A Year in Review

Last year in June, our founders, Bo and Mathias, got serious and started to work full-time on the organisation they had built up from scratch: Shade.

They began to gather a team of experienced developers and young professionals as well as the financial basis in order to follow their vision of better light – better living.

We want to look back at what has happened ever since and take you on this little journey with us:

Back in the summer of 2016, with our working prototype of the Orb, we could deep-dive into customer validation and start testing them with our test users. Their feedback supported our understanding of customer needs and shaped the Orb as we know it today.

shade orb drawings prototype

We slowly started to spread the word about Shade by participating in various events like the Tech BBQ or the annual Slush conference. We also made sure to get the patents for our cooling system inside the Orb in place. Check!

team shade orb

Over time, we gathered more and more awesome and passionate people for the Shade team which came to look like this by 2017 -->

As part of the Danish Tech Challenge, we were nominated as finalists for the prestigious award. Even though we did not win the first prize, we were still honoured to have come so far and surely learned a lot during our time in the programme. The award ceremony took place in January 2017:

dtc shade orb

In February, we finally kicked off our long-awaited crowdfunding campaign and could not have been more excited!

Within less than 20 hours, we had already reached our initial goal of $ 50,000. Oh, the excitement! People actually love our product :-)

We have been overwhelmed by the positive response we received on our campaign - not only from customers but also from the press: The Verge coined the "cult of the Orb" and n3rdabl3 gave the Orb the label of "Philips Hue on Steroids".

Due to the big success of the crowdfunding, we had extended the funding phase for another 30 days until it ended by mid-April.

Today, our products are still available for purchase via In-Demand.

We are currently busy with finalising supplier negotiations while also focusing on the development process and production. Together with our friends from Shape Robotics, we have moved into a new office and enjoy the constant feedback and dialogue with other professionals. (You can find out more about our internal news in our upcoming blog post and newsletter.)

And here we are today: we can’t believe how fast time flies! The next months will be filled with more hard work and extensive caffeine consumption so we will be ready for shipping by the end of the year. :-)

Thank you for being a part of our journey, we have enjoyed every minute of it. Stay tuned for more!

Living with the Orb

What is it like to live with the Orb? 

We want to create the best possible user experience to make the usage of the Orb as convenient as possible for you. For months now, we have been working closely together with families as our test users.

These families have been trying out our products in their own homes, in their everyday life, and continuously provide us with feedback on their user experiences.
shade orb testimonial

These insights are very valuable to us and directly impact the development process as we believe in the importance of human-centered design. Therefore, we wanted to share some insights on what it is actually like to live with the Orb.

Here are a few things we learned from our test users:

The need for more dynamic light is real

80% of our test users are not completely satisfied with their old lamps due to the insufficient light they provide. Most of them state that due to the wrong or poor lighting conditions, they don’t use their living rooms for all the activities they would like, for example working on the computer.

Where they use it

living room shade orb

The large majority is using our lamps in their living rooms. Many of them like to use a double pendant above the dinner table, leaving enough room for eye-contact and letting pleasant conversations flow.

How they use it

70% of the families have created their own moods for dinner parties or casual dinners with friends. By creating a mood with dim and yellow light, they create a cosy atmosphere that is just right for these weekend get-togethers. Many times, they call this mood the “Red wine light”. :-)

What they value

shade orb app eclipse switch

Our test users highly value that the Orb is able to create light that comes as close to natural light as it gets, creating unique moods for every situation.

They find the usage of the app to control the light quite simple and intuitive. Above that, they also enjoy the fact, that they can use a “traditional” light switch additionally to controlling the light through their smartphones, leaving them with flexible options to choose from.

 

Meet Sofie and Mikael

Maybe you remember Sofie and Mikael who starred in our crowdfunding campaign video. We also equipped their homes with a few Orbs and an S1 to see how they experience living with the Orb.

