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Author Topic: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module **Now Available**  (Read 11074 times)

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whammoed

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edit: Now available at www.nicemite.com

OK, they aren't in my hands yet, but I am getting the order ready.
After getting an order of leaf buttons in, I realize I will no longer be using microswitch buttons.  Well there is no real easy way to get these lit with leds, and thats where the Lightmite LB comes in.  It is a small pcb that holds a two position terminal block, two resistors, and two leds.  You simply screw it to the button with the buttons pal nut.  And yes, I said it has terminal blocks.  Wiring just doesn't get any easier than that.  You will easily be able to chain the ground and/or + wires.  Board will be double sided with plated through holes.  Of course it can be used with different voltages by using the correct resistors +5v, +12v, etc.  I will likely have three choices available for purchase:
1. bare board
2. board with terminal block
3. complete board with terminal block, resistors, and leds installed.  Choice of red, orange, blue, green. (did I miss any?)


So what I need to know from you all, is what is your interest (if any) in such a product?  Would you buy?  How many?  What price puts it out of your range? etc...  There will be an order placed for sure, I am simply trying to figure out how many.  I already know how many I want. ;)

Here are the prototype pics to help visualize and a pic of the actual schematic for the board.  Prototype was etched by hand using parts I had available so It does not have the terminal blocks.  Also the final wiring layout is different as seen in the schematic pic.
The board can be assembled for lighting two different ways.
Pic 1: Lit red button by "outside from bottom method"
Pic 2: underside of "outside from bottom method"
Pic 3: Lit red button by "through button holder method"  (think knievel method)
Pic 4: underside of "through button holder method"
Pic 5: Schematic of actual product

(white 3mm narrow viewing angle leds were used in testing.  Actual lighting results are much better with the proper color led)

Let me know what you think! :D
« Last Edit: April 03, 2006, 06:43:24 pm by whammoed »

quarterback

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2006, 12:22:09 pm »
Verrrrrryyyy interesssting!     :)

This may be asking too much, but is there any chance that somebody can provide pre-cut (and maybe even pre-drilled) white spacers?   My issue right now is more that I don't have the "Kneivel style" white holders which would allow me to do the "through button holder" method.

As you know, my cocktail has 6 translucents in it, so I'd be interested in like... uh... six of these :)  But, as always, it's going to come down to cost.   For example, if they're $10/board, I'm going to have to pass, because spending another $60 on just lighting these buttons is too rich for my blood.

Can you give a side-by-side comparison of the two lighting methods?   I'm surprised at how well the "outside from bottom" lights up even the bezel of the button.

I'd also be really interested in seeing how well you can get a green button to light up, since they're so dark (and because I might have three of them on my CP)  I don't know what LEDs you currently have at your disposal, but coming up with a decent solution to lighting up the green translucents to a level that's even close to all the other colors would be a success unto itself.

These definitely look cool, whammoed.  Kudos for putting these together.  8)
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whammoed

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2006, 12:34:36 pm »

qb,

Oh, they won't be $10, don't worry.
Thanks for the heads up on the green.  I will see what is available when ordering the leds.  I should probably get greens that are brighter than the rest.

I won't be supplying button holders, at least initially...who knows down the road.  The assembled boards will be the "outside from bottom method".  Using the other method, the leds should be attached to the board while they are in the button holder since its a tight fit.  You could try squeezing them in afterward, but this could break the leads.

I actually got more even lighting with the "outside from bottom method", so I would suggest that route.  I've seen it done well this way even with 1 led.  Plus you don't have to drill holes in the holder, so one less step.

(the uneven lighting I got with the "through button holder method" was likely due to the fact that these are short buttons in a metal panel with white narrow angle leds.  Knievel has shown you can get good results with that method.)

I won't be able to give a side by side comparison until the actual boards are in.  I only made one prototype.

quarterback

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2006, 02:31:41 pm »
Thanks for the heads up on the green.  I will see what is available when ordering the leds.  I should probably get greens that are brighter than the rest.

I'm not sure that there are very many people who actually use the greens, but if you can come up with a solution while working through this, maybe more people will end up using them.

Quote
The assembled boards will be the "outside from bottom method".  Using the other method, the leds should be attached to the board while they are in the button holder since its a tight fit.  You could try squeezing them in afterward, but this could break the leads.

