:: My snowboard is made out of non-stick P-Tex material. Will the LED Snowboard Kit stick to my board?
:: I opened my controller and there is wet grease all over the circuit board. Is this normal?
:: Why do I need spacers under my bindings?
:: How complicated is it to install? Can my 12 year old do it?
:: If I leave the battery charger plugged in, will it over-charge the battery?
:: My bindings go all the way to the edges of my board. There is no room for the strips. Can I still mount the kit?
:: Will it stay on my board?
:: How does it work?
:: Will it weigh me down?
:: How long does it take to charge the battery?
:: How durable are the LED strips?
:: How many lighting modes are there?
:: How do the lights react to my movements?
:: Is the system waterproof?
:: How long does the battery typically last?
:: Is there anything I should do at the end of the season before I store my snowboard?
:: How do I control the system?
:: Can I change the lighting patterns on the LED Snowboard?
:: Can I charge it in my car?
:: Is it ok to leave my snowboard outside with the lights?
:: Is the controller removable?
:: Can I remove the lights if I buy another board?
:: Will the lights mount on a longboard skateboard?
:: Can I write my own programs for the lights?
:: How long does it take to install?
:: How do I install it?
:: Why do I have to wait 3 days after installing before using my board?
:: What do I do if I break a lighting strip?
:: How much does it cost?
:: Where can I buy the LED Snowboard?
:: What is the purpose?
:: Does the controller box get in the way?
:: How long does my board have to be? Will it fit any size board?
:: I live in New Zealand. Will you ship one to me?
:: Does the battery charger you provide work in Europe?
Q. The top of my snowboard is made out of the same frosty, non-stick P-Tex material that the bottom of my snowboard is made out of. Will the LED Snowboard kit stick to my board?
A. A P-Tex top-sheet is very rare, but we have seen some snowboards use P-Tex (polythene) for the top-sheet. This is the same non-stick material that is used on the bottom of just about all snowboards. The Adhesive we use will not stick to P-Tex without some special treatment. We have worked with the engineers at 3M to come up with a solution. The same VHB adhesive tape we currently use will work but special surface treatment (sanding in the areas where the lights and controller box will mount) and priming with a special 3M priming liquid in these same areas is essential. When you order your kit, make sure to ask for a P-Tex surface treatment kit.
Q. I opened my controller to update the firmware and there is wet grease all over the circuit board. Is this supposed to be there?
A. Yes. This is called dielectric grease. The phone company has been using this stuff for decades to keep water out of telephone circuit splices... We use it for a similar reason. We cover the internal connectors with dielectric grease so that in the event that water seeps past the gasket and gets inside the box, it wont effect operation.
Q. Why do I need spacers under my bindings?
A. Most bindings typically do not leave enough room in front of the toe or behind the heel for the LED strips. The spacers add enough room (1/4") so that the LED strips can pass under your bindings. If you mount your bindings on top of your LED strips without the spacers, the stress from riding directly on the strips will damage them. We provide slightly longer binding screws and optional washers so that you can safely mount your bindings with the spacers underneath.
Q. How complicated is it to install? Can my 12 year old do it?
A. It depends on the 12 year old :-) I would recommend reviewing our install video and determine if you feel he or she is capable. The system installs in just a few steps that typically take about 30 minutes, but failure to properly follow some of the steps can result in the lights coming off your board.
Q. If I leave the battery charger plugged in, will it over-charge the battery?
A. No. This will not be a problem at all. You can leave it plugged in all the time if you like. Once the battery is full, the charger will stop charging the battery.
Q. My bindings go all the way to the edges of my board and there is no room for the strips in front of my toe or behind my heel. Is there a way to mount the kit on my board?
A. This is not a problem. Most boards are this way. We provide binding spacers which mount under your bindings and create a gap that the LED strips can pass under your bindings. We also provide longer binding screws and optional washers so that you can get a full 3 turns on each screw. This is important for safety.
Q. Will it stay on my board?
A. The LED Snowboard mounts with the strongest double-sided tape in the world (3M VHB). This tape is used for mounting windows to sky scrapers (this is the method for Burj Khalifa which is the largest building in the world located in Dubai) and is used for attaching stainless steel strips to the wings of most commercial aircraft (since 1984). Also, the mirrored ceiling in the United Terminal at the O'Hare International Airport is attached with 3M VHB. 3M VHB was featured on this episode of the TV show Modern Marvels. We conducted field testing for two full seasons and worked with engineers at 3M to determine the appropriate version of VHB tape. It will stay on your board, but you have to forget what you learned in kindergarten about just slapping a piece of tape on whatever surface you like. This serious adhesive tape requires proper preparation. The tape is the strongest known to man, but only if the directions are followed properly.
Q. How does it work?
A. The LED Snowboard is a kit that attaches to your snowboard, longboard skateboard, or anything else you might like to mount it to. Once attached, a simple one-button mode switch turns it on. Once the system is on, pressing the one-button mode switch will cycle through available modes. Some modes react to motion and change the color of the LEDs based on which way the board is moved or tilted. Other modes simply display patterns of color across the LEDs. And several basic modes statically light all the LEDs in one color. When no motion is detected for 30 seconds, the lights will automatically go off to save power. If this happens, any movement will turn them back on. The controller is powered by an internal rechargeable battery. We have a very good video on using the system.
Q. Will it weigh me down?
A. The system adds just over a pound of weight (you will likely eat more than this for lunch at the lodge). We have had several professional snowboarders test out the LED snowboard and say that the pound of extra weight is not a problem even while doing inverts.
Q. How long does it take to charge the battery?
A. It depends on how low the battery is. If the battery is totally discharged, it can take up to 8 hours to charge. NOTE: The battery charger will not charge the battery if the temperature is below freezing or above 150 degrees F. This is to protect the battery.
