In the beginning...
I needed light. A lot of light. But I didn't want to plunk down two grand for a single light that only offered some of the features I wanted, nor did I want to risk my money on a $300 knock-off with a supposed "warranty."
So this was the result - an idea to create my own lights, which rapidly evolved into hours upon hours of brainstorming, designing, prototyping, failing, and starting over, until one day, finally, I had a product I felt was ready to share with the world.
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Putting pen(cil) to paper
I started in December 2012 by designing a 1x1' LED panel, but while I was researching components I found some awesome 100W LEDs the size of a potato chip. They were different from anything on the market and perfect for what I wanted. I scrapped my original plan and charged forward with this new concept.
Let there be light
All I had to do was learn about constant current power supplies, PWM controls, voltage step-up converters, high wattage LEDs, heat dissipation... the list was never-ending because, as it turns out, those little 5mm LED diodes I was used to working with weren't anything like these new high-powered LEDs.
Prototypes on prototypes
Once I had three working prototypes I was faced with the decision - do I commit to bringing this to market? Or do I call these good enough and move on? The answer is pretty clear - I started working with local manufacturers to develop legitimate prototypes. It took way longer than I expected.
The red wire goes... where?
The campaign wrapped on February 12, 2014 with just enough money to do a 25 unit production run. Six weeks later my parents flew out to San Diego, and we spent a long weekend assembling the lights. I shipped them out the following week (three went all the way to France!), took a short breather, and then...
Let's do it all again
I got inspired. Again. I looked at what I had created and realized that with all of my newfound knowledge and experience I could make a light 10x better. So I taught myself SolidWorks and went back to the same grind I started in 2012. Redesigned from the ground up to be stronger, lighter, and brighter.