The lite brite has been turning ordinary people into wizards since 1967. Behold, 5-year-old Timothy’s staggering work of art!
No need to read the instructions or wait your turn. Create whatever you want, whenever you want. Thine powers are limitless.
The giant lite-brite wall lets people do this in public.
Even though we at Hero Design do not produce or sell giant lite brite walls, we’re fans. Our principal designer Alan Rorie re-imagined everyone’s favorite toy from childhood for a modern world. The Everbright has analog dials that twist endlessly in either direction through 158 colors. Giant lite brite walls can be purchased from a number of manufacturers and resellers both in the U.S. and internationally. You can also find instructions online on how to build a DIY giant lite brite wall.
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to choose between a giant lite brite wall and the Everbright.
You could install both. Some museums and libraries do. Why not? You can’t go wrong with more open-ended creativity. Bright colors are universally appealing. So is light. More colors, more light.
But if you can’t purchase both products and install them side by side, read this guide. See how each option compares across several key variables so you can make an informed decision.
THE CRITERIA FOR COMPARISON
Both the giant lite brite wall and the Everbright are larger-than-life installations for public spaces.
You can design patterns with bright, illuminated colors. You can use your hands to manipulate, build, and shape elements into new configurations. You can develop your brain through tactile play and social-emotional learning.
However, there are some curiosity-provoking differences.
The giant lite brite has colored acrylic pegs that light up when inserted into holes.
The Everbright also has an erase button.
In addition, the Everbright can play dynamic light shows when not in use.
In comparing the Everbright and the giant lite brite wall, we’ll look at the following criteria:
USER EXPERIENCE – OVERALL ENGAGEMENT POTENTIAL
OWNER & STAFF EXPERIENCE
How do the Everbright and the giant lite brite wall measure up—in overall engagement potential and user experience? We’ll compare each product head to head across a few key categories to see how they stack up.
Most people have no problem picking up a peg and putting it into a hole. Pegs here. Holes there. People get the idea.
Well, not all people.
Take babies, for instance.
Babies are not developmentally or physically ready to grasp a peg, pick it up, and then guide it carefully through a hole.
They do appreciate the bright colors, though.
Some toddlers are up for it, but they’re a little unsteady.
People with certain disabilities and special needs can also be excluded.
Babies can twist the dials.
Blind people can twist the dials. They sense the colors and the light.
People with limited use of their hands can twist the dials.
Children with special needs can twist the dials. They aren’t relegated to a special area, away from everyone else. They’re doing everything their siblings are doing.
How many people of all ages can use this at the same time—and feel satisfied—without disrupting each other?
People can make large-scale creations together, side by side. Insert a peg, and it lights up.
As more people approach, newcomers are limited in the number of pegs and the number of holes available.
What if someone is standing right in front of the last red peg? Will they mind if you reach across?
It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.
Can be immediately experienced by up to 20 visitors of all ages and all abilities, at the same time.
There is no queue.
If there’s a conflict, kids hug it out.
It doesn’t matter where you’re standing, or what anybody else is doing. If you can reach one dial, you have access to 158 colors.
Slowly turn a dial through all the colors and shades of the rainbow. It turns smoothly and endlessly in either direction. Your section of the board is just as rich as anyone else’s.
Many users find it incredibly satisfying to just stand there slowly turning one dial, watching the colors change.
A giant lite brite is instantly recognizable. That’s what reels them in. It’s like seeing your old kindergarten teacher. Hey, it’s my favorite toy from childhood!
Another element that attracts new users is the last person’s design.
This might become a problem if lots of pegs are already inserted into lots of holes.
Is there room for me and my creation?
Few people have time to remove all these pegs to begin something new.
Destroy this masterpiece?
Some will take the time and rise to the challenge. Others won’t.
If your space allows for plenty of uninterrupted free time with small groups of people, a giant lite brite still has a high attraction factor.
The Everbright resembles a giant lite brite, but it looks different enough to be intriguing. For instance, the lights are twice as big. These big lights form a hexagonal pattern. People are curious.
