Helios Bluetooth Light Controller (LC1)

What if your environment responded to you? Imagine waking up in a gently lit room in the middle of winter instead of the pitch black. Or your office lights turning on as you arrive in the morning and off when you leave at the end of the day. At Helios (company from Vancouver, Canada) they imagine people living and working in such a world. The LC1 is the light controller, that lets you control the lights from your smartphone and allows your environment to detect your presence and respond to you. The project was launched on KickStarter on the 5th of February 2013, but unfortunately 300,000$ haven’t been raised, because the project was cancelled by the creator.

A lot of people have been talking about smart-light control with Bluetooth. Helios has done it.

The LC1 can:

  • Turn your lights on, off, and dim them
  • Turn your lights on when your smartphone is detected
  • Turn your lights on, off, and dim them based on the orientation of your smartphone, e.g. rotate your smartphone to dim the lights
  • Activate based on time (circadian-friendly mode)
  • Be controlled from a wall switch if your smartphone is not present
  • Flash your lights when sound is detected, a.k.a. party mode!

Getting started

You don’t need to hire an electrician or IT specialist to get started.  It’s literally as easy as screwing in a lightbulb. Just follow these steps:

  • Remove the bulb from the light you want to control
  • Screw the LC1 into the light socket
  • Screw the bulb into the LC1
  • Download and run our app on your smartphone
  • Click on your LC1 in the app
  • Control your light!

R&D and production plan

The first LC1 was successfully built 6 months ago. Since then all the attention has been focused on the details to ensure that the product will be delivered on time and on budget. Helios team has dug into every dark corner, stress tested the prototype, identified suppliers and manufacturers and reached an agreement with a local company to assemble, test and package the product. The guys have also partnered with Finger Food Studios to develop the next version of the mobile app.

Here’s a more detailed description of what has been done up to this point in time.

The process began when a development kit was ordered from Texas Instruments to evaluate the Bluetooth low energy (BLE) interface to the iPhone 4s. Preliminary schematic and PCB designs were completed and ordered to build 10 prototype devices. With the prototypes in hand the team has begun developing firmware, revising the hardware design and thinking about the enclosure.

With the design well underway Helios turned their attention to production of the device. This included: sourcing and costing all hardware components; evaluating the assembly process including testing, labeling, packaging and shipping; issuing a request for quotation to select vendors to assemble, test and package the LC1; and determining the best method to ship the product.

Assembled LC1

Model: LC1 (to be given a better name by you upon successful funding!)
Description: Wireless light dimmer for Edison Standard E26 light fixtures

Supported devices
Apple devices with Bluetooth 4.0 (iPhone 4s and newer, iPad 3rd generation and newer and iPad Mini)

Additional videos
Steve shows off some of the LC1’s features in their tech demo.
Greg builds a batch of LC1s from scratch in their assembly video.

Risks and challenges

Procurement:
To mitigate the risk of components not being available reputable vendors were identified.

Assembly:
The experienced professionals have been chosen to create a preliminary design of the tooling and assembly line. The design is driven by volume.

Funding:
Great product was developed for you and now your support is very necessary to bring it to market!

Source: KickStarter