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Old 10-22-2013, 06:12 PM   #1
NewETown
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Manufacturing LED Lights


Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a way to manufacture my own LED light system. Does anyone have experience with manufacturing that could help me out?

Basically I'm trying to create a swivel-neck lamp (like this) that I can place over my custom aquariums. I've done some searching and haven't been able to find a place where I can submit my designs for review and production.

If anyone could point me in the right direction I'd be greatly appreciative!

-Everett
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:57 PM   #2
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Getting a new piece like that designed and manufactured is quite the complicated process.

Do you want a limited line or something for mass production? Do you want to sell it yourself or have another retailer sell it? There are manufacturers out there that can make parts for you, but usually require orders of parts be purchased by the thousands so its profitable for them to make all the dies and molds for the metal and plastic parts. Usually brands want to do their own design and manufacturing in-house so they can get all the money for the design and sale of said product.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response thelub!

Ideally I want to do this for mass-production and sell it myself. I'm looking at somewhere between 500-1000 initial (complete: light, stand, "neck" piece, etc) units at first... I'm not opposed to doing some assembly in-house; I have the ability to accommodate that. If I were to do in-house assembly for this product I would still need the individual parts made for me, this is the road block I'm running into.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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I looked at doing a small project of a different sort and found my first step needed to be a patent. I got past the first step due to my son but found there were already so many designs that I quit before actually going for the patent. You may want to check how many people have already got a patent for a product too much like yours. There are lots of ideas floated and patented but never put into production. You might find you do a lot of work and then they come by to claim the result.
Meanwhile, be very selective about who you discuss any ideas with before having patent in hand.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:05 PM   #5
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Manufacturing something can be an expensive process. Basically, you would start by contracting out a designer or product developer (or a company that does so). You would obviously discuss your vision and they would give you a quote for each step. To my knowledge, now a days, they would start by making a 3D rendering. Once you are satisfied, they would then prototype for you. Once you are finished, you would have it manufactured by, most likely, a 3rd party company.

It is a multistage process where you likely pay most upfront. You would probably want to have it designed so it's more cheaply manufactured. For example, you probably don't need strict tolerances on something like this compared to an engine, musical instrument, or the like. That's something you would go over in the design.

My brother does this as his career, as does a few others. I only know this from them, some may do it differently.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info guys.

Talon - I already have CAD drawings and all of the design done, what I really need is just a person who works at a manufacturing company to chat with so I can figure what kind of file format they need to make a prototype.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewETown View Post
Thanks for the info guys.

Talon - I already have CAD drawings and all of the design done, what I really need is just a person who works at a manufacturing company to chat with so I can figure what kind of file format they need to make a prototype.
I am not at all trying to be a downer here but your CAD drawings may only be as useful as a sketch on paper, unless you put every single screw, bolt, nut to exact sizes. I just see my brother redo or restart this all the time. I could be wrong though.

I would put you in touch with my brother but I don't believe he does this for individuals anymore. He used to and he might but he has been working with large companies as of lately. I can call him and see if he is willing to chat. If he is, he will just tell you how to go about this, even if it's not through him. PM me if you want me to try to set that up, can't promise anything.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:10 AM   #8
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Understood Talon. I do have precise CAD drawings like the ones you describe but another opportunity opened up tonight that I'm going to pursue so I no longer have to worry about a light . Thanks for the tips everyone!
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewETown View Post
Understood Talon. I do have precise CAD drawings like the ones you describe but another opportunity opened up tonight that I'm going to pursue so I no longer have to worry about a light . Thanks for the tips everyone!
Not to be super in your business and being pushy but I did talk to my brother tonight and brought this up. He told me that if you had a super specific design, it could be quite pricy. On the other hand, many manufactures have fixtures to go off of and that can save you almost 90% of the cost, they would just have to retrofit the LED's into one of their "pre-designed" fixtures. Just trying to help you out the best I can, I love seeing new products and would buy an nice LED fixture, just hoping to give you some insight.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:43 AM   #10
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You should get a 3D printer and make a prototype first. Then you can have something in hand to take to a manufacturer. Might make selling it easier.

Who knows, you might be able to come up with a design you can make almost entirely with the 3D printer....
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #11
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I agree with Talontsiawd. Designing a new fixture from scratch requires a large sum of money up front for tooling, as well as an extensive testing process + whatever certifications apply to electrical products sold in the US. Unless you have some revolutionary design, it's far more practical to take a manufacturer's existing design and make modifications to it. Or even easier, just rebrand a product and import it. There is quite a large selection of these things already existing in China that simply have never been imported into the US.

As a side note, you usually don't need super detailed drawings to start the prototyping process, at least not with any manufacturer I've worked with. They usually have their own internal documentation template, so they need to make their own set of prints anyways. You could walk in with a sketch on a napkin and I'm sure they'll be willing to work with you through the prototyping phase (at a cost of course)
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:00 PM   #12
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I talked to my brother last night and he said the trickiest part is getting the UL certification. For something like a lamp, he felt it would be pretty easy and straight forward,

However, he did tell me that many manufacturers may already have an "in house" line where they will have a few options in design, color choices, etc. He told me this could be done at a fraction of the cost if you find someone who would be able to integrate your LED system into an existing light that they will sell dirt cheap, especially if they already deal with LED's powerful enough for your goals.

Sorry, not trying to get too into your business but my brother has been doing this for 15+ years, starting with projects similar to this, travels to manufacturers both in the US and China consistently, etc. It sounds like if you can find a lamp close enough, you may be able to skip the whole development phase, have a super simple prototyping stage and if you are happy, jump straight into manufacturing. That will save you most of the cost.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:16 PM   #13
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http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...ED-LIGHT-BUILD

I built my own leds using ikea lights..

not sure if you can see the pics so let me know.. but here is the link..
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:06 PM   #14
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Its called alibaba.com
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:15 AM   #15
NewETown
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Thanks for the input everyone, I actually have something in the works already that I hope to be able to reveal at some point soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fearsome View Post
Its called alibaba.com
Fearsome - I did (and a few other, similar sites). Unfortunately that isn't a viable option for me because the state I live in, for legal reasons beyond my knowledge, doesn't allow imports via Alibaba. I am able to use DHGate but it's not as good
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