What is Accelerated Life Testing and Why do We Do It?

With the T1 samples (or first set of tooled samples, so you know the lingo) in house, we have started the accelerated life testing – but what is that, and why would we do it?

What is Accelerated Life testing?

Accelerated life testing, as the name suggests, is the testing a product or prototypes ability to withstand the expected lifetime of use in a much shorter span.

How do we do this?

By creating a special ‘rig’ we will test the nowlight by subjecting it to the forces and strains that it would be under if it were used daily.  This will highlight any wear and tear or potential weaknesses that we can improve.

By testing in this accelerated way, we can assess the nowlights longevity over a year in a matter of weeks.

 Our product engineer, Shaun, pointed out that with our rig we will actually be testing 2 sets of gears simultaneously, one set to run the lights and the other to simulate pulling the cord.

Our product engineer, Shaun, pointed out that with our rig we will actually be testing 2 sets of gears simultaneously, one set to run the lights and the other to simulate pulling the cord.

So, what does the rig do?

The rig is designed to mimic the maximum pull force and speed the user can be expected to apply for a days worth of energy/light each cycle. This energy will then be dissipated using the light and charging system testing the electronics and battery in the process.

Through this process, the nowlight parts will be closely inspected to track their wear and tear, output, performance and capacity over the duration of the test.  By measuring all of these different parts we will be able to see which are weak, which need changing and if anything needs to be redesigned.

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Why do we do this?

Accelerated life testing is a crucial part of the design process.  It allows us to confidently set expected lifespans and warranty periods.  We also want to be certain that nowlight will be a reliable source of light and power for the off-grid families that will be using them everyday to light their lives.  Families like Rebecca’s who will use it on a daily basis to help them cook, do homework, and get ready for bed. 

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