Creating Magical Memories
. . .
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
Interview on technology
and manufacturing is
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
didn't love the flickering, flashing, and glow
of fireflies. Some
folks have the good fortune to live where they
can watch these tiny
in a backyard, a meadow,
or in the woods,
and most remember them fondly. and that
especially applied to me. I grew up
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
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
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.
what made you turn your idea into action and
to create the world's most accurate firefly Lights?
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
I could pursue with enthusiasm. It seemed
that if I was to ever have the opportunity to
create the ultimate electronic firefly, now was
business people know how difficult it
can be to find time
for a new project. Please tell us
what your next step was.
I used my engineering background
to meticulously researched fireflies, also
scientific name Arthropoda: Insecta:
Coleoptera: Lampyridae:. I found there were
over two thousand species around the world,
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.
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.
right. Real fireflies create
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
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
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.
see on the
label a Patent Pending mark. Is that because
you've just explained?
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
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
scenes possible. (NOTE: Since this article was
written, the United States Patent and Trademark
Office has issued Stephen Taylor
for both the technology and design.)
haven't gone into too many of the technical details
of Firefly Magic® Lights. Perhaps
we can do that another time?
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
each and every set
we manufacture right here in the USA.
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?
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.
and purchase information, Click
Here for the Technical Interview