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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Shade - Something very amazing is happening with lighting!

I am writing an article series about startups who has the potential to be the next big companies.

I met the Danish startup at the Slush conference back in November and finally had the chance to sit down for an interview with Mathias who is one of the founders.

So can you tell me about Shade?

Shade started because we wanted to bring a better light into our homes.

At home, we generally have lamps that only give one light mood because of how they are designed. So, our living room may have decent light for eating, but that light mood is not suitable for all the other things we use the room for.

We want the light to adapt to what we are doing!

How do you plan on doing that?

Well, we actually found out that the problem is the light bulb. The incandescent bulb was brilliant when it was invented, but now with LED we can do so much more.

Therefore, we redesigned the bulb to fit our needs today. We came up with the Orb. Take a look!

But sorry, isn’t that just Philips Hue?

Well, yes and no! A lampshade will not suddenly give good light just because you put a bulb in it that can change colour.

Having different colours is really cool, and the Orb has many different light settings both in direction and in colour and when we put that into lampshades that support it, we get really cool light.

So it is also my lamp that is the problem?

Well, there are many lamps that are really beautiful. But many of them actually do not give good light. If your lamp only lights upwards, it is very difficult to read under it.
What we want is to give you lamps that work for all the different purposes you have and that react to you instead of you reacting to them!

So how does the Orb work exactly?

The Orb can control light in three directions.

It can go downwards to create cosy light and reading light. When it goes upwards it is an indirect light, helping you to get up easier in the mornings. The third direction is to the sides when you can also change the colours or even add a lamp Shade if you wish. That’s a nice and simple way of getting a good atmosphere into your rooms.


Can it also be intelligent?

Absolutely. We have tested a lot of intelligent features with ourselves and our test user families. For example, our Nightfall feature where we dampen the light in the evening and remove the blue from the light so you can sleep a lot better. Another feature is if you turn the Orb on in the night, it will give you very soft light to not waken you up. It is very cool to have the light react to what you are doing!

We built in sensors in the Orb and already have a number of intelligent features now. And we keep developing a lot in this area to get your light to be a lot more convenient.

When I have them in my living room, how can I then control them?

So, this is actually really important – when I am home I hate having to carry my phone around all the time.

Your old switches will work when you want to turn the light on and off. We have designed a really nice switch that is included in the package where you can also change the mood and brightness with a single click. Then you can set up the light just as you want it in our App, and just use switches and automatic features in your everyday life.

Does it require internet to work?

No that’s the beauty of it. You don’t want your light to go out when your internet goes down.

Light has to work always.

That’s why we are using Bluetooth between the lamps and smart phones because it responds immediately and doesn’t fail. It just works much better.

This also means you can set your wall switches wherever you want because Bluetooth can hold battery for many years and is very small.

So this is like a new way of thinking light?

Yes. If you go to a concert or look at professional photos you can see a lot of very beautiful light. It is very disappointing when you get home to find a dull bulb that gives too little light and always looks the same.

We want to give everyone better light and also the ability to play and create with light.

How could I use this in my own home?

Our first range of products are made for living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, children’s rooms and hallways.

They do not yet fit your bathroom or outside use. Those are yet to come because we need different kinds of light there than in the other rooms.

I can see a lot of use for this in my home. So what is your vision for the future?

This is just the first light source in our system. There are more sources that we are working on to fulfil more light needs around the home.

We want to give you the right light for living and make light as smart as possible.

Light should be as user friendly and advanced as some of the other electronic consumer products like with photography, smart phones and sound systems – that’s what we are here for.

How much will it cost?

We have made a designer product with focus on getting the best LEDs on the market. So of course, the Orb is a bit more expensive than just a cheap bulb, but it’s also so much more than that.

We launch with discount on our crowdfunding because we want a lot of products out there. Happy customers are good ambassadors.

1 Orb will cost around 230$ in the crowdfunding

How can we support you guys?

If you like our vision for really good light in your home, you can buy some lamps or donate on our crowdfunding.

You can follow us to find out what we are up to, and make sure to show us to people you know that cares for great light.


Shade is a Danish tech company that develops an intelligent lighting system. They have working prototypes and just started their crowdfunding campaign with a funding goal of $50,000 to invest in the development process.

Mathias Christiansen is one of the founders and CTO at Shade. His passion for holistic product design with the user as the absolute pivot point is a cornerstone in what Shade wants to bring to the world.

You can follow Shade on their social media channels:
·       LinkedIn
·       Twitter
·       Instagram