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Flickerstrip is the decorative WiFi light strip that lets you upload custom, animated patterns with your smartphone. Unlike existing LED strips that can only be a single color, Flickerstrip can individually control each pixel to create intricate light shows. Using the smartphone app, you can browse through animated patterns, or "lightworks," that other people have uploaded or easily build your own using the intuitive graphical interface.
The possibilities for unique light decorations are endless with Flickerstrip.
Until now, designing a piece of LED artwork required hours of programming and hardware tinkering, a prospect that's daunting for even the most seasoned hobbyist.
With Flickerstrip, you can skip to the fun part and idly doodle out a new pattern in moments or plan a complex choreography of dancing lights.
Flickerstrip is easy to use
Connecting your Flickerstrip to your home network takes only a few minutes and lets anyone on your network upload patterns.
The Flickerstrip app lets you toggle power, configure brightness, choose which pattern to display, or upload new ones.
Warm or cool, dazzling or subtle, the choice is yours.
The lightwork repository stores user-submitted patterns and lets you browse through them. Preview popular patterns and download your favorites for later.
Didn't find something that fit your mood? Prefer to add your own personal touch? Create your own lightworks from scratch using the built in editing interface and then share the results of your efforts with the world on the lightwork repository.
- Plugs into the wall and connects to your WiFi network
- Offers a variety of white lighting and mood lighting
- Can be coupled with a USB battery for on-the-go lighting
- Preconfigured with lightworks that can be cycled through with the button
- Control your Flickerstrips with the smartphone app or desktop application (iOS, Android, OSX, Linux, Windows)
- Download a myriad of lightworks made by others and vote for your favorites
- Build and upload your own lightworks using a simple graphical interface
- Intuitive API allows extension and integration
How do I make my own patterns?
Our goal with Flickerstrip was to make it so that anyone could have access to the power and beauty of LED art. The lightwork designer is what makes this ideal a reality. The intuitive graphical interface makes it easy for anyone to dive right into lightwork creation.
The web version of the lightwork designer is available online, try it now!
A preview of the resulting lightwork as it would appear on the LED strip is displayed along the top of the screen. Immediately underneath this preview is a "time-expanded" view that shows the entire duration of the pattern and highlights the frame that is currently showing on the simulated strip.
Below the lightwork preview is the editing interface. This area allows you to edit each frame of your lightwork and visualize how it will be repeated along the strip. Each row represents the color of the Flickerstrip pixels at a specific moment in time. Each column represents a single pixel on the strip and illustrates how that pixel behaves over the course of the lightwork.
Lightworks can easily be conceptualized as a pixellated image where the rows are the frames and the columns are the pixels. Additionally, lightworks can easily be exported or imported as image files for sharing or editing in an external graphics program.
Lightwork Example: Blinking
In the above example, the solid red pixel is represented by a vertical line. The blinking green pixel in this case is on for two rows or "frames" and off for two frames.
Lightwork Example: Traveling
In this example (above), the two pixels on the left alternate showing blue. On the right, a teal pixel travels along the strip. Each frame it travels one pixel to the right.
Lightwork Example: Expand
In this example, we create an "expanding" effect. On each subsequent row, the number of lit pixels increases.
Lightwork Example: Fading
In this example, you can see how fading to black will cause the LED to dim out. Two red pixels fade in and out.
Many more complicated patterns are possible, these simple examples are intended to give you a better idea how how what you see in the lightwork interface translates to the Flickerstrip itself. To experiment with the lightwork editor, visit the online version here.
Flickerstrip is powered with 5v through a standard (5.5 x 2.1) barrel plug. A 3A power supply, capable of easily powering a 20ft strip of LEDs is included. Flickerstrip rewards will ship with a standard 30/m WS2812b LED strip in a 3m (~10ft) length that connects to the controller unit with a robust and water-resistant connector. The end of each LED strip has another connector that can be used to daisy chain multiple strips together for more length. The LED strips that will ship with Flickerstrip have a 3M adhesive backing for mounting.
Flickerstrip's small form factor makes it ideal for mounting in tight spaces. The "pigtail" connector design further allows for creative mounting near corners narrow gaps.
Although the Wi-Fi connectivity makes Flickerstrip ideal for usage in a home or office setting, the AP mode means that you can connect to your Flickerstrip with your smartphone no matter where you are. In addition, Flickerstrip can be powered relatively easily using a commercially available USB battery and a converting cable. Choose the "mobile" backer tier to receive this cable and the required battery pack along with your Flickerstrip.
The rewards section contains the basic information about the different reward tiers. We will be shipping sticker and t-shirt tiers soon after we are funded. All reward tiers that include one or more Flickerstrips are scheduled to ship by the middle of December, 2016.
WS2812 adapter: All tiers may add $8 for a WS2812 adapter. This is a small cable that converts your Flickerstrip LED strip output to the standard WS2812 JST connector found on the standard strips. Add one of these if you already have some existing LED strips and want to be able to connect Flickerstrip to them.
USB Converter cable: All tiers may add $7 for a USB power converter cable. This will let you power your Flickerstrip from a USB battery or brick. Warning: Do not power Flickerstrip at high brightness off of a USB port.
$200+ addons: Pledges of $200 or more allow you to add additional Flickerstrips and extensions. For each addition of $80, we will include an additional Flickerstrip unit (including a 10ft strand of LEDs). For each addition of $25, we will include a 6ft extension strand.
Flickerstrip's brain consists of the ESP8266, a popular controller for IoT (internet of things) applications. To make sure that Flickerstrip is easy to integrate with other devices and home ecosystems, we've taken care to use standard web technologies such as SSDP and JSON. A powerful API allows developers to build their own programs that interact with Flickerstrip and extend functionality for things like interactive light shows, music reactivity, smarthome integration, and data visualization.
Status and timeline
We've hand-built more than a dozen units for alpha testing and the units have been performing well. At this point, the hardware design is approaching its final version and only minor changes are being made.
As for the software, the app and firmware are both feature complete and we've refocused our efforts on working out the bugs and making minor usability improvements as we continue to test internally and receive feedback from alpha testers.
The biggest hurdle that we have remaining is the final preparation for manufacturing. While we've continued to close down on a manufacturable product, we're unable to finalize these plans until after the Kickstarter closes. Once we know how many units we'll be producing, we'll be sending the final designs off to our manufacturers and coordinating distribution.
Our open source philosophy
We believe firmly in building products that are community-ready. Too many times have we been disappointed by products or companies that choose to use proprietary and closed source at the expense of their customers. We feel deeply that you, our backers, will get the most out of your Flickerstrips if they are designed and licensed in a way that invites the vast community of developers and hobbyists (like ourselves) to participate in development.
The source code for the Flickerstrip app is already available on Github for download and perusal.
We look forward to building a strong community around Flickerstrip and seeing what the collective creativity and talent of that community will eventually bring.
As seen on..
Born in Hawaii, Julian earned his degree in Computer Science in Chicago before moving to the technology oasis of Silicon Valley. Working a software job for 5 years, he eventually left his company to co-create Reflowster, a Kickstarter-funded and maker-oriented reflow soldering oven. After making 150% of its $10k funding goal, the Reflowster team delivered in only 8 months, preempting their predicted delivery date. Following successful delivery, Julian oversaw the continued manufacturing, sales, and maintenance of Reflowster.
With Reflowster running smoothly, Julian turned his attentions to Flickerstrip. Born out of a passion for smarthome gadgets and inspired by multitudes of neopixel art, Flickerstrip aims to make LED art easily accessible and no longer limited to programmers and tinkerers.
But Julian is not alone, although the bulk of the work on Flickerstrip falls to him, there are countless others that have helped along the way to make this dream a reality. Without the dozen alpha testers, the enthusiasm of friends and family, the fantastic crowdfunding creator's community, the past backers of Reflowster, and the numerous professional opinions of friends and peers, Flickerstrip would never have gotten to where it is today.
Risks and challenges
As with anything manufactured, there are risks associated with sourcing parts, the assembly process, quality assurance, and distribution.
Our experience with Reflowster has been instrumental in our planning. We faced a number of minor misadventures while getting Reflowster out to the world and for each of those, we've adjusted our process and planning for Flickerstrip.
To make sure that Flickerstrip is especially resistant to the inevitable pitfalls along the way, we've strategically over-budgeted on time and expense. We've been carefully planning for when things inevitably go wrong to ensure an on-time delivery.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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