Gotcha.

Quote
I actually got more even lighting with the "outside from bottom method", so I would suggest that route.  I've seen it done well this way even with 1 led.

Interesting.  That's good to know because I've been mentally debating this with my own CPs.

Quote
I won't be able to give a side by side comparison until the actual boards are in.  I only made one prototype.

Fair enough.  I just asked because LED lighting photos are always a bit of a crapshoot since it's difficult to capture exactly what they look like in person.  In the pics you've posted, it looks like the "from bottom method" isn't as bright as the "through button holder method", but that first pic also looks darker overall.

In the end, the fact that you can get the bezel lit with either method is the best news to me.  Intensity can be adjusted using different LEDs, but the overall 'spread' of the light isn't so easy to control.
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whammoed

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2006, 02:51:12 pm »

Fair enough.  I just asked because LED lighting photos are always a bit of a crapshoot since it's difficult to capture exactly what they look like in person.  In the pics you've posted, it looks like the "from bottom method" isn't as bright as the "through button holder method", but that first pic also looks darker overall.


The "through button holder" was brighter, but not by too much.  It also had the two bright spots as seen in the photo.  I think both were due to using short buttons on a metal panel.  The leds are very close to the top in this case.  For metal panels I really think the "outside from bottom" method is the best.  You can get brighter leds if it is too dim, or put in higher resistors if its too bright.  Like you said, getting it "even" can be the tricky part.

So far you are the only one expressing an interest, hopefully there are more who would like something like this.  I will definitely order enough for at least those who say they want them here though.  ;)

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2006, 03:16:51 pm »
Sorry, I wouldn't buy this personaly. I used Knievl's method and it's sooooooo easy, really no need for a PCB. Just MHO of course. I'm an electronics engineer so it maybe just my fantastic soldering skills (;)) but really I think anyone can do it.

(Also I think Knievl should get some "royalties" for his idea :D)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2006, 03:20:12 pm by Level42 »

whammoed

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2006, 04:14:38 pm »
Sorry, I wouldn't buy this personaly. I used Knievl's method and it's sooooooo easy, really no need for a PCB. Just MHO of course. I'm an electronics engineer so it maybe just my fantastic soldering skills (;)) but really I think anyone can do it.

(Also I think Knievl should get some "royalties" for his idea :D)

No reason to be sorry.  This is the kind of feedback I'm looking for.  I realize I enjoy taking things to the next level regardless of the extra expense at times, and if no-one else wants to go along I would rather know it than buy too many of these.  Also,  for the short buttons (in metal panels) I'm pretty sure the button holder method is not the best way and I usually use metal.  Again, this is probably the minority as well.
I will be sure to send knievel royalties on all the boards I assemble using the button holder method. :D ;)

thanks for the feedback!

P.S.  Lets be honest, not everything about your button lighting went sooooooo easy: :laugh:
O, and drill with GREAT care ! This is what happens if you don't  ;D



quarterback

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2006, 09:45:51 pm »
really no need for a PCB.

This is kind of what I was thinking when I asked about the side-lighting-spacers.  I think an all-in-one "just slide this over your leaf buttons and they'll have that Kneively side lighting" would possibly generate more interest, but if I'm going to end up drilling holes and installing the LEDs myself anyway, I'm probably just going to wire the LEDs as well.

I believe that Kneivel found/bought some kind of translucent material which he cut out to size to act as the spacer.  I don't know if it would make it an easier sell, but getting ahold of that material, cutting out some 'rings' and installing the LEDs into that (making it a ready-to-go solution) might be more appealling.

I know you said that you feel the "button holder method is not the best way" for your setup,  but it's just a thought.
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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2006, 11:14:43 pm »
thanks for the advice qb.  Knievel drilled through his button holder in his example I believe.  He was using a wood panel so didn't need spacers.  Trust me, if you use that method in your metal panel with your spacers those leds will be right next to your cp and thus right next to the bezel.  You will not have even lighting.  Maybe through your button holders with the right leds which would put them 1/4" from the top, but I can't be certain on that.

The "fully loaded version" would just slide over the button.  I think knievels method is great but its not the only way IMHO.

