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Potential LEGO Light Kits: LEGO Night Mode

You might remember that back in November of last year, the LEGO Lead User Lab team surveyed the LEGO fan community about their interest in three areas; lights used for LEGO models and displays, customizing with stickers and prints, and LEGO jewelry (see: LEGO Lead User Lab Community Survey). Based on the initial survey results, lights are by far the most popular among the fan community.

To further explore this topic, the Lead User Lab team displayed some potential light kits at the recent LEGO World event in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Lead User Lab team already knows that adult LEGO fans love light kits, but they wanted to understand regular consumer appeal as well. So, they displayed some LEGO boxes with official sets lit up with what they call LEGO Light Mode. The team got a lot of useful response from the public, and they are hoping that the gathered insights will contribute to building a potential pilot in the future.

An interesting detail from the feedback gathered so far is that people were most concerned about the quality and price of the product, and they weren’t that bothered by wires running through the models. My suspicion is that they are just not aware of how awesome wireless light solutions can be. I have been playing with my i-Brix wireless light base that was originally a project on Kickstarter, and the technology is mind-blowing. Being able to light up buildings and run cars on streets without stuffing everything with batteries, controllers, and wires is such a freeing experience. I hope the Lead User Lab team won’t stop testing the idea further just because people are not aware of the technology or because they think it would be too expensive (see: i-Brix Wireless Lights for LEGO Coming Soon!).

What do you think? How do you like the idea of LEGO producing their own light kits? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Rob February 19, 2020, 10:34 AM

    Sound exciting, but for me personally while I’d be tempted to add them to my modular buildings (like the Diner displayed above) but my biggest concern is how far back is LEGO planning to go? Parisian Restaurant maybe? I’m concerned they’d do say the first third to maybe half of the modular buildings then the rest of my city would still be without lighting. I just installed overhead Ikea lighting LEDBERG LED spotlights and it’s looks great so I’d probably just stick to that. Other sets would be easier to consider buying a lighting kit for.

  • Oldtimer February 19, 2020, 10:56 AM

    I like the idea, but why do they have to be specific kits for specific sets? Why can’t they make universal kits that fit everything? Isn’t that the idea with Lego?

    • Thita (admin) February 19, 2020, 3:26 PM

      This is something I was wondering about as well. They could simply release those lamp poles and a few interior light plates and studs that could universally fit anywhere. Fitting individual sets seems like a niche only small companies with bespoke products would be willing to do – for a price, of course.

  • Undercover Afol February 19, 2020, 11:05 AM

    I would love to get light kits, but I hate those finicky thin wires that all the light kits are using. There must be a wireless solution somewhere. Maybe Lego can solve the problem if they get into it.

  • Chris February 19, 2020, 11:14 AM

    I would be so happy if Lego does this! But I agree with others, please eliminate the wires, and please make the kits universal so they aren’t meant for just one set.

  • Chris February 19, 2020, 11:15 AM

    Ha! I didn’t know we get automatic avatars here! I like mine. It looks just like me. 😀

  • I Like Giraffes February 19, 2020, 11:22 AM

    This is exciting to hear! I hope they will do it! I like the name too. NIGHT MODE! I know if they make it it would be the highest quality.

    And yes, I like giraffes…. 😀

  • Christopher Grigsby February 19, 2020, 12:24 PM

    Really concerned about how Lego has treated Rob and the brickstuff.com team in this process. I love lighting my Lego and to think Lego may support/use knock-off and IP-infringing brands is heartbreaking, especially as we AFOLs swear by genuine/original Lego and celebrate them protecting their IP. Please consider.

    • Thita (admin) February 19, 2020, 3:21 PM

      My understanding is that LEGO was not aware of this. They simply used some light kits they had on hand to show the concept. They haven’t partnered with anyone at this point in the process. They just wanted to see how the public likes the idea of LEGO sets with lights.

  • quinton February 19, 2020, 12:46 PM

    So is this available already? Or coming soon? Or just a preliminary idea?

  • Henry February 19, 2020, 1:05 PM

    Christopher above in the comments; what are you referring to?

  • Icepacklady February 19, 2020, 1:19 PM

    I agree with Christopher. LEGO ripped off Brickstuff’s designs. Brickstuff never bothered to get patents because patents are expensive and other companies copied Brickstuff’s design and now LEGO is copying it too. So wrong!

