any peculiar manufacturing or quality issues but we want to strive for the thinnest wall thicknesses and choosing the best plastic molding materials for the intended purpose, prior to launching any production tooling. Such tooling is very expensive and so the design criteria must be concluded in a sound manner.
Of course, the success of the Kickstarter campaign will dictate the shade designs that we tool initially and the volume we need to supply.
Typically the tooling period and First Parts off tools for this product should be around 90 - 100 days.
Another key area which will start after the Kickstarter campaign is finished will be the nationally accredited laboratory testing of the connector and lampshade assembly. We will use a well recognized leader in testing and listing of electrical products in many countries. The testing must be done on production tooled parts, not prototypes, and that is why we cannot start until the campaign is completed and we confirm the final connector and shade designs we will first manufacture and then test at the accredited laboratory. This testing can typically take around 60 days.
Another open technology and process question still to be decided is the choice of decorating technologies. This will be done in parallel with the production tooling and UL testing which must be launched serially. There are various processes available to add a decoration or logo design onto a plastic part and each has different characteristics. Most of them are done after the shade is molded in a secondary process. We still are investigating the most suitable process and it is possible that several different technologies will get employed depending on the needs of the various designs.
When the product is simply a colored plastic shade without an added decoration, this is accomplished during the molding process itself.
Those are the primary technology gates ahead of us to complete our fulfillment of the gifts to our backers. We plan to use standard cardboard box packaging and a contract fulfillment center to expedite the fulfillment when manufacturing and quality control is completed.
Given that the Kickstarter campaign may complete towards the middle of August, we estimate the end of December 2015 for shipment of our gifts.
We plan to announce regular progress reports to our Backers through the Kickstarter site as we move through our milestones towards completion.
Robert L Scales
- (45 days)