I think its clear that these are a no go for the masses though.  No biggie.  I will still be ordering some for myself and possibly some extras just in case.  I'm not really looking to come up with a product just to sell. Just seeing if anyone else was interested in what I consider the most elegant approach to lighting a leaf button.  Plus I have a couple other ideas i'm working on that I think people will be excited about.

Again, thanks to you both for the input.  It is exactly the kind of info I needed before placing the order.

**I looked, yep, through the holder, not a spacer:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=30565.msg257830#msg257830

Here is the post in that thread where oldskool just uses one led from the bottom:
Even 1 superbright LED per button works well.







quarterback

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2006, 11:31:07 pm »
thanks for the advice qb.  Knievel drilled through his button holder in his example I believe. 

Yeah, I wasn't being clear enough.  His 'real' setup was right through the holders, but (I think) people were coming up with alternate 'diffusion' ideas and there was some continued discussion about doing things like using dollar-store cutting boards etc.   (I'm pretty sure) he located some other material online and tested it out.

Then again, I may have just dreamt all that :)

I'll see if I can find the posts I'm thinking of....

EDIT:  Here is what I was referring to.  These are from a thread on how to light up the shawnzilla (microswitch) translucents.  Kenievel found some stuff at Lee Valley that he made rings/spacers out of and he called them his "LED RINGS"  These are a few of his posts from that thread where he first mentions them and then an example of one in use:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=37034.msg358346#msg358346
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=37034.msg358372#msg358372
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=37034.msg373799#msg373799

Here's a pic, showcasing what he'd done:
« Last Edit: February 13, 2006, 11:52:04 pm by quarterback »
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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2006, 11:41:29 pm »
I love this idea Whammoed ! I love the look of the original trans leaf switch buttons when backlit but I hate having to fart around with the proper size leds,resistors and where/how to mount them ect.. I would DEFINATELY buy a couple dozen 12 volt versions  (a few of each color) if the price is right.
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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2006, 12:03:47 am »
qb:
gotcha, I forgot about that example.  My concern still remains on how close this setup can be to the cp and still look good.  Maybe more tests are in order....but I will definitely be going with the from the bottom yadda yadda  :P
Plus I REALLY like the idea of being able to easily chain the wires from one button to the next.  I'm sort of a neat wiring freak.

spidermonkey:
Cool!  I will keep you in mind when ordering, but what is the "right price".  I was hoping to order 500 but it looks like 100 may be the more likely number.  This would be a full dollar price difference per unit. :(

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2006, 12:12:58 am »
My concern still remains on how close this setup can be to the cp and still look good.  Maybe more tests are in order....but I will definitely be going with the from the bottom yadda yadda  :P

Not to beat this dead horse, because I'm really not trying to change your mind :), but I think that there are a couple kinds of those white leaf-switch holders.  Some that are solid and some that are 'hollow' inside.  I don't know what kind Kneivel used, but it seems that the solid material (similar to the Lee Valley stuff) might do a better job of reducing the 'hot spots' that you were seeing with that method.

Quote
spidermonkey:
Cool!  I will keep you in mind when ordering, but what is the "right price".  I was hoping to order 500 but it looks like 100 may be the more likely number.  This would be a full dollar price difference per unit. :(

I'd be a liar if I said I was definitely out of the buyer-pool.  In the end, I know it's just going to take me that many more months if I end up wiring the LEDs by myself, so I'm still potentially interested in the PCBs.  I just don't want you to make any major orders based on me.

Could you ballpark a price for us, whammoed?
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whammoed

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2006, 12:23:55 am »
Could you ballpark a price for us, whammoed?

This is my hobby and not my job so I'm certainly not looking to get rich on this.  The bare board ballpark would be in the $1.75 - $2.75 range.  The $1.75 looks unlikely though.  Add terminal Block would be around $0.50 extra.  Add terminal block, leds, and resistors would probably be around $1.50 extra.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2006, 12:49:53 am »
Sounds very reasonable to me.  My guess is that I'd buy at least a couple to mess with and potentially six or so.
Could you ballpark a price for us, whammoed?

This is my hobby and not my job so I'm certainly not looking to get rich on this.  The bare board ballpark would be in the $1.75 - $2.75 range.  The $1.75 looks unlikely though.  Add terminal Block would be around $0.50 extra.  Add terminal block, leds, and resistors would probably be around $1.50 extra.
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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2006, 05:49:09 am »
Hi whammoed,cool idea,I'd be intrested in 16 to 20 of these.From the UK though, is that okay.What payment methods would you take.Paypal???.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2006, 09:04:24 am »
Hi whammoed,cool idea,I'd be intrested in 16 to 20 of these.From the UK though, is that okay.What payment methods would you take.Paypal???.