    If you missed it- https://www.thebrickfan.com/lego-night-mode-lighting-kits-controversy/

  • brickmaster February 19, 2020, 1:33 PM

    Those of you who are not familiar with the controversy, check out this summary: https://medium.com/@brickstuff/lighting-the-lego-world-eff6e41e94d6

  • j.j. February 19, 2020, 1:58 PM

    I assume this is not known yet, but thought ask anyway. Is there any indication of how much these kits would cost?

    • Thita (admin) February 19, 2020, 3:19 PM

      The Lead User Lab is still at the very preliminary stages of exploring the concept. So no, pricing is not yet known.

  • Michael Turco February 19, 2020, 2:34 PM

    I do feel bad for Brickstuff, but for the comment about NOT getting their patent? That’s what patents are for. They protect your product. I’m not saying it’s right to steal their idea. But no law was broken by the other company if their was no patent. Who cares how expensive it is to get one. When you have an idea like Brickstuff had, you PROTECT your product. And as much as their product costs, I am sure they can afford it.

    • Thita (admin) February 19, 2020, 3:18 PM

      Very good points. Whether we like it or not, If a company doesn’t want their designs to be stolen, they got to patent them. But patenting is not cheap. So, small companies that aren’t turning major profits often skip this step. But if they want to survive, they do have to address the issue sooner or later and put the cost in their budget.

      • WiredX February 21, 2020, 6:58 PM

        The problem here is two-fold. One, Lego is going to patent the designs before they ever go to production. This is going to be really awkward then when Brickstuff goes to manufacture their own creation only to find that its a violation of the patent owned by Lego. And to assume that Lego knew nothing of this is a bit, um, let’s say optimistic. The research and development, the very thing that we use to justify the higher price of Lego v. Lepin, did not magically appear overnight. It’s hypocritical of us to support Lego and pay a premium for the R&D that they did not do.

        And also, I don’t think this is clear really anywhere, but Lepin is not breaking any Chinese laws. If they were breaking Chinese laws, China would shut them down. So, either we are in the wild wild west with no laws or everyone should play by the same rules. We are criticizing Lepin for doing the exact same thing Lego is doing.

        • Thita (admin) February 21, 2020, 10:31 PM

          Good points. We will have to see how all of this plays out. That would certainly be awkward if Brickstuff would all of a sudden be considered a cloner of their own original product. My understanding though is that at this point LEGO didn’t make any commitment to any specific partner or direction. They simply wanted to demonstrate how sets with lights would look like and see how the public reacts. They had some lights on hand, so that’s what they used. But they could have used some generic light-kits from a hobby shop just as well. It was only for demonstration.

      • retAardvark February 25, 2020, 5:22 AM

        So when companies like Lepin take MOC designs they see on FlickR or submitted to LEGO Ideas, and make sets out of them without getting permission, offering compensation, or even giving design credit to the creators, is this ok?
        Maybe Enlighten and Coby are just using whatever designs they have laying around?
        I guess if those creators cared about their work, and didn’t want their creations used by companies to promote themselves, they wouldn’t have heaped out and skipped the step of patenting their designs, right?

        • Thita (admin) February 25, 2020, 9:04 AM

          Hm… those are very different circumstances – one dealing with patents and the other with copyrights. LEGO was simply using lights to demonstrate a concept and get feedback on the concept, not on any exact technology or techniques. Such a demonstration usually does not require any type of contract, copyright, or patent. If they choose to go ahead with the concept, they will look at potential partners and have a proper contract. They may even establish their own patent if the technology is developed in-house, but more likely, they will just go with an already established manufacturer (big company, or small AFOL company) and partner with them.

          As far as MOCs copied by Leping and others, that’s an entirely different subject that falls under different laws. Artists automatically have at least basic copyright over their creative work. This includes photographers, painters, sculptors, and yes, AFOLs. Someone else can’t just take artwork made by someone else and sell it as their own. Visual artists generally don’t create the type of work that falls under patents, as patents specifically deal with unique technology. For example, you cannot patent a painting. Paintings are the purview of copyright. Besides basic copyright, artists can also establish stronger protection for their work if they wish to.

