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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Sunday, December 25, 2011

My latest creation!

Hi folks,

Hope everyone had a good Christmas! I was trying to figure out what to get my Dad this year and then it became pretty obvious that it should be a bespoke light...but what kind of light? I had some roughed out spares for my limited edition copper batch so I pulled a set and stared at it for a couple of hours. A couple more hours of manual machining and viola! Looks easy right?

Thus favorite light!
"Bamboo" is my inspiration for this design and I think it actually came out quite well. I liked the idea of using a "natural" form and applying it to metal with machine tools. Conceptual contrast as we call it in the industry. The finish is completely as-machined. No polishing at all. It was next to impossible keeping the finish pristine while making it and then flying it half way around the world but it worked out.

Just since Christmas the light is already starting to develop it's patina just from handling the light. The oils from your skin (and any other contact) causes the copper to stain and oxidize. Eventually the entire light will become a deep brown/green and only have highlights on the high spots where it gets handled the most.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

POLL: more input on my logo please!

Hi folks,

I'm not super happy with my current logo so I've been playing some more. I figure my brand identity is pretty flexible at this point so I thought I'd make another attempt. So, without further ado, what's your opinion? I have added a brief description of each, below the poll, but it's probably more scientific to vote on your first impression :) Thanks in advance and I'd love some comments as well!

Which logo do you like better?

#1 - My first attempt. I use circles in most of my designs...kind of my trademark. It also reflects the shape of the light. This is actually based on a font with two lettter "P" placed back to back. My brother mentioned it looked  a bit like a torch (what the rest of the world calls flashlights) so I added the little hotrod flame. I like it, but it looses resolution really fast when it's small.

#2 - Still working with the circle but trying to simplify things and get a little more "iconic." This is based on the Japanese "mon" or family crest. They are always inside circles and contain some sort of graphic element. I started with a hexagonal shape in the center, which is the shape of the LED boards. I added the white triangle (upwards facing) over that because it's the alchemical symbol for "fire." That was cool but it looked a little too much like a recycling symbol so I added the next round layer that actually reflects the shape of the LED dome.'s basically a graphic of an LED board with the triangle added.

In general: overall I'd like to get the logo to a place where I can also hand-stamp the shape, and the #2 version is much more conducive to this than #1. I can also have this shape extruded and do an "inlay" on the side of the light (instead of a stamp) which would be pretty awesome. Anyway, let me know what you think.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Alpha "Shorty"

Hi all,

I've had some special requests for a more compact Alpha...and this is the only "finished" light that exists. It uses a smaller battery, but otherwise it's identical. These will not be offered for general sale because they require a special battery and charger that I don't (at this time) have for sale. This light will run on a RCR123 or 18350 sized battery but it must be an IMR chemistry cell to handle the massive current draw. Run time is...not very much. It's a real pocket rocket though.

Smaller size...same punch
These are special order items only, so please email if you are interested. It looks cute but it can be dangerous if used with the incorrect I consider this an "advanced" flashlight. For example, if you don't know what RCR123, 18350, and IMR chemistry means...probably not for you.

This one-off light gets a fancy fluorosilicone o-ring
Fluorosilicone is about 10x the cost of a normal Nitrile o-ring and is the material specified by the US military for use on jet aircraft fuel lines...and stuff like that. Part of what makes them expensive is that they have an "indefinite" shelf life. Nitrile o-rings expire after 10 years. I told you these are made to last right? Do you think I should start using the blue o-rings on all of my lights? Comment below!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Solid Copper: one-of-a-kind custom

Hi folks. Sorry about the lack of content. I've been super busy and slightly de-motivated on the blog front. I've been working hard though! Just wanted to share a one-off custom light I did for a chap in the UK. He's been very patient with me and this is the result. Hope he likes it as this will be the first glimpse of his new light that won't go in the mail till tomorrow :)

I have a batch of limited edition copper lights currently for sale. I had a fellow contact me about doing some special work on his light, and this custom was born.

This thing is a tank. I hope my customer has a stout belt. 
This is also my first light to feature tritium vials. Tritium is a mildly radioactive element that glows on it's own. No need to "charge" it like normal glow in the dark materials. It's half-life is about 10 years. Don't worry, the radiation is so weak that it can't escape the glass vial...and if it did, the amount is so tiny it wouldn't hurt you anyway. Read on after the jump for some photos!