“That's our clincher – people ask, 'hold on, isn't this a safety device?' No, this light is about being able to train more. It's not just a commuter light,” Zappia explains.
“This is something you can ride with in the dead of night, where there's no street lights – that is the primary focus.”
The INDIGLO 5 is now three weeks in to its Kickstarter campaign, though it was thought up nearly six months ago – and Zappia imagines the product and Indiglo brand will reach far in to the future.
The concept arose out of the design duo's changing lifestyle in South Australia. With young kids on the scene, cycling was relegated to the middle of the night and very early mornings.
As it turned out, conventional cool-blue LED bike lights didn't cut it in pitch darkness. Lesley took a bad spill on a bump in the road that her light failed to illuminate.
As Simon says, the 'gap in her teeth' indicated a gap in the market.
If it doesn't make it on Kickstarter, perhaps it's not the right thing to do. It gives you confidence in investing more time and money in to it.
“I've ridden bikes for as long as I can remember, and I've always had a bit of a fascination with lighting and torches and so forth,” Simon says, admitting he's a regular on the Candle Power Forums – online discussion groups about flashlights and lighting.
The pair took to designing something better, and the final product has some interesting differentiators.
It reaches up to 1800 Lumen on full power and the output is warmer than most LED lights, which the team claims makes it easier on the eyes as well providing better visibility across the entire range of vision. Integrated rechargeable batteries keep clutter off the bike, and a pulse mode mimics a heartbeat to remind drivers that a person is riding the bike.
Kickstarter seemed like an obvious choice for the pair to market their first product under the Indiglo brand.
“Kickstarter is a very good way to test the marketplace. If it doesn't make it there, perhaps it's not the right thing to do. It gives you confidence in investing more time and money in to it,” Zappia says.
The INDIGLO 5 is nearly funded, with a little over a week to go. It seems nearly certain that it will reach its $75,000 goal and go in to production.
“It's a good response that we've had. The other major factor is that you get pre-orders, which gives you a bit of buying power when you to go to manufacturers to obtain components.”
That's something that the team already have a good amount of experience in. Zappia has been in the commercial furniture game for the past fifteen years, occasionally crossing back in to industrial design, which was his original stream.
“Each time you get a new customer you have to go through the process of educating yourself on how it's going to be manufactured and so forth. I've got a bit of a track history with manufacturers.”
Zappia's main business, Aura Objects, has more than a few iconic designs under its belt, including the award-winning gate-lounge seating in Adelaide Airport in South Australia – which eventually made their way across Australia to Brisbane Airport and beyond.
Gate Lounge Seating at Adelaide Airport
“I guess I know how to handle manufacturers and provide confidence that things are going to happen.”
It also gives them a chance to respond to the feedback of early adopters and incorporate it in to the final design – though admittedly they can't take all of it on board.
“We've had good feedback, but you have to filter all of this stuff. If you react to every suggestion you'll lose the focus of the product. You can't be everything to everyone.”
“If you look at our updates page, we've acknowledged that people are wary of dazzling oncoming drivers. Ideally you'll angle it down, or turn the power down – but for people worried about that, we've designed a bezel that will prevent that problem.
“That's been a reaction that we've incorporated in to the design which we thought was worthwhile.”
With the INDIGLO 5 set to enter production, Zappia and Williams are looking to the future of the Indiglo brand, already planning ways to expand and improve their line up.
“Initially we're going to produce a lot of it overseas, some components will be done here. But our long-term goal is to produce here at our current facility. we want to build up our product range and get it to the point where we have the facilities to do a lot of work here,” Zappia explains.
“Indiglo will primarily be bike lights but we will do some other bike-related accessories. My partner Lesley is also a graphic designer, so in-house the two of us can do a lot of the work ourselves, design and marketing.
“We've got a list of products that we'd like to do over time, and some of them aren't quite related. So we want to develop a couple of brands and a portfolio of products.”
INDIGLO 5 on Kickstarter
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