Written on: 03/11/2012
Over the past 5 or 6 years I have owned 2 of these Lummi Orb Raw in Nickel Silver (cupro-nickel is what US coins are made from and contain no silver) and I have paid for 3.
Myself If I could choose one portable light to take on all my travels, and I travel more than 50,000 miles per year, this would be the one no hesitation. Unfortunately it seems that the owner of the company, Mr Robert Cheetham, who was an acquaintance of mine that I corresponded with occasionally, got himself into a financial bind and decided to void his current orders and keep the money which I expect had already been spent. It would seem an easy thing in this kind of business to simply send one or two a week to people who sent their money in good faith, particularly those like myself who have defended him. But it looks as if he has decided not to look back and just go on ahead regardless of the damage to his reputation which I would guess is fairly substantial. And probably the associated financial repercussions are not trivial either.
Rob related to me that he had been forced to go back to working as an electrician to make ends meet after making a decent living from Lummi for several years. my impression was he was living like most of us do and got hit by slumping sales, couldn't pay his suppliers so couldn't make lights. No way to stop all the orders instantly. Family to feed etc. He had gone from making the lights in his garage to having a machinist do the bulk of the manufacture on high volume tools and then hand assembling the machined parts... Making these one by one would be time consuming on manual machine tools. Certainly he felt the heat too. Corporations do things like this in business all the time but it seems more personal and I think that is the rub. Anyone running a small business with products for sale can probably relate but not making good on the orders that piled up is pretty crummy IMO. It prevents me from getting my light and that is hard because these are really really good. Simple mechanism and serves its purpose bettr than anything else I have found.
Lummi owes me somewhere between 80 and 90 pounds or $140 USD. I don't think I will get any back. I would pay for another light anyway if there were any guarantee it would be sent. i think that ~$100 is too much for a keychain type flashlight but this outshines a 3 D Maglight so... They are easy to lose due to the size, get pretty warm on high setting and sometimes come apart in your pocket. Otherwise if your kit would include Dunhill, or ST Dupont this would fit in. It is tough enough to go in your toolbox in the back of your pickup. If only it were mass produced and in retail stores instead of single source. then no cachet but lots of light.