I saw a tweet from Bored Elon Musk, a popular parody of Elon Musk on Twitter, and his friends are launching an independent lighting company. He introduced me to his friends who took the time to sit down for a quick interview. The name of the product is Solar Echo Lighting, and the goal is simple, to improve indoor lighting in a stylish manner.
One of the neat things about this lamp is the ability for to adjust its lighting to your needs. Another feature is its ability to mimic the times of day when the sun is shining and moving around in the sky. This feature is programmed and the user can adjust it as needed.
A few of my friends launched an independent lighting company and are crowdfunding their first beautiful product. Unlike my dumb invention tweets, these creations are very real and very spectacular. (Note: I'm a small investor in the company) https://t.co/FqgsWBQQ7G
— Bored (@BoredElonMusk) December 11, 2021
The lamp has a unique flower design, where its petals, which are made from cork, open up at different times throughout the day. In this way, it mimics how the sun moves throughout the sky while lighting the day. It’s a physical echo of the sun.
Jake Schott and John Geletka are the founders of Solar Echo. Jake is an industrial designer and inventor. John is a designer and marketer. The two put their heads together to create a patented lighting solution that would solve a key problem of indoor lighting. The two have spent nine months bringing Solar Echo to life, from pen and paper to an actual prototype that is fully functioning. Now they are in the fundraising stages.
Inspiration Behind Solar Echo
I asked them what inspired them to create Solar Echo. Jake told me that the two of them were dealing with a problem and explained how this lighting idea solved it.
“In a previous life, I used to work in finance and worked really long hours, especially being in the Midwest. So once that Daylight Savings Time hits, it’s pretty easy to go a full work week without ever being outside to see the natural sun. And a lot of fluorescent lighting that we realized that just kind of zaps your energy. It’s just very sterile. So it was always kind of in the back of my mind that that was a problem that I would like to address at some point in the future.”
Jake told me that he made a career shift and went into industrial design. This presented a unique opportunity for him to focus on his idea. During a semester for the course, he was able to focus on the idea and this is where the seeds for Solar Echo were planted.
“We came up with the initial feel and look of it. It wasn’t until March of this year that John and I got together; he started to push me on.”
John encouraged Jake to develop his idea into a working product. Solar Echo is a lamp that can mold its light to the person.
“It’s something that can kind of mold its light to you — its output as opposed to just being a sterile thing that’s kind of pumping out the exact same tone versus the sun, which is going to be changing throughout the day and matching up with your circadian rhythm.”
One of the preset paths of the lamp is that it will mimic the lighting of the sun as it moves throughout the day. Jake explained that he envisions that the lamp will be fairly closed when you wake up in the morning and that it will have a more reddish hue to it, as sunrise would. And then as the day progresses, the lamp opens up with more light — mimicking the sun as it reaches its zenith in the sky. And then the process reverses as it moves toward sunset.
“You can customize that cycle to whatever you’d like or if you find that it’s later in the day and you need a pick-me-up, you can change it from where it is to go back to midday where you need that extra energy boost.”
I asked Jake and John what the materials are they are making the lamp with. The petals are made from cork, which is a natural, environmentally friendly material. The duo wanted to go with something that had a natural feel that is also a renewable resource. Other materials used are the plastics and metals used in typical lighting materials. However, the lamp is made to last and the design is unique and artistic. I personally like how it looks like a flower that opens and closes throughout the day.
“We’re still using plastic for a lot of the internal mechanisms, but our goal is to use the minimum amount possible but to also make a product that lasts a really long time.”
Jake added the importance of using plastic properly, and I fully agree with this. He pointed out that it should be used to create products that last a long time and not something that quickly gets thrown away.
The overall philosophy is that the two want to get a product to market that is high quality and that lasts, which is a key importance to sustainability, but the goal is also to engineer a better way to create it.
John and Jake have a unique investment opportunity and have set up an investment fundraiser on Indigogo, where they explain exactly what it is they need and what the investor gets in return. What they need is to pay for sourcing, tooling, and fabricating their first production run. They also need funding to cover improvements for the app and to consolidate Solar Echo’s three functions into a singular smooth user-friendly UI. Investors’ support will help the duo deliver a high-quality product at an economical price.
There are several perks from being a fan to actually investing in the product. Shipping is slated for July 2022. Their goal is $50,000, and so far, they’ve raised almost $13,000 of that goal.
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