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.

For a good place to get started with general info about who, what, why, etc., check out the "Stickies" on the left side of the page. Thanks for stopping by and please don't hesitate to ask questions and get involved!

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Size Comparison and a Possible Name!

This is a super quick post but some people have been asking about size and I thought it would be useful to post this scale shot. Keep in mind that these light vary widely in terms of power and battery type.

I also thought this might be a good time to talk about the name for the product (not the company). I enjoy a good metaphorical name from time to time like the gladiator, super nova, or death star...but they are meaningless. I'm often frustrated by companies that name their selection of products random things when what I need to make a decision is actual information. You know, so I can decide which one of their products I want to buy? Throw me a friggin' bone here.

Anyway, here is the (proposed) name for my first light: MC18-B. After you get over the fact that it's excruciatingly boring here is my thinking...MC stands for Cree MC-E (the type of LED). 18 stands for 18650 (the battery type/size). B stands for Ledil Boom (the type of reflector/optic). If I ever build another variation, these are the three main features that are apt to change, and that you need to know if you are trying to pick out a light. Thoughts? I must admit, I like a good alpha-numeric name. Try and persuade me otherwise :)

Do I need to point out which one is my light? 
  1. Maglite (2x D batteries)
  2. Icon Rogue (2x AA batteries)
  3. Mini Maglite (2x AA batteries)
  4. MC18-B (1x 18650 battery)
  5. Dorcy Xenon (2x CR123 batteries)
  6. Surefire E1-B (1x CR 123 battery) 


  1. wantsusa (K North Bay)March 4, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    How about eMCeE18-6B then if you do XML say T6 you could call it eMeLTe18-6_ thus if they do something like the XPE and XPG you can have at least a little more information. eXPeE or eXPeG type of stuff plus it would be a slight bit unique! I would say add one more number as well since there is 18650 or 18500 batteries so 18-6 or 18-5, now of course if you are going to use 1,2,X # batteries in future lights then you might say 18-6B2 or 18-5B2 or something like that, thus your naming convention will stay the same for a longer haul then becoming obsolete so quickly, especially if you start producing an assortment at the same time, and using the same emitter.

  2. Not so much a thought on the name - because I, as you, enjoy a nice alpha numeric sequenced name - but given I have not a CLUE what the specific parts are that are being referenced in the name a glossary/index for those of us neophytes or if you REALLY want to get fancy hyperlink the individual elements of the name to pop-up explanations or some such to allow even the uneducated an insight into why/how each model may differ...

  3. Consumers have shown a preference for alpha names (sometimes with a numeric modifier) in most product categories. MC18-B means something to you, so use it internally and come up with something sexy and meaningful for consumers.

  4. It seems most high end flashlight companies use some sort of alph-numeric name for their lights. So, I am not surprised that you want to go that route also. I for one can't relate to these name and generally don't care for them. Funny, but I always think of math (which I hate) when I look at alpha -numeric names and if I buy a light with one of "those" names, I rename it something I can relate to. Silly, I know, but I am a women and we tend to be more sentimental and personify things. I am sure that being a women has something to do with my displeasure of alpha-numeric names, so take my two cents with a grain of salt as the vast majority of high end flashlight buyers are male. However, I would love to see a flashlight named something with a little energy and pizazz.

    On another note Jason, I am really enjoying your website and following the progression of your business. I used to manufacture titanium medical devices and can relate to reading about the CNC and finishing work. Thank you for allowing us to "peek in the windows" of the fancinating world of building of a business.

  5. A good example of unusual names that are very popular are Malkoff's "Houndog" and "Wildcat" lights. I love how the names are written on the heads of the lights in cursive lettering. It gives it an old school yet hip look.

  6. What about doing both? The "alpha" name to designate the main product family and an "alpha-numeric" name to designate the specific product?