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!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Prometheus Writes: In Titanium!

Hey Folks,

I just wanted to let you know a titanium version (Grade CP2) of the pen is also in the works. Teaser shots below.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Alpha Pen (NOT) Vapor

Hi all! I'm excited to show you some teaser shots of the Alpha Pen. I hope this project will be launching really soon. This prototype is nickel plated, but if all goes well, I'll also be offering a titanium version. Enough talk right?

Monday, February 18, 2013

More Blasted & Polished Shorty Bodies Available

Hi All,

I have 4 more Blasted & Polished shorty bodies for sale on my site (link).

They say that when you are delivering news that is not good news, you should find some good news to lead with. Now that we got that out of the way...the other will notice that there as been a price increase on the shorty bodies...and there will be a price increase on Blue-Label lights as well.

After doing my finances for 2012, and then deciding I'd like to keep running my own business, it is abundantly clear that my current pricing structure isn't going to allow me to do that. As both a business owner, and as a customer, I know price increases are feared and reviled. However, that doesn't change reality. I need to acknowledge (through pricing) that the three finishes I offer take vastly different amounts of time and effort (and lost/rejected parts) to accomplish. Henceforth:

Shorty pricing (body only): 

  • Blasted & Polished - $70
  • Stone Washed - $60
  • Full Brushed - $50

Alpha Blue-Label pricing (light only):  

  • Blasted & Polished - $375
  • Stone Washed - $350
  • Full Brushed - $325

It gives me no pleasure to raise prices. Frankly, I'd be happy to give away lights, but there is that pesky supporting myself, my family, future college tuition for my son, and progressively more grown up stuff that I have to think about these days. What I'd really like is a patron that would offer me total financial security and creative freedom in exchange for delivering more and more awesome to doorsteps around the world every month. So, if that describes you, please give me a call.

Getting back to business stuff. Just so you know, my plan isn't just to raise prices and hold on for angry comments. My short term plan is two-fold.

  1. I'm actually cutting back on production of Blue-Label lights. At most, I will offer 15 lights per month...5 of each finish. I plan to do more limited runs, special editions, and one-off lights. Some months there may not be any standard lights at all. At the moment, next month is looking sparse. 
  2. I also plan to focus on several major projects that I'm putting off because I don't have time. One is my Prometheus Pen, another is a smaller and much less expensive flashlight, and finally an undisclosed project related to lighting, but not portable. So please stay tuned. Things are going to start happening fast :) 
Just so you know it's not vapor

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Prometheus Lights will appear in Season 2 of VGHS!

For those of you that don't know FreddieW, he has the #7 YouTube channel on the internet. Last year they launched a crowd-funded YouTube TV show called Video Game High School which was an offshoot of previous work. Freddie's channel has 4.6M subscribers. I know, crazy right? Lucky for me I'm excited to announce that my lights will appear on at least two episodes of the upcoming season! Don't forget to subscribe :) You still have about 60 hours to support their Kickstarter campaign if you want to grab a piece of the glory.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New Retail Product: Stor-A-Cell Battery Carriers

Hi all, I guess you can tell I'm on a bit of a roll here with the new products. As always, my goal is to bring you more awesome and these little battery carriers are just another step in that direction. The carriers are made the the good ol' USA and were originally designed for pilots to keep spare batteries organized in their flight bags.
This is a 15 second exposure. Check out the "moon shine" material!
Most of us just call it Glow in the Dark or GITD :) 
It just so happens they'll do the same job in your junk drawer. They are also great for travel or if your job requires you to have spare batteries on had. Of course they also work with rechargeable batteries, so keep an eye out on the blog because I'll be getting in some Sanyo Eneloop NiMh AAA and AA batteries in the next couple of weeks!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

New Retail Product: LRI X-Light Micro!

Hi everyone,

A couple years ago I was at the SHOT show and had the opportunity to meet David Allen, the founder of LRI. He was incredibly nice, unassuming, and even had some kind words to say about my little case of custom lights. There are several versions, but X-Light Micro (below) is my favorite...and it's about the size of a quarter! If you don't need more convincing, you can get one from my store! 

Flavors: Clear and Black
David is credited with being the "father" of the micro-light, which he first started manufacturing at his kitchen table back in 1993. He's basically the flashlight maker from whence the rest of us came. I know, cool right? Ever since we met I've wanted to carry his products for the same reasons you should buy one:

  1. He's a great guy. He and his wife run a company of 30 people out of a small town in Oregon known colloquially as the "light house." I like knowing who makes my stuff and I especially like buying it if I know they are good folks. I'll even pay a premium for that. Call me old fashioned. 
  2. All of the products are 100% manufactured in the US when this would be the perfect product to make overseas and triple your profits overnight. I guess they care more about their product than profit, which is a (very) rare thing these days. 
  3. These lights friggin' rock. This tiny little light has a microprocessor in it making the LED smoothly dim-able and able to deliver 3 different strobe modes, an SOS mode, and a "signal" mode where the button works only in "momentary" mode so you can tap out your message in Morse code. You DO know Morse code right? Wow, that's good because I don't...but I could learn some day. 
  4. Runs for 12 hours on a single set of batteries...on full blast. That means for keychain use...That might last me a year or more. The lithium coin cells should store for 3-5 years. 

Glow in the dark = Awesome
(in case that needed clarification)