The DENALI Story
Posted on December 15 2020
DENALI was founded in 2010 by Erik Stephens and Nate Bastien. Erik, an accomplished entrepreneur and powersports enthusiast, teamed up with Nate, a RISD trained Industrial designer, with one goal in mind; to develop and introduce emerging LED technology into an industry that was still dominated by outdated halogen and HID technology.
In targeting motorcycle and powersports applications first, DENALI needed to engineer LED lamps to be smaller, brighter and draw less power than existing options on the market. In optimizing our lights for powersports applications even further, we developed the industries’ first integrated dimming controller, our signature DataDim Technology, that automatically switches the auxiliary lights from half to full intensity with the vehicles’ original high beam switch. This feature was purpose built to allow motorcyclists to run their aux lights during the day for added visibility without distracting oncoming traffic.
We also recognized that powersports applications required extremely robust materials and bullet proof constructions methods. This drove us to develop our DrySeal construction which uses external seals and internal potting to guarantee 100% watertight switches and lamp housings even when submerged underwater.
What started as a quest to build the ultimate motorcycle light quickly got the attention of the mainstream 4x4 and off-road lighting market. Our stricter requirements and unique features were generating lights that outperformed the most popular options from the top dogs in the industry.
Make it Fit
With demand growing rapidly we got asked the same question every day. Where can I mount the lights and how do I wire them to my vehicle? This was the birth of our second core focus; vehicle specific mounting and plug & play wiring. While others in the industry focused on making more and more variations of the same light, we dedicated substantial development efforts into building vehicle specific light mounts, horn mounts, and plug & play wiring harnesses.
Today, our CANsmart controller (available for select motorcycles) is the most technologically advanced lighting and accessory controller on the market. It connects to the vehicle CANbus system to read the vehicle data in real time to allow automated or manual accessory control right from the original vehicle switches or our accessory manager software.
Complete Solutions - Modular Design
Anyone who has outfitted a vehicle knows that trying to get a million different accessories from a number of different brands to all work together is a nightmare. After developing our industry leading line of SoundBomb Horns we immediately began developing a concept that Nate had been imagining for years; modular visibility lighting. To compliment our high-power driving lights Nate wanted to engineer a line of white, amber and red visibility lighting that was purpose built to make your vehicle more visible during the day, as well as at night. Designed like emergency strobe lights optics, our DRLs, B6 brake lights, and modular T3 turn signals are the brightest most low profile visibility lights on the market. Modular design is a recurring theme in the development of new DENALI products. The beauty of the modular design is that one light pod can be easily transformed into a purpose-built solution for a wide variety of vehicle types. Modularity unlocks the full potential of our products and illustrates how a super bright DRL pod can make the ideal fender-mounted motorcycle light as well as a kick-ass low-profile backup light for side x sides, Jeeps and trucks.
Always thinking ahead, our entire line of lighting, horns, electronics and wiring harnesses are designed with mating waterproof connectors so you can outfit your entire vehicle without having to cut, splice or solder a single connection.
Driven by Science
Over the past decade LED lighting has grown to become the gold standard in automotive lighting, but not all LED lights are cut from the same cloth. We realized early on that simply claiming the raw lumens of the LED chip does not tell you anything about how the light will perform, where it will throw the light and how long they will last.
From day one we were among the minority of lighting manufacturers that used cutting edge optical design software to fine tune our proprietary optics before we even made a prototype. Once our lights are built, we measure the beam and light output in a photometric testing lab to confirm that the production light meets our desired result. We also use this same process to develop street legal beam patterns that meet US DOT, SAE and European E Mark standards. To this day we are still one of the few LED lighting manufacturers that publishes the Isolux test results for all of the lights we make. We also utilize 3D scanning technology to ensure that our products fit perfectly every time. Our years of experience combined with our attention to detail is why OEMs like Yamaha and Segway came to us to develop and manufacture a few of their OE lighting solutions.