Curiosity draws them in.
Here comes the rest of the family.
When no one has used the Everbright in a few minutes, you can configure it to reset itself. It can play engaging patterns and light shows (or not).
Let’s be honest. Unless your light wall is installed in the NASA break room, it’s probably not keeping anyone from a mission-critical activity.
But people take fun seriously. They want to be efficient and productive with their play. Family time is precious.
If everything is organized and the coast is clear, you can dive right in.
However, a giant lite brite wall installed in a busy area may have longer wait times than one installed in a very quiet, low-traffic area.
That’s because everyone wants to get their hands on those pegs, and there are only so many pegs and holes to go around.
Behold, a clean, well-lighted peg board. An empty room. All the pegs neatly sorted by color into plastic bins. Savor this moment.
Every dial turns endlessly in either direction through a spectrum of 158 colors. You can just walk right up and instantly begin creating with whatever colors you want.
If your hand can reach a dial, you’re in.
Bring your own eyeball.
You don’t need to go full Bob Ross. Each dial has every color. You could just stand there, turning one dial with a finger.
After a few minutes of inactivity, the board can reset itself and begin a new pattern, if you’ve configured it to do that.
Alternatively, you can set the Everbright to erase and show a blank canvas when not in use.
You can even choose to have the board automatically showcase a feature design that you’ve created throughout the day.
A typical 8’x4′ giant light bright has 1,800 illuminated holes, and ships with approximately 600 pegs in 6 colors. Colors typically include green, red, blue, yellow, white, and black. Custom peg colors may also be available for special orders.
Every dial has 158 potential colors. You can slowly twist the dial through each tiny gradient of color, or quickly turn it to cycle through them all to land on your color selection. An Everbright light wall could have anywhere from 252 to 2,000 dials, depending on size.
Which design lasts the longest?
Giant Lite Brite Wall: If you design a pattern or picture on a giant lite brite wall, it will be there forever—or at least, until someone new comes along and removes each peg. If no one ever changes the design, it will be there, even when powered off.
The Everbright: Even though the Everbright can automatically reset itself throughout the day, it doesn’t need to. You can configure it to so a design stays up for hours. Want it to last even longer? Use the tablet to save your design as a “feature snap.”
The Everbright can automatically show your design after 5 minutes of inactivity throughout the day.
You can save your design forever, in the gallery of the tablet. Load it up onto the Everbright and continue the masterpiece next week.
The term interactive is now used to sell everything from dimmable light switches to garage doors. The definition has become nebulous. What does this word mean exactly?
Giant Lite Brite Wall: The user provides 100 percent of the interaction. They interact with the creative canvas in one of two ways: (1) Insert a colored peg into a hole. (2) Remove a peg from a hole. The wall itself does not respond on its own, other than to light up when powered on.
The Everbright: When the user twists a dial, the Everbright can respond back. It’s interactive!
To be clear, your visitors never see a screen or do any coding or programming.
The owner and staff use a tablet to configure your ideal user experience. (Read more about this.)
How do you want the Everbright to respond to your visitors?
Here are just a few examples of possible ways the Everbright could respond, based on how you configure it in advance.
We can also develop custom interactions and animations.
1. A seed pattern could freeze, becoming a starting point for creativity.
2. A flowing animation could disappear to reveal a canvas.
3. A color mixing canvas could slowly begin to form gradients of the color around the pixel you’re turning.
4. A star could shoot out across the board when you turn a dial to the right. When you turn the dial to the left, the star could change through different colors.
We can also develop custom animations and custom color palettes.
Most people associate the word analog with life before touchscreens.
We wrote in cursive on pen and paper. We licked envelopes and stamps. We dialed the operator. We tuned in to our favorite station on an old stereo. Both the Everbright and the giant lite brite wall evoke those analog pre-screen days. Neither requires visitors to mess with buttons, touchscreens, or apps.
