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New 4100 Lumen Flashlight Can Set Things On Fire 464

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the no-telling-ghost-stories-with-this-baby dept.
i4u writes "Engadget is reporting that Wicked Lasers has introduced The Torch. It is the world's brightest and most powerful flashlight. The Flashlight is capable of melting plastic, lighting paper on fire within seconds, and if you like, fry an egg or a marshmallow on a stick. At 4100 lumens, The Torch is 100 lumens more powerful than The Polarion Helios, the former most powerful flashlight, and retails for around $300. The Torch is apparently also undergoing review at the Guinness Book of World Records."
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New 4100 Lumen Flashlight Can Set Things On Fire

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  • Campfires! (Score:5, Funny)

    by San-LC (1104027) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:07PM (#22212922)
    It would make campfire storytelling even more interesting! "Here's the tale of the man whose face melted off, oooOoooOoohhh AGHH MY FACE IS FALLING OFF!" Subsequently, many camp counselors have crapped their pants at the mere thought.
  • Omg (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:08PM (#22212936)
    It pumps out so much light that there is a recoil when you switch it on!
  • Won't be long before we have phasers.
    • Turns out you can actually peel paint with just an LED flashlight and the lens from a DVD burner. The future is now!
  • warning labels (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LM741N (258038) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:09PM (#22212950)
    Last time I bought an extension cord it had 4 different warning labels I had to take off. I wonder how many warning labels this flashlight will carry?
    Welcome to the Nanny Nation.
    • Re:warning labels (Score:5, Insightful)

      by riseoftheindividual (1214958) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:15PM (#22213070) Homepage
      I wish it was only warning labels. After reading TFA and watching that video, all I could think was "I better order before it's banned". Nanny nation indeed.
    • Re:warning labels (Score:5, Insightful)

      by apathy maybe (922212) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:16PM (#22213096) Homepage Journal
      What the fuck? Why shouldn't it have a shit load of warning labels? I can understand you complaining about an extension cord (though seriously, some people are stupid enough to need them), but a light that can burn shit?

      It is fucking dangerous! Maybe you think that chainsaws shouldn't have warning labels as well? "Mummy what happens if I do this? Ahhhhhhhhhhhh" (though actually, all the chainsaws I've handled recently have quite good safety features).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pla (258480)
        Why shouldn't it have a shit load of warning labels?

        Well, because anyone paying $300 for the world's brightest flashlight didn't buy it just so they can find their way to the electric panel after a breaker blows. They bought it because it can melt plastic. Thus, telling them as much merely insults us all, rather than providing any potential safety to the end user.

        Warning labels don't protect those of us with two neurons to rub together; They keep people in the gene pool who Darwin-the-Lifeguard needs
        • Re:warning labels (Score:4, Insightful)

          by shawn(at)fsu (447153) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:36PM (#22213400) Homepage
          Well it does kind of look like a regular mag lite at least looking at the picture on TFA. If it does look like a normal flashlight one would hope it has a warning not for the buyer but for the safety of others where it is kept.
        • Re:warning labels (Score:5, Insightful)

          by syukton (256348) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:49PM (#22213584)
          They keep people in the gene pool who Darwin-the-Lifeguard needs to toss out ASAP.

          People like the child/wife/friend/visitor who picks up this neat little flashlight and, while remarking "I hate these maglite knock-offs" proceeds to permanently blind themselves?

          As another commenter pointed out, you can't use the design and form-factor of a harmless device when packaging an extremely dangerous device, because you will confuse and possibly harm people unintentionally. Would you package rat poison to look like candy bars or perhaps like a nice slice of deliciously moist cake? Warning labels protect people. They may not serve to protect the buyer of a given device, because they generally tend to know what they're buying and what it's used/not used for; but it can serve to protect somebody unfamiliar with the device, somebody who may happen upon it by random chance. If I owned one of these lights, I would have a sticker on it that said "DO NOT POINT AT FACE. EVER. SRSLY."
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pcgabe (712924)

            If I owned one of these lights, I would have a sticker on it that said "DO NOT POINT AT FACE. EVER. SRSLY."
            Negative warnings lack effectiveness. For better results, use phrases like:

            "If you want faces to melt, point this at them."
            "For a free trip to the hospital, stick hand in beam."
            "Look directly into the light, and you'll never have to see your parents again!"
      • by Ultra64 (318705) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:34PM (#22213372)

        It is fucking dangerous! Maybe you think that chainsaws shouldn't have warning labels as well?

        Of course they shouldn't. If someone is so brain damaged that they can't figure out that a SAW can hurt them, why shouldn't they suffer the consequences?

