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Our Story

Founder on Mount Si hiking
Shadows of nulumina founders hiking
Founder of N ulumina hiking near Mt Rainier

Nulumina Corporation is a new company that is breaking multiple paradigms of what

portable personal lighting can and should be. The Next Generation of Adventure Lighting.

We are photonics people that love to hike (or are we hikers who love photonics?)

Either way, we knew that we personally needed better light in a rugged and reliable system, and we sought to do something about it.  

We did not just grab off-the-shelf LEDs like other companies. Existing LED spectra are poorly matched to the surfaces you are likely to illuminate outdoors, unless you stay on pale color & paved paths.


We are the first company to actually have spent years studying the reflected spectral characteristics of the thousands of natural objects, and then developing new LEDs and portable lamps capable of truly improving your color and detail vision at night. 


We initially just wanted to better develop illumination of natural objects on and around trails for our own use and to better understand some "glaring" inconsistencies regarding portable lighting outdoors. We had to develop portable measurement methods and a long-term plan of study involving extensive travel and long hikes in hundreds of fascinating places.   It was a tough job, but we took on the task !


Making light work harder in tough situations and in important ways was part of our science and technology skill set, so we were confident that we could improve the technology, once we understood the root causes of the observed issues.

We employed photonics, optics, and vision science to create something truly different from any other LED flashlights or headlights in the market. Then, we worked to integrate these new LEDs into power efficient, rugged and waterproof, comfortable and lightweight lamps that can work together as a system to create studio-like full-color-spectrum lighting on the go, but optimized for your vision (whether you are dark-adapted or not).


While our company is new, our founders each have almost 40 years experience as innovators and manufacturers of quality electronic photonics products using new materials, optical, and electronics technologies. We worked hard to design cost effective, but high performance illumination. We  went through several iterations of these introductory products until they were right, and carefully vetted our experienced assemblers and implemented detailed quality controls. We also prepared our own custom spectrum converter materials in the USA that were incorporated into our ActiveRed and ActiveV filters and lenses. 


These Nulumina products are the result of a multi-year intense development effort. These products provide several "World's First" technology introductions for flashlights and headlights.  Each feature was carefully assessed for what was beneficial and most important to people like us that go trekking outdoors, and may be found on any terrain in any weather.   


Properly Equipped Lab: We have a host of optical, electronics, reliability, thermal gradient and temperature range testing, and environmental test equipment for developing and characterizing our products including integrating spheres, spectrometers, reference standard light sources, goniometers for angle vs light intensity, light reference standards, and multiple battery, PCB, & LED life testing setups. We also have pressure spray and deep water immersion simulation, salt water testing, chemical and materials testing, specialized imaging & filters, and more.  We have a great many different custom LEDs and related components for product development, plus samples of minerals and other example surface materials from a wide range of terrains around the globe for cross-referencing.


We have purchased over a hundred different market-available LEDs, headlamps, flashlights, and other lighting products that we tested for comparison references. In addition, we in-store tested  many flashlights and headlamps using portable spectrometers, intensity meters, and photographing light patterns.

We found it surprising that many other headlamp and flashlight products we tested do not even come close to meeting their own specifications. Some best-known, famous-name-brand headlamp and flashlight makers were 5X-10X off even luminance and stated battery life specs. Maybe their specs were written by the marketing departments instead of by their engineers? Furthermore, we often found many design flaws besides everyone's poor color spectrum such as poor thermal LED management, poor power management, light patterns with ring and spot artifacts, and lack of rain resistance to any more than a short, light sprinkle. When hiking rugged terrain on a rainy night, good spectral quality and reliable light is even more important.


Now, Nulumina's first-in-class personal precision illuminators systems using Cyradiance technology can be available to you.  We trust these new precision illuminators will serve you well for years to come.


sasquatch big foot at Stewart lake washington
ofunders of nulumina at sunset after hiking with Mt Rainier
founders of nulumina hiking in texas wildflowers
Nuluymina founders in Antarctica
Mt. Rainier, WA
Stuart Lake, WA


Nulumina's founders have been leaders in the development of semiconductors, light emitting diodes (LEDs and OLEDs), photonics, virtual reality, and imaging technologies for 4 decades. We had been in the research organization of Texas Instruments, a major semiconductor company developing many types of chips and devices still used today, and then Microelectronics Center of NC (Research Triangle Park), at the time a semiconductor oriented research think tank with UNC, NCSU, and Duke Universities. There, many years ago, an engineering team Nulumina's founders managed built the first LEDs for CREE's founders when they were just a tiny start-up, along with many creative projects with other companies.


