Inside the Tech: BioLite PowerLight Mini

March 29, 2016
Filed Under: stories

How Do You Make A Big Light Fit in a Small Space?

We sat down with a few members of the PowerLight Mini Product Development Team to get a better understanding of the small details that make a big difference.

What were the biggest challenges you faced when designing the PowerLight Mini?

Mindy, Industrial Designer: "We really had to push ourselves to design a small, pocketable shape that could house a robust set of mechanical features."

Tim, Senior Product Engineer: "Getting the light guide pattern to its highest efficiency took multiple tooling samples. Each time we had a new sample, we'd have to remodel the light guide, but we finally got it!"

Tracy, Electrical Engineer: “Configuring all of the hardware into such a tight form factor was definitely the biggest challenge and ultimately our biggest success.”

Roxanne, Manufacturing Engineer: "A big challenge with PowerLight Mini was fine-tuning the features to get the look and feel of the product just right. A lot of careful thought and minor tweaks went into friction of the kickstand, the click of the button, and the finishing of the stainless steel body.” 

What were the biggest successes?

Mindy: "To me, our biggest success was when we turned on PowerLight Mini for the first time and saw how well the light guide worked. The light was so even and impressively bright, even to the Product Development team who had high expectations. We had applied a lot of learnings from developing PowerLight to developing PowerLight Mini and seeing those insights pay off was rewarding because it meant we truly had a better understanding of how to improve and perfect edge lighting systems."

Tim: "A great success was predicting the center of gravity when the PowerLight Mini hung at an angle. We wanted it to stop and rest horizontally when hung this way but without product samples it was hard to know how it would rest. Everything panned out on our computers but until we got samples we didn't know for sure. The first thing I did when we received samples was test it out and it worked."

Roxanne: "Surviving all of the user tests. The PowerLight Mini has so many features in such a small form; there is a lot of opportunity for error. We had a huge team of beta users that tested the PowerLight Mini to its limits- in all types of destructive scenarios and extreme weather. These babies took a beating! And all of that initial user feedback helped our team develop an even better and more durable product."

Are you using the PowerLight Mini?

Tim: "Oh yeah. I wear it in my back pocket when I skateboard."

Tracy: "I keep it in my backpack all the time so I have a light or charge whenever I need it."

Roxanne: "It's mounted on my bike right now!"

Mindy: "It saved me the other day when my phone died before a group dinner and I had no idea where I was going."

See Full PowerLight Mini Specs
Shop Products From This Article