Giant Lite Brite Wall: Each hole can be in one of two states: it has a peg or it does not. Insert a peg or remove it. Peg in, peg out.
The Everbright: The Everbright was inspired by those satisfying stereo dials of yesteryear. You use your fingertips to slowly twist the dials in either direction, endlessly, through hundreds of colors.
Education is powered by humans doing the kind of emotional and physical work that cannot be automated away.
In a busy space, daily upkeep is part of the job. Someone is always picking up and straightening up. Let’s compare the giant lite brite with the Everbright.
If you’re planning to mount something electric to a wall, you will usually need a level, an electric screwdriver, mounting hardware, and assistance from someone with mounting or contracting expertise. You may also need an electrician. This applies to both the giant lite brite and the Everbright.
The Giant Lite Brite Wall: Installation varies widely depending on the manufacturer. Some models ship in boxes and require extensive assembly. Others arrive partially assembled and require a bit of assembly. Some are self-standing, or ship with stands and carrying cases. Generally, the giant lite brite wall does not require you to install an outlet behind where the giant lite brite will go. They usually have cords that can plug into the nearest outlet. Giant lite brites also generally include power switches.
The Everbright: Before the Everbright arrives, you’ll need to make an upfront investment in an electrician to install (1) a standard 120V outlet; and (2) an associated light switch. The Everbright does not ship with a power switch because people tampered with the switch when it was accessible. This created problems with the board’s animation and erase features.
Installation itself is quick and straightforward. No assembly is required. The Everbright arrives in a crate, upright, fully functional and ready to plug in and play.
Open the crate. (You’ll need an impact driver to remove the top, back, and side panels of the crate.) Remove the cleat. Secure the cleat to the wall using the appropriate hardware for your wall. Plug in the Everbright. Lift the Everbright up and onto the cleat. No cord should be visible.
Self-standing and double-sided floor-mounted, integrated editions are also available.
How much pick up, setup, and monitoring can we expect?
The Giant Lite Brite Wall: If your organization serves children and families, you likely have more than one activity with loose parts and pieces, from arts and crafts to blue blocks. Expect to find the errant peg in places where pegs should not be. How many pegs? Depends on how many visitors of all ages you get throughout the day, and how much time they spend both in front of the lite brite and throughout the building.
Do they carry little baskets? Do they wander up and down the stairwells, elevator, bathroom?
If your space is relatively low-volume, this actually shouldn’t be a huge burden for staff. They can just turn it on at the beginning of the day, turn it off at the end of the day. While they’re at it, they can remove any peg designs from the board and place the pegs into the built-in storage bins so everything is ready each morning.
The Everbright: The Everbright has no removable parts to clean up, pick up, straighten up, or lose.
It resets itself throughout the day, so no one has to monitor designs and clear the board. Staff is free to educate, inspire, assist, and interact with children and families.
The Giant Lite Brite: The acrylic pegs can be removed, then wiped down one at a time using an acrylic-safe solution. Alternatively, they can be dunked in an acrylic-safe solution, removed, then laid out to dry overnight.
The Everbright: The Everbright has matte acrylic dials that resist fingerprints and smudges. It wipes down easily with a damp microfiber cloth and a little bit of soap.
People love to create on a giant public canvas. People can create whatever they want. Sometimes they’ll go with what’s obvious. Sometimes what’s obvious is rated PG.
Giant Lite Brite Wall: Inappropriate designs are actually not very common on a giant lite brite wall. Something like that requires a lot of time and planning to pull off with pegs. If someone has the time and sophistication to execute a large-scale project like that, they should be congratulated. At least they created something. These skills will be useful to them throughout life. But if someone does design something inappropriate, a staff member (or the next group that comes up) will need to spend a few minutes to remove each peg of the design.
The Everbright: You can set the Everbright to reset itself after 1 to 5 minutes of inactivity, so if someone creates something offensive, the Everbright will reset itself anyway in a few minutes. You don’t need to constantly monitor it throughout the day.
Alternatively, you can hit the blue erase button and clear the canvas right away.
