Custom Product Design

Imagine first, work out how to do it second

Custom product and software design for when off-the-shelf kit won’t cut it.

Most of our projects over the years have involved something which we completely made up. When we’re working on a design for a client, we find ourselves asking ‘wouldn’t it be good if we could do this?’. But when we realise that no product exists yet that would allow us to do it, we crack on and make one up instead. It’s a fundamental part of what we do.

  • Custom design equipment when it doesn’t exist or would be too expensive.

  • Willing to take on hardware and software challenges others might say ‘can’t be done’.

  • Experience from component to software level design, we can design products both large and small.

Making the impossible possible

Clients commission us to make products when they have been told what they want can’t be done. The first of our modern inventions was the ‘LightBoard’, which we made up with the talented Barri Mason. It’s basically a series of medium format video panels controlled from a Raspberry Pi micro-controller. This allowed us to display various information messages at Glastonbury Festival. After getting Barri involved with micro-controllers and custom code, we’ve never really looked back.

holding hands game photo

Testing the ‘Zapper’ at Glastonbury Festival

The following year after the LightBoards, we developed the ‘Zapper’. A sensor circuit that can detect if someone has bridged two conductive pads. We used it to detect whether a long chain of people were holding hands across a field at Glastonbury. This triggered a Raspberry Pi to play sound effects and change the lighting of the entire field. We love creating interactive works that explore how people interact with technology to engage an audience.

Bailes and Light are totally awesome! They are a supremely creative duo, full of ideas, full of enthusiasm and genuinely working at the cutting edge of what’s possible with programmable lighting effects. Their attitude of ‘imagine first, work out how to make it possible second’ yielded some fantastic results and without them the final film would not have been nearly as successful.

Joe Churchill, Creative Director, Weekend

Inventing a solution

And sometimes custom building is a natural part of our design process. We want to achieve a certain something for a client, and in order to do that we have to invent something new. Multisensory production house The Feelies needed heat and wind effects for their VR experience. We build them a bespoke system of heaters and fans, as well as programming the effects into a sequence.

workshop custom product design

Building control modules for ‘Star Light Star Bright’

But not all projects are so computer heavy. We custom built gooseneck lights for The Arensky Chamber Orchestra – music stand lights capable of dimming to aide their performance. The first ever instance of remotely dimmable music stand lights, as far as we are aware.

Basically, we’re not scared to make things down to components and software level. And we do frequently when a project demands it. We think that’s pretty unique.

Ben and Dan are not only great at what they already do, but open to new challenges and were fantastic to work with. They designed a bespoke system quickly and easily, which not only did the job, but was technically robust and within our modest budget. They were with me every step of the way installing the system in Brazil, the US and Argentina. To top it all, they’re lovely guys and a pleasure to collaborate with. I look forward to working with them again.

Grace Boyle, Director, The Feelies



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