I'm building a new TITANIUM flashlight, I'd love your feedback!

ExceedDesigns

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Hello guys!

My name is Josh Boram, the owner of Exceed Designs. I started this company around 3 years ago with an aim to create simple, minimal EDC products mainly focused on titanium material. This is my first time posting, but I know a lot of you guys know a LOT more than I do regarding flashlights.

I need your feedback on specs and design!

I am working on launching our first EDC flashlight available in titanium and aluminum. I've been brainstorming for the past 2 years on how I could create something truly worth buying. There is a ton of EDC flashlights available so I want something truly interesting and worth actually carrying.

I have come up with a design and am working with several companies to get it manufactured. We already have samples coming in Ti. Some of the anodized colors aren't the best and were going to likely do PVD jet-black with anodized part options. I think the cool accents are great, but if the specs don't align with peoples expectations it won't fly. For our company "EXCEED DESIGNS" we really need this product to EXCEED in every way right out of the gate.

The heat with titanium I realize is an issue, so likely we will have to sell aluminum as well because Ti does deteriorate the specs due to ramp-down requirement to keep below 60 degrees.

My reason for this light is there is hardly any titanium options for 18650 battery powered etc flashlights. I am sure the reason is due to overheating, but I wanted to offer something to fill this need. What do you think?

We have not officially released anything yet, but here's is a few photos so far as specs below:


Specs:
  • Name: EXCEED DESIGNS RAMPANT 18R-PRO
  • 18650 battery 3400MAH (For graph image below, test battery wasn't the very best I could find, but it worked for a simple test at first)
  • SST40 5000K LED
  • 1200 lumens boost mode which lasts a few minutes (May be able to achieve 1800 lumens for this same boost mode also, but further testing is necessary)
  • Custom Titanium dual rocker 1-piece switch (really feels nice for EDC)
  • EXCEED DESIGNS "RAMPANT V2 UI" (We created a special ramping UI which is VERY simple and not exciting, but we wanted something super minimal. How it works: Rocker up = smooth ramp up | Rocker down = smooth ramp down. Tail switch has memory at whatever ramp setting selected and half click will trigger boost tactical without click. No other fancy features or any other confusing UI features. (I know some people want this, but I want ultra-simple, because nobody seems to be doing this)
  • GRADE-5 TITANUM (Aluminum version will reach 1800 lumens for much longer on turbo and will likely reach similar specs to the Fenix LD30
  • Removable CNC'd titanium pocket clip (May come up with an option for a clip option as well similar to the LD30 by Fenix.
  • TIR LENS (Very nice wide with consistent spread similar beam as Wuben C3 light)
  • COPPER internal board etc
  • IP68+
  • Dimensions: 123mm length X 25mm front diameter and 24mm rear diameter with a center diameter of 22mm.
  • Designed in the USA, Made in CHINA/USA by Wuben or Fenix factory likely, still finalizing.
What do you think?

Photos of our prototype:

IMG_6200 2.JPG


IMG_6287.JPG


IMG_6291.JPG


IMG_6289.JPG


IMG_6290.JPG


Initial graph testing.
IMG_6286.jpg


Video showing ramping mode seen below (Not the best due to bad camera, but you can see somewhat of the effect)



Here's my initial questions from the gurus here:
  1. Do you think the graph and specs are too underwhelming to "exceed"?
  2. Do you like the overall simple "RAMPANT UI V2" function as described?
  3. Do you think the SST40 5K would be good? Or would you prefer another chip, such as a higher CRI chip etc?
  4. Do you like our appearance and design of the housing + clip + button?
  5. Do you think this light in it's current form would sell? or do you think this is a weak product idea? (I am OK with people being tough on me)
Anything else you'd like to comment on / What would you change?

You can be super critical if you want, I am not afraid of being bashed, so let the games begin! But if you like it, I'd love to know, I have put a LOT of hours into refining this design so far, but I want to ensure it isn't lack luster out of the gate!
 

ExceedDesigns

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Some of the other chip options I have considered are:
  • Samsung LH351D 4000K
  • Nichia 519A 4500K
  • Nichia E21A
However the SST40 is tried and true, just not higher CRI like these options. What would most of you all prefer?

