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!
Please sign up for my email list to get updates and notifications for contests and giveaways!
Saturday, December 29, 2012
A quick Google search linked me to "E-Commerce News" which tells me that spam exists...because it is effective. If I was Elvis I'd put a bullet through my monitor right this second...even though I have two monitors and could keep writing this post...I'm so reasonable I'm not even shooting one...but oh so tempted. Are you freaking kidding me? Effective?!
No wonder the world in in chaos. I blame all our problems on the people who are clicking on spam links. Not only is spam effective, 11% of those nasty spam clickers actually (deliberately) spent money on the garbage the spam linked to! Oh but wait, there is more. Roughly 90% of those people who spent money...got ripped off. Who would have seen THAT one coming? Sigh. I'm afraid I've run out of motivational angst and have lapsed into apathy.
Just remember, if you get an email from Prince Alyusi Islassis in Nigeria, please send him all of your bank information...and if you do, please consider emigrating there yourself.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Best Accessory: Prometheus Pocket Clip
"The best accessories make the main product better than it was before, but the truly elite gear is something that seems like it should have been included in the first place. The Prometheus Pocket Clip is the best flashlight clip on the planet, bar none.
It is better than my old favorite, the McGizmo clip, because it is just as secure and can be added and removed from a light without tools. It is simply, unquestionably the best design out there. Its so good that absent a few tritium inserts I can't think of a way to make it better. The titantium is very flexible and smooth cut with a perfect amount of tension. Let me put it bluntly: if you own a light compatible with this clip buy it. " -- Everyday Commentary
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
If this is news to you and you still want to be on the wait list, by all means, sign up :) I'll be releasing a batch of Blue-Label lights on (or around) January 1. People on the wait list will be notified of new stock (and emailed a special purchase link) 48 hours before the lights are released for general sale on my website. If they sell out, then no stock goes up on the site.
I'll be releasing a limited number of Blue-Label lights each month... basically what I'll have time to build. Right now the plan is to do 5 lights in each finish, so a maximum of 15 lights per month. Ready-Made lights will continue to be "in stock" and ship within (most of the time) 48 hours. I'm going to be working on a few big projects this year and I need to have time to actually get them going.
- A pen based around the Montblanc Fineliner and Rollerball cartridge
- A "AAA" sized light with the Nichia 219 "High Color Rendering" LED
- The last one is still a secret...lighting related...but not a flashlight :)
Monday, December 24, 2012
I've signed up with MailChimp to help streamline my workflow. That's a fancy way of saying, my blog will now send you an email if there is a new post and you've signed up for the mailing list. In the past, I've sent out "announcement" type emails separately. If you wanted blog content, then you had to (separately) visit the blog and/or sign up specifically for email updates.
|Monkeys love email! Or so I hear.|
How will we know if it's working? This post (yes this very one) should trigger MailChimp to send you this post in an email at 6:00AM Pacific time tomorrow. You will not get an email if I have not posted any new content during the day. Of course if you have not already signed up on the mailing list you won't be getting any Christmas email from Prometheus Lights! If you feel left out, you can go here and get on the spankin' new mailing list :)
Monday, December 17, 2012
This is the second half of the blasted and polished batch. Now all I have to do is get them in the mail! These should all be shipped out tomorrow...except for two that I need to finish up. Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
You didn't miss the Prometheus wall clock did you?
|Stacking/hanging bins from Akro-Mills|
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Actually, it would be cool to carry an Alpha up to the snowy summit of a mountain and then down to the ocean and into a 300ft scuba dive. Anyone want to meet me in New Zealand?
|The PSR makes the front seal 110% effective (that's a guesstimate)|
This ring is custom made from 302 stainless steel, just for me, by Smalley Steel Ring Co. out of Lake Zurich, Illinois. It is now a standard feature on all Alpha lights. It does make it a little harder to remove the o-ring and get to the lens, but you should really never need to do this unless the glass get broken or severely scratched over time.
Just in case you feel the urge, you'll need four things: o-ring pick, bent nose pliers, a replacement o-ring, and the link to this video. The pick and pliers are included with the Journeyman Package. They can also be purchased separately.
I do want to note, this seal is not absolutely necessary. I tested my light to 300 feet for 5 hours without the PSR in place. Unless your light is routinely in wet environments, I wouldn't worry about it. However, I want to send out a light that is as close to 100% reliable as possible, and this checks off one of the boxes that has been bothering me.
The PSR will be available as an optional upgrade for all existing Alphas, but not until the new year when things quiet down a bit. Please don't email me until then or I will just forget :) Alpha-Blue label owners, this is a free upgrade!