I will be accepting paypal.  I don't mind shipping to the UK.  Thanks for the interest.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2006, 01:18:33 pm »
Sorry, I wouldn't buy this personaly. I used Knievl's method and it's sooooooo easy, really no need for a PCB. Just MHO of course. I'm an electronics engineer so it maybe just my fantastic soldering skills (;)) but really I think anyone can do it.

(Also I think Knievl should get some "royalties" for his idea :D)

No reason to be sorry.  This is the kind of feedback I'm looking for.  I realize I enjoy taking things to the next level regardless of the extra expense at times, and if no-one else wants to go along I would rather know it than buy too many of these.  Also,  for the short buttons (in metal panels) I'm pretty sure the button holder method is not the best way and I usually use metal.  Again, this is probably the minority as well.
I will be sure to send knievel royalties on all the boards I assemble using the button holder method. :D ;)

thanks for the feedback!

P.S.  Lets be honest, not everything about your button lighting went sooooooo easy: :laugh:
O, and drill with GREAT care ! This is what happens if you don't  ;D


WHAHAHAHA you're absolutely right ! The drilling is definitly the hardest part !! That's where the big advantage of using a pre-made set is of course.

Funny that you remembered that (and found it ;) )

I'm sure there will be enough people interested, hope it works out, and remember what might be easy for me, it migt not be for someone else. I'm strong in the electronics and computer field, but the woodworking etc. is a complete nightmare for me  :D

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2006, 01:23:13 pm »
WHAHAHAHA you're absolutely right ! The drilling is definitly the hardest part !! That's where the big advantage of using a pre-made set is of course.

Funny that you remembered that (and found it ;) )

I'm sure there will be enough people interested, hope it works out, and remember what might be easy for me, it migt not be for someone else. I'm strong in the electronics and computer field, but the woodworking etc. is a complete nightmare for me  :D

Teeheehee!  Yeah, just happened to be reviewing button lighting threads recently so it was fresh in my mind.

Anyone else care to chime in before I order a run?

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2006, 10:15:44 pm »
Got the boards in!
Pricing will be better than expected.  8)  I will hopefully have them available for purchase tomorrow at www.nicemite.com
Pic of fully loaded board:

Pic of plain board:

Pic of board with terminal block:

Pic of lit button:

Pic of installation:

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2006, 10:24:02 pm »
Got the boards in!
Pricing will be better than expected.  8)  I will hopefully have them available for purchase tomorrow at www.nicemite.com

Sweet! 
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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2006, 10:42:00 pm »
Props for a very simple elegant solution.
Will the size of the circuit board  restrict how close together you can place the button spacing?

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2006, 10:50:16 pm »
Props for a very simple elegant solution.
Will the size of the circuit board  restrict how close together you can place the button spacing?

It looks like the size of the square is the same as the diameter of the circle (or very close).    It's easier to see in the prototype pics, but the real boards look to be the same size as the prototype.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2006, 11:12:49 pm »
Props for a very simple elegant solution.
Will the size of the circuit board  restrict how close together you can place the button spacing?
The boards are 1.45" x 1.45".  Normal button spacing is 1.5".  The hole for the button is slightly oversized to allow for adjustment so the buttons can be even a little closer than 1.45".   Looks like if you just have two buttons side by side, the bezels of the button could actually be touching.  For Three buttons in a row they would have to be spaced a bit more but I don't know the exact number.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2006, 11:21:44 pm »
Also keep in mind the boards are square.  So if you have a layout where you have a button that doesn't line up with the others you may have trouble getting things to fit.

Like this:
  XXX
X

HOWEVER, you can trim off the corner of the board that doesn't have components to likely make that lower button fit.
These are half the thickness of "normal" pcbs so trimming with a utility knife shouldn't be too hard.

whammoed

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2006, 11:28:22 pm »
Also keep in mind the boards are square.  So if you have a layout where you have a button that doesn't line up with the others you may have trouble getting things to fit.

