We've gone from phonographs to wireless earbuds, pilgrim shoes to flyknits, pocketwatches to fitness trackers; so why have headlamps – a wearable we all know – stayed so dang unwearable?
You know what we’re talking about: the doorknob sticking out of your forehead. It’s bulky, it’s uncomfortable, and it constantly reminds you of its presence. So many other categories (sound, footwear, eyewear) have evolved into modern, lighter, smarter designs yet headlamps have remained largely the same – so we set out to change that.
With 330 lumens and 4 lighting modes, the BioLite HeadLamp provides top-tier performance with a fit unlike any headlamp you’ve experienced thanks to our proprietary 3D SlimFit Construction.
By integrating our electronics into the fabric with a custom molded housing, we pack all your lighting into an ultra-thin facing that is designed to fit as seamlessly as a contact lens: moves with you as a single unit and you soon forget it’s even there.
By relocating the power source to the back, our fit solves the classic slippage problem. Headlamps are generally worn at a slight angle, with the light in the upper position. If you put all the weight where the light is, it’s going to seek equilibrium which means a slow and constant slip downward (annoying). By keeping the front super light and minimal and moving those grams to the back of your head, BioLite HeadLamp embraces a gravity-friendly design that feels nearly weightless when you put it on.
We did a LOT of fabric testing. A lot. We ended up going with a high-quality moisture-wicking band that keeps your forehead comfortable and dry during activity with easy-adjust clips that take the guess work out of right-sizing your band.
This HeadLamp has got a lot to offer in that ultrathin front: using advanced LED electronics, HeadLamp puts out an impressive 330 lumens along with full brightness control, spot/flood, strobe, and red night vision.
And, thanks to its rechargeability, you can ditch the alkalines and fill up using powerbanks, solar panels, or any other micro-USB source.
By looking at the wearables we turn to on a daily basis, we quickly identified that the current state of headlamps was lacking in meaningful innovation when it came to materials, manufacturing, and assembly – something that the sneakers on our feet seemed to be crushing.
So, using footwear as our north star, we created hundreds of prototypes that studied the interaction of fabric with technology and the processes that bring those things together.
Ultimately, we landed on an ultra thin, fully unified head strap that integrated electronics and fabrics into a single molded unit that sits flush on your forehead and moves with you seamlessly. Paired with an efficient, compact lens and high-performance fabric that can withstand a variety of activity, the BioLite HeadLamp introduces the category to wearable tech for the first time.
Our promises of fit and functionality only mean something if they perform out in the real world – so we sent the HeadLamp out into the wild with some serious adventurers.
Over the past several months, BioLite Beta Testers have been taking the HeadLamp all over the world – from overland adventures to epic climbs to high-mileage runs – and have documented their experiences for the BioLite community. Stay tuned for stories from the field in upcoming Campaign Updates as well as daily takeover on our Instagram feed. (Oh, and the folks in the intro video? They're beta testers, too – more to come from them).
Here's just a few of the things our testers have had to say so far:
Not climbing a mountain anytime soon? HeadLamp is also a clutch companion much closer to home:
HeadLamp is slated to officially launch in Spring 2019 but we wanted to spread a little holiday cheer with our amazing Kickstarter Community with a SURPRISE limited edition production run that will ship by Holiday 2018. In addition to getting it early and by Christmas, all Kickstarter backers will receive a free Light Diffusing Stuffsack designed exclusively for the BioLite HeadLamp that can transform the unit into a hanging lantern for easy area lighting.
Limited Holiday Quantities: In order to meet a holiday delivery schedule, we took a big risk and have already started production – this means that the total amount available and each color quantity is already locked into place; once they’re claimed, the next run available will be Spring 2019. Back early to secure your favorite color and to get in on the holiday fun!
International Backers: due to logistical constraints, we're unable to offer a holiday delivery but we still want to make this campaign available to our global community if you want to get involved. If you back the GLOBAL reward level, you'll be able to pick your color right after the campaign and your HeadLamp will ship February 2019 and will include the free Light Diffusing Stuffsack as a Kickstarter Backer. Thank you so much for your support and your understanding.
From a single HeadLamp to your own complete off-grid setup, explore our reward levels below and find the right lighting & power solution for you.
Get to know the BioLiters behind the HeadLamp. We asked the team "When was the last time you used the HeadLamp?"
When you support this campaign, you also support safe and reliable lighting for off-grid families across sub-Saharan Africa. Through our unique business model of Parallel Innovation, our team headquartered in Kenya is able to focus on on delivering sustainable solutions for modern energy access. For more info on BioLite’s mission, check out our 2017 Impact Report.
In short – because Kickstarter is where new ideas and designs have room to breathe.
The headlamp category is a crowded space. There’s a lot of incumbents controlling the conversation with a design architecture that hasn’t changed much over the last two decades. These big guys have longstanding relationships with retailers and channels, making it really difficult to break into the space and create meaningful traction. That is – unless you’ve brought your own bullhorn (that’s where you come in).
Over the past four years, we’ve been blown away by how the Kickstarter community can show up and create incredible momentum for a project through sheer enthusiasm and support. Your comments, your questions, your shares, they all amplify the story and prove that the little guys with good ideas can shake up an entire industry if we get the chance to get the word out there.
As we mentioned above, we took a chance this time around and placed a big bet, already putting units into production so this community can have early access for the holidays – we hope you like what you see and take a HeadLamp home for yourself.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge on this project is the promise of holiday delivery - so we made the call to a) start production on a pre-determined quantity and b) focus our holiday shipments on US and Canada where we can minimize risk and have better control over the logistics process.
For our US/Canada backers, this means that holiday colors and specific combinations are limited. We have learned from previous experience that challenges can arise around the holidays (port delays, bottlenecks, etc) which we have built into our existing timelines. Our team is here to answer any questions you have and, knowing how important the holidays are to everyone, we will be in close communication from the start of this campaign right through delivery so you are in the loop on shipment status and delivery schedules. We ask that you help us meet these timelines with swift survey completion at the end of this campaign.
For our International Backers, this means that we'll be fulfilling your units in the Spring along with potential retail partners as it allows us to leverage larger shipments to your country so we can keep your shipping/duty costs as low as possible (all shipping fees associated with your reward level make it DELIVERED DUTIES PAID - so NO additional charges upon delivery). Over the past two months we explored several options to offer a global holiday timeline, but the last thing we wanted to do was set a high-stakes expectation and not meet it. The risk was simply too high. We're grateful for your understanding and we hope you'll join us on this campaign (as a reminder, you still get the free Light Diffusing Stuffsack if you back us on Kickstarter, no matter where you are in the world).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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