        You can't protect stupid people from themselves, and you shouldn't try. It just encourages the spread of stupidity among the general population.
        • Re:warning labels (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jddj (1085169) on Monday January 28, 2008 @06:53PM (#22214554) Journal

          Of course they shouldn't. If someone is so brain damaged that they can't figure out that a SAW can hurt them, why shouldn't they suffer the consequences?

          Chainsaws have warning labels because they can hurt the user in ways the novice wouldn't expect by looking at the saw. Thinks like binding in the kerf and kicking.

        • Not all things are obviously dangerous (like this powerful flashlight). While most warnings are ridiculous, I think one on a seemingly harmless object that is in fact dangerous makes sense. Another example where you would see warnings is on cleaning products because when you combine ammonia ones with bleach chlorine gas will be released. That's not the most obvious thing in the world and that warning has probably saved many lives.
      • Re:warning labels (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mr. Slippery (47854) <(tms) (at) (infamous.net)> on Monday January 28, 2008 @06:27PM (#22214124) Homepage

        but a light that can burn shit?

        Only if you put the shit right up against the light.

        A 300 watt halogen bulb puts out almost 6000 lumens [acehardware.com], much more powerful than this light. You can start a fire with one, but not across the room or anything. You have to get the combustibles right up against it. (Which is why the newer floor lamps using this sort of bulb have a safety cage.)

        There are many things in your house more dangerous than this super-bright flashlight. Should they all have labels? The problem is that when everything has a warning label, the chatter drowns out the important warnings.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sakusha (441986)
          Safety can also depend on intensity. I read about how the Army experimented with aerial flash photography, they had some massive flash units that could illuminate the ground from an airplane at a high altitude. But if you set one off when it was on the ground, anyone nearby would be burned badly. Now today they make commercial ovens using that same principle, the Flash-Bake oven can cook a pizza in 1 minute with high intensity flash units.
    • Re:warning labels (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pojut (1027544) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:19PM (#22213152) Homepage
      I'm sorry to tell you this, but the reason that extension cord you bought had 4 different warning labels on it was because of morons that do something completely stupid, and then blame the manufacturer for not having a warning label telling you not to do it.

      "Hey! There was nothing that said it was dangerous to chew on the cord while it was plugged in! Nor was their anything telling me I shouldn't plug a coffee pot, a space heater, and a PS3 onto the same cord! I should sue their asses!"

      The above example may be a tad bit extreme (actually, it may not be...) but that is why those labels are there. If the company's lawyers could think of someone suing them over something, they would be stupid to not put a warning label on the product. Seeing as so many people would sue over so many little things (but NEVER over their own stupidity), a large number of labels go onto everyday products. Blame your fellow citizens for that gripe.
      • Nor was their anything telling me I shouldn't plug a coffee pot, a space heater, and a PS3 onto the same cord!

        Er, that's a legitimate warning label to have. Why shouldn't it warn you against plugging in too many high-power devices? I mean, you can't expect people to intuit how many things they can or can't plug in, so why not say "Do not plug in more than ___ Amps (or ___ Watts) into this cord!"

        • by Pojut (1027544)
          I'm not saying that it shouldn't, I'm saying that it shouldn't have to. It should be common sense not to put that many high-draw devices on a single, whimpy cord.

          At least, that's what they tell everyone that has been in elementary school for any length of time...
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by EMeta (860558)
            I would really appreciate it if all my extension cords were clearly labeled for recommended maximum voltage. I mean, sure I can figure I shouldn't put on too much, but knowing that figure each time I use it would be handy.
            • by RalphSleigh (899929) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:55PM (#22213694) Homepage
              Nerd card. Now.
            • Re:warning labels (Score:5, Informative)

              by dbitter1 (411864) <slashdot&carnivores-r,us> on Monday January 28, 2008 @06:11PM (#22213918)

              I would really appreciate it if all my extension cords were clearly labeled for recommended maximum voltage.
              I'll assume you are serious and that isn't trollbait.

              Firstly, every cord *SHOULD* be labeled with maximium voltage... most likely 600V for most equipment. This is based on the voltage the insulation on the wires can withstand in a normal environment.

              What you likely meant to say is the maximum AMPERAGE (or wattage, which is voltage*amperage) a cable is designed for. This is a much harder thing to spec... just like a CPU, it depends what the temperature is. The larger a conductor (think cross-sectional area), the less resistance it has, and the less current will be lost to heat while in use. It is this heat that makes things unpleasant... you could take a "standard" cord and run 29384092385902380953A through it, but not for more than a millisecond or two whilst the metal melts and subsequently vaporizes in an explosive poof at room temperature.

              However, if you put it in liquid nitrogen, you likely will increase that time by several orders of magnitude... more assuming you can keep the cold flowing in (maybe a continual stream of L/N?)