Like this:
  XXX
X

HOWEVER, you can trim off the corner of the board that doesn't have components to likely make that lower button fit.
These are half the thickness of "normal" pcbs so trimming with a utility knife shouldn't be too hard.
Just trimmed the corner off one with a pair of kitchen shears.  Super easy.  So actually that layout should be fine.  If you need that done and remember to drop me a note when ordering, I can trim down a couple for you.

RichyRich

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2006, 06:37:43 am »
PM sent.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2006, 12:16:06 pm »
PM sent.

Hey ho!  I was under the impression orders would be taken through the website.
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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2006, 12:20:41 pm »
PM sent.

Hey ho!  I was under the impression orders would be taken through the website.

Yes, I will try and get that online either by tonight or tomorrow.  If you just can't wait you can pm me.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2006, 12:26:34 pm »
PM sent.

Hey ho!  I was under the impression orders would be taken through the website.

Yes, I will try and get that online either by tonight or tomorrow.  If you just can't wait you can pm me.

I can't wat!!!!  :)

Nah, I can wait.  I just didn't want to miss out by waiting for the site if everybody was PMing you.   

I was going to just wait and see what came up on the website, but I'll just ask (since I'm here) What LED color options are you going to have, or are you just offering white right now?
No crap, don't put your kids in a real fridge.
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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2006, 12:38:08 pm »
I will have Red, Orange, Green, and Blue.  The green are a higher MCD than the others to hopefully have the light levels match up a little better since the green buttons are so dark.  I have white also but the correct color does a much better job.  They will be available in 12V and 5V.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2006, 09:41:08 pm by whammoed »

RichyRich

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2006, 03:55:11 pm »
PM sent.

Hey ho!  I was under the impression orders would be taken through the website.

It's ok mate, I wasn't trying to steal yours. I did pre-order further up the thread.

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New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module **Now Available**
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2006, 09:37:39 pm »
Now available at www.nicemite.com
I think those that want these will be pleasantly surprised at the introductory price.  :)

***if you need the 12 volt variety, they won't be shipping till around 03-09.  I am waiting on the backordered resistors that were just shipped.

Thanks for the support!


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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module **Now Available**
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2006, 10:45:48 pm »
Is RGB a possibility?

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module **Now Available**
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2006, 10:52:15 pm »
Is RGB a possibility?
Only the ones with 2 leads that cycle through colors automatically.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2006, 12:11:11 am »
It may be a long shot, but any chance of a pic of the green? :)

Also, any reason to choose 12v over 5v?  Or are the led brightness/colors exactly the same, just different resistors?


I will have Red, Orange, Green, and Blue.  The green are a higher MCD than the others to hopefully have the light levels match up a little better since the green buttons are so dark.  I have white also but the correct color does a much better job.  They will be available in 12V and 5V.
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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2006, 12:16:08 am »
It may be a long shot, but any chance of a pic of the green? :)

Also, any reason to choose 12v over 5v?  Or are the led brightness/colors exactly the same, just different resistors?


I will have Red, Orange, Green, and Blue.  The green are a higher MCD than the others to hopefully have the light levels match up a little better since the green buttons are so dark.  I have white also but the correct color does a much better job.  They will be available in 12V and 5V.
Sorry, don't have any green buttons on hand yet.  I will get a few next time I order something from Bob.  The brightness between the 5v and 12v is the same.  A different resistor is used.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2006, 01:20:09 am »
It may be a long shot, but any chance of a pic of the green? :)
Sorry, don't have any green buttons on hand yet.  I will get a few next time I order something from Bob.

Well, I just ordered a few blue and a few green, so if you ship them out to me quick, I'll take some pictures of the greens for you :)
No crap, don't put your kids in a real fridge.
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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2006, 11:18:40 am »
Well, I just ordered a few blue and a few green, so if you ship them out to me quick, I'll take some pictures of the greens for you :)

Awesome, I'll get them out ASAP.

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Re: New Product: Lightmite LB leaf button lighting module **Now Available**
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2006, 04:31:46 pm »
I just wanted to say that these are really neat.  The two pin screw-terminal is the best solution for wiring power to LEDs that I have seen.

Unfortunately I have reached "paralysis through analysis" and can't decide which way I want to go with my next project.  Do you have many of these?  If so, do you anticipate having stock for awhile?  How much would shipping be on one unit to try with my buttons and wood panel?