Back in the distant past we wanted to make Weirdigans beautiful and twinkly without the hazard of candles...
We toyed with a string of coloured filament bulbs and bog-standard fairy lights but there were problems with both.
Bulbs broke, or blew. The fairy lights were pretty but gave no functional light so we had to wear headtorches in the kitchen. Plus, using inefficient electric lights meant paying for hook-ups and the evil of generators.
So in 2005 we bought a solar panel and batteries and Dave Weirdigan began to experiment with LEDs.
He got hooked.
Now we have fantastic lights for the insides and outsides of our tents and vehicles, powered by a small solar array on the van roof and batteries beneath the bed.
All the lights together use about 60 watts - equivalent to just one old-fashioned bulb.
Wowed by what Dave created, more and more stall-holders, van-dwellers, boaters and, latterly, shop and home owners, began asking him to sort out their lighting too. So LEDfantastic was conceived and now teaches about, advises on, custom-builds, sells and installs LED lighting, solar set-ups and various bits of (mostly 12-volt) electrical gubbins.
LEDfantastic has also spawned LEDisco and The Ideal Dome Exhibition (aka LEDome). Like Weirdigans, LEDfantastic is a workers' co-op (and an associate member of anti-capitalist co-op's group Radical Routes). You can probably guess from the anti-capitalist bit that LEDfantastic isn't a profit-mongering company; in fact, it gives back to campaign and community groups, provides lighting for protest camps and provides free training for all manner of ragamuffins :)