limited production :: hand crafted :: high performance :: rechargeable :: premium flashlights

This is my blog about creating a startup LED flashlight business. I'm a designer, fabricator, and strategist and I'm passionate about making ideas real. I believe that products are about people, that they should be built to last, deliver real value, and that we need to do a better job than we have in the recent past.

Most of my career has been contract or freelance work and I've crafted products and strategies for both big international companies and startups. I also used to work in the "industry" fabricating special effects for film and TV, along with the occasional hot rod. Bottom line, I love making things.

I'm starting this blog so you can follow along, from day one, and see what it's like to start a business, or fail in the process. Only time will tell, but I hope you find this interesting enough to stay tuned, comment, link, like, tweet, and (most importantly) participate in turning this idea into something tangible and valuable.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm a (reformed) idiot

So I had a moment of clarity recently. Some current students from my old MBA program sent out a survey on rechargeable batteries. Expecting to feel really smart in a few minutes I dove into the questions because I assumed we'd be talking about really specialized batteries that I use in some of my lights. It didn't take long before I realized "feeling smart" was totally going the other way. The questions were all about "standard" rechargeable batteries like AA, AAA, C, and D size batteries. You know...the ones we use all the time? I hadn't given those any thought in years!

Somehow, over the last several years, I've totally let "standard" rechargeable batteries slip my mind. I have a well stocked drawer full of disposable alkaline batteries. I often buy the "big pack" of AA's when I see a good price...cause I'm smart right? Nope. So why doesn't my drawer contain exactly zero AA batteries because all of my AA devices are filled with rechargeable AA batteries and I don't need extras?

Sanyo Eneloops are considered to be "best of breed" and will
store 6 times longer than a typical NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) battery.
Good question. I did some self reflection and I realized I have been actively ignoring "standard" rechargeable batteries because of past experience with NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) batteries of yore.

They sucked...worse than dark sucks. They had a low nominal voltage so they "effectively" went dead faster. They couldn't store as much energy so they went dead faster. They developed the dreaded "memory" and lost capacity so they went dead faster. They had high self discharge so they went dead even when you weren't using them. Have I convinced you how "great" rechargeable batteries are?

Welcome to the year 2011 where rechargeable batteries work like they are supposed to! If you've had your head in the sand (like me) do yourself a favor and buy some rechargeable Eneloop batteries! It almost feels good to buy them. Why are you still reading? Click the Lighthound link! I don't have any affiliation with Lighthound other than it's where I bought my batteries and they have a good reputation in the flashlight community.

3 comments:

  1. THANK YOU JASON for posting this. It's something we are all relatively aware of, but its really hard as consumers to keep up with all the technology - especially battery tech! Also, I think we all need a motivational boost every once and a while. I just recently pulled alkaline AA's from a recorder, and a sad feeling washed over me. Never again. Im on Lighthound right now.

    -Chris

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  2. wantsusa (K North Bay)February 25, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    hmm wait Welcome to the year 2011 Jason! My gosh are you going back in time to 2010 again?!? Eek!

    I am glad after reading a lot on CPF that I found out about the eneloop batteries, and hope they end up working a lot better then a few of the other rechargeable batteries I have tried in the past...rechargeable alkaline...guess what they did...leak...though a couple are still ok. My AA flashlights love the eneloop and the greatest thing is that they do have a charge out of the packet (though I think you might mention that it seems most see a decent benefit from breaking them in, especially if they were packed a while before)

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  3. I filled out that survey, too, and it prompted the question -- why don't I use rechargeables? My story isn't too far off of yours. I had some, they didn't work well, stopped using them, never replaced them. That was more than 5 years ago! Every time I change a battery (which isn't often) I think about it but wasn't up for the research involved. Thanks for the tip!

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