Gary Jones and Susan Jones, co-founders, are serial entrepreneurs with over-35 year backgrounds advancing electronics, materials, photonics, semiconductor technology and biotechnology, as well as building successful teams, supplier networks, and managing quality to create and launch winning novel high-tech products. We are technology innovation leaders with many First-Ever introductions and have been awarded (jointly and/or individually) over 60 patents in materials, photonics, semiconductors, and optoelectronic systems.  We were engineering research managers at Texas Instruments, on the startup team of Microelectronics Center of NC/Research Triangle Park, and were the 2 founders of eMagin Corporation, the first company in the world to create and first commercialize OLED full-color video microdisplays that are now used for VR, AR, avionics, night vision headsets, thermal imagers, and many other applications. 
We are also avid hikers & photographers who have hiked on 6 continents in almost every type terrain and weather. We studied the optical characteristics of thousands of outdoor surfaces and researched the issues with wearable outdoor lighting to understand why brighter meant seeing less detail, and then set about to create solutions. That led to the development of Cyradiance LEDs and photonics technology to provide all colors and the concept of providing multiple angles of light for better peripheral vision. Together, the innovations simulate sunlight at your back, at night. We founded Nulumina to provide the next generation of Adventure Lighting so that everyone can better enjoy the outdoors and be safe at night.On the historic business side of things, we founded the OLED imaging photonics company (eMagin Corporation, NYSE EMAN). Our team that we put together became the first to ever create and sell full-color Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) video display products and virtual imaging systems, and our former company remains active in military, commercial, and consumer markets for high-resolution micro-OLEDs.


Since leaving our prior start-up, we also developed new photonics materials and LED technology for medical applications. Our new materials are now being studied and reported on by various universities as parts of cancer diagnosis and treatment. We have worked with multiple international medical, military, industrial, photographic equipment, and consumer product organizations to create many successful technologies and products, and we have been awarded over 80 patents. 


We are active in multiple science and engineering organizations such as SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photonics), SID (The Society for Information Display), IEEE (The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers), and the ACS (American Chemical Society) among others we belong to or attend.


When not creating new tech, we have been active in multiple outdoor sports. We have ventured out on a great many treks in a great many locations and types of terrain around the globe, above and below ground, and often in extreme conditions. We know the value of reliable light providing optimal vision.


Founder of Nulumina hiking in Jordan near Petra
Founder of Nulumina Hiking Pacific Crerst Trail
Nulumina founder hiking in Scotland
Nulumina founder hiking over rocks in Ape Cave at mt St Helens
Cairngorms, Scotland
Naches Peak
on the PCT
Petra, Jordan
Ape Cave, Mt. St Helens

Seeing a broad-based need to take adventure lighting to the next level, we founded Nulumina and began more intensely gathering illuminated surface data, developing these new LEDs, integrating these new LEDs into rugged lamps through many  iterations for cost effectiveness, performance, and radiant power efficiency, and then we worked to further integrate these new lamps into mobile studio-like  lighting systems that we ourselves would be willing to trust anywhere in any weather. 


We are surrounded by natural beauty, located east of Seattle, WA on the foothills of the Cascades, between the volcanoes Mt Baker to the North and Mt Rainier & Mt St. Helens to the south. Within 2-3 hours drive we have temperate rain forests and the ocean to the west, mountains in all directions, glaciers to the north and south, sand dunes to the southwest, and canyons and the driest arid lands in North America to the east.


We can visit and test almost any terrain on a short drive, plus we also often travel internationally. We understand the value of rugged & waterproof illumination that can function at almost any terrestrial temperature.


And, now you can also share in a better view of the natural world at night that you used to sleep through! 



Please join us in our journey. We want your input about what kind of enhancements you'd like to see next, what you like (or, equally, what you don't like) about our first products. And we can't wait to hear about your night-time adventures using our new technology & products!

Backpacker hiker at sunset
Get out earlier! Stay out longer!
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