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Old 02-12-08, 11:14 PM   #1
Ngchen
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Building commercial level lights

I think I might have come across a setup that could be viable commercially. I am wondering whether it would be feasible to try to build and sell the setup. Before attempting such a venture, of course I have a bunch of questions.

1. How large or small is the "to see" headlight market (I'm thinking around 350-400 lumens)? I am especially interested in people willing to pay less than $100 (maybe even less than $50). Any LBS owners know how well lights sell? If the light would easily serve as a top-notch flashlight as well, how big is that market?

2. How do light manufacturers build their light bodies? Do they have factories making the parts from scratch, or are there simpler ways to obtain the bodies that would hold the bulb, batteries, etc. Likewise, what about mounting parts? How much is it to have a small plastics plant build light bodies? Minimum order? What about including switches and some basic electronics?

3. Where do we find data on the number of lumens the MR series of lamps put out? For some reason those numbers are difficult to find.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ngchen View Post
I think I might have come across a setup that could be viable commercially. I am wondering whether it would be feasible to try to build and sell the setup. Before attempting such a venture, of course I have a bunch of questions.

1. How large or small is the "to see" headlight market (I'm thinking around 350-400 lumens)? I am especially interested in people willing to pay less than $100 (maybe even less than $50). Any LBS owners know how well lights sell? If the light would easily serve as a top-notch flashlight as well, how big is that market?
The "be seen" bike light market is huge. There are Chinese OEM manufactures supplying them to the market in huge numbers. The "to see" market is much smaller but are produced in the same Chinese factories. Start here.
http://www.manufacturers.com.tw/bicy...cle-light.html

All you do is select the style of light, upload your company OEM design to be applied to the light, obtain distribution contracts so you can sell them.

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2. How do light manufacturers build their light bodies? Do they have factories making the parts from scratch, or are there simpler ways to obtain the bodies that would hold the bulb, batteries, etc. Likewise, what about mounting parts? How much is it to have a small plastics plant build light bodies? Minimum order? What about including switches and some basic electronics?
Injection molded plastics. The Chinese do this for you when you order the standard design. They supply a ready to use light so you don't need to worry obtaining parts, assembly of the product, and packaging of them.
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3. Where do we find data on the number of lumens the MR series of lamps put out? For some reason those numbers are difficult to find.
The MR series is just a standard bulb design to fit standard light housings for them. They don't list standards as the manufactures can and do obtain bulbs and reflectors that can vary in lumen output and pattern.
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Old 02-13-08, 04:28 PM   #3
jeff-o
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The number one thing you need to remember (and most people forget) is this: don't forget to pay yourself!

You might think it would be a great to buy $35 worth of parts and sell them for $50, but it won't be worth your while. In the end, I think you'll find that it's not worth your while to dump all your time and money into such a venture. You may also find that once you add up all your expenses, your light may not be much cheaper than what's already available.

The only way (as an individual or small start-up) to truly compete against the established companies is to offer something that is truly unique, that people are willing to pay for.
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Old 02-13-08, 04:41 PM   #4
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Check here first: http://www.uspto.gov/main/patents.htm
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Old 02-14-08, 01:43 PM   #5
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I seriously don't see how you could sell a "to see" light for under $100 unless the battery/charger is sold seperately. Do you have a secrect you'd like to share?
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