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
So far...Parts machined, washed, plugged, tumbled 4 hours in medium grit plastic media, washed, tumbled 6 hours in fine grit plastic media, unplugged, washed, dried, plugged, and now ready for 10 hours in walnut shell and polishing rouge for the final high polish. The tailcaps have already gone through this process. Sheesh, is that it?
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
|Yeeep, right in between those drive cards. |
Oh and don't touch the capacitors.
|It ain't purdy but it worked|
Friday, November 16, 2012
|The deck of my chop saw..the lip on the pan is about 2" deep.|
|Cutting the stock to length is not my favorite job. Earplugs and annoyed neighbors required|
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I've been using a Brunton solar panel to keep my lights charged up when I'm away from the wall. It really makes a rechargeable light into the ultimate illumination tool and travel companion. As long as the sun shines during the day, you can run your light at night. Backup batteries? Bah! The sun is my backup battery. Okay, I carry one or two spares, but I don't need a bag full.
Get rid of: the expense of tons of disposable batteries, the waste of throwing them away, the weight of carrying them, the hassle of finding batteries in foreign countries, worrying about rationing your battery power, the need to rely on the wall or a store being open to make sure you can see when it gets dark...and I promise it will :)
|The Solaris kept me and two Alpha's going for 10 days in the Utah back-country|
The cool thing about the Solaris is that it's got a USB port...so you can charge any USB device you have, like your phone, tablet, camera, whateva.
Prometheus Lights is now an authorized Brunton dealer so stop by my site and check out my newest product! http://darksucks.com/ByB.html
Friday, September 7, 2012
Looking for an awesome gift? Want to personalize a mass produced jacket or bag? Want to win friends and influence people? Try some of my pure titanium zipper pulls!
It's been a long time coming but I pulled the trigger on a batch of these! They are machined at Hirsch Machine in Santa Clara, the same place that makes my Ready Made lights. Check out this link to purchase them directly from my site. There are lots of photos of pulls on things like jackets, sweaters, bags, and flashlights so check out the link. If you buy some pulls, please send me a photo of the item you personalized and I'll post it on my site!
I had to take a hefty bite out of my checking account to make this happen so please help me spread the word! Blog, tweet, share to Facebook, email the gear-head in your life, anything you can think of! Your help is greatly appreciated.
These are also available for wholesale, so if you are a retailer, please contact me!
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
Please keep in mind that these clips also fit Surefire 6 series lights and clones! Click here to see the current fitment list.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
|Titanium! Nuf said.|
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
|LEFT (MCE 6500K & 4500K) / RIGHT (XML 6500K & 4500K)|
Sunday, July 29, 2012
|The Mont-Alpha ?|
|A brass button head screw|
The cap screws on and uses the titanium clip that I make for the Peak Eiger flashlight, with a slightly shorter bend at the shoulder. Blue fluorosilicone o-rings provide a nice grip surface. Soft but positive. Since the photo was taken I've added a 5th ring closer to the tip of the pen. The "styling" is up in the air and just what ended up with after a frenzy of machining. The production version may (or may not) look similar. Whatever the case, it will be a full-size pen with a screw cap and accept either the Montblanc FineLiner or RollerBall refill. The refills cost about $7-$8 each.
Any interest? :)
Saturday, July 28, 2012
The cool thing about this particular tripod is the little red feet are magnetic, increasing the versatility even more. It's amazing for automotive work.
|Time to start putting light where I need it|
Friday, July 27, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
|25 must have tools for the home repairman |
(and woman, just don't make me say repairperson)
Sunday, June 24, 2012
|Here is your mission: open this bag...quick! |
Ohhh, can't find the black on black zipper pulls on a black bag? Sorrrrrry.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
|Stay classy my friend|
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Not GITD but a pretty darn close match to the fluorosilicone. Bad news is they are expensive...for tailcap boots. The good news is that I bought out every one they had...so I'm not sure any more will ever be available.
|It's new! It's blue! It's a boot!|
Just send paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org and note something like "blue boot!" in the comments during checkout.
Friday, May 25, 2012
So, my new banner is at the top! What do you think? I ran a poll here on the blog and on Candlepower Forums as well. My old logo actually won both polls by a small margin. I'm not a (certified) scientist but I suspect there is some sort of bias towards things you are more familiar with :) Also interesting, most people who actually wrote a text comment were in favor of the new logo...but the majority of votes were in favor of the old. Not sure what insight to take away from that.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
My first answer...you don't need them, you want them...just follow the swinging pocket watch with your eyes. Second answer: rather than a 9,000 word treatise on zipper pulls I decided to post the following 9 photos.
