Techie creates rechargeable headlamp

We’ve all been there, you’re in the middle of a kick-ass camping trip, about to go night exploring when all of a sudden your flashlight goes out. To top it off, you forgot to pack those massive C or D batteries your clunky flashlight requires.

Have no fear though, Berkeley inventor Dan Freschl is here to save the day.

In an attempt to fix this wasteful, but somewhat inevitable situation, Freschl invented a rechargeable, environmentally friendly headlamp. In 2010 after quitting his job, Freschl jumped feet-first into founding Bosavi LLC, an outdoor equipment company.

Freschl used open source software and re-purposed equipment to create the custom-designed headlamp. Currently, it can be recharged using a solar unit or a USB computer cord, but the company is also working on creating a pull-cord generator that serves as a mini power station outdoors.

After graduating from college, Freschl worked as an engineer creating batteries for products like pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators, but after a while, he felt conflicted with the company’s wasteful process. He told Berkeleyside:

“When I worked for a huge corporation with about 20,000 employees, I saw how much we wasted, how much equipment we bought and then threw out, and how unhappy the people working there were.”

He came up with the headlamp idea during a camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park. He told GearJunkie that the design was “borne out of years of frustration at the inconvenience and environmental impact of AAA-powered headlamps.”

Freschl works out of a space at the Joshua Tree Artisans’ Collective in West Berkeley, creating various customizations for the headlamp.

Freschl’s used his extensive knowledge to customize the special lithium polymer batteries for the lamp. He said:

“I requested the dimensions, voltage, and size, which allowed me to control the power and capacity of the battery. This particular design is much more efficient than the typical AAA battery and uses almost 100% of the capability of the battery. This, of course, allows for more light output with a smaller size headlamp.”

This geeky-techy headlamp also has an available bike adaptor, a voltage monitor so you can see how much battery life you have left, and various levels of brightness to control the lamp’s LED light.

And as if a rechargeable headlamp wasn’t enough, the Bosavi’s packaging can be transformed into an origami lantern that connects to the headlamp.

Freschl created a Kickstarter campaign to gather funds so he can start production on the lamp. As of June 12, he’s already received $35,693 of the $40,000 he needs to begin production. Once created, he hopes to distribute the headlamp to Bay Area outdoor stores and rock climbing gyms later this summer.