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The GoBe is a flashlight with multiple personalities

on November 22, 2013 9:00 am

Light&Motion GoBe-1

We live in a world of uncertainty – hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, tornados, blizzards. I would venture to say that most of us have some sort of emergency kit set up for such occasions. One common item that we all probably carry is a flashlight. Unfortunately, most flashlights are limited by the design of the light source. You can get some lights that will let you adjust the light focus but not the brightness or some that are great for carrying but not flexible to be mounted to say a bike or backpack. The new GoBe flashlight by Light & Motion hopes to change the way we view flashlights. The GoBe, or GoBe platform as it is sometimes referred to, is a flashlight that uses interchangeable light heads to change how the light functions. The six heads are: a 700 Spot, Red Focus, Search, 500 Spot, NightSea, and 700 Wide. The flashlight uses rechargeable high-capacity li-ion batteries and is USB rechargeable. The GoBe flashlight heads can be changed out by simply unscrewing the current one and screwing on the one you want to use. The GoBe is slated to ship sometime in November per their website, but they are currently taking pre-orders. The GoBe flashlight prices range from $99 to $299 depending on the light head you chose. Light & Motion also offers many accessories as well as combo kits for the GoBe.

Comments

  1. 1
    andix says:

    A min. $99 flashlight whose functions are changed by UNSCREWING the head? Wow. For $50 I could buy a Fenix that does all that, is rugged and smaller and doesn’t require me to carry a pouch of heads just to have them handy.

    Another useless idea, albeit an expensive one.

    Oh and did I mention it’s ugly, too?

  2. 2
    FlyingBear says:

    Not sure I can get behind the whole concept, but USB charging is cool.

    By the way, I am not sure there is any Fenix light that is submersible to those depths.

  3. 3
    Andrew Baker says:

    Yikes, If I had $300 laying around, i’d get a new tablet

  4. 4
    andix says:

    Not sure I’ll ever dive to 120 meters again in my life… (My heliox days are long gone.) But if I were to do that, I’d buy an Underwater Kinetics.

  5. 5
    Jacob says:

    Fenix is a good company if you want to buy a cheap light imported from a factory in China without any real design or personality.

    Multiple heads is pretty awesome if you get a superior beam pattern – if you’ve ever tried diving with an adjustable beam flashlight, you’d appreciate the innovation. The feature tour at http://lightandmotion.com/gobe was cool – showed how there is water/air flow behind the light0heads to improve the cooling.

    I’m a huge fan of Light & Motion because they’ve been building their lights on cannery row in Monterey, CA for over twenty years. I’ve seen too many people without work these past few years to feel any connection to brands products that have shipped their business overseas.

    And Underwater Kinetics are notorious for flooding and failure with cheap plastic bodies?

    Cool to see this flashlight featured on the Gadgeteer – really couldn’t see the Fenix or UK lights having anything notable to post on a site like this.

  6. 6
    FlyingBear says:

    Since when is Fenix a cheap light? And what in the world is a “personality” for a flashlight? It either does its job or there is a better light.

    If Fenix comparison somehow hurts you, there are plenty of other companies out there making good lights and at the price level will provide you several different lights to take.

  7. 7
    jacob says:

    Fenix was determined a cheap light from the first comment claiming a $50 Fenix was going to be as good as the GoBe.

    I’d love to hear of a high performance flashlight made in the USA??

    Light & Motion’s SOLA dive lights are really incredible lights and having experience with a SOLA Dive 1200 and seeing all the thought that went into it, I am thrilled to see what these little GoBe lights are like.

  8. 8
    Larry Geisz says:

    Just as an FYI, I have seen and used many different flashlights even before I started to write for The Gadgetee, and the one thing I have noticed over that time is that there are seems to be two types of flashlight people. The first is what i will call “your everyday Joe or Jane” that only looks at a flashlight as something to use when the power goes out or in circumstances like that (and often fail to check and the batteries on a regular basis). They do not care about technology, quality or features. The second type of person are like those who frequent this site. We do like to know what’s under the hood, how the build quality is, does it have the best LED in it and yes sometimes even where it is made. Putting that all aside though, I post articles a lot of times on things that I find different or unique. Although price, quality and yes sometimes where things are built do matter to me as a consumer, the “gadget affect” is what really appeals to me. While discussing the pro’s and cons of these things does have its merits, it is the innovation or uniqueness of the item that often provokes my post.

  9. 9
    Blaise says:

    I work at Light & Motion and was encouraged to see the banter going on. We are super proud to make this light in California – and understand the potential of this light as an important gadget in your life. There are problems that we have and are aware of, which we seek to resolve, but there are also problems we are not aware of… the GoBe is a light designed to provide a solution to both of those problems. While many see the need for a good flashlight while camping or scuba diving, they may accept darkness while sailing or working on your house, etc. Having a lighting system that can get mounted anywhere and has a series of light heads to provide perfect lighting for the situation delivers an understanding of how that light can play a larger role in your life. As LEDs evolve, you will see them playing an increasingly important role (just look at the bluetooth connected lightbulbs with APPs). We are finishing up the prototyping on a lantern attachment as well. Granted, a high-end light may not be for everybody but it has some in novative design patents pending for how it manages it’s tempeature underwater and above water and for some of its electronics design. This product is very well thought through and though it may cost beyond what you would normally budget for a flashlight, you do get what you pay for – in the battery quality, LED selection, and feature set (battery status indicator, USB charge, etc.). The industrial design was intentionally breaking from traditional “tactical” flashlights without sacrificing durability – this light is not intended to look like a weapon or something you would run over with your car (even though you could) – a woman named Roxy Lo designed the look of the light and she designs Ibis Bicycles, beautiful free flow carbon fiber bikes that literally broke the mold of traditional design in bikes. She’s one of few female industrial designers in the bike/outdoor industry and we are happy with the friendlier look of the light.

  10. 10
    FlyingBear says:

    @Blaise

    Thanks for jumping in! I appreciate your perspective and I think it’s a much better response than “look at “cheap” stuff” that takes away from the product being discussed.

    With the product focusing (ha!) on flexibility and as you mentioned LEDs advancing, how flexible is the power supply in the light? Assuming better/different LEDs come out, do you foresee being able to just sell the LED head? I guess that also asks where the actual power conversion occurs.

  11. 11
    Blaise says:

    @FlyingBear

    By flexible power supply I assume you’re asking about forward compatibility with new heads?

    We’ve designed the GoBe with this in mind–if you check out the GoBe’s product site, you can see that it’s designed as a modular system. We’re launching GoBe with four different heads available, and will be adding two more in January/February. All the heads will work with a given GoBe body, though some of the higher-powered heads will yield their best results when used on the higher-capacity GoBe+ body.

    The best part is that next year, when Cree releases more efficient LEDs, we should be able to drop those LEDs in a new head and plug it into the new body, and voila! Brighter, more efficient light.

    GoBe also has a battery indicator, as well as a charge-speed indicator that tells you how good the USB adapter is that you’re using to charge it.

    So it’s features like this that separate the lights that we make from the average tactical light like Fenix–we’re trying to make them smarter than just a battery and LED encased in machined aluminum.

    There are some other developments in the works that should make the GoBe system even more flexible, but I can’t talk about them yet!

  12. 12
    Larry Geisz says:

    @Blaise Thanks for the info, I for one look forward to what is coming next. Please continue to keep us updated…

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