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Tag Archives: LEDs

Infrared Video Recording Flashlight

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By Evan Ackerman

Every night, farmer Bob tried to chase down those stupid little gray aliens with the big black eyes who were stealing his cows. And every day, farmer Bob’s friends would call him crazy. Until, that is, they saw the footage from his video recording flashlight with infrared LEDs. Knowing that aliens have deceptively poor eyesight, farmer Bob was able to sneak up to within 13 feet of them and use the 17 infrared LEDs on the flashlight to covertly illuminate the scene. Then, the integrated video camera captured the cownapping shenanigans in 640×480 video at 30 fps onto the 128 mb of internal memory, supplemented by a microSD card slot. Of course, it was easy for farmer Bob to find his way home later when he turned on the bright 3 watt white LED, and he could always look at the flashlight’s LCD screen to check on how much power was left in the 3 C batteries as well as the status of his recordings. All in all, farmer Bob was proud of his $399.95 investment, and it served him well, until one night, farmer Bob never came back.

So, let this be a lesson to you: if you go out stalking cow stealing aliens with a $400 infrared video recording flashlight, and your friends call you crazy, listen to them, ’cause man, you’re crazy.

[ Hammacher ] VIA [ Gizmowatch ]

Scrolling Message LED Alarm Clock

LED Light Marquee Messager Alarm Clock (Image courtesy Computer Gear) By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s an alarm clock for those who can’t wake up without some sort of successory-like inspirational message. The LED Light Marquee Messager (I guess that’s a real word now) uses a grid of 56 red LEDs to display the time, plus one of 4 personalized messages (up to 28 characters in length) that can be programmed using a hidden 12 button keypad.

You have the option of only displaying the time, only displaying one of your messages, or displaying both right after each other, and this bad boy is powered by 3 x AAA batteries. You can get it from ComputerGear.com for $39.99.

[ LED Light Marquee Messager Alarm Clock ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Striker Magnetic Light Mine

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By Evan Ackerman

The little magnetic light looks just like an underwater contact mine, except that it’s far less dangerous unless you stuff it full of high explosives, in which case it will only be moderately less dangerous. It’s a pretty neat idea, though: each one of those twelve “spikes” has a neodymium magnet at the tip, and you can use them to stick the light to any metallic surface and orient it just the way you want it. The wide-angle white LED looks like it provides plenty of illumination, and although it’s hard to tell from this picture, the light is tiny, about the size of a golf ball. It takes three watch batteries, but it doesn’t seem to say how long they power the light for or whether or not they are replaceable. My guess is “a while” and “yes,” but I don’t know for sure.

The Striker Magnetic Light Mine costs all of $8 on the Striker website.

[ Striker ] VIA [ Lifehacker ]

Fish Tank Friday: biOrb SpyOrb

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By Evan Ackerman

The biOrb SpyOrb is a generally unremarkable spherical eight gallon fish tank of the self-contained variety, meaning that besides changing filters every once in a while you don’t really have to do much. What makes it kinda neat are some of the accessories, like the biOrb Timer ($37) which will flash its LEDs at you to remind you when it’s time to do feed your fish or do maintenance on the tank.

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You can also get a special little LED lighting unit ($82) that cycles through different colors and brightnesses depending on what time of day it is. In the morning, “sunrise” lighting fades gradually into normal white light, followed in the evening by “sunset” lighting which turns into soft blue moonlight at night. It’s supposed to look nice, but more importantly, it replicates a natural light cycle which should help keep your fish blissfully happy and unaffected by the fact that they’re spending their lives in an eight gallon ball.

The biOrb SpyOrb is available now in ice white, piano black, or silver for $195.

[ Reef One ] VIA [ T3 ]

LED Finger Lamps Perfect For Hitchhikers Or E.T. Cosplay

Automatic LED Finger Lamp Flashlights (Images courtesy DealExtreme)
By Andrew Liszewski

That’s right, for just $5.29 you can get yourself a set of these creepy green LED finger flashlights from Deal Extreme. They automatically turn on when you insert your real fingertip inside, but they’re so realistic that no one will be able to figure out how you got your fingers to glow like that. Unless of course they mistake you for an extraterrestrial, tranquilize you, perform one of those alien autopsies, and discover it was a fake fingertip all along.

