Hello again Kickstarter!
I'm just gonna say it. I'm really excited and I hope you are too! I've spent my life designing and making things because that's what I love to do. You might know me from my last project: the Prometheus Writes Alpha Executive Pen.
On the other hand, many of you are familiar with my core business, making high-end Alpha LED flashlights. Alpha lights are, in a word, boss: designed to be the ultimate blend of power, technology, form, and function. However, they are not for everyone...in the same way that not everyone wants to own (or pay to own) a race car. My lights start at $225 for the most basic, and climb to over $600 for a one-off bespoke creation.
The latest from Prometheus Lights: The Beta-QR
This tiny and functional light retains all of the core qualities of a custom Prometheus light: the aesthetic appeal, thoughtful design, and superior beam quality. The Beta-QR was conceived with a simple goal: be the best keychain flashlight on earth.
The Beta-QR has something for everyone, and it's designed to be there when you need it and disappear when you don't.
This concept came to me through observation, research, and conversation. I tried carrying other keychain lights. They were handy to have around, but always got ditched from my key ring...because when I need light I don't want it stuck to a wad of keys. Keychain lights just don't work like I need or want them to, so I came up with something that does.
Two things separate the Beta-QR from the pack:
1) It's a (patent-pending) Quick-Release Flashlight: Normally a keychain-light is a compromise: close at hand, but often useless and frustrating because the light is shackled to your keys. The Beta-QR is a "real" flashlight that hangs out on your keychain till duty calls.
The Quick Release is a tried and true design and an elegant solution to the problem. The QR lets you use the light how you naturally want to use it, you don't have to fight with it. It's so simple, that it's awesome.
2) (Below) The state of the art Nichia 219 High CRI LED: The 219 is a bit of semiconductor magic that turns the idea of "bad quality LED light" on its head. People hate LEDs for the same reason people used to hate fluorescent bulbs...the light they produce is absolutely horrible. Fluorescent lights have changed, and so have LEDs. It's time to stop living in the dark ages. Yes, that was a flashlight pun.
What is "Color Rendering" and why do I care?
A High Color Rendering Index (High CRI) LED is designed specifically to work in concert with the human visual system, providing the maximum possible color accuracy when compared to sunlight. For example, daylight scores a perfect 100. The Nichia 219 used in the Beta-QR is typically 90+ CRI. It's currently the highest CRI per lumen in the industry...and the light quality is stunning.
Honestly it's hard to "talk" about the difference in something you "see," it just doesn't make sense. The photos below will give you a good idea of what to expect, but in person, High-CRI is mind blowing. Once you experience High-CRI you won't be able to go back to the ugly, flat, washed-out, blueish light you normally find in LED flashlights.
The bottom line is that you can see better with High CRI than with low CRI. Just ask yourself the question, "do you want a flashlight that will help you see better...or worse?"
I'm offering 3 aluminum finishes and one solid copper light for this campaign:
People will ask about stainless, titanium, and other materials :) I love them too, but they will not be offered on this project. I'd like to be 100% shipped in time for Christmas, and increasing the number of options will limit my ability to achieve that goal.
*** Please Note: ALL flashlights come with a BRASS quick release as depticted in the photographs. The images above are just graphic representations, so the QR will NOT be color coded to the finish of the light ***
*** Current run-time figures are estimated. Lumen output, beam distance, and beam intensity have been measured or calculated using ANSI FL1 standards. ***
Some notes on available reward tiers
- All lights feature the same Nichia 219 LED
- Nickel, Black, and KS Green lights are identical, except for the finish
- The Copper light has a unique 3 mode driver that is not offered in the other finishes. This light features an extra-low mode called "moonlight" in the flashlight industry. It also features an extra-high mode that is about 40% brighter than the high mode of the other lights.
You really need a Keychain Flashlight...even if you don't know it yet.
Sure, that's self promotional, but hear me out. To be honest, I wasn't into flashlights until I started making them. I was in the dark, along with everyone else. Since then, I've realized the world is a dark place 50% of the time and I've spent a lot of time fumbling around in the dark when I didn't have to.
If not for you, then for someone else:
I use my lights daily. More often than not, I use a light to help out someone else. It might be a little thing like finding someone's earring on the floor...or a big thing, like changing a tire on a bus full of 60 people in the middle of the night, in Southeast Asia, 20 miles from the nearest town, when the next best light source is a mostly empty Bic lighter. Ask me about it some time :)
A light is useful if you live in a city:
If only for this ONE reason: my personal favorite use in the city is for hailing a cab. It works AMAZINGLY well. Sure you can try to whistle. You can wave like the 5 other people standing next to you. Or you can just give a little flick of the wrist and have cabs at your feet like the doorman of a fancy hotel.
No one with kids should be without a flashlight. Whether you are looking for a toy under the car seat, trying to tell if those are actually little white bumps on the tonsils, or just peeking in the room at night...you really need a flashlight. The "low" mode is really low and perfect for checking on a sleeping baby...or a midnight fridge run. Shhh, I won't tell.
Still not convinced? Okay, I bet you know someone that is in need of a gift!
Seriously, aren't you bored of gifts yet? One reason I love Kickstarter is that it keeps my gift pool from looking like everyone elses. It's a win win!
Stiiiiiill not convinced?!
Check out this link to the CandlePower forums thread named, "What did you use your flashlight for today?" for (at present count) 3,330 different reasons!
The Challenge: Making a lot of Beta-QR lights
At this point I make lights on a limited production basis: 20-30 at a time. I do the work, with my own hands, in my own shop. I use CNC machining centers but have to do a ton of manual machining, hand-finishing, hand-fitting, and assembly. Time is money and this makes my lights expensive and limited in availability. My goal is to bring all of you an awesome light at a reasonable price!
I manufacture most of my own products. This time I'm not, so just to be clear:
I've been working with a well established flashlight company in China for the last 11 months, and they will handle the volume manufacturing of my design. This relationship enables me to bring this light to a large audience like Kickstarter, which would be entirely impossible to accomplish on my own.
The factory only makes flashlights, so they know what they are doing. During production, I'll be visiting the factory in person, and working with a good friend that lives in China full-time (he runs a manufacturing consulting company) to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
My goal is to deliver (at least) 1000 lights BEFORE CHRISTMAS! My current time line has delivery starting in mid -November. I will work with utmost diligence to deliver ALL rewards before Christmas, but if this goes really crazy, that will get quite difficult.
Two factors are in play: manufacturing (how fast can we make lights) and fulfillment (how fast can I ship out orders). I have less control over the first factor because I don't know the final number of lights. 3000 lights takes a lot longer to make than 1000. Assuming I can get all of the lights manufactured on-schedule, it also takes a lot longer to ship 3000 lights than 1000. However, I can (and will) enlist the help of a fulfillment company to do a giant shipment really fast, if that's what it comes down to :)
Risks and challenges
What happens if you get "over funded?"
That's been happening a lot on Kickstarter! Amazing, right? Fortunately I've thought about that and the factory won't have any problems filling the order (barring some unforeseen catastrophe.) The light is finished in terms of design and engineering. All we need to do is flip the switch on production.
You are still fulfilling your first KS project, can you handle another one?
Right now I'm on track to finish fulfillment on the Alpha pens before the Beta-QC project will end. Since I'm having the Beta-QC manufactured, I just need to make sure the manufacturing stays on schedule (I already have a ticket booked to China to visit the factory) and start shipping as soon as they are ready.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)