Project update: Luciole

A while back, we posted about a new project of ours, Luciole. Here’s an update!

During April, we did a bunch of work on this project, designing and redesigning the circuit boards for reliability and reconfigurability. What we’ve ended up with is pretty compact: a board for power regulation that is smaller than the battery case (this version runs on 3AAAs) and an attachable/detachable board for the LEDs, about the size of a quarter.

Here’s a few fun features!

  • You can place the button wherever you want when you assemble the kit.
  • Great power management: plugging the light into AC vs. running it off of batteries will switch the resistance of the circuit so that the LEDs always received the optimal amount of current. This means that they glow brightly on batteries, but stay within spec when plugged in. Running too much current through LEDs shortens their life, so controlling the current in this way means that the LEDs will last a really long time.
  • Use rechargeable or disposable batteries — a small jumper on the board lets you optimize for either.
  • The LED board can plug straight into the power board if you want them all in one place, or you can separate them… it depends entirely on what you want your light to look like.

We also made two different enclosures to demonstrate a couple of the different forms the finished light can take. This summer, we’re working on even more!

We showed this project at China’s first Maker Carnival in Beijing at the end of April, and then at the Bay Area Maker Faire in late May. We received tons of great feedback and advice from people at these events, and we’re busy improving Luciole to be cheaper and easier to assemble.

We’re currently working on setting up an online store, as well. If you’re interested in buying a kit or learning more, email us at info [at]

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