There’s trouble brewin’ on the ‘ol Kickstarter site

This Kickstarter campaign, the AmbioLight, brings RGB LED strips to the masses. The only problem is that some of the backers discovered this RGB LED strip is already on the market. Internet denizens are now frothing at the mouth, complaining the designers of the AmbioLight, “haven’t designed anything,” and are, “just reselling parts which [AmbioLight] put together at a higher cost than other products on the market.”

A few backers of the AmbioLight have found what they think to be the original product, an RGB LED strip produced by ELCO Lighting. Comparing the picture of the ‘ballast’ on the AmbioLight Kickstarter to the ELCO controller raises even more suspicions about how involved the AmbioLight team was involved in the design of their product.

Even if the AmbioLight is simply a repackaging of an already existing product, that doesn’t make it against the rules of Kickstarter. I’ve even contributed to Kickstarter campaigns just to get a difficult-to-source component. Still, given the vitriol of the AmbioLight’s comments page, Kickstarter contributors don’t seem to appreciate taking an already available product and reselling it as your own.

What say you, Hackaday reader? Is it right for the AmbioLight team to do this?

EDIT: Kickstarter suspended the funding of AmbioLight a few hours after this was posted.

109 thoughts on “There’s trouble brewin’ on the ‘ol Kickstarter site

  1. This was very sketch.

    In their ad, now suspended by KickStarter, they say “In order to cost-effectively manufacture the AmbioLight at the same quality we have guaranteed our customers in the past, we decided to manufacture the light overseas in a factory we have a strong relationship with. (All engineering and design is done in the USA.) Having worked with them before, we are confident in their quality, honesty and ability to perform on schedule.”

    This is highly misleading. As someone who is currently building a project using LED strip lighting, I can tell you there are dozens of LED strip manufacturers. No one has a strong “relationship” with people that make this. And they did not “decide” to make the product there – they had no choice because they are just buying product. Also, they would not even put a small dent in the volume that some of the sellers in China do. Just 100% misleading.

    Go to and look for LED strip lighting, and you will find many, many products. Also, the controller they are using sucks. These light strips have the ability to go to 100s, maybe 1000s of shades, they offer 7.

    Come on.

  2. dude, go to alibaba, and search tegra3, you will find hundreds of OUYA android boxes with remote controllers.

    go to alibaba and search bluetooth watches, you will find hundreds of Pebble internet bluetooth watches.

    go to alibaba and search smartthings, you will find hundreds of battery operated motion sensors.

    Get my point here… this STUFF is in CHINA.. doesn’t mean its in USA..

    Kickstarter need to pull their head out of the sand and stop reviewing their projects, and let the market decide what products to backer. and leave Ambiolight the hell alone! KickStarter SHAME on you for intervening on exactly how every company in the world innovates..

    All innovators take a product they are interested in and extending.. do you think OUYA really made the TEgra3 silicon chips and circuit boards… HELL NO!

    You guys are soo mean to ambiolight. shame on you for writing this article.. very very bad screwing your innovators over like this..

      1. yes, you can all think kickstarter was right in cancelling AmbioLight. imagine if kickstarter cancelled OUYA at the last few days at 6 million. I can show you exactly where OUYA is buying their circuit boards. and they didn’t have a prototype box at all. that image is a just a render drawing with the hand. you don’t know what you will really get. You guys think you know how the world works. I doubt, based on the comments and replies in this article.

  3. We tried 3 times and were declined 3 times from Kickstarter. Our product allows anyone to install complete lighting systems and controls without being an electrician. It is a finalist in the CEDIA Sustainable Innovation Lifestyle Product Award.

    Not sure exactly what Kickstarter looks for when reviewing projects but with such an innovative platform product with open interfaces making opportunities for thousands of accessory creators, we thought the Kickstarter project would easily be funded.

    We’re still fundraising but now selling product so less need every day to offer a discount to the Kickstarter community. Having more cash on hand would allow us to create more of the products in the pipline much sooner and also decrease our shipping delays (we have to wait for enough sales to fill a batch order and production takes 8 weeks per batch).

    If enough of you are interested in us offering a Kickstarter campaign (and Kickstarter will publish the project), we’ll offer a huge discount to the Kickstarter community.

    Plus we have really cool t-shirts and USB sticks now ;-)

    Preview page:

    1. Sorry Derek, but that “draft” is nothing but a load of sales bollocks.

      “Network Devices” because of the unique and patent-pending design that avoids unsafe high voltages.,
      YEP LED’s don’t run directly on mains voltages, you might also be ok for European approvals, they cut off at about 20Volts about 20 volts less than URL class II

      “While UL certification is not required for the product because of its inherent safety, ”
      Not correct!!!…. something called “product liability insurance”

      “Lasts almost forever, inexpensive to install, safe, perfect control, ”

      How long is “Almost forever”, lets be fair and say 3 billion years (two billion years before the sun explodes)?

      If you post sales crap like this, they you are going to be laughed off the internet.

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