See for yourself what they say about their everyday life with dynamic lighting:

We hope you found these insights helpful and as always, please feel free to get in touch with us about any questions or concerns you might have at info@shade.one. Thank you for following us on our journey to “Better Light. Better Living.”!

Post-Campaigning - Where we go from here

At the beginning of this week, we have successfully ended our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and we could not be more grateful.

thank you igg shade orb

We:

  • campaigned for 60 days
  • reached 815% of our initial funding goal
  • can count on the support from 1,075 backers
  • and raised a total of $ 407,645 for the Orb

 

What’s next?

arrow shade orb

We realize that this success also comes with a lot of responsibility, especially towards our backers who have invested not only funds, but also their trust in us. Therefore, we will of course keep you posted regularly with news about the development process, our products and the team.

If you have not done so already, please sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop with these updates and also get the chance to receive special offers that might be coming up very soon (spoiler alert).

For now, we want to update you on what happens after we have wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign:

 

Going InDemand

Due to the big success of the crowdfunding campaign, we wanted to meet the demand and provide you with a possibility to keep pre-ordering our products.

Therefore, we have now switched to InDemand on our Indiegogo site.

During the InDemand campaign, you will still be able to pre-order our products through the Indiegogo platform.

 

What is different?

igg indemand shade orb

The InDemand campaign is different to a crowdfunding campaign as there are no fundraising goals or deadlines involved and they are only available to campaigners who have met their campaign goals during the crowdfunding phase.

For you, however, nothing changes in the purchasing process. You just order our products through the Indiegogo platform as you could already do during the crowdfunding campaign. Please note that prices might change over time.

 

How does it work?

Ordering our products works just like during the crowdfunding campaign:

1.    Sign up on the Indiegogo website if you haven’t done so already

2.    Check out our campaign site and read about the different perks we offer

3.    Choose the right perk for you

4.    Make some noise! Tell your friends and family about our product and our vision. Spreading the word helps us a great deal in order to bring better light to your homes.

 

When will I receive my products?

shade orb IGG

We plan to start delivering our products to you by December 2017. Please note, that depending on where you live, it might add to your delivery time. All products are made in and shipped from Denmark.

 

Can I still get in touch with you?

get in touch shade orb

YES! Even though our crowdfunding campaign has officially ended, we will of course not disappear :-) We might become a little quieter on our social media channels, as our focus now lays much more on developing kick-ass products for you and ship them to you asap.

However, that does not mean, that you cannot get in touch with us. As always, we want to be as transparent as possible and are open for any questions, comments and feedback you might have for us anytime.

You can reach us either

Facebook • Pinterest • Instagram • LinkedIn • Twitter

Thank you for being a part of our journey and as always - feel free to get in touch with us if anything should come up! 

 

Q&A with Shade

As our crowdfunding campaign has been running for almost two months now, we have seen a lot of great feedback coming in, the biggest compliment probably being that we reached more than 750% of our goal with almost $380,000 raised by over 1,000 backers and we could not be more grateful!

We always try to be as transparent as possible and provide you with as many insights as we can. We recently did a survey with our backers to find out about their motivations, needs and unanswered questions they might have. As it turns out, they do have some questions and we want to shed some light on these. Browse through the Q&As here: 

INSTALLATION

What right now concerns me is the plug and play. How long will the cord be? Can the cord be changed at some point?

unboxing orb shade

Installing the Orb is really easy and does not require a technician or any other assistance as it works right out of the box. The cord is 2,5 meters long and is therefore suitable for both lower and higher ceilings.

If you wish to buy an additional cord down the line, you can of course purchase it by contacting us directly at info@shade.one.

Are there different colours for the cords?

Right now, we are offering a white cord that comes with the Orb to attach it to your ceiling. We are planning to have other colour options further down the road. For updates on our development process you can always sign up for our newsletter or check our Facebook page.

Will there be a converter? Can it be put into a normal Danish light outlet?

