Glowscenes - The Story of a Product Redesign
Tom Spendlove posted on October 25, 2017 |
After a crowdfunding attempt, the ambient lighting product has a new design and relaunch.

When Guido Bonelli suspended his crowdfunding campaign earlier this year for Glowscenes, he knew that the product would continue. He set out to redesign the product based on customer feedback and internal fabrication issues.  The new Glowscenes is now available on Bonelli’s website,, and he took some time to discuss some product development issues.

One of the challenging components was the push button switch that would power the unit. The design required the button to be long because it had to pass through the thick wooden wall. He also wanted the switch to be cheap, low profile and have a pleasant aesthetic to match his upscale feel for the device. Working with his switch supplier he found the component that best met all of his criteria except for packaging. A larger switch profile required a shuffling of other components and the necessity of a double sided PCB.

Customers consistently asked for battery powered units instead of the power cord supplied with the first generation. Moving to a three AA battery power supply eventually solved the PCB and power switch issue, when Guido realized that most battery holders already have built-in power switches. The power switch was now integrated with the battery pack, and that left more room around the PCB allowing the return to a one sided board.

The other main change to the unit was the microchip. When Guido found out that Atmel had redesigned the Atmega328P because of the popularity of Arduino boards, he looked at the new unit. He found that the Atmega328PB had upgrades including pin remapping, more UARTS, backward compatibility and even a cheaper cost at his volume. Major changes to the body included the removal of the wooden casing to present a smaller design, and a switch from a barrel jack power connector to a standard micro USB connector. Overall Bonelli estimates that his design changes allowed almost a twenty percent reduction in component costs.

Glowscenes is still a great product design to push soft ambient lighting into a room, with options for battery or USB power. The intensity, speed and colors of the lights are all customizable for the user. It’s always fascinating to me to see how a low volume entrepreneurial project can change components and design so fast on the fly, compared to my experience with five year automotive development cycles. Bonelli did an almost total redesign of his product between August and October. More information about Glowscenes can be found at the company’s website.

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