How it began
TorchGlo is a great way to create ambient lighting while out on the trail. It attaches to any headlamp and diffuses your headlamp's light into pleasant, warm lighting. With TorchGlo, you don't have to buy a lantern or a new lighting device, you can just attach TorchGlo to the headlamp you already own. TorchGlo weighs 2.4 oz (for reference, a travel sized packet of trail mix weighs 2.5 oz!) and can squish down for tightly packed backpacks, so it won't weigh you down. It radiates the perfect amount of light for a tent, great for reading or talking with friends.
In my experiences, I noticed a gaping hole in hiking illumination products: there are no real backpacking "lanterns". There just isn't a way to get a great ambient, social lighting while out on the trail where campfires aren’t possible. Some of my fondest memories from Boy Scouts happened while sitting around a campfire at night, but on outings where campfires are prohibited (or inside tents or snowcaves) there's no way get that great bonding experience that occurs around campfires. Lanterns are great for car camping, but when cutting weight or saving space is a priority, their cons quickly outweigh their pros.
How it works
TorchGlo attaches to any headlamp and can be used in a variety of ways. Because it's made out of silicone it can stretch over a large headlamp. Your headlamp's straps clip into the silicone housing so your headlamp is sturdily attached and won't fall off.
An acrylic lens that fits in the silicone housing diffuses your headlamp's light. The silicone then tints the diffused light into its warm, orange hue. The lens can be taken out for maximum compression of TorchGlo.
I began my mission with my end user in mind—backpackers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts. I had real users test my product on their camp outs and iterated through several rounds of prototyping to come up with a product that addresses the real needs of the rugged outdoors-types.
I started with several low-resolution prototypes. They proved the concept and demonstrated that campers and backpackers desire a source of ambient light while out in the wilderness. I learned from my first round that people saw the white LED light as too harsh. It didn't foster the same openness and comforting atmosphere as a campfire, so I experimented with tinting the light orange.
After some very low-resolution, quick prototypes, I moved on to 3D printing my own silicone mold and iterated on two more rounds of prototyping with silicone. I decided to choose silicone as the material for TorchGlo because silicone is rugged and has great compression and stretching capabilities. It’s very versatile; it can be compressed for tightly packed backpacks and stretched over headlamps of any size. I also decided to place an acrylic lens inside of the silicone to make the light more diffuse and even.
In order to bring TorchGlo to life for campers all over the world, molds for injection molding need to be created, which is no insignificant cost. I do not have the capabilities to manufacture a large number, so the product needs funding to begin full-scale, rapid production. I have already been quoted for production of TorchGlo and have a manufacturer who is excited to realize TorchGlo. I plan to submit the order numbers as soon as the campaign is funded, after which they will take eight weeks to be manufactured, tested for quality, and shipped to you, the backer!
TorchGlo can be used as a measuring cup (it holds 1/2 cup of water!)
TorchGlo can be used as a pot holder (silicone is great heat insulator!)
Thank you to all the blogs and news websites that have featured TorchGlo!
My name is Kenny Krotzer and I'm a designer, adventurer, and outdoorsman from Lake Tapps, WA. I'm currently a senior at Stanford University finishing up my degree in Product Design, and I have a dream to combine my long-lived love of the outdoors with my more recently found joy in designing. My passion for hiking, camping, and anything outdoors was founded in the Boy Scouts. I was a Scout in Troop 501 for seven years and achieved my Eagle Scout during my time there, which I see as one of my greatest achievements. I'm ecstatic to share what I've spent six months working on with the world, and excited to watch it come to life!
Risks and challenges
I have a manufacturer lined up for my project. Their headquarters are in Southern California, so contact with them is not a problem. Their tooling and per part prices are very reasonable, and their quality assurance and customer service is one of the main reasons why I picked them.
Post Kickstarter, the timeline will be
June-July: Begin tooling
July-August: Receive production samples, approve and begin production
September-Delivery from manufacturers, send out the rewards to all of you!!
If any unexpected delays occur during any part of the process, all backers will be notified ASAP and I will work with my manufacturer to try to meet the timeline that I set out with.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)