The Orb works in a standard Danish power outlet as it does in most parts of the world. We use a switch mode that goes from 100-240VAC / 50-60Hz. This covers most of the world, including the EU, US, Canada, UK and Australia.

What do I do if I need support setting it up?

The Orb comes with a video guide. If you need more help our website will be updated with support assets and you can of course always get in touch with us at support@shade.one.

PERFORMANCE

Is the 1900 lumen with everything on or can that be achieved with only ~5500K?

directional lighting shade orb

Yes, the 1.900 lumen are achieved with a mix of the zones turned on. Each single zone will come to an output of around 1.200, so using all of them will be quite strong. Our best estimates put the Orb at a total (using all the zones) of 1.900 Lumen because of temperature. Regarding the white range, we can do from 2.700-5.600 Kelvin. This is a very powerful output and should be more than enough for regular households as well as office environments.

PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE

I am a bit concerned about the Orb's durability. What if it has to be repaired?

Our products are built to last as we want to provide you with the highest quality and avoid to harm the environment. The Orb lasts for up to 50,000 hours which results in a product lifecycle of up to 30 years by normal usage.

The Orb is designed as a modular system, so it is easy to send in the defective parts, and have replacement shipped. If your Orb does get broken for any reason, you can of course send it in and we will do our best to repair it. The last option would be to replace the product by a new one.

CONTROLLING THE ORB

I still wonder how the Orb can work with a two-switch installation. When you turn it off with the switch, then on, does it light the same way as before?

1488279027486.png

Basically, you are only going to need the Eclipse switch for changing your lights or turning it on and off. By holding the button of the Eclipse and rotating it, you can control the dim. A simple touch on the front of the Eclipse turns the Orbs on or off. Once you turn it back on, it will give you the same light you had before turning it off.

SLAATTO S1 SILHOUETTE

Slaatto S1 Shade Orb

I had a discussion with my spouse: I say: the Slatto1 is automatically moving with the light direction. My spouse says: you have to adjust the Slatto1 by hand. Could you bring some light on this matter?

As you know, we always like to bring light on any matters :-) “Unfortunately”, we have to tell you, that your spouse actually is right on this one. Adjusting the S1 lampshade has to be done manually and cannot be controlled through the control switches. We hope your discussion will be settled peacefully. :-)

SMART HOME INTEGRATION

As many people have questions and concerns about the integration into leading smart home solutions, we have just recently created a blog piece about this. Learn more here.

NETWORK

There is another issue we want to address as we get many questions about it. Many people think the Orb should communicate in an open network and not via Bluetooth technology as it does now.

Our protocol is based on Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and is not related to Z-Wave or X10. The latter is primarily a previous generation protocol not used much outside the US. Z-Wave is also not planned, as this can only be via a gateway.

app control shade orb
Using BTLE mesh allows us to make a stand-alone product, which will work straight out of the box, regardless if you have Wi-Fi or not, regardless if your Wi-Fi is down or not, regardless if your ISP is down or not and regardless if you know how to configure all of this or not. In our opinion, light should work all the time which we can see happening very well by using our own internal protocols.

However, we are also planning to look into a gateway product down the line which can add even more functionality to our products.

Do you have a party mode? This could be good stuff (with a sensor that works by clapping hands or playing music).

We definitely agree on this one :-) However, at this point, we do not have a specific party feature included. As we are continuously working to further develop our products, you can look out for additional features in our products down the line.

So let's just pack up the Orbs and send them to me, right?

The development process includes many different aspects and of course takes time as we prioritise our customers' needs as well as the high quality of our products.

"What we spend a lot of time on is the hardware, because that's where the light actually comes from."

Listen to our founders, Bo & Mathias,  talking about where we are right now at Shade:

We hope this post helps you in understanding our products and company better. If you feel as if your feedback has not been reflected in this yet or if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at info@shade.one and we will be happy to get back to you.