Sorry for all the questions...
 

jon_slider

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Im a High CRI guy, the Nichia 519a is a better option than LH351d, because the 519a has higher CRI R9 (Red), and overall this gives it better color rendering.

your smooth design makes me wish for some knurling, but that may just be personal taste.

here is an 18650 Titanium light, with a ramping UI, that you may not be aware of. And another popular 18650 Ti light also w ramping UI. Both of those lights have multiple LEDs and produce a relatively floody beam. By contrast your single LED design, probably has more throw, which would be a marketing point to emphasize.

I would encourage you to include candela and throw specs in your ad copy. I also would want to know the total weight of your light, as I use that as a basis for comparison to other similar offerings. Another detail that would gain you market credit, would be to pot the driver so it is drop proof. You would be competing with Malkoff, for a throwy beam and potted recoil proof design (gun mountable). Your pocket clip resembles the style that Malkoff uses.

I like your rocker switch idea, also like that your pocket clip is secured with screws, congrats on your design. Features I would want to include, a way to check battery voltage, a way to find the light in the dark, such as by adding a 1.5 x 6 mm tritium slot to the tailbutton.

Other features that are available with existing drivers such as H17F and Anduril, include shortcuts to the lowest mode (usually press hold from off), shortcut to highest mode (usually double clic from Off and also from On). Other factors that I favor, the lowest mode should be lower than 0.5 lumens. When the battery gets low, say 3.0V, the light should blink to warn the operator that they will soon be left in the dark and should move to a safe location, and prepare to replace the battery. Another very popular feature, is built in charging, preferrably the charge port would be accessed by partly unscrewing the head, which means the charge port will be waterproof when the head is screwed down over the O ring.

Good luck with your product offerings.
 

scalpel_ninja

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Innovative design! I agree with jon_slider in wanting some knurling for grip.

I also vote for the 519A emitter, also offer other tints from that line of LEDs.

It may be too much to backtrack on the design, but some manufacturers address the issue with heat by a hybrid metal construction. Aluminum or copper housing for the driver and LED, titanium bezel and body. The titanium versions of Foursevens Mini Turbo MkIII and Emisar KR4 are a few examples. Perhaps rotate the rocker switch 90 degrees to allow for a two-piece construction for the head. Keep the bezel titanium and head can be aluminum or copper.

My personal preference for optics is a nice orange peel reflector instead of a TIR. TIR has advantages too. If the bezel becomes screw-on, maybe allow for the user to change out the TIR for flood vs throw?

UI: half click to turbo but full click for on? Does this mean there will be a blast of bright light before the memorized mode comes on? This might be a problem for low light conditions. Maybe half click for momentary, full click for on, double click for turbo? Could the driver be programmed for no memory?

Also: NO STROBE 😂
 

2weelz

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Best of luck moving forward. I love the minimalist UI and the rocker switch. Never seen that before. Not a deal breaker but a 21700 battery without the slim center is a plus also a built in usb-c charger and a firefly mode (I use that a lot). I personally don't care for turbo modes that lasts seconds. Give a consistent 600lm in an EDC flashlight and that is plenty. It looks a bit tall for an 18650 so that is why I see it more suited for a 21700. May be the option to move the pocket clip to the opposite side if it interferes with the use of the rocker switch.
 

louie

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I'm probably not your market, but I'll toss in my thoughts.

I have a few titanium EDC items, such as watches and lights (plus the bicycle..) and my rationale is that they are a bit lighter and I don't worry about paint or anodize. I can just touch them up with a bit of sandpaper or Scotchbrite, or leave it naturale. So anodize is not my concern.

I also prefer high CRI over output, so I am fine with output of a single Nichia x19-9080. Ideally, you could make the head modifiable by advanced hobbyists, and they can change their LED. I also vote for a very low mode, under 1 lumen.

