|Image Source : http://goo.gl/zyQGLc|
After a few months of owning and operating one of these LD60, I decided to make a youtube video of the colorful output.
Male Culture Section
Guys Love Flashlights
And many men have a collection of these photon sources. Let there be light bringer of Light! Having light to see when you need to see something is priceless. As a fan of LED flashlights, I noticed that a lot of newer LED flashlights come with a strobe function for self- defense. Researching more about this, I found the Fenix LD60. The 3 super high output LED's on the LD60 give it amazing output, and a strobe function so powerful that the LD60 is right on the edge of being a self defense tool with real stopping power.
Photon Sources in the Visible Spectrum
The word photon entered our modern vernacular in 1926, while the history of flashlights goes back to 1899. Battery powered flashlights started being developed as soon as batteries became widely available. The electric portable lighting revolution started. Early designs were expensive and very low output because of the carbon filament lamps used. The tungsten filaments development improved output and longevity of flashlight bulbs in the early 1900's.
Photons are both a particle and a wave, a discussion in physics that borders on the deep and philosophical when you really get down to it (particle wave duality), and that is way beyond the scope of this discussion. A photon is a particle/wave of light that is very similar to an electron. Photons have a mass (0; <1×10−18 eV/c2) ), and they travel through space at the speed of light.
Lasers are photon sources that emit coherent photons of a narrow spectrum, usually a single color of light. The tightly packed photons in a laser's output are an example of how powerful photons can be if they are grouped together in a tight bunch (better flux density). Powerful lasers can burn, melt and cut everything from plastic to titanium.
The search for an ideal photon source in a flashlight was solved when the LED replaced the incandescent and halogen lamps in flashlight designs. With up to 10x better battery life, and 100x longer life, the LED was an ideal light source for a small battery powered flashlight. Offering more than 80lumens per watt, at low wattage levels, the LED's used in todays flashlight are what really set them apart from older designs.
Today the LED flashlights rely on UV pumped phosphor designs that are at the peak of their technological evolution. Up next we will see the emergence of quantum dots, cheap non-toxic engineered particles that will replace the rare earth phosphors in LED's. These next gen Quantum Dot LED's will make future generation of flashlights even brighter, with better color rendering, and better light quality. We will even see greater battery life with Quantum Dot LED flashlights! For now the LD60 reigns supreme, with almost HID light output, great battery life, and a build quality that is exceptional.
Vision is our most powerful sensory input system, primarily because it affords the brain the ability to perceive things at a great distance. Our eyes are our telescopes, microscopes, our brains spy satellite view into the world. Our powerful vision system gives rise the the power of visual story telling, movies. The Oculus Rift and countless computer monitors, television screens, cell phone screens, these are the way that we see the information from the internet, from the TV networks, it is how we understand movies, visually, ever hear of a silent film. A picture is worth how many words? How many words to describe video footage? The information processing that occurs in our brain as part of our vision system is nothing short of a modern marvel in terms of technology. We have a completely food fuel cell powered organic self assembling brain body network system that is adaptive and self aware. The computation general intelligence of a single human cannot be produced by rooms full of servers connected to an always growing internet of reference information in 2015. I am not saying that our hearing is any less important, its just that hearing is for closer range data acquisition. Our eyes and our vision give us a powerful way to perceive the world. Blind people have great difficulty functioning without active assistance of many types. This underscores how important vision is as a sensory input system for our brains. 1300 objects per second when we are driving, the information processing in the human vision system make our vision our most powerful sensory input system. A vision adapted seeing person can be easily flash blinded by overwhelming their eyes with photons. Flashlights with an LED strobe function that are less than 4000 lumens, are perfectly adapted for short range strobe flash blinding someone who is trying to harm you in an act of self defense or in the defense of another innocent living being.
The human eye has an amazing dynamic range, and can in near darkness using its rods that render grey tone vision at night, to very high precision color high dynamic range using our cones. The eye's retina works converting incoming light into electrical signals, via molecules that are bent by different frequencies of light, after which they bend back to their original shape, releasing electrons into a nerve, the speed and count at which this excitation occurs, in specialized neurons behind the retina, produces the signal that moves down the optical pathway to the back of the brain, where a huge system of complex neurons in the occipital lobe post processes the incoming visual information to produce a smooth high resolution full color high dynamic range perception, a system that exploits neuroplasticity actively to achieve good computational throughput in a variety of situations, under different lighting conditions. This system, while remarkably efficient, is easy to overwhelm with pulsating high intensity light sources.
Many of the brighter LED flashlights of today are equipped with a strobe function that is designed for self defense. At the State level, governments have "Sick Sticks" special multi-color strobing high intensity LED flashlights that are specifically tuned to disordering people and cause vertigo and motion sickness. Laser dazzlers are the highest output and most focused of these optical overpowering systems that do not blind the target permanently.
Laser blinding someone with a 1w or more powerful laser is illegal, and should never be done. Extreme care and caution should be exercised when operating a tightly focused beam of light, be that from the emission of a laser of a spot beam from a focused flashlight of more than 2000 lumens.
Gandolf the Grey or White Wizard
In the fictional series the Lord of the Rings, one character carries a light source that is able to output enough light in high intensity pulse, that he is effectively able to flash blind his foes, but is able to use this light source at lower continuous levels to light his path, the Fenix LD60 is the modern flashlight equivalent, and is able to do the same thing, albeit in a less interesting form factor. In future I plan to build a flashlight that is inspired by Gandolf's illuminating staff. For now the Lithium Manganese Oxide High Rate 18650's in the LD60 provide this optical power in a compact, portable and well made device that anyone can appreciate. With one touch access to a powerful safety strobe function, the LD60 is also a powerful self defense tool, one that exploits the power of the human optical system, to flash blind temporarily and disorient. I was inspired to buy the LD60 for this capacity after a negative encounter with a jerk in a parking lot. On that day, words were exchange, but if the LD60 has been present, he would have been forced to shutter his eyes, shut his mouth, and listen to the truth with greater sensitivity. Bright LED flashlights are just like guns in that they give you the power to hold back a criminal with force, the strobing LED much cleaner, safer and far more in tune with the age in which we find ourselves today. The LD60 is the optical self defense weapon of choice that is within the reach of anyone who can afford the $150USD required to obtain one.