Backer Insights

shade orb typeform

From the start we've decided that we want to run our business in an engaging and including manner. We want to understand the needs of our customers, and cater to them as we see it as our responsibility to deliver the best possible quality to those who follow us. Therefore, we decided to do a little survey with Typeform targeted towards our backers on Indiegogo i.e. people who have already decided to buy our products.

What we got back was an amazing amount of responses (320+) and a lot of constructive feedback and insights. This is very valuable to us as we can implement feedback in the development process and learn along the way. However, we also wanted to share our insights with you on our journey through our customers’ minds. There will also be a Q&A part coming up in our next blog post with the questions we received through the survey.

Who are they?

The big majority of our backers are male (85%) and most of the respondents are about 46 – 55 years old. The peculiar thing is that compared to those who came close to purchase, but didn't quite reach for their credit cards, we see a lot of females dropping of. On Facebook our female following is numerous and engaged, but when it comes to actually backing us - the males are the one who follow through. This may of course be skewed by the classic Indiegogo demographics.

How did they learn about the Orb?

When asking how our backers had heard about the Orb, we left out one vital option: Through Indiegogo. At first we couldn't understand the large amount of "other" responses, but we quickly learned we left out this obvious source. Approximately 25% came through this source, which shows the strength of the Indiegogo community. Facebook provided us with almost half our backers, so a big shout-out to our Facebook community. If you're not already following us, please go have a look at what we're doing there.

Why do they back us?

Since we are a start-up that connects the topics; tech, design, lighting and entrepreneurship, we were very keen to see why people actually decided to buy our products. 

As it turns out, the light functions have been the most important aspect of our products, followed by the design as well and the smart features. Fewer people purchased it because of the good cause of supporting a start-up or the discounts.

We were also happy to see that people can see actual benefits for their lives. For example this woman let us know, that she values our plug & play feature and the fact, that she can use our products worldwide:

"For me the biggest deciding factors were: 1. ease of installation (time-constrained single female) and 2. works in both US and EU (as I'll be moving to the EU in the coming years)."

Another great - less technical - reason to buy our products is this one:

"I will be the only one who will have it when I get it so I'll have bragging rights :)"

We can support this, however, we must underline that you cannot claim any damages from us that might occur from exercising your rights :-)

 

How WILL they use it?

shade orb where type form

Now that we know their reasoning for their purchasing-decision, we want to shed some light on the way they will use our products. “Where do you plan on using the Orb?” brought interesting results, too.

Your favourite spots to place our lamps seem to be the living room, dining room, kitchen as well as the bedroom.

More unusual answers were probably the tractor sleeper, the glass house (orangery) or the library (you have your own library?! Awesome!).

Comments & Concerns

Of course, many of you also have concerns and questions as uncertainty is always a by-product of crowdfunding campaigns and us being in the development phase.

smart home.png

The main concerns raised included the future integration into other smart home systems. As you know, we are working hard to deliver you the best products and we have recently posted a blog post about this topic where you can learn more.

Another question raised was about the ceiling mount and how it will look like. There are many things to consider in the development process and the ceiling mount is of course one of them. As soon as we have updates about this, you will be the first ones to know!

Some less frequent suggestions were the implementation of a party mode feature or even a “La-Ola”-switch. We love your creativity :-)

And the most important concern raised, that probably many – IF NOT ALL OF YOU – have is:

“I hate waiting :-)"

Despite uncertainty, we also received a lot of great feedback and want to thank you all for both, critical and positive thoughts on our project!

feedback typeform shade orb

Many of our respondents have also sent in some important questions about the development process and our products which we don’t want to leave unanswered! Please stay tuned for the Q&As coming up in our next blog post!

And last but not least, one of our respondents gave us this advice:

“Keep up the good spirit :-)”

We will. :-)

 

If you feel like your feedback is not reflected in this yet or if you just want to say hi, please feel free to drop us a message at info@shade.one.