Let's begin with # 1 shall we?
|Does this really need a caption?|
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
|Stage 1: a nice patina from people handling the light|
The nice thing about copper is that you can also clean the slate and start over from new: enter Nevr-Dull!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
|24K gold, need I say more ?|
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Well I'm still trying to get the right logo. You know the drill. Which do you prefer?
The poll is open for a month but I'm hoping to make the decision by the end of the week so please vote now!
Which logo do you prefer?
Monday, April 30, 2012
Now that my site has been up for a while and people have had a chance to use it a bit...do you have any suggestions on presentation of information, navigation, layout, pretty much anything? I'm considering doing V4 of the website and I'd love your feedback before I get started.
First question, should the landing page be the page below that allows you to select the store or the blog? I know most blogs link from inside the main site, but the blog content is pretty integral to what I'm doing and I want to make sure people see it.
Second: I'm also hoping to integrate a more sophisticated shopping cart, but one that can be embedded into my existing site and not a complete (template) replacement for my site. Ideally I'd like it to work just like PayPal where I can insert buttons where ever I want; again, not using a template. I'm not aware of anything like this so please let me know!
Third: On the other hand, my navigation is a little crazy...maybe I would be better served by a traditional shopping cart layout? My main problem is making the information now contained in "step 1" and "step 2" easily accessible to someone who is purchasing.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
I made up a hand full of shorty bodies with my last run and just getting around to posting them. Two stone washed, two blasted, and one brushed. I also have a complete stone washed shorty (see photo) available. The complete light is the same price as a regular Alpha. Shorty bodies are $50 each (plus shipping) and include a reducing sleeve for IMR CR123 batteries.
The ideal battery is an IMR 18350. Both are available from Lighthound, I do not sell this type of battery. Please note that you cannot use a single CR123 primary or a standard lithium ion battery; doing so is extremely dangerous. You MUST use an IMR battery.
These bodies are intended for existing Alpha owners, or a new buyer that wants both the standard body and the shorty body. I know you are going to ask if you can order an Alpha and get the shorty body instead of the regular body. Sorry. Alphas are made as sets and I don't want to break them up.
These are not sold on my website so please email me directly if you'd like to purchase one: email@example.com
Sunday, April 22, 2012
|200 pcs of 4500K (neutral white) Cree MCE LEDs!|
Friday, April 20, 2012
No flashlight should use anything else. So, when everyone starts doing this, you heard it here first :) This is henceforth known as the "Prometheus Spring!" Cue the music...or you can just check out my first prototype integration after the jump.
- No sharp edges. A typical conical spring is really sharp where the last coil is cut off and that cuts into the thin metal on each end of the battery. Long term...not good. It also makes the light feel awful and "scratchy" when opening and closing. Right now I have to put a blob of solder on the PCB spring and the McClicky switch spring to prevent them from destroying the batteries.
- Distributed contact area: Each wave spring will contact the battery at the crest of each wave...typically 4 different places. A conical (or coil) spring only has one point of contact. Multiple contact points distribute the load generated when the light suffers shock...for example, when dropped. Every effort should be made to protect li-ion batteries from physical damage.
- Shorter current path. In a typical spring the current must pass along the entire length of the spring, as if it were a straight wire. More distance equals more resistance, and resistance is bad. As you can see in the photo above, each crest touches a trough, making the current path incredibly short.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Anyway, those of you that know me, know that I have an obsessive compulsion to modify and customize things. As I was assembling my new sander I spotted a 3L sized V belt on the machine. A deformed and pathetic one at that. Fortunately I remembered I had some high performance 3L Fenner link belt just lying around. No really. That's one of the advantages of being a hoarder. You just have stuff lying around.
If you are wondering, I'm blabbering on about the bright red pulley belt in the photo. Enjoy!
|For those that care: a Rikon 1x42 belt + 8" disc sander from Woodcraft.|
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
|Clean as...well, you come up with something|
So dear public, is this something you'd be interested in owning? Let's not talk about price yet...but keep in mind titanium is ridiculously expensive. I think these are awesome for adding a little custom touch to any mass produced garment, messenger bag, flashlight, pocket knife, camera bag, key chain, whatevs. I also think they would make awesome gifts that are unusual and classy (remember, it's titanium). Dear public, what say you?
Read on after the jump for more photos and explanation!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
|"One of a kind" has a nice ring don't you think?|
Sunday, March 11, 2012
|A 6061 aluminum zipper pull with 2mm spectra cord|