              Coming back to reality, it may be safe to run your vacuum cleaner for a few minutes on the cord, even if it gets warm... assuming you *KNOW* it is getting warm, and you will stop using it shortly. Where it isn't safe is if you run a heater off of an undersized cord, then throw a rug on top of it to further keep ambient losses from cooling the cord, then spill something with a low flashpoint on the rug.

              Would make a hell of a warning label...

    • Re:warning labels (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:31PM (#22213332)
      So let me get this straight: A company is building a device that can literally set things on fire with visible light, built to almost exactly duplicate the form, shape, and function of the traditional flashlight, a device that after ~100 years is nearly universally recognized and known to be relatively harmless. And you think that it should not come with a warning label of some kind?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        built to almost exactly duplicate the form, shape, and function of the traditional flashlight

        do you realize that in some countries, they call that a torch ?

        I traveled to australia and when in a taxi, the driver asked me to open his glove box and hand him a torch. I was horrified! until I opened the box to see 'only' a flashlight there. "will this do?" "yeah, that's what I just asked you for".

        really. they call them that 'down there'.

        so why not *really* make a torch out of it? the name is already in pla
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cheater512 (783349)
          Well why do you call it a flash light when it doesnt flash? :P

          A torch makes perfect sense.
          They used torches before electricity and lanterns to light up dark areas.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Lehk228 (705449)
            early models did flash, or more specifically, batteries could only power them for a moment before they needed to "rest"
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        We have updated the entry a little. It now says "Mostly harmless."
    • There are some dangers to extension cords that people aren't aware of. Everyone knows about using them after they've been damaged (ie, exposed wiring, broken-off ground plugs, etc.), but I'm amazed at the number of people that will use two or three fifty footers, risking damage to their electrical equipment, or more ominously, people that use low amp-rated cords with large-draw devices, and actually risking overheating and possibly fire.
    • by FleaPlus (6935) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:46PM (#22213562) Journal
      "Please do not shine flashlight into remaining face"
  • Lumens War (Score:4, Funny)

    by blankaBrew (1000609) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:09PM (#22212964)
    Now begins the lumens war.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:10PM (#22212972)
    Think how much longer your batteries will last by using the light from the fires you start.
  • by Char-i-o's (1195873) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:10PM (#22212976)
    a series of self-ignitions has been reported across the country...
  • by apathy maybe (922212) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:11PM (#22212992) Homepage Journal
    OK, I can understand having rather bright spotlights (for example, to go shooting), but I cannot understand what use this sort of light has for civilian usage.

    It is far to dangerous to do many of the things that you often do with bright lights (for example, to go shooting), and so why?

    Perhaps it says something in the article? Not that I can see... (Though it does say, 15 minute battery life! WTF is the point of it then?)
    • Um, I thought spotlighting was illegal. Then again you may be using shooting differently from me.
      • by swillden (191260)

        Um, I thought spotlighting was illegal.

        Depends on what you're hunting, and where. In many areas you can hunt certain varmints with a spotlight.

        This light wouldn't be a useful spotlighting tool, though.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Torvaun (1040898)
          Sure it would, and the meat's already cooked by the time you get there to field dress it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      What use is a newborn baby? -- Benjamin Franklin
    • by jockeys (753885)

      but I cannot understand what use this sort of light has for civilian usage. It is far to dangerous to do many of the things that you often do with bright lights

      It doesn't need a use, it needs a market. People don't NEED hummers, either, but people buy them all the time. And what do you want to bet that the kinetic energy generated by a hummer at 70mph is more dangerous than a flashlight, no matter how bright?

      Though it does say, 15 minute battery life! WTF is the point of it then?

      This is not too uncommon for tactical flashlights. Most of mine only get 20-40 minutes of light before they are drained. The idea is to not run it all the time, but in bursts.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Ummm...HEAT RAY!!

      Did you NOT read/listen to/see/experience War of the Worlds? You're the FIRST puny human I'm using this thing on! And no common cold is gonna stop me!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by meringuoid (568297)
        Ummm...HEAT RAY!! Did you NOT read/listen to/see/experience War of the Worlds? You're the FIRST puny human I'm using this thing on! And no common cold is gonna stop me!

        * ring ring. ring ring. *

        Hello. Yes. Get me the First Lord of the Admiralty, would you? I need to have a word with the Navy. Thanks awfully. Yes, I'll hold... ... ... Ah, hello Sir Rupert. Yes, we've got a bit of a flap on down near Foulness. Yes. Somebody with a... very intense light beam of some kind, setting fire to shipping. Yes, it's

  • oblig. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:12PM (#22213004) Homepage Journal
    Do not look into flashlight with remaining eye.
  • by unassimilatible (225662) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:13PM (#22213030) Journal
    These are kind of cheap. At first it looked really bright, but I stared into it and after a while, the light is barely visible. I think it's defective.
  • 15 minutes? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KublaiKhan (522918)
    With as little a battery life as that thing has, what real practical use could you get out of it?

