Your Very Own Lightsaber

posted Thursday, October 28, 2010 in videos, rants and raves, technology

That's right, you can buy your very own lightsaber for a mere 300 bucks. Okay, actually it's just a laser, but it's so powerful it makes a standard laser pointer look like a flashlight. You can't quite have a duel with it, but you can pop balloons, ignite matches or paper, and cause serious damage to yourself or someone else if you're not careful with it.

The Spyder III Arctic by Wicked Lasers is a 1000mW Class 4 handheld laser with a rechargeable lithium ion battery and a specially-designed high quality laser diode rated to last 5,000 hours. All for the low price of $299.95, a fraction of the thousands it cost just a few years ago for industrial-strength class 4 lasers.

Class IV lasers include all lasers with beam power greater than 500 milliwatts. By definition, a class-4 laser can burn the skin, in addition to causing potentially devastating and permanent eye damage as a result of direct or diffuse beam viewing. These lasers may ignite combustible materials, and thus may represent a fire risk. Class 4 lasers must by law be equipped with a key switch and a safety interlock. In fact, Class 4 lasers are so powerful that in order to purchase one from Wicked Lasers, they require you to sign a Laser Hazard Acknowledgement Form, to provide photo ID for age verification, and to check off that you have read each of 8 different hazard warnings.

There is a movement to make these illegal to be owned by consumers, but for right now they're perfectly legal. There have also been rumors of occasional seizure by customs enforcement when a class 3b or class 4 laser is imported, but Wicked Lasers ships internationally and says they've never had a shipment confiscated.

The Spyder III Arctic is the most powerful laser yet by Wicked Lasers, but here's some cool videos of other Wicked Lasers in action:

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