          Unfortunately, Leping stealing AFOLs designs is not a simple matter. Yes, they not suppose to do it, but unless someone actively fights them through the courts, there is really not much an AFOL can do. The only way someone can avoid to not have their work copied is to not share pictures and instructions online. This doesn’t just affect AFOLs, by the way, many visual artists are suffering from the same issues. It’s a complicated matter, and if you wish to delve in it deeper or if you are personally effected, it’s best to contact a lawyer.

          • retAardvark February 26, 2020, 10:59 PM

            You are very kind to explain these differences,
            and you are right. I didn’t realize LEGO wasn’t further along in the process of establishing their place in the marketplace for light up LEGO models. Many such small ‘Ma & Pa’ size companies have used their limited resources and ingenuity to position themselves around this megalithic company to be able to make a living at providing things the fans of this hobby want, which has been no small part of furthering LEGO’s success. LEGO was once a little company just like them, and incredibly, they are STILL a privately owned ‘family business’.. They are not beholden to shareholders because they have none.
            The thought of them using this power and position to then take the work of such smaller industries that helped them achieve such market share would be horrendous.

            Hearing this story on the heels of also acquiring control of the secondary market of their own product, by purchasing Bricklink is understandably worrisome. Hearing them say they aren’t changing anything, – then eliminating BrickArms(?) and other such military/war recreation companies from selling on the site only reinforced and legitimized this fear.
            Even the biggest fan-boy/girl, etc would have to concede that it is very hypocritical to promise no changes to Bricklink, then on day two suddenly enforce a policy of ‘no weapons or guns’ when they themselves have made hundreds of different pistols, rifles, cannons, laser guns, swords crossbows, knives etc for decades, does it not?
            Obviously it’s their company and they can do as they please, but legal or not, AFOLs have invested a good deal of their time and $$$ and expect a lot from the source of this hobby.

            While I respect their ambition in branching out into theme parks, video games, clothing, etc, it’s also quite worrisome that complete and total world domination of the toy arena does not seem to be enough.
            It was poor form on my part to misdirect my unease toward you or anyone else in the community, and if that came across, I apologize.Thank you for your patience and taking the time to correct me.
            Going forward, I hope we can all show similar patience with LEGO. They have done very well but we may need to allow them room to make some more mistakes and learn from them
            ( because Gallidor, Scala, Breville, etc weren’t enough 😬),
            as long as it doesn’t involve unfairly crushing the little guys.

            • Thita (admin) February 26, 2020, 11:21 PM

              I definitely share your concerns about BrickLink, so do many other AFOLs. Usually, a company trying to control their secondary market doesn’t end well. I have personally spent and continue to spend significant time talking with LEGO representatives via the LEGO Ambassador Forum about the issues I see and those I hear/read about from other AFOLs.

              I think LEGO got the message we are not as happy as they thought we were going to be about this news, and they have to be a lot more careful moving forward. If you have additional concerns about the acquisition that haven’t been mentioned before (they are already aware of our opinion about removing custom items), let me know. We have a separate discussion on the topic here: http://thebrickblogger.com/2020/02/questions-legos-answers-from-bricklink-ama/

  • Hobbes February 19, 2020, 2:59 PM

    ^ If you think Brickstuff products are expensive, wait till you see what Lego might come with. From other reports I read on the subject (i.e. the day they put this on shelf to see the reactions) the prices came to about half the cost of the corresponding set. If they go that route, maybe Brickstuff has nothing to worry about…

  • LEGOJeff February 19, 2020, 3:28 PM

    It’s clear that lights are popular. Even Playmobil has light kits for their sets, and they work very well. I don’t know why LEGO didn’t address this before. But it’s better later than never. I hope the unfortunate controversies won’t make they shy away from the whole concept.

  • Maya McMullan February 19, 2020, 3:29 PM

    I’m just jealous that you’ve gotten your i-Brix! I’m still eagerly waiting to see how well they work. Wireless is definitely a cool technology, but I’m starting to consider wired simply because wireless technology isn’t actually available.

    • Thita (admin) February 19, 2020, 3:32 PM

      Hang in there! Dustin is shipping now, but he is just one guy with a great product and his time and resources are thin. I agree that a wireless solution is far superior for any of the wired products. There really is no comparison, especially for a modular system like LEGO.

  • jabber-baby-wocky February 19, 2020, 3:35 PM

    I’m staying out of the controversies, but I just wanted to say how cool those sets look with lights. Especially the treehouse!

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