HISTORY OF FIREFLY
The story about how Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights
were invented has been highlighted in several publications,
and here is the story.
Stephen Taylor, inventor of Firefly Magic Firefly Lights
lived on a ranch with a pond in North Texas with his
wife Kim. During the spring and summer, fireflies also
know as lightning bugs, would begin lighting up the evening
water's edge. Growing up in Southern California, seeing
fireflies flashing in the evening was a new and fun experience
for Stephen, as he commented, "Someone should invent
little lights that exactly recreate the look of Fireflies
for kids who don’t grow up with them." Kim
acknowledged the idea as they continued to watch Mother
Nature's tiny little creatures with their glowing lanterns
dance across the pond.
Years later, Stephen headed an electronics company,
Sigma Two Group, and the kernel of an idea that began
by a pond in North Texas has grown into an fun and amazing
backyard entertainment lighting product that everyone
began research on a species of beetle called Lampyridae,
as Fireflies or Lightning Bugs. The objective was to
develop a method to accurately recreate the random and
unique flash patterns of fireflies. This development
acquiring information from some of the World’s
leading university researchers on fireflies.
For the uninitiated, fireflies use their flash patterns
to communicate with a potential mate for reproduction.
With over 200 firefly or lightning bug species in the
United States, and 2,000 in the World, the variety of
flash rates and colors was amazing.
Stephen's efforts culminated with
the invention of a method for accurately emulating
spectrum emissions of member species of Arthropoda: Insecta:
Coleoptera: Lampyridae by convergence of a programmable
software program, a data memory, a data processor, a
clock frequency timer, and visible light emitting device
or devices. Subsequently, the United States Patent and
Trademark office issued Patent number 7,212,932 to Stephen
Taylor the inventor, and Managing Partner of Sigma Two
In addition, Patent number D580,074 has also been issued
to Stephen for the unique design of the 'Firefly
LED' used in Firefly Magic 'Fireflies'.
Having developed the technology to accurately mimic
Mother Nature’s real fireflies, the next challenge
was designing products that could use the advanced technology
for a variety of commercial and residential applications.
A milestone came when Stephen was contacted by Sara
Lewis, Professor of Biology and head of firefly research
at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Dr. Lewis wanted
a device so accurately mimicking real fireflies, that
it could be used as a lure for a specific species. Working
closely with Dr. Lewis, Stephen developed battery operated
devices that were used in the scientific study which
was published in the American Naturalist.
The first ‘electronic fireflies’ were manufactured
in California and sold exclusively from Sigma Two’s
Firefly Magic® Website. As popularity increased,
a number of home improvement channels featured the product,
including HGTV, Fine Living, DIY Network, Animal Planet,
and the National Geographic Channel on their program
Science of Summer.
Sales to commercial venues including zoos, nature museums,
hotels, casinos, restaurants, and even stage and movie
productions increased dramatically. At the same time,
consumer purchases on the Firefly Magic® Website
for backyard ‘Fireflies’ also continued to
increase, as well as requests from retailers and landscapers
wanted to carry the product.
However, with limited manufacturing capacity in Southern
California, as well as high production costs, traditional
retail channel distribution was not possible.
The choice for Sigma Two Industries was to either continue
with limited production or expand
capacity. The decision was to increase capacity.
2009 marks the introduction of the newly designed
Solar & AA Battery Powered Firefly Magic® Firefly
Lights, Models FMS-14 and FMS-07 for the retail
Using the newest and most reliable laminated solar panels,
along with high tech microprocessors and custom developed
Light Emitting Diodes, the new, high
quality Solar Powered Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights are
a truly unique entertainment lighting product for backyards,
gardens, and even indoors.