Sparks are weather-proof, sound-responsive LEDs


Sparks are ruggedized, weather-proof, addressable LEDs that can be added anywhere — from the home to the office to the club. 


Their kitchen. Their sofa. Their office. Their jackets. Their vehicles. These are just some of the places that the folks at San Diego startup JuiceJuice have affixed multicolor LEDs. In doing so, they found that although the lights were easy to install, they were often quite difficult to program. As a result, the team decided to create an app that would communicate with their rainbow LEDs over Bluetooth, enabling them to change patterns, adjust the speed and brightness, and sync multiple units together in real-time.

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The aptly named Sparks are equipped with WS2812B modules running at 5V and a novel three-LED PCB format. With an Arduino at its core, its control unit (also known as the Brain) is embedded with Bluetooth connectivity, a real-time clock, and an SD slot for custom patterns — though it will come with at least 30 pre-programmed sequences. They’ve even added a microphone so the lights can respond to sound.

Aside from all that, JuiceJuice Sparks features a high-wattage 12V barrel plug for wall-socket applications, as well as times when more than 100 lights are being used. Otherwise, you can run up to 100 lights off USB, portable battery packs, car adapters and even your laptop.

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“Our lights have lit our campsites at Burning Man, projects at dozens of festivals, DJ lighting in bars and nightclubs around San Diego, and vehicles from skateboards to yachts. They’ve survived hot tub parties in Mexico, the staircase of the ‘Charlie the Unicorn’ art-car, they accent shelves and desks in our homes and offices, and we even have them under my truck,” company co-founder Leeward Bound writes.

The Sparks were designed to withstand weather and to be flexible enough for installation in a wide range of settings  — whether that’s decorating the outside of your home for the holidays or illuminating your bike for a mesmerizing nighttime ride.

For its launch, backers can choose from one of two different kits. A basic set includes a pair of five-foot strands with 36 LEDs (12 three-inch segments of three lights), along with one Brain that can drive up to 500 LEDs and the necessary power supply. Meanwhile, a mega kit boasts twice as many LEDs for those with more elaborate ideas in mind.

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“Want green explosions in your bookshelf, purple waves down your staircase and red lava around the tub? No problem. Switch your bed frame to red heartbeats, put on some Barry White, BOOM! Date night. And on a Saturday night, sound-activated rainbows turn absolutely any occasion into a dance party,” Bound adds.

Have a bright idea you’d like to get started on? Want to be the light of the party? Head over to Sparks’ Indiegogo campaign, where the JuiceJuice team is currently seeking $75,000. Pending all goes to plan, delivery is expected to begin in January 2016.

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