    Or are they anticipating the availability of those new high-capacity batteries with the nanosilicon structures in 'em?

    It seems more and more apparent that the limitations of our technology are not so much money and materials, but power consumption. Much like Tim Taylor, we're always looking for 'MORE POWER!'
  • Since the wicked lasers page got slashdotted, here's a youtube link [youtube.com] to all the videos.
  • Are you a peeping tom? Ever get teased through those binoculars because she just won't take the rest of her clothing off? Well be teased no longer with The Torch! Burn away those pesky garmets within seconds so you can see exactly what you're spying for!
  • Now I can have smores in my kitchen. Hopefully not a bonfire though.
    • by EggyToast (858951)
      You weren't waiting for this to cook smores in the kitchen, were you? If so, there's this great device called a Microwave that's been around for a while. Makes marshmallows nice & gooey and heats up the chocolate pretty well, too. About 25 seconds will do ya.
  • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:16PM (#22213086) Homepage Journal
    Let me know when you make a Fleshlight version.
  • by Bob-taro (996889) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:18PM (#22213122)

    My invention, "An Actual Torch" can set things on fire in even less time. It also has a much more disperse beam so it illuminates a wide area. The only drawback is it has a much shorter range. But then again on the plus side, it can't be accidentally used to destroy airplanes.

  • I guess they wanted to top the warning label "Do not look into laser with remaining eye".

    If Wicked Lasers puts a sticker on there that reads "Do not look into torch with remains of skull!", this thing will probably sell like the wildfires it's going to end up starting...

  • I can just see my 10 year old now: "Oh, a torch! Now a can read under the bed covers."
    There's going to be a few Darwin Awards generated from this toy.
  • MacGuyver would have a field day with this thing!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:22PM (#22213210)
    Will it blend?
  • by Stereodude (1228710) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:22PM (#22213218)
    This thing is total weak sauce compared to some of the home-brew / modified flashlights people have over at the Candlepower forums. In fact one of them (Maxablaster) is featured in this month's Popular Science on the How2.0 page. Apparently Guinness will only consider production flashlights for their records.

    Regardless, I'd link to some of them, but the forums there have enough time staying up as it is and they don't need the extra traffic. Here's a beam shot of the Maxablaster shining on some clouds 4 miles up. http://img231.imageshack.us/my.php?image=spotoncloud2dp4ta1.jpg [imageshack.us]

  • is this for mounting on the aboveforementioned railgun?

    i think the rail gun might need a padded gun stock before it needs this sighting tool though
  • I can't remember the name of this story, but the plot was that someone had invented a fast-time bubble...you got in it and time passed extremely fast for you on the inside, making the outside world appear to be frozen, or move very very slowly. Someone stole it and ran around killing people by shining a flashlight on them from inside the field, burning them to death.
  • coming soon (Score:4, Funny)

    by Khashishi (775369) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:26PM (#22213260) Journal
    waterproof shark harness
  • by PirateBlis (1208936) on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:27PM (#22213276)
    Are you a Peeping Tom? Does the person you're "watching" often tease you through your binoculars because she won't remove that silly bra? Well get teased no more! New from Wicked Lasers, it's The Torch!!! Now, just point The Torch at your obsession, press the button, and burn away those pesky garments in seconds!!! Do yourself a favor and see what you've really wanted to see! Buy The Torch!!! 30 easy payments of $10 per week. Act now!
  • A mere toy in comparison to the Galvanic Lucifer.
  • ObStephenson (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .171rorecros.> on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:35PM (#22213384) Homepage
    Ah, it's no Galvanick Lucipher [candlepowerforums.com].
  • by writerjosh (862522) * on Monday January 28, 2008 @05:56PM (#22213708) Homepage
    Finally, the English can now truly call their flashlights "torches."
  • by Sebastopol (189276) on Monday January 28, 2008 @06:02PM (#22213796) Homepage
    So after wiki'ing to figure out how this compares to the Coleman 1,000,000 candle power jobber, i discover i can't just play unit games:

    candlepower is lumins / sr

    I have to focus my few remaining neurons on my job, so could someone else please explain how the two measurements compare?

    Thank-yee.

  • Blade new weapon? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stereodude (1228710) on Monday January 28, 2008 @07:29PM (#22215098)
    Look at the bright side. (pun intended) When Wesley Snipes carries one of these around in the next Blade movie to burn vampires at least we'll know it's plausible.
  • TSA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by belg4mit (152620) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:03PM (#22216186) Homepage
    Now banned from all flights: any light-emitting device whatsoever.
  • by Melbourne Pete (1204418) <peter...roehlen@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:09AM (#22218926)
    Finally, we have a torch that can both provide light and a source of fire. Wait a minute...

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel

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