Firefly Garden

There are more than 2000 species of fireflies in the World and we've collected a wide variety of resources for kids and adults to learn more about these wonderful 'bugs'
Fireflies Information

 

 

 

Catching Fireflies in a mayonnaise jar has always been a favorite of children on a warm Summer's evening.

 

 

 

 

Creating Magical Memories . . .

In a recent interview, Stephen Taylor, the inventor of the FIREFLY MAGIC® electronic Firefly Lights, and Company President, shared some of the history of this wonderful product. (A later Interview on technology and manufacturing is also available)

INTERVIEWER: Stephen, thanks for sitting down with us today, as we've received a lot of positive comments about these remarkable little firefly lights. How did you first come up with the idea?

TAYLOR: I don't think I've ever met a person who didn't love the flickering, flashing, and glow of fireflies. Some folks have the good fortune to live where they can watch these tiny creatures frolic in a backyard, a meadow, or in the woods, and most remember them fondly. and that especially applied to me. I grew up in Southern California where there are no fireflies; but then relocated to Lansing, Michigan in 1974 where my children loved chasing the 'Lightning Bugs' in a nearby park. Since then, I've been as fascinated as my children were with the wonderful little creatures known as fireflies - they seem to captivate us all.

Twenty years later, it was a warm Spring evening on my ranch in Texas as I watched the fireflies emerge from the bushes around the pond. I couldn’t stop thinking about how children and grownups in many parts of the country didn't have fireflies to watch. And, that kids in Los Angeles, Phoenix, or San Francisco have never seen a firefly in their yards, and wouldn't it be great if they could.

As I sat there watching the fireflies, my engineering background began to envision how to make the most realistic looking firefly that anyone had every seen. When I mentioned the idea to my wife Kim, she thought it was great, and so I filed it away on my to do list.

INTERVIEWER: So what made you turn your idea into action and to create the world's most accurate firefly Lights?

TAYLOR: Well, periodically Kim would ask if I’d done anything on my firefly light idea, and I’d always respond, “I’m too busy with work right now, but maybe later dear.” This continued until my other business activities settled down and suddenly I was looking for a new project I could pursue with enthusiasm. It seemed that if I was to ever have the opportunity to create the ultimate electronic firefly, now was that time.

INTERVIEWER: Small business people know how difficult it can be to find time for a new project. Please tell us what your next step was.

TAYLOR: First, I used my engineering background to meticulously researched fireflies, also known by their scientific name Arthropoda: Insecta: Coleoptera: Lampyridae:. I found there were over two thousand species around the world, including Photinus which has a lime-green flash, Photuris having a green flash, and Pyractomena having yellow-amber flashes. I learned that firefly flashes or flickers are used to help the male and female find each other for mating. And, even more interesting is that each species has its own unique flash patterns and color wavelengths with which to recognize each other.

INTERVIEWER: It would seem that learning about fireflies was relatively easy, as someone else had already collected and published the information. Now you had to actually invent a device that could recreate the flashes that you had learned about in the scientific literature.

TAYLOR: That's right. Real fireflies create their light using bioluminescence, so I wanted to find a device that would exactly recreate that color glow. I first turned to the latest in electronic technology and found the perfect man-made firefly light that replicates the Photinus species of firefly and their greenish-yellow flashes. I've had a 565-570 nanometer wavelength light emitting diode custom manufactured to accurately recreate the Photinus firefly. It is 3mm in diameter, the same size as a real firefly 'lantern', that could be modulated at the frequencies necessary to replicate the flickering and flashing of real fireflies.

I next took the information I'd learned and set out to reproduce, not only the correct color of a firefly’s flash, but also the rate at which the flashing occurs. To solve this problem I could find only one solution to insure accuracy, and that was to use the high tech component used in desktop computers, a microprocessor. Although very small (one of these tiny chips is setting on a fingertip), these microprocessors are extremely powerful and can be programmed with thousands of instructions to create fireflies that flash randomly without repeating the pattern in over 100,000 flashes. But even more amazing is the ability to have the electronic firefly flicker come on brightly and then slowly fade, just like Mother Nature does with real fireflies.

INTEVIEWER: I see on the label a Patent Pending mark. Is that because of what you've just explained?

TAYLOR: Yes, the Firefly Magic® Lights combine separate and unique technologies into a product that is a completely new invention unlike anything else... these Firefly Magic® Lights are truly unique. And, although they use the very latest in technology to make them work properly, they are still very simple to install in landscape setting. We have three different powered versions to allow installation almost anywhere, the solar powered, transformer powered, and the battery powered Firefly Magic™ Lights. Which ever type is used, the results always produce one of the most mesmerizing and beautiful garden scenes possible. (NOTE: Since this article was written, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued Stephen Taylor the two patents for both the technology and design.)

INTERVIEWER: We haven't gone into too many of the technical details of Firefly Magic® Lights. Perhaps we can do that another time?

TAYLOR: I'd really like to do that. As you saw in our assembly area, we build these lights with the same high level of quality and care that went into their development. We want all of our customers to be totally satisfied with the products they purchase from us. That's why we stand behind our Firefly Magic® Lights with a one (1) year limited warranty. We can do that because of the quality that goes into each and every set we manufacture right here in the USA.

INTERVIEWER: Thanks Stephen. Some of our readers may want to contact you about these wonderful Firefly Magic® Lights. What's the best way for them to do that?

TAYLOR: The best way to get information about FIREFLY MAGIC® Lights is to visit our Website at www.FireflyMagic.com and our e-mail address is .
We also have a toll free telephone number which is 1-877-8-FIREFLY.

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For pricing and purchase information, Click Here.

Click Here for the Technical Interview

© 2009 FIREFLY MAGIC® - All rights reserved.