Overdue for a news update! The big news for customers, is that we've added ready-made grow lights to our catalogue.
Grow Light news
Until now we've catered to the DIY crowd, and we will continue to offer all components individually, for those who want to put together their own lights. But the majority of our customers just want ready-made grow lights.
Our grow lights are based on simple modular designs, making them easy to repair, with just basic electronics knowledge, if something breaks. We use heavy duty South African Aluminium finned heatsinks, high quality SUNON Maglev fans, and high thermal conductivity silver-based thermal grease. Our drivers conform to the highest class of efficiency (88%+), and we currently use super bright 3W LEDs in the PAR spectrum, and a range of lenses, allowing flexible design options, for any kind of grow area.
So though you should chat with us about your requirements first, to make sure you're getting the right light, you can now just order a light straight off the website, to be delivered by courier. We have added 18W, 35W, 60W and 120W designs, available in various spectrums. We also have the latest LED drivers from Meanwell, (the ELG range), should you require high quality, high efficiency, waterproof drivers.
LED strip news
We've added APA102 LED strips to our collection. APA102, aka APA102C, is an LED with a refresh rate much higher than our eyes can detect, allowing for better Persistence of Vision (POV) than our other option, the WS2812B strips. We currently offer 144 LEDs/m, but will be adding 60 LEDs/m, 30 LEDs/m, and 20 LEDs/m options later this month. We have one project underway, to design an affordable POV hula hoop using APA102s, 18650 lithium batteries, and the ESP01 microchip, but the ETA of that is still TBD.
At Afrika Burn 2016, the Bedazzled theme camp used 10m of our WS2812B LEDs to make a tower of light, to guide people home. The art project, Limitless Slip, used 1560 of our WS2812B LED pixels wired together to make a beautiful, trippy desert art installation. Our friends over at exhibit.gif made a donation drum light up kinetically, using another 5m strip.
We are doing R&D for a microgreens company, and will be working hard to bring a new product to market, which we'll tell you about in the next newsletter. The final designs are being tested, and once our production line is in place, we will be solidly in a position to provide entirely automated indoor hydroponics systems to South Africa.
In technical news, We have the new Wifi microchips, the ESP8266, (ESP01, ESP12E, ESP12F) in stock, as well as various USB-to-TTL converters, and are testing them out, before making them available for sale. They are very promising technology, and will play a big role in the IoT revolution, but are notoriously difficult to program. We managed to upload a web server program, and turn on a relay using a cell phone, but further attempts to upload to the chip have failed, so, alas, we are still debugging this mysterious chip.
Back to Winter
We hope you're all surviving the cold. Let us know if you need any help with your projects, especially if they involve LEDs. We might be able to help.
The Make Light team