Design Philosophies

Right from the start we had a few aims and at their core they haven’t changed much.  Some of these have been real challenges to achieve and it’s easy to see why not every headlight manufacturer has all of these on their list.

They basically revolve around the rogaining / adventure racing aims and we were not willing to compromise in order to get into other markets.  These lights won’t appeal to your average camper who wants to hold a beer in one hand and flip hamburgers on the BBQ with the other.  So we’re missing out on a huge portion of the market, but instead we want to nail the niche.  Of course, even though it’s been hard, designing has been a lot of fun because we are the niche market ourselves.  We didn’t need to go and do surveys because we designed what we and our friends have been looking for.

Continue reading

Zooms, LEDs and my dad’s head. How did Spikelights get started?

The mighty Petzl Zoom!My dad and I took up rogaining (24 hr cross-country navigation) back in 1998.  At the time I was a highschooler and it was a pretty good sport for a father and son team to do together.  On our first event we walked about 60km and spent a lot of time in the dark.  We carried these great big 6V dolphin torches which had a great beam of light, but my word they were heavy!  Cumbersome too!  You had to carry them in your hands along with your map and compass and it made it very hard to get a muesli bar out of your pocket.

Then we noticed that everyone else had these stupid-looking lights attached to their heads.  So for my birthday, Dad got me my very own ‘Petzl Zoom’.  It was the best headlight in the world!  Nothing could compare.  You screwed it in for a wide beam and out to focus it.  Everyone at the time seemed to have one.  The standard procedure was to throw away the bulb that came with it and upgrade to a halogen.  The halogen put out much more light but it chewed through your battery quicker too.  It was a huge and clunky thing by today’s standards but nothing else came close to it in raw power.

Continue reading

Starting up a blog for a business I started two years ago…

I’m getting ready to release the third version of my Spikelights. A lot has happened in the last 2 years and I’ve learnt a lot about the process of starting up a business, designing a product and then actually making it. So I thought I’d try to document the journey. My plan is to move fairly quickly through the last few years and then carry on with modern and relevant stuff.

There’ll also be a few posts about the technical side of what I design and make. You’ll hear about LEDs, optics, circuitry, machining, casting and even sewing.

If you want to hear about something else, then leave a comment!