Of course, I'd like to know the water resistance, expected pricing, and whether the switches make any noises (clicks) - I have a preference for near silent operation instead of loud clicks, and for tailcap operation. I dislike side switches as it forces me to roll the light around to find the switch, whereas I know where the tailcap is in the dark (assuming a bulged head design or other touch-identifiable shape) and in a hurry. Tail switches also seem to be more resistant to accidental activation when belt or pocket carried. I also need last level memory, and any fancy modes (strobe etc) should be hidden.

I wonder about the machined clip vs. common cut sheet or stainless. It might be less flexible and daily, hard use, might just rip out the screws.

I would try to make any wear parts like O-rings very easy to source and no weird sizes. That way, maintaining the light can be done longer than we'll be around.

Make the battery compartment able to accomodate varying 18650 sizes without rattle. Will there be an adapter for 2X-CR123? Can it accomodate a wide range of voltages, say someone sticks in 2XRCR123?

I am not concerned about internal recharging if it keeps the design and cost down. That could get complicated - several chemistries could be installed. The light should be easy to open, though, nothing to wear excessively, break, or fall out.
 
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2weelz

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Tail switches also seem to be more resistant to accidental activation when belt or pocket carried
Good point. I assumed that the side switch will not activate the light.
I also vote for a very low mode, under 1 lumen.
I tend to use that mode more than any other on my flashlight and 1 lumen or less is best, 5 lumens is too much for my use of going into pitch black bedrooms without disturbing anyone. I am a night owl.
 

kreisl

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here is an 18650 Titanium light, with a ramping UI, that you may not be aware of. And another popular 18650 Ti light also w ramping UI. Both of those lights have multiple LEDs
Right, Emisar and Lumintop became popular models on budgetlightforum.com at the time, and they are still available as it seems, even though talk/discussion on them have ceased by now, people must have moved on. Personally, i never went down there because "my interest in flashlights had ended with the end of the flashlight boom 😜" and the two models came out after that.

@ExceedDesigns Welcome to the forum, and best of luck with the development of the RAMPANT flashlight, you guys seem very passionate about your designs! The one product which i bought not long ago off of your website exceeds in every aspect indeed (the titanium folding utility knife flipper V3), performing superior to hence replacing my 5y/o beloved The Utilizer 2.0, congrats to its product maturity, attention to detail, and superb production quality. 💪
 

bykfixer

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I like the concept, the switch, the clip, the TIR, the simple UI, and the SST. No need for so many lumens with the right TIR. Maybe offer higher outputs with a flood lens later? But 600 lumens could provide a lot of throw without all that LED cooking heat and no ramp down needed. I know I know, lumens sell these days. But to me a run time matters more than output. Maybe like post 4 mentions, a turbo option.

For texture some grooves, ribs and flats might work versus cross hatch knurling while still easy to deploy the fairly conventional sized body that could easily fit standard holsters already being produced.

I prefer 6000-ish kelvin mid-day tint in a thrower so I have no dog in that fight.

And by all means an option to run primary batteries.
 

thermal guy

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Guess I'm the minority here but not sure about that rocker switch. Looks like it will be real easy to accidentally turn on.
edit:: disregard this post😁😂 just watched the video. keep the rocker
 

louie

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Funny about the strobe comments! If you have it, hide it so a newbie user you hand it to or fumbling in the dark doesn't activate it.

Knurling doesn't excite me so much. I find knurling doesn't really give much extra grip, and it just gives extra wear to my belt, pants, etc., especially if the knurling/grooves are sharp. It does look cool, tho.

My one opportunity for a similar need for a strobe was when I got rear ended on the busy freeway at dusk. I though it might be nice to strobe or flash the interior of the car to augment the 4-way flashers, until the state patrol arrived (like an hour later). And all I had on me was my then-EDC, a Nitecore EX-10 PD - no flash modes. But maybe a strobe wouldn't have been wise. I posted about the incident (2015?) because the poor trooper's flashlight broke, and he was trying to show me his clipboard of papers in the dark until I brought out the EX-10.
 

ExceedDesigns

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Wow, I am so excited about all these responses and SOO glad I made this post. I was debating either way if I should post it or not. All of my products however were basically build and improved through suggestions and since this would be our first flashlight all of this feedback is CRUCIAL.