Each one is powered by 2 x 3V CR1620 batteries which are included, and according to Deal Extreme, they’re the “Perfect novelty gift for yourself and those around you.” Remember guys, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner…

[ Automatic LED Finger Lamp Flashlights ] VIA [ Gear Diary ]

SoundBulb Wireless LED Speaker Light

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By Evan Ackerman

Surround sound is pretty awesome, but it’s rarely easy to set up, what with the wires and the other wires and the connectors and all that crap… Not to mention having ugly-ass speakers sitting all around your living room, and if you’re doing it properly, bolted to the ceiling. The SoundBulb is a combination lightbulb and wireless speaker system designed to solve all of these problems by letting you stick everything up in the ceiling and inside lamps.

Stuffed inside the form factor of a regular incandescent bulb is an array of LEDs to provide (eco-friendly!) light, with an 8-ohm speaker behind it. The speaker is connected wirelessly to your home entertainment system, and you can adjust the volume of each speaker by simply twisting the top of the bulb.

No idea when this concept might see production, but it’s a damn good idea and I’d absolutely buy a bunch of them. If they’re cheap. Which they probably won’t be. Internal diagram after the jump.Continue Reading

Candle Powered LED

By Evan Ackerman

This is one of those things that, although kinda cool in principle, has (at this stage, anyway) questionable utility. This picture, from Nextreme Thermal Solutions, shows an LED being powered entirely by the heat from a candle. In fact, since candles put out so much waste heat, the LED is actually brighter than the candle that’s powering it. This is thermoelectric conversion in action, and if somebody could make it practical, it would be everywhere. We use all kinds of technologies that pump out tons of waste heat, and then spend a substantial amount of power trying to deal with it. Imagine how much extra battery life you’d get out of your laptop if the heat from the chip was tapped to power the LEDs in the screen, for example.

People are getting more creative with heat utilization and transformation, even doing stuff like using waste heat from laptops to power wireless mice. The real holy grail of this technology, though, is the ability to turn heat directly into electricity in an energy and space efficient manner. We’re not there yet, but it’s always nice to see progress being made.

VIA [ Tech-On ]

Twisty Light Bulbs Are The Future

By Evan Ackerman

Although this might look like a bisected metallic artichoke, it is in fact a super duper efficient LED light bulb. When LEDs are powered up to levels capable of replacing standard household incandescent bulbs, they start putting out a whole bunch of heat, which progressively degrades the LEDs. This is bad. To mitigate the situation, high powered LED lighting systems are getting their very own funky looking heat sinks, which can extend the life of the system and its color accuracy “dramatically.” This particular model, the SoL R38 from the Lighting Science Group Corporation, is about 70% more efficient than the 60 watt incandescent bulb it’s designed to replace, and it’s good for a minimum of 50,000 hours, or over 5 and a half years of continuous on time.

Sounds great, huh? So that was the carrot, here’s the stick: each SoL R38 costs $145. But wait, I have another carrot for you: over the lifetime of the LED non-bulb, you’ll still save about $82. Aaaand, another stick: if you need to buy a new LED light after 50,000 hours, you’ll be in the hole again by $60. Last carrot: in the mean time, using the LED system will have saved 1.72 tons of carbon dioxide (numbers pulled out of my ass via here).

So, maybe it makes sense to buy one of these right now, maybe it doesn’t. They sure do look cool, if nothing else. But as with CFLs, my guess is that if you just wait a little bit, high power LEDs will start being used by more than just inexplicably rich techno-hippy duck-squeezers and the price will drop like… Like… Oh, I know: like the DJIA. It would be funny if it wasn’t my retirement fund.

[ Lighting Science Group Corporation ] VIA [ NY Times ]

LED Belt Buckle Lets You Communicate Via Your Pants

By Luke Anderson

I’ll admit to being one of those people that wears a novelty belt buckle. It’s nothing big or flashy, just a small replica of Captain America’s shield. What can I say, the Cap is just cool. Now if you’re looking for a buckle that’s really going to bring attention to your mid-section, then few things will work better than this scrolling LED belt buckle.

If you don’t mind people staring in the general direction of your crotch all day, then you can entertain the world with up to 512 character messages. It is programmable with up to 6 messages, though only one can be 512 characters, the others have a cap of 256. This attention-grabbing device will only set you back $14.99.

[ SourcingMap ] VIA [ SlipperyBrick ]