Happy Holidays from all of us here at Digistump! I, Erik, was recently designing some light up LED Turkey PCBs for a client for a Thanksgiving promotion and my 3 year old daughter asked what it was, and then asked if we could make one together. I told her "of course!" but then I started to think, maybe an even better holiday project would be for her and I to make some simple interactive decorations for the holidays! And so Holiday Lights! was born.
The Perfect Holiday Project or Gift!
Holiday Lights! is a trio of interactive decorations kits - a Christmas Tree, a Menorah, and a Peace Dove! They include all the parts you need and can be built with a basic soldering iron and solder. Full photo tutorials for them will be posted online this week. They are perfect for the beginner.
Each kit includes a Digispark - an Arduino like USB programmable microcontroller and a bunch of RGB LEDs which can be set to light up in any color. You can program these without having to know anything about code, or programming, or even Arduinos - just go to our special web app at digistump.com/holiday and you can click or tap your way through setting exactly what colors, patterns, and features your decorations will have!
Meet The Kits
All the kits are programmable from the Holiday Lights interface and is powered by a Digispark and 9 or more programmable RGB LEDs, but each one is a little different. They all also have touch buttons and battery holders and can be powered by 3xAAA batteries or by USB connection. - here they are:
The Christmas Tree - The Christmas Tree has a small speaker on the back and can be alternatively loaded with a program that plays Christmas music while blinking the LEDs
The Menorah - The Menorah has two touch buttons, perfect for using one to turn on LEDs in sequence for the nights of Hanukkah and the other to change colors/patterns.
The Peace Dove - The peace dove has 13 LEDs instead of 9 - perfect for adding extra colorful sequences.
Give Them as a Gift!
While we won't gift wrap them for you, when you feel at the backer survey the day the Kickstarter ends you will be able to select that your reward is a gift, and add a gift message to the package! We're even working on getting some red or green padded mailers to send them in!
How They Work
Holiday Lights Web App
Programming you Holiday Lights kit requires no coding of any sort - if you can click or tap on a webpage and plug in a USB device then you can program your Holiday Lights with any colors and patterns you choose, you can even pick what the touch button(s) do!
The Holiday Lights web app at digistump.com/holiday (check it out now, but please note we'll continue to work out the bugs over the next week!) let's you setup three scenes for each kit, each scene consists of up to 13 colors for each LED - you can set how and when they change colors, how and when the scenes change, and what effects the colors show with (fade, pulse, flicker, normal on/off). When you have a design you like just click the download button, run the downloaded program and plug in the kit to your USB port when it tells you to - a few seconds later and you'll see your light creation playing on your Holiday Lights kit!
Digispark and Arduino IDE Powered
What about after Christmas? Holiday Lights kits are Digispark powered - which means they are completely compatible with the Arduino IDE. You can remove the Digispark and use it with shields available at Digistump.com, or build your own circuits! You can also program your Holiday Lights kits in whatever way you want with the Arduino IDE, and the Holiday Lights web app will even give output a Arduino IDE sketch of your lighting design to modify!
Yes, of course it is. Digistump creations are 100% pure, real, open source! We'll be releasing the board designs and the web app code as open source - every other part of it already has been released as open source, including, of course, the Digispark which was originally funded here on Kickstarter!
A super seasonal, super last minute idea that will be delivered very quickly - while this isn't something you see on Kickstarter too often, we felt Kickstarter was the perfect place for this kind of one-off project to spread some holiday cheer through electronics!
This project is very much that, a personal project inspired by my daughter's joy at holiday symbols and blinking lights being mixed together with a father-daughter project - I hope that with your support we'll be able to spread that joy to others who are just getting started in electronics or want a fun project to do with their kids/wife/dog/turtle during the holidays.
Here is what the rewards funds will go to:
We will ship your reward within a week of the end of this Kickstarter! By shipping all reward by Dec 20th we'll ensure that they go out by the USPS cut off for first class mail to be delivered by Christmas!
If we don't ship your order by the 20th then we'll be happy to refund your money - 100% of it - without hassle!
We'll also try to ship international orders before the 20th so they have the best chance of arriving - we think that if you are in Canada, Europe, Australia, or New Zealand then there is a better than 50% chance your reward will arrive by Christmas as well.
All orders will ship by USPS First Class mail.
We will be limiting rewards to ensure we can deliver on time.
Thank You and Happy Holidays!
Risks and challenges
This Kickstarter will have to ship a week after it ends! That is crazy, you may say - but fortunately this Kickstarter is intended to spread some holiday cheer through electronics and not through delays. We have all of the components on hand except the PCBs, for up to our goal amount, and if we hit our goal amount we will start ordering more right then (and all parts are readily available from many sources), rather than waiting for the Kickstarter to finish.
As for the PCBs, the design is 100% complete (we've made some minor changes from the versions seen here, but they are ready to go), and we will order the number needed the day the Kickstarter ends, if it is successful, and we will have them within 5 days or less of ordering them.
Finally for fulfillment, we will be doing this in house, kitting out all of the orders while waiting for the PCBs, and shipping everything within a few days of receiving them. We have help lined up if we need it, and we will be limiting the total number of backer to ensure we can deliver as promised.
We are guaranteeing we will ship by the 20th of December, if you haven't received a shipping notice by the end of that date then we will refund your pledge. We cannot guarantee that the postal service will deliver them by Christmas, but we can guarantee we will ship them by that day which is the official cut off date for delivery within the USA according to the USPS -so they should arrive in time! We will ship international orders first as much as possible, to give them the best chance of arriving before Christmas as well - we think that many orders to Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will arrive before Christmas.
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