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.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Joby, meet Alpha. Alpha, meet Joby.

I've been fooling around with some "other' ideas about what you can do with a light. One drawback to flashlights is that you have to hold them in your hands. Joby even makes their own line of lights that mount to their tripods...but they are...wimpy. I wanted power, anywhere, anytime. So, I headed over to the CNC mill and made myself a set of three mounts. These are prototypes so I just hacked them out in an afternoon.

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
Most people think headlamps are the solution to hands free personal lighting, but I think for the most part, they suck. Don't get me wrong, I have 4 headlamps and they have their purpose...last resort lighting. My most frequent use is a tiny Black Diamond light that I wear around my neck when I'm in camp. Oh but you need to "work on something" and have your hands free right. Ever notice how having the light close to your line of sight is guaranteed to make your hands cast shadows on your work-space instead of actually lighting it?
Okay I can hear you saying that this Joby thing isn't the perfect solution either, and you would be right. Before you get ahead of yourself, I'm not suggesting it is. It's just another tool in the tool chest. You have to know when it's the appropriate time to use which tool.

Profile and hole on the CNC, slot and drill/tap on the manual mill
My most recent task for the Jo-Alpha? Fixing a leaky tank mount behind the toilet. I just set that bugger on the floor and lit it up. Sorry, no photo. I didn't really think you wanted to see my toilet. Or did you?

A bicycle seat clamp using an over-center cam lever, classy. 
I'd actually like to model it after a bicycle seat clamp and make it so a light can be fitted with a pocket clip still attached. Anyway, do you think I should make a Joby adapter as an Alpha accessory? Let me know!


  1. Absolutely Jason. I have been tempted to buy a zebra light for small task lighting, but if I can use my alpha instead.....I would love that!

  2. Hi Jason,

    If the adapter features the 1/4-20 (1/4" diameter, 20 threads per inch) socket for attachment to a standard tripod as well, it'll be more versatile and I'm sure your customers will have more avenues to be creative.

    I'm sure people will be able to mount it to bicycle handles as well to light the way.

    1. Yep the Joby uses a 1/4-20 stud as well.

  3. YES please do. This idea is great and not done yet.