Since our recent review of the Light & Motion SECA 1400, a number of you have emailed or commented about smaller brands or DIY projects that claim to compete with the big brands on lumens and battery life. Having tinkered with various bulbs, housings and batteries myself over the years (and melting a few reflectors in the process), I love seeing what others come up with.
Icarus Lights is a relatively new brand out of Portland, OR, that’s managed to get a whopping 700 lumens and some massive battery life out of a miniscule package…and they’ve got some new projects in the works to expand the line and functionality. The icing on top? You can customize the beam pattern on their website during the checkout process with a slider scale that shows actual photos as you move it so you can get it just the way you want. Very cool.
The icing on top of the icing is the battery pack…it’s carbon fiber.
If you’re already familiar with them, you’ll wanna jump past the break for pics of their brand new batteries, and if you’ve never heard of them, our Q&A with founder Pat Gerke will fill you in on how it got started…
How long have you guys been around?
I started Icarus Lights a bit over a year ago and spent the past year doing R&D, searching for the best connectors, switches, and optics I could find. Finally, I launched my website this past September.
How’d you get started?
Icarus Lights was born mainly because I wanted a better light for my buck. I was in the market for a new light, and couldn’t find anything that seemed worth the purchase. One brand used cheap connectors, another had a reputation for failure, and so on. So I began fiddling, which turned into a hobby, which turned into a passion, which turned into Icarus Lights.
Are you making them in-house? Where?
I do all of the machining and assembly, quite literally in house, here in Portland, Oregon. The lights are completely hand made by myself in my garage. I try to work with as many local vendors as possible in the Pacific Northwest, and keep everything sourced from the U.S.
I’ve committed myself to a small-run, hands-on approach rather than farming them off overseas because it enables me to keep my lights up to date with the latest and greatest. I can quickly and easily implement changes when the newest generation of LED’s roll out, whereas larger brands have to modify large production runs, or make an entirely new model altogether. And I think there’s something romantic about creating something with your own two hands; something that speaks to quality and craftsmanship.
Do you have a helmet mount available?
Unfortunately we don’t currently offer a helmet mount, but have one in the works. We’re also getting close to releasing a killer new taillight as well.
What’s the warranty?
The lights themselves have a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and failure, and the battery pack has a 6 month warranty simply due to the degenerative nature of Li-Ion batteries.
Pat also wanted to share a little holiday cheer, so if you’re interested, here’s a little deal just for our readers:
I’ve been running some holiday specials. I’d love to extend it to bikerumor’s reader base if you’re open to it. If you want, your readers can enter in the coupon code “bikerumor” (case sensitive) at checkout to receive $50 off their order. The coupon is set to expire on 1/10/11.