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!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crowd Fund a Titanium 4Sevens PREON clip!

Hi all. Over the last few months a lot of people have been asking if I'd make a titanium clip for the 4Sevens Preon flashlight. I didn't own a Preon so I bought one (okay two) and it's a great little AAA light that packs a puch.
AAA and 2xAAA flavors 
However, the clip is a little on the wimpy side and has some strange styling that doesn't really fit the otherwise austere nature of the Preon...a little too ornamental for my taste. So, here is my entry! If you don't own a Preon, this clip might make it worth buying. If you do own a Preon, what are you still doing on this page?

Click here for my CrowdTilt campaign and help fund the Ti Preon clip into existence! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

One step closer to a carbon Alpha

My custom tubing is still a few weeks out buy I couldn't resist playing around today. The point of carbon is to be strong and light, so I want it's use in this light to be a little bit more than cosmetic. I've also decided the first batch will be the "carbon ultra-light" version. To that end I'm milling away about half the normal mass of the body. Still not sure what the final product will be like, but this is my first prototype ultra-light body.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Two (2) "Full Brushed" Alpha Blue-Label lights for sale

Hi Folks,

It appears the current appetite on the wait list for the "full brushed" finish has been satisfied. So, now they are for sale on my site. I have two lights left from the last batch. They are available for immediate purchase. Just follow this link !

Friday, January 25, 2013

Alpha Carbon: Oh, it's real(ly almost real)

I just ordered 30 feet of custom made carbon fiber tubing. It only took me about 16 months to find a supplier. Turns out, sometimes all you need to solve a problem is wait long enough for the internet to get better. I digress. I'll be using Clearwater Composites out of Duluth, MN.
My old experimental prototype
I don't have all the details worked out, but they are just details. The carbon tube will be a thin sleeve that covers the aluminum tube, so the interior of the light will still be continuous aluminum. However, my plan is to mill away a significant portion of the body for maximum strength and weight reduction (below).
This is just a concept, the interior may look different and assumes
I won't be forced to epoxy the carbon skin to the aluminum skeleton. 
Normally you'd bond the carbon to aluminum with epoxy. However, I'm thinking I'll leave it unbonded, so you can remove the tailcap, slip of the carbon sleeve, and proceed to admire the ridiculous mill work underneath. Sound good?

This isn't a "done deal" yet because I haven't seen any tube. It's being made now and will be a couple weeks. Once I get it, I'll have to figure out exactly how to engineer the rest of the light. It will also have to meet some pretty tight manufacturing tolerances so we'll see if that's possible. For example, if the outside diameter is too big and won't slide inside the head...project sunk...anyone a carbon toilet paper roll holder? Hmmmm.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Price Drop: Brunton Solaris2 USB Panel

Hey all. I have not been selling any of these USB solar panels. I'm not sure if that's because you don't need them or because the price is too high. Yes, it's a little expensive, but what exactly is an unlimited source of USB power worth? I'd say at least $149.00 (MSRP $180.00).

Check out my blog post about speding 10 days in the
Utah back country with two Alphas and a Brunton Solaris
If you spend any amount of time away from a wall outlet this thing is a terrific deal. I've dropped the price down to the lowest price that my contract with Brunton allows. I was hoping to get a little extra since I'm a small company and will never move a ton of these things. However, selling a few is better than none :) I feel bad for my inventory, just sitting on the shelf and not living out its true potential.

Please be advised. You can search the internet and find these for less money. However, anyone selling for less than $149.00 is violating their dealer's agreement with Brunton and they mess up the market for all of us honest folks.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Small Batch of "Shorty" Bodies Available Now!

Hi all,

I get a lot of requests for "shorty" bodies for the Alpha. Typically they are special-order-only but I've decided to make a small run of 10 pcs for each finish: blasted & polished, stone washed, and full brushed. The shorty body is about 1" shorter than a full size light. It also requires a special battery. Details are on my site. Please read everything before you order! There are some important details you need to know.

Oh and these are "body only," not complete lights.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

NEW PRODUCT: Klhip Ultimate Clipper

Huh? Yes, I've decided to carry a nail clipper. You can imagine how awesome it is, because I'm sure you know that I wouldn't sell anything that wasn't the pinnacle of awesome. This link will take you to the new product page on my website. I spend plenty of characters relating just how awesome it is on that page so I won't rehash everything here. Suffice to say, you should check it out.

I've also reorganized navigation for "the store" so please provide any feedback you might have! 
In this case, you can actually believe the marketing stuff written on the box
In short, I love this thing for two reasons. First, it works so well you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. Second, it's actually the pet-project of a fellow I know from my days in the fly fishing industry. He's a designer/maker like myself and just got inspired one day and came up with, oh you know, something revolutionary. Not a bad day eh? Now if I could only sell as many flashlights as they sell clippers...

Friday, January 18, 2013

One of my stocking stuffers

I just wanted to take a moment and wife really knows how to stuff a stocking! I already ate the Hot Tamales so they are not pictured :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

iPhone 5 EL cables now available!

Now your phone can ride the light! In case you missed these before I have several versions available on my website. This Electro-Luminescent cable replaces your standard charging cable. Check out the link for a video of the cable in action. I know Christmas is over but don't forget about birthdays or even a "hey I'm glad the world didn't end in 2012" gift for someone special. Nothing says "I care" like lights in motion.
Now iPhone 5 compatible! 
It has 3 "speeds" that are activated based on the charge state of your device. If your device is "low" when you plug it in the light move really fast. As your battery gets full, the lights will slow down. The cable shuts off when your battery is full so you don't even have to get up and look to see if you phone is charged. I know, cool right?