Q. How durable are the LED strips?
A. The LED strips went through several years of development in order to withstand the harsh conditions of snowboarding. They are designed to flex with the snowboard, handle being stepped on with boots, and freezing/wet conditions with vibration. These are not your typical LED strips. Even the LEDs themselves are custom-built with special epoxy to withstand the abuse. Although these are developed for harsh conditions, we recommend being mindful that they are attached to your board and don't purposefully abuse them. There are conditions that snowboards and bones don't even survive... In the event you snap your board in half and the lights don't survive, we have replacement strips available in our store.
Q. How many lighting modes are there?
A. Upon the initial release, there are 27 modes explained in more detail here. By default, only 12 of these modes are enabled, but you can put the system into edit mode and change which modes are enabled and which ones are disabled. You can see how to do this in a video here.
Q. How do the lights react to my movements?
A. There is a device inside the controller box called an accelerometer that can sense acceleration (motion) in any direction. There are several different lighting modes that use this movement data to control the color or sequence of colors on the LED strips. Even in the modes that do not react to motion, the system will go to sleep and shut the lights off if no motion is sensed in 30 seconds. If it is asleep, any motion will wake it back up again.
Q. Is the system waterproof?
A. Yes, the system is completely waterproof, but we do not recommend submerging it under water.
Q. How long does the battery typically last?
A. On a full charge it will typically last about 8 hours.
Q. Is there anything I should do at the end of the season before I store my snowboard?
A. Yes. We recommend giving the controller a full charge before storing it as this will prolong the battery life. Do not store the controller in temperatures below freezing or above 150 degrees F. We recommend recharging the controller once in the middle of the off-season.
Q. How do I control the system?
A. There is a single button that turns the system on/off and also changes modes. We have a very good video on using the system here.
Q. Can I change the lighting patterns on the LED Snowboard?
A. You can easily change between the factory-programmed modes by pushing the power button.
Q. Can I charge it in my car?
A. We currently do not offer a car charger, but the system is designed to charge from 9-12 volts at 2 Amps DC using a 2.5mm jack. It is possible to purchase a cigarette lighter adaptor that will fit the 2.5mm DC jack on the LED Snowboard. However, we do not encourage leaving the LED snowboard charging overnight without your car running because it will drain your car's battery.
Q. Is it ok to leave my snowboard outside with the lights?
A. For short periods of time it is OK, but below-freezing temperatures are not good for the battery. While the LED Snowboard is running, enough heat is generated inside the controller to keep the battery above freezing. While the LED Snowboard is off for more than a few hours in below-freezing temperatures, it is recommended to remove the controller by unstrapping the two Velcro straps, unscrewing the rings on the two LED strip connectors and pulling them apart, and then pulling the box off the board so that you can take it inside (or just take your board inside with you).
Q. Is the controller removable?
A. Yes. This is done by unstrapping the two Velcro straps, unscrewing the rings on the two LED strip connectors and pulling them apart, and then pulling the box off the board. This is perfect if you want to take the controller inside to charge the battery.
Q. Can I remove the lights if I buy another board?
A. Yes, it is possible to remove the system if you buy another board. Follow the instructions provided in this video.
Q. Will the lights mount on a longboard skateboard?
A. Yes. This has been done. For drop-deck boards, the controller will have to mount on top of the board.
Q. Can I write my own programs for the lights?
A. Yes, but right now the only method we have available to do this is for embedded programmers (you must know how to program in the embedded C language). We have framework code and examples along with a debugging interface. We do have plans for a future computer program to allow easy editing of lighting modes. Not a programmer but have a great idea you'd like to share?! Contact us and we may be able to add it to the next release.
Q. How long does it take to install?
A. It typically takes about 30 minutes to install, but you must wait three days after installing before you can use your board. This will allow the adhesive tape time to cure.
Q. How do I install it?
Q. Why do I have to wait 3 days after installing before using my board?
A. We use the strongest adhesive tape in the world, and it takes three full days at room temperature to flow into all the microscopic nooks and crannies on the surface of your snowboard. The bond strength is not 100% strong until after three full days. This is very important so please plan ahead.
Q. What do I do if I break a lighting strip?
A. Contact us if your strip is still under warranty. Disconnect the LED strip from the controller box. You may remove the strip as instructed in this video. New replacement LED strips are available from our store.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Please visit our store for the latest pricing information.
Q. Where can I buy the LED Snowboard?
A. Please visit our online store. If you have a local snowboard retailer, you should ask them to carry it, as we are trying to make our way into local shops. If you own a local shop and are interested in carrying the LED Snowboard Kit, please contact us.
Q. What is the purpose?
A. LED Snowboard lets you stand out on the slopes. It gives you good visibility so that other people can easily see you. This is a big safety factor especially in low light, foggy, and heavy snow conditions. It also allows your friends to easily find you.
Q. Does the controller get in the way?
A. The controller is designed to mount directly behind your forward binding, assuming that you take your rear foot out to skate in the lift lines. If you skate with your forward foot, the controller can just as easily mount next to your rear binding instead. This gives you plenty of room on your board to stomp on with your free boot and does not get in the way.
Q. How long does my board have to be? Will it fit any size board?
A. The LED strips are 100 cm, so this is the limiting factor. In special cases, the strips can actually be cut down in size, but this is something we must do (not something we advise the customer to try) in order to ensure the cut end is properly sealed, otherwise water can interfere with the electrical signals.
Q. I live in New Zealand. Will you ship one to me?
A. Yes, we ship just about anywhere. Start an order in our store to see shipping rates.
Q. Does the battery charger you provide work in Europe?
A. No, the included battery charger only works in standard United States AC electrical outlets.