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Bike, hike or run after dark with the obscenely bright Orfos FlarePro

Way back in October 2014 we told you about an intriguing new light called the Orfos Flare. Built for use in extreme environments, the Flare was waterproof, offered 500 lumens of light, and came with a rechargeable battery that could power the device for up to 24 hours at a time. These features made it ideal for cyclists, runners, and even scuba divers who needed a lamp that could keep them safe, even in the darkest of conditions. Fast forward two years and Orfos has taken the wraps off yet another light, which seemingly improves on the original in just about every possible way.

Like its predecessor, the new Orfos Flare Pro was specifically built with the needs of runners, cyclists, and hikers in mind. That means it is incredibly bright, extremely lightweight, and durable as well. On top of that, it was designed to wear around your waist rather on top of your head, eliminating the sometimes-disorienting feeling you get from headlamps, which are prone to bouncing as you move – particularly while running.

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Orfos founder Peter Clyde told Digital Trends that he learned a lot from designing his first light that helped him improve the newest model. “The original Flare laid the groundwork for the new flare in terms of being an incredibly portable, powerful flare-like light source,” he said. “We knew it was a game changer, but it [FlarePro] needed to be smaller, more powerful and more affordable to reach everyone.”

Available in two models — a version with 32 individual white LEDs and another with 40 red LEDs — this lamp is bright enough to truly light up the night. The white LED FlarePro can put out as much as 950 lumens of light, while the red LED edition is capable of producing up to 400 lumens. But rather than focus all of that light into a single spot-beam as most headlamps do, the FlarePro instead diffuses it around the wearer, allowing them to see 180 degrees in front of them at all times.

Both versions of the light can also be attached to a bike, providing 360 degrees of coverage and enhancing safety dramatically. Should you find that you need yet more light, the FlarePro was designed with a special mounting system that allows the user to quickly and easily stack multiple lights on top of one another for even higher levels of brightness and enhanced visibility.

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Like the original Orfos Flare, the Pro model is waterproof, which allows it to be used in a wide variety of weather conditions and activities without fear of a malfunction. It also weighs just one ounce (28 grams) and was built to be attached to the belt you already own. But if you don’t happen to own a fitness belt for use while running, Orfos has you covered there as well. The company created a lightweight (1.5 ounce/42 grams) belt that was made for use by runners who want to wear the FlarePro during their workouts too.

One of the biggest challenges of using many headlamps is that it isn’t always easy to figure out how to properly adjust the brightness level. That isn’t a problem with FlarePro either, as two separate buttons allow you to increase or decrease the brightness as needed. Want a little extra light? Simply tap the ‘plus’ button a few times. Need to dim things down a bit? Click the ‘minus’ button instead. It doesn’t get much easier or more intuitive than that.

Powering such a bright light requires some serious juice of course, but Orfos has taken a unique approach to solving that issue too. The FlarePro is designed to be used in conjunction with a USB battery pack, even though it doesn’t ship with one. Instead, customers will have to bring their own power source, which does give them the freedom to select a model with the right size and capacity for their needs. The amount of burn time they get out of their light is heavily dependent on which battery they choose, however, and it is an additional expense over and above the cost of the light itself. The upside is that this approach provides a nice level of versatility that isn’t common most other products of this kind.

Aside from that, Clyde tells us this is a light unlike any we’ve ever seen before. “The FlarePro rethinks the concept of night illumination from the ground up,” he said. “It is as natural as daylight and you will likely forget the FlarePro is the source of light as you get fully immersed in your environment truly for the first time at night.”

When Orfos launched its Kickstarter campaign, it set a modest goal of $15,000 to take the FlarePro from a concept to a full-blown product. It has easily surpassed that number however, and should now go into production in early 2017 with a delivery date set for February. Both the red and white versions of the lamp are expected to sell for $75 each when they become available, although early bird adopters can still reserve one for $64 now.

Find out more on the Orfos FlarePro Kickstarter page.