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.

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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!