By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
Adam Nichols last week demonstrated a prototype of the high-end multi-function flashlight that he has patented and intends to manufacture in Tucumcari to the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation’s board.
It is called the Firelight, he told the board at its April 28 meeting, and he demonstrated how one end can be manipulated to create a lighter that could start a campfire in case of emergency or provide heat.
The flashlight also has USB ports that can be used to charge a cell phone from the flashlight’s high-capacity battery or charge the cell phone through an electric outlet or an electronic device, Nichols said. An optional folding solar cell attachment, he said, would allow the battery to be charged outdoors in sunlight.
The flashlight is about 10 inches long and is covered in stainless steel. Inside, the flashlight is coated with shock-proof materials.
The flashlight projects a 225-lumen beam from an LED bulb (a typical drugstore flashlight produces about 55 lumens), and the light shines through a flat, high-impact polycarbonate lens that Nichols said would be provided through Buena Vista Labs LLC, a business owned by John Mihm.
The Firelight would sell for $175 retail, Nichols said, and he said he has already received orders for about 30 of the devices.
He said police, firefighters and serious outdoor enthusiasts are likely to purchase the Firelight
He plans to start manufacturing the product on a small scale in Tucumcari before the end of the year, he said.
The Firelight project has received $70,000 in Local Economic Development Act funds approved by the EDC board and the Tucumcari City Commission.
EDC Executive Director Patrick Vanderpool pointed out there are now three manufacturers that are starting or expanding in Tucumcari with economic development funds approved through the EDC and the Tucumcari City Commission.
Along with the Firelight project, expansion of the lens-making business Buena Vista Labs, and growth of the Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory in Tucumcari are receiving nearly $2 million in economic development funds through the city’s Local Economic Development fund and state economic development funds.
“To have this much manufacturing in a city this size is cool,” Vanderpool said.