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, August 31, 2011

VIDEO: Indoor and Outdoor Beamshots!

Hi all,

I've been working on getting some better video of the flashlight beam. It's really hard to get everything set up right, but here is my first attempt with my new camera! Cheers, Jason.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

REVIEW: Alpha scores 19/20 @ Every Day Commentary

Hi everyone,

I'm excited to say that I got my first "official" online review. I noticed, while cruising my analytics, that Every Day Commentary mentioned me in this post. So I decided to get in touch and send in a light for review. I was out of production lights so I sent my personal light that I use for EDC (Every Day Carry). I was thrilled to get 19 out of 20 points, and also happy to leave some room for improvement! Every Day Commentary had my light for 10 days and I encouraged him to carry it like it was his own light, no special favors, and no playing nice.

Yes, this is a random image and not related to the review. Nice shot though eh? 
Here is the result...excerpted from the review's summary: 

"This is a staggeringly capable light. It is beautiful. It is easy to use. And for a first offering from a new maker, it is a testament to his skill and design chops, as well as how far the flashlight world has come in the past ten years. This is a great light and for just over $200 it is a very good deal. " --Every Day Commentary

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Goodies: Custom as usual

I'm trying to class things up a bit. Unfortunately that costs money. I have been wrapping the batteries (for shipping) in a little piece of paper. Functional, but not much to get excited about. I don't know if this moves the excitement needle very far either, but I had some custom battery tubes made by Caplugs. Why custom? Cause I couldn't find "exactly" what I needed. I'm including one tube with every battery purchases, gratis. However, I'll be selling these guys on my site (empty) for $1.99 each...probably some volume discount like 5 for $8.00 or something like that.

Tubes fit 1x18650 battery or 2xCR123 batteries! 
I had the caps done in high-vis orange so your spares are easy to see in the bottom of a bag or pack. They are square to provide anti-roll capability. Fresh batteries get stored with the + terminal towards the "head" of the battery tube. (think of it like a mini flashlight) When you deplete a battery, store it with the + terminal towards the tail. Since the tubes are clear, you can tell at a glance whether the battery is fresh...or dead. Cool huh? Around here we call that product design. Just one more close up for your viewing pleasure.

I have 1000 of these so don't be shy! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"machined" finish light, what do you think?

So I've been doing a lot of "fancy" surface finishes but I do love a nice, raw machined finish. I've been playing around with the idea of offering this as a standard "retail" light that I will sell through other online and brick and mortar retailers. You'll still be able to buy the fancy finishes directly from me.

Raw machined body with flame colored titainum clip
I've also been considering having an outside machine shop make these lights in higher volume that is practical for me to make in my shop. Again, this version would only be available through other retail outlets. If you want to hear a little more about why, and see another photo, read on after the jump.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Getting a little fancy: Titanium flame coloring

So I've been meaning to do this for ages. Finally remembered while I was in the shop today. Titanium produces some awesome temper colors when heated, much like steel, but even more dramatic. I do this by hand with a propane torch so every one will look a little different. The fade and asymmetry is intentional :)

I think it goes great with the nickel finish! But I'm biased. 
The different colors represent different temperatures as I heated the material. I've done this on some other Ti stuff over the years and I'm really pleased with how the clip turned out. I plan to offer this as a new option for an extra $5 bucks. Any feedback? Don't forget to click on the image for a larger view!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Flashlights: (NOT) all fun and games

Ouch. So this actually happened about a month ago and I'm all healed up so don't worry. I'm scrounging for content because being buried under stuff to do has turned me into a poor documenter. That's not a word is it?

Anyway, the cut I gave myself was actually much worse that it looks in the photo. I was reaching inside a storage cabinet to pick up my 4 jaw chuck...and apparently there is an exposed edge of sheet metal inside the cabinet. My thanks to the manufacturer.

Worshipers of duct painters tape. 
Since I was holding the chuck in my hand it had a ton of momentum and even though it was just a "bump," it cut through all the layers of skin over the knuckle of my thumb. I stopped short of flexing my thumb enough to see if there was any tendon or bone showing beneath.

I braced it with a tongue depressor (that I use for mixing silicone rubber) and babied it for about a week because I had to go out on a contract fabrication job for one of your favorite TV shows the next weekend. It was tender for a long time but it seems 100% now! A little more gore for your viewing pleasure...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Can your flashlight do this?

We were up in Sun Valley, Idaho last week and I found a cool spot for a "beam shot." This is inside the Sun Valley Opera House. Not much explanation needed. Just note the distance and width of the beam...and then how you can barely see the actual flashlight in the shot. This is not a "long" exposure shot, it's basically what you see with the naked eye.

A "wall of light" as we call it in the industry
Every time I get into a setting like this I'm astonished at the amount of light the Alpha produces. I know, you can't take my word for it because I'm selling them...but I tell ya, the ability to blast darkness into submission with a little light I carry in my pants pocket still makes me giddy.