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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Friday, September 23, 2011

Wired Magazine agrees with me: LEDs are the future

Check out the latest edition of Wired and their article on LED lighting. About time someone with sway picked up this story!  I don't know if this will have any effect on industry (or my business) but I have to imagine that greater public awareness can only help.

Wired must have some budget for cool photography: this image is from their article
Honestly I'm not sure why it's taking so long for companies with millions of dollars in development funds to make a decent LED light bulb. Liquid cooling is a pretty cool idea. That's one reason why the first flashlight I ever made was liquid filled. No, I'm not smart enough to come up with that on my own. My computer uses liquid cooling and there is a lot of research around "submersion cooling" of of power electronics.

One thing I am curious about is how they are keeping the liquid filled bulb from exploding when it heats up. I calculated that my liquid filled light would exert over 700PSI of pressure with each 10(F) rise in temperature. I had a couple of solutions to this but maybe I shouldn't share them yet. Hey "Switch", give me a call. I hear you are down the road. Anyway, the linked article below is worth a read.

"The future of light is the LED" -- Wired Magazine"

"Brett Sharenow is presidingover the Pepsi Challenge of lightbulbs. The CFO of Switch, a Silicon Valley startup, Sharenow has set himself up in a 20-by-20 booth at the back of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, and he’s asking passersby to check out two identical white shades. Behind one hides a standard incandescent bulb, the familiar lighting technology that has gone largely unchanged since Thomas Edison invented it 132 years ago. Behind the other is a stunning, almost art- deco-style prototype that holds 10 LEDs and a secret fluid. It’s a liquid-cooled bulb, as radically different from Edison’s invention as anything that’s ever been screwed into a standard socket and, Sharenow hopes, the next big thing in the $30 billion lighting industry. The challenge: Can you tell which is which?"


  1. Whats the point of liquid cooling in flashlight? usually liquid cooling is used to carry the heat away from the thermal source to a larger radiator which than dissipates the heat, therefore reducing the temperature at which thermal equilibrium occurs. In a flashlight the only radiator is the outer surface of the light (unless you integrate a small radiator with a fan into the light. that has already been done for some hid light but is fairly complex and not very reliable because of the moving parts). While liquid cooling certainly has its uses it would probably be better to look into heat pipes when it comes to flashlight and led light bulb cooling.
    But I have to say that I really like that you are looking into inovative cooling methods and that I would be absolutely thrilled if you decided to look into the potential of heat pipes to improve the thermal performance of your flashlights

  2. Hi Anonymous :) Heat pipes would probably be the most effective method of cooling, but it still requires a large passive radiator. I've actually looked into it a bit (again, learned from PC cooling) and it would also be amazingly expensive in anything other than large production volumes. I've (for now) decided that heat pipes would be better suited to fixed lighting applications...basically large lights.

    The light pictured in the post was actually a prototype dive light. In this case the entire body, if made of metal, could serve to conduct heat if the body was filled with liquid. I haven't done the math, but given that the head would be submerged in water, the additional cooling provided by the liquid may not matter much. The point, I suppose, was just to do an experiment with a liquid filled light ;)