I am personally wanting to create a minimal UI, so I don't want too many fancy items. There are hundreds of flashlights that are basically computers with hundreds of modes. I just wanted something super minimal, has everything you need, but nothing to distract from the purpose. I do think some sort of voltage check would be good. The battery will be USB-C rechargeable, but do you guys think I need a USB C on the outside? I just don't want to clutter things and we are likely going to be at IPX8-9+ which is VERY good likely.

I personally hate the strobe, but I don't represent everyone in the flashlight community, so it's great to hear all these comments.

I am considering making several options for the middle barrel piece that can be purchased for $20-30 extra with different designs such as a topo map like our Cascadia design, but engraved into the titanium and maybe some knurling option for those that want that for the middle section. I just REALLY want to keep it clean. I am not wanting to just "make another" flashlight that looks the same and does the same things. I want this to really be something unique, different and unlike anything you've ever seen or used. (hopefully) haha.

I don't 100% know what the price will be yet, but I am not going to overcharge or do anything crazy. I really want this to be a super high-end EDC flashlight, but I am hoping to keep the price below $100, or potentially $140 MAX. I'd like to see it fall around the $79-85 price IF possible. All of my products barley even have 40% margin, because I want to grow the business, not just make profit. People tell their friends when I provide a product that you can't get anywhere else for near that price and quality. I am hoping to do the same with this. I can do fancy versions more expensive if needed, but I would like to be around the $100 price range. If my raw cost is too high, I may need to settle for making an aluminum version that sells for $80, then make the titanium version the $140 higher end. What do you guys think? I can take the heat if you think it's unreasonable. I already have appreciated your feedback so much! You guys are unbelievably helpful!

So far, these are the things I am hearing, if I forgot something, just nudge me! haha.
  • Allow for primary batteries
  • Make some notice for low power, like a blink or something
  • Add tritium slot in the back
  • Possibly attempt to reduce length (I REALLY wanted it to be as small as the Fenix LD30, but my cool rocker is preventing the ultra-slim design
  • Create knurled option add-ons optional for customer
  • Make a version with SST40 or Nichia 519A 4500K so customers can choose at checkout
  • Wearable parts NEED to be included as extras like O-rings and also available off the shelf. Nothing super proprietary! Good thoughts on that!
  • Maybe allow for a steel clip like seen on a lot of FENIX and other lights? Not sure how many people would want this? I know the titanium machined clip is going to be slick, but maybe another style steel clip would be good. Maybe this could be for the aluminum version of the light possibly?
  • Some people are mentioning wanting different modes, Burt the idea of this rampant UI is to allow for infinite ramping and them memory with the tail switch. So essentially you could ramp down to 1lumen and always click on and off on this mode. I HATE UI's that require cycling through a bunch of modes to get to what you want. I don't know how I am going to like this ramping feature long term, but so far I am loving it with the dual buttons which is also something I have never seen before. I really hope people like it Also, I am still testing and accidentally turning the flashlight on won't happen thankfully due to the fact that the tail switch is the only on/off function. Then the ramping up/down rocker does the rest!
  • Make sure it can accommodate all battery diameters and also an adapter for 2X-CR123
  • Possibly make an aluminum section for allowing dispersion of heat from the board. Good idea and a hybrid design I think would be smart!
I think I covered most of it, but keep it coming! I greatly appreciate your replies and I will be integrating a LOT of these into the design! Thank you so much guys, what a great response to my first post on this forum!

-Josh
 

mrfixitman

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You might consider runs of other popular battery sizes. 26650 matches well with C cells. The A123 LIPO are very inexpensive cells. High voltage and robust. 3.2 volts per cell. I converted a 3 C cell Maglite using an off the shelf generic 4 to 18 volt bulb. It casts useable light 100 yards at 7.2 volts. That is two 26650 in the space of 3 C cells. Expanded the spring slightly.
 

Marquis07

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Wow, this sounds like it's going to be an awesome light! Just a few thoughts:

Add reverse polarity protection.

If you do add onboard charging, go the extra step and make the light function like a power bank.

Maybe you could incorperate a magnet in the tail?


-Mark
 

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