Giant Lite Brite Wall:
The Giant Lite Brite Wall: We’ve seen 8’x4’ lite brite walls available for $8,495 to $22,000. Prices vary widely based on the size, the quality of the build, the manufacturer, and the destination for shipping.
The Everbright: With prices starting at $15,000, the Everbright requires a larger upfront investment than a typical giant lite brite wall. This is partly because we do not produce smaller sizes than the 4.5′ x 4′ Everbright Mini. Our smallest standard size is very close to the price of the premium giant lite brite wall in a similar size.Read more about how we price the Everbright here.
The Giant Lite Brite Wall: People will pick up pegs. If pickup isn’t an issue because the space gets low traffic, then you may have a lower lifetime cost of ownership for a giant lite brite wall. If you have a residence or a small medical practice that doesn’t get more than a few visitors a day, you may not have any peg loss, and pick up will be minimal since you aren’t getting that many visitors anyway. Therefore, if you consider the all-in price including investment, installation, and daily pickup, you may find that the giant lite brite wall offers a lower total cost of ownership for you.
The Everbright: Even though the Everbright requires a larger upfront investment than a typical lite brite, the overall cost of ownership in a public space can be lower. People will not have to pick up pegs. The board automatically erases and resets itself throughout the day.
What sizes are available? How big can it get? How small can it get?
Giant Lite Brite Wall: Small sizes are readily available. Large sizes are readily available. You’re covered whether your size requirements are large or small. You can also find light brights that ship with stands. You can find lite brite walls in custom shapes and sizes. It is fairly simple and straightforward to customize the shape and size. If a specific shape or size is very important to you, the giant lite brite wall can be a good fit. You can generally find one in any size and custom shapes are available, too.
The smallest Everbright we can produce measures approximately 4.5 feet long and 4 feet high.
We can develop a custom Everbright shape and size, such as a hexagon.
It’s easier to get something longer than something taller, and this is good for accessibility and user experience, too.
Everyone wants to reach those upper dials.
No one wants to take a knee.
Self-standing, floor-mounted, integrated editions are available as single-sided and double-sided.
Black tends to look best because of the color contrast needed to really make the colors pop.
Giant Lite Brite Wall:
You can order a custom backdrop material such as a blond laminated wood panel.
Some models allow you to order custom peg colors.
In general, you cannot customize the color of the Everbright itself, but you can integrate it into an opening created in a wall, or create a partial recess.
Giant Lite Brite Wall:
Some models have an LED animated sign that plays above the giant lite brite peg wall itself. This functions as signage only. It does not double as a creative canvas.
You can save a design you create on the Everbright as a feature image, that the board can display after a few minutes of inactivity throughout the day.
We can create a custom color palette that you can apply to any of the preset animations, so they all match your brand and interior colors.
Giant Lite Brite Wall: Because the giant lite brite wall can be purchased from a number of manufacturers and resellers, these are generally readily available whenever needed. Lead times vary, but if you have a short-term need for an event or activation, you can usually find one available to rent.
The Everbright: Each Everbright is made to order in California, and ships from California. They are not available for short-term rentals or exhibitions. The lead time is generally 12 weeks. If you’re considering the Everbright for an event, activation, or short-term exhibition, the mounting surface needs to be large and heavy enough to support the Everbright’s weight and secure the cleat.
You need a sturdy wall or mounting surface to support it that will not tip and is easy to set up.
If you have a small group of people with plenty of free time, who are mostly willing to collaborate, and who don’t mind cleaning up after themselves or who don’t make much of a mess, the giant lite brite wall could be a good fit. You might also have a small office where cleaning isn’t an issue.
The Giant Lite Brite wall offers the following advantages over the Everbright:
Want to give people an opportunity to touch and manipulate things with their hands, without giving staff another job to do? The Everbright was made for you. If you’re looking for a tactile interactive installation that holds up in a public space over many years, the Everbright could be a good fit.
The Everbright offers the following advantages over a typical giant lite brite wall: