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ASU’s Design Excellence Award Winner – Spring 2016


Darklite was envisioned after visiting Peppersauce Cave in Oracle, AZ. Due to the phobia of becoming lost within the labyrinth, explorers have resorted to spray painting arrows on the cave’s walls, littering it with string, glow sticks, and candles. Such behaviors has complexly decimating the caves ecosystem.

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2. Make

3. Product


Explorers, at times, find them selves lost in caves. The inset of panic and distress impedes their ability to process their surroundings. If unable to navigate out, a costly extraction will transpire in hopes of recovering a living person.

Explorers can become disoriented and lost in caves. This created panic and distress inputting their ability to process their surroundings. If unable to navigate their way out, a costly extraction will take place. The hope is that an extraction will yield a living person.


Some adventurers defer to controversial methods of tracking to ensure their escape. Once destroyed, the environment will never recover. The simple rise in temperature from a human presence is harmful to a caves ecosystem. Cavers can completely decimate a cave’s ecosystem. – Ray Keelier, President – AZ Central Grotto

“Leave No Trace”




– The National Speleological Society




  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Observation

2. Intent

To promote responsible and safe exploration among new spelunkers, cavers, speleologists, and cave rescuers while promoting ecological cave preservation as caves never recover from the detriment of the human footprint.

3. Experience

Peace of mind exploration. Users can explore farther and for longer knowing they will find their way out. This will also preserve the natural state of caving ecosystems through Darklite’s implementation of the “Leave no trace” principles.

3. Expense

The average caver expends $6,000 on equipment.  Darklite is a $750 accessory. The enhancement of adventure and security experienced by the user will dramatically increase as cave rescue operations diminish, saving millions in annual expenses.

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