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LED Visual Effects Design System

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Introducing Light

A Complete System

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Light is a combination of hardware and software that’s easy to use and creates visual effects from subtle to dramatic. Light will enable designers, engineers, and makers of all kinds to explore endless ways to illuminate projects, signs, and environments with rich, creative effects. 

Why did we do this? We love lighting! And we know what it’s like to have an idea for a particular look and not have the time or expertise to create it. 

Before Light, creating sophisticated visuals with LEDs required advanced programming, deep electronics know-how, and lots of time. We’ve worked hard to make it easy, from a creation app that lets you group pixels and design effects visually, to our “no wires” policy (woohoo — Bluetooth 5.0) for all development, creation, and control.

The Light system includes three parts: the Light Effects Designer software (Win/Mac), the •X• BLE board, and the Light mobile app (iOS/Android). The three work together to provide artistic control of LED effects — a unique advantage over the old way.

With Light, you simply attach a strip of addressable LEDs to your project, connect an •X• board and power supply, and load a photo of your project into Light Effects Designer. Drag your cursor over the photo to set up animation groups; each group gets its own track on a timeline. Drag visual effects to the tracks, beam your program to your •X• board over Bluetooth, and your LEDs light up.

The mobile app lets you select effects presets from a phone, so you can easily change the look without plugging in.

We premiered Light in May 2018 at the Bay Area Maker Faire (photos below), and were thrilled by the project ideas visitors shared. We realized we’re not the only ones who like to collaborate with other creative people, so we built the Light Community. It’s a place for artists, engineers, designers, developers, and professionals to connect and collaborate. A place to get your questions answered, share ideas, catch a sneak preview of product releases, explore how-to’s, and more.

We’d love for you to get involved. See what other designers are up to, share your projects, and start new ones. Whether it’s an architectural installation or an amazing new LED kitten leash, you never know how it could inspire you (or even a new Light feature).

Visit the community »

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Project Videos

We liked this lamp’s shape, but thought the light could be more interesting. So we added an •X• BLE board and a strip of addressable LEDs. Notice how the curved glass adds a diffusion effect.

This loop shows some of the animation effects possible with sparkle layers in Light Effects Designer. The •X• board in the center is running the show. At the middle right is a 60A power supply.

Alex made this synchronized visual accompaniment for her workout with Light. First she counted how long a bar of music lasted, then she set the effects to change every several bars. 

 Light Premiere at Maker Faire

Demonstrating Light at the 2018 Bay Area Maker Faire: Our beer sign has more than 100 LEDs, animated in five groups with Light Effects Designer and driven by an •X• board. See the video in the Light Community »

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