As the old adage goes, the best flashlight is the one you have with you — but who wants to lug around a flashlight these days? Even the compact ones are annoyingly large in your pocket, which is precisely why MBI created Matchlights. On the outside, this gizmo looks identical to a regular book of matches, but tucked inside you’ll find eight tiny flashlights the size of matches. Each “Matchlight” is waterproof, magnetic, and impressively bright; so no matter where you are or what the emergency, there’s no reason you can’t have a flashlight in your pocket or your purse.
Creator and MBI founder Guy T. Gwnn has been designing and creating cool “exotic” flashlights for the past 5 years. He is currenty based in Japan, where a risk of earthquakes and blackouts inspired him to make an extremely portable emergency lighting solution. Each LED is bright enough to navigate surroundings in your immediate vicinity, or light up specific areas to make repairs, for example. “It’s not quite as bright as a burning candle. Using just one Matchlight, I can comfortably see and navigate a typical staircase. And while it’s difficult to chop up a regular flashlight to share the light with eight people, people could use all eight Matchlights at the same time to amplify brightness”, said Gwnn.
Each Matchlight contains a lithium tube battery that can run for up to eight hours. A waterproof plastic-rubber coating around the body of each light hides a discreet LED/Switch mechanism. It takes one hand to turn each matchstick flashlight on, and two hands to switch the LED off, according to Gwnn. The first available Matchlight won’t be rechargeable, so MBI plans to make extra units available as spares to fit into the MatchBook case. Since the MatchBook itself is also magnetic, it holds the Matchlights in place when they’re in the case and switched off. It is also designed to work as a versatile stand for any illuminated Matchlight you don’t want to hold in your fingers.
MatchBook has been raising support on Indiegogo, but the campaign has already surpassed its funding goal of $10,000 with more than two weeks to go. Backers that pledge $32 can get their own MBI MatchBook with eight Matchlights, plus one extra. For now, Matchlights are available with white, red, and green tinted LEDs. The MatchBook is expected to retail for about $45 once the Indiegogo campaign is complete, and backers can expect to receive their perks in July 2016 if all goes according to plan.