Battery Life Sucks! Photonic Looking To Aid A Rarely Served Niche


I’ve had the chance to direct some traffic in my days, and one thing that’s an essential part of every traffic control kit are those battery operated flashlights with cones on the end – marshalling wands.  Marshalling wands provide visibility for lowly mall security traffic control all the way up to ground traffic controllers at every airport around the world.  Some of these are simply Maglite flashlights with cones attached to the end, but most airlines and airports use purpose-built wands.  One thing that they all have in common?  They all use batteries.  Usually C or D cell, and they generally burn through them pretty quickly.  

Photonic Designs is hoping to help.  They’ve recently started a Kickstarter campaign aimed at significantly reducing the battery usage in marshalling wands.  They explain the problem:

The old wands, like most flashlights, operate on the idea that the user should supply the power.  As a result, there is little motivation to make it as efficient as possible.

The solution to the problem meant re-thinking what a battery’s performance should be. So we took the opposite approach and operated on the idea, that we should supply all the power.

This resulted in a completely new patent pending board design that actively manages and distributes power in the most efficient way possible. This drastically reduced the energy needed to do the same job, which enabled us to move to an on-board power supply that lasts years using just two non-rechargeable AA’s.

The hope is that by switching to their design, an airline/airport can save money, and significantly reduce waste across all of their ground traffic controllers.  They’ve also made it a goal to allow for their design to be easily implemented into existing wands.


The primary goal during the development of the new board design was that it should be a direct replacement and fit into previous generation wands. The reason behind this was simple.

Offering backward compatibility meant all the old wands being used at airports across the globe could be upgraded, and start saving batteries

They’ve provided an excellent video demonstrating the replacement of internal components on their Kickstarter page.


This doesn’t mean that Photonic hasn’t thought of a few of their own design tweaks.  They’ve also come up with a re-designed wand that prevents loss from rolling/breaking.


While this particular Kickstarter campaign isn’t necessarily directed at the average consumer, the technology that Photonic has developed could almost certainly be implemented in other devices.  Photonic isn’t going to leave you high and dry if you back their project though.  They’ve got plenty of swag to give away, from hats and shot glasses, to bags and wrist bands.  Check out their Kickstarter, and throw them a few bucks if you’re able!


You can check out Photonic Design’